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Why Do You Watch Monster Vision, Mary, Why?

  1. To jump start my heart and scream like a child
    caught so safely in the net of a funhouse web.

  2. To teach me good to do right by children
    no matter what their sinister plots are
    with their ropes and balls and make-believe –
    because they will haunt us with their high-pitched,
    off-key lullabies, keep us up like old people
    who die in a touchdown moment
    and become instantly hauntateous behind our bed-boards;
    basements and attics froth with dying young, dying old
    zombies, eyes white and swollen.
    I could never reason with them when they were alive
    and now they settle in the over-beams of my houses
    with their flesh eating and their shock death smiles.

  3. To teach me good and well not to be obnoxious and therefore expendable
    in a society spine straight and serious about making it through the night
    (hammer doors over windows
    pack silver bullets and holy water
    kick and roll and run, watch the ground,

  4. To teach me to respect inanimate objects
    that may someday turn on me
    (the music box,
    the TV,
    the kitchen chairs).

  5. To feel my pulse back in-between my shoulder blades
    and to fully appreciate my tenuous life.

  6. To jump start my heart
    with ammunition, techniques and a bible full of knowledge with which
    to flee the forces of evil
    (I do believe in spooks,
    I do believe in spooks),
    to flee the forces of evil
    and to cooperate with my lover
    and to know the difference,
    for God’s sake, to know the difference.
    No matter how his age-old smoking grin
    moves me to stutter-lust, do not kiss a man with fangs.

  7. To watch the outposts of art and resist
    the body snatcher artists who set up their dead, sterile chambers
    and try to make you feel with your head
    when I know full well you feel with your spine
    and the alien comes for your spine.
    Funny how an alien hates to see you laugh
    with your spine and your neck going back,
    laughing at your near death
    when all your neighbors have been dead
    all along,
    when the boogie man gets the babysitter,
    when you try to remember, recover
    the angel who you are.

  8. To see Joe Bob Briggs’ sexy hunk of sarcasm,
    beer boots and green vinyl lounger.

  9. To jump start my heart
    the scariest, most horrible, terrible thing in my life –
    my own heart, my own swamp thing heart,
    turning on me like a blood sucking ghoul,
    my own nature, trees throwing apples,
    vines raping vines, evil whipping through my hair
    like flies, bats, birds,
    the voodoo of my friends.

  10. To break from the forest of this acute lonely life –
    an enlightened door through the fog,
    the abandoned mahogany bed where I rest,
    the five fingered hand from another being
    trying to reach me –
    and will touch me through the cold thick dark
    and thereby, therefore, thereafter
    I will be touched.

Mary Elizabeth Ladd


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