Unhoused by Dale L. Sproule
From 2 AM, Spring 1988
Doors are portals to your fears
and so you hide
from doors and sky;
until they subdivide
to drive a freeway through you.
Walls and floors and ceilings
now rubble at your feet
Leaving you empty
in the empty street;
crying in the ruins,
digging in the ruins,
ruined in the ruins.
Until you finally find
a hiding place,
deep, so deep inside
the ruins of your mind.

Zenocide by Dale L. Sproule
The Nightmare Express Mar-Apr 1991
Like the proverbial fallen tree
some things you neither hear nor see;
The guns roar at the base of your skull,
brains erupting from the shattered hull
of your forehead.
Your careless red signature on the floor.
Will your scattered thoughts quiesce
To dwell on a final sticky question?
With no recall of the eruption…
Are you really dead?

Pick-up Artists
from The Nightmare Express Nov-Dec 1989
He screamed when it came at him in its rough,
humanoid form. It took advantage of the
its whole wiry hand into his mouth to the back
of his throat
and down.
Searching out vital organs from the inside
His mouth clamped shut
around its shoulder. His eyes bulged. It grinned,
clutched for his heart. But the expression changed –
worry draining all vestiges of humanity from its features
when it felt the acids claim its groping limb. And burn.
“Oh shit!” it thought, having fallen for the oldest trick
There is. And then his mouth opened wider to embrace
Its bowing head
And everything.
It’s final thought, “Just like a goddamned human!”

Breakfast of Heroes by Dale L. Sproule
Jan, 2019, Psychedelia Gothique Blog
I awakened as the muscle-bound hero,
having ravaged the gate and infiltrated the city.
Still carrying the darkness of night
under my heavy cloak of responsibility
I stumbled down the hall into the kitchen, my bristling weapons
knocking over knick knacks in my wake.
My swollen pecs and biceps made it awkward
to butter my toast and fill the reservoir on the coffee machine.
And I barely fit through the bathroom door
when I went to brush my teeth.
Shaking my great, shaggy head in front of the mirror
I peeled off my armour as I bent forward
To inspect a spot on my forehead
No contusion, this – merely a new liver spot
I sighed with relief, as my proportions deflated
in the triple glare of the vanity lights
and I finally washed away the dream with soapy water,
smiling as my Herculean task swirled down the drain.
My belly and receding hairline suddenly didn’t seem so bad –
my wrinkles and imperfections being infinitely better
than bloody bandages and slings, scars and mended bones.
And as I dressed, I hummed an old song
And revelled in the freedom to be me.

When Nonsense Rules by Dale L. Sproule (with thanks to Yeats, Nash and Carroll)

Ululating out at me
from the branches of a tree
a loon’s voice screamed
in fractured cries
Something here is not quite right

I peer through darkened canopy
For water birds, I cannot see
Forsaken now
by lake and sea
And stranded on a blood dimmed tide

Whales drift like clouds through clotted air
While slithering down the thoroughfare
Songbirds writhe on filthy wings
And from the hedge a wart hog sings
Nothing here is as it ought
With nightmares, our paradise is fraught

Cars and trucks dance down the street
With ominous and warlike beats
Fenders clashing on concrete
Wheels spinning skeins of lies.
And the blood dimmed tide does rise.

All the world is on its head.
All our politics are dead
The populace has lost its voice
We just sing lyrics in our heads

A chorus line of rough beasts shifts
In a can-can-can’t with slow limb lifts
While sense and language lose their power
Through this dense, long-scheduled hour
And there’s nothing left to do
– but dance.

To the tremulous shriek
of the stranded loon
Playing out its melancholy tune
Let’s gyre and gimble cross the boulevard
to join the mome raths at play.