happy halloween

All Souls
by Michael Collier

A few of us—Hillary Clinton, Vlad Dracula,
Oprah Winfrey, and Trotsky—peer through
the kitchen window at a raccoon perched
outside on a picnic table where it picks

over chips, veggies, olives, and a chunk of pâte.
Behind us others crowd the hallway, many more
dance in the living room. Trotsky fusses with the bloody
screwdriver puttied to her forehead.

Hillary Clinton, whose voice is the rumble
of a bowling ball, whose hands are hairy
to the third knuckle, lifts his rubber chin to announce,
“What a perfect mask it has!” While the Count

whistling through his plastic fangs says, “Oh,
and a nose like a chef.” Then one by one
the other masks join in: “Tail of a gambler,”
“a swashbuckler’s hips,” “feet of a cat burglar.”

Trotsky scratches herself beneath her skirt
and Hillary, whose lederhosen are so tight they form a codpiece,
wraps his legs around Trotsky’s leg and humps like a dog.
Dracula and Oprah, the married hosts, hold hands

and then let go. Meanwhile the raccoon squats on
the gherkins, extracts pimentos from olives, and sniffs
abandoned cups of beer. A ghoul in the living room
turns the music up and the house becomes a drum.

The windows buzz. “Who do you love? Who do you love?”
the singer sings. Our feathered arms, our stockinged legs.
The intricate paws, the filleting tongue.
We love what we are; we love what we’ve become.



goatman said...

I've always liked that song.

Jan Hagel said...

I want to be the pumpkin in the picture.

red dirt girl said...

goatman~ Bo Diddley or The Doors? (my money's on Diddley...!)

red dirt girl said...

Jan~ first, Welcome!

Pumpkin spot (prime real estate) goes to Jan Hagel!
(Me? I want to be the raccoon in the poem)

soubriquet said...

I think I know just what the poet's saying. And I know the feeling. Mind you, it's a bit like having an anonymising name on the interwebs. I kinda liked the image of Hillary humping Trotsky.

Definitely Bo-Diddley.

red dirt girl said...

Soubry~ I now know where my own poetry has gone astray: I have failed to use the lederhosen/codpiece metaphor!

I rather enjoyed the 'the filleting tongue'...


goatman said...

Given the choices, I would have to go with Doors since I like the jam bands; but George Thorogood does a nice version.
(I added it to my playlist on Blog -- I hadn't realized that so many covered this, even Quicksilver!)

red dirt girl said...

Wow goatman,
I guess I've been living under a rock - I didn't know you had a playlist on your blog or even that you could CREATE a playlist for your blog. Ubercool! I enjoyed listening to your version; however, I'm sticking with Bo Diddley...Love his manic energy.