By The Slab

By Jerome Berglund

Poet Note:

TRIGGER WARNING:

These selections comprise part of a cycle of pieces
examining the life and crimes of serial killer John Wayne
Gacy in 33 different poetic forms, and invariably include
some graphic and disturbing content.

Alexandrine, Inter-hemistich:

By the Slab

The still boy looks lonely, too lacks one and only;
Lying there so pronely, accept one this homely?
Those blank eyes are pleading of company needing —
Such good stock and breeding, which way is he leading?!

The tortoise versed in fare adjacent of O’Hare,
before he’d thought to dare, had once needed some air.
Cruised off in car dad gave, under constrainments grave
he’d no longer see waived, be distributor’s slave.

Wont to withhold the key, way son later took glee.
New way induce injury — blunt force was monotony.
And brought family more shame, fashioned flunker limbs lame:
brain bled, needed be tamed — a thump to head was blamed.

Marks declined since fourth grade, Fauntleroy had it made;
kicking feet up in shade, bomb squad providing aid.
The blackouts unexplained, they could not hide him chained.
Embarrassment oft pained, traumas pa claimed were feigned.

Now son drove where wanted, puberty brain unclotted.
Makings brassly vaunted, Gomorrah undaunted.
Round bases plain to see, denied him since little league.
Somewhere find willing bee, ambulance company.

Three months can squeeze lifetime mecca organized crime.
Tourist sans reason/rhyme, will find wading through slime.
Before was defendant, Palm Mortuary attendant.
Found new bar agreement, fraternize with decedents.

Slept cot by embalming, thought process arousing.
Pheromones gushing, oozing! Sensibly confusing.
Wet work around the clock, whet appetite lines chalk.
Morticians: solid as rock, when climbed in casket shock!

That was vulnerable spot, he fought forlorn a lot…
Connection that he sought, folding stiff arms was bought.
Sweaty, awkward caress — finally off his chest.
Action figures no stress, pliable under duress.

Genie loosed from rubbed bottle, anatomy model.
How had so long dawdled. Hector, not mollycoddle!!
Floated, great pants, pawing; if only risk sawing!
Hell’s bells and by golly… G.I. Joes, who needs dollies?

What was new sensation, here last consolation…
Pall-bearer close stationed, left body duration.
Woke to face certain fact, necrophilic this act.
Own morbidity wracked, Zeus’s locker freed JACK

Eighty-six funerals had bloomed, he’d carried most like bridegroom.
Night man vacant call room, going deaf from sirens’ boom;
Such ease a.m. staging, opposable arranging —
meant constant war’s waging, with self and id’s caging…

Weighed options, too tempting. Bid logic’s exempting.
And live one’s pre-empting, though handy catch emptying…
Happens in Vegas been said, can bring home marital bed.
Prospect filled him with dread; beast should starve not be fed.

Mind muddled ways queerest, titillated panegyrist;
What do becomes clearest: flee skirt mommy dearest!
Trace way back by same route, reeled on in like a trout.
Business colleges hereabouts, are obliged to take drop-outs.


Bio: Jerome Berglund is a writer and fine artist who cowrote a television pilot which at a festival for them received numerous accolades including best in show. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television Production program, with emphases in screenwriting and philosophy. Berglund is author of the collection Plague Poems and Hack Haikus and the chapbook WILD/LIFE. His poetry appears in Abstract Magazine, Bangalore Review, Barstow & Grand, Cathexis Northwest Press, deLuge, the Dewdrop, the Elevation Review, GRIFFEL, Lychee Rind, Meat for Tea, Nine Cloud Journal, Poet’s Choice, a Quillkeeper’s Press anthology, Raw Art Review, the Silent World in Her Vase, Tiny Seeds, Wild Roof and most recently O:JA&L. A drama he penned was published in Iris Literary Journal. His short fiction has also been exhibited by the Watershed Review, Paragon Press, and the Stardust Review. Berglund is furthermore an established, award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been exhibited in galleries across New York, Minneapolis, and Santa Monica. In another life he worked as a visual effects artist for Lucasfilm and Dreamworks, and assisted on set at Lifetime and Comedy Central. He has the unique privilege of being able to say he was once Minnie Driver’s driver. Berglund is a committed activist as well, and has been involved in the Occupy, Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matter movements, and supported grassroots efforts promoting the Green Party.

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