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April 15, 2024

Grotesques: A Cadralor

By Sterling Warner

Grotesques: A Cadralor

I.   Costumes
As straight as book spines
at attention on a shelf, my sisters
played dress-up, donned Amish
   prayer kapps, aprons, shawls
recreated midnight shadows
told ghost stories uttered
a hundred lifetimes before us.

II.   Poe’s Silhouette
Huddled around campfires
or smoky hippie hideaways,
scouts attempted to elicit
   poignant responses as quick
and certain as emotional laxatives
moving them from chat rooms
streaming Gothic tales.

III.   Wheezing Reeds
Twice removed from sheep stomach and animal
skin bagpipes that drone on and on like failing lungs
haunting, depressing pensive minds like children
   through highland heather and western oakwoods;
worse, smirking accordionists fixate on strident notes
hugging bellows, pushing treble and bass keys
destroying beauty, disturbing tranquility.

IV.   Stacks
Breathing bodies—conjure blood
and guts memories preserved
on yellow leaves of antiquated texts
   millennials claim smell like old people
a source of irritating dust mites,
nothing more than excess baggage,
where word navigation’s a chore.

V.   Pipedreams
Within an endless centrifuge spinning
down ideas lacking the antiseptic
touch and feel of hand-held cell phones
   that can double as flashlights, notebooks,
digital cameras and tape recorders,
Calibans scrawl erotic verse, recite
virtual love poems to lonely outsiders.

Article © Sterling Warner. All rights reserved.
Published on 2024-02-26
Image(s) are public domain.
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