Daily Archives: September 13, 2022

American Halloween

Let’s get on down to the Liquor Mart
before we start our good old
American Halloween. Paint our faces
red from inside with Fireball Whiskey. 
Prepare to dance the drunken stagger
of our barely-demon forebears
and fake evil till we make it. 
Lust for bodies naked underneath
their polyester shrouds. Taste
the solemn origins underneath
the blood on the stained receipts.
We can walk all hammered and commercial
through the rain falling thick as a screen.
It’s just the way it goes 
on American Halloween.

Then let’s head off to Walmart
to buy our way into
that good old American Halloween. Buy
matching costumes. Become
sexy pirates — no, let’s both be
Sexy Death and we can
split the workload. You take
the soft ones. I’ll take
the hard ones who don’t want to go,
the ones you have to tie up first.
We can split those who fall somewhere in between.
It’s just the kind of thing you do 
on American Halloween. 

At last let’s head off to the cemetery 
to close out this American Halloween. 
Stand among the stones
in smeared makeup giggling
at names we pretend we know. 
Recognizing some and avoiding those
because we are afraid of what they know.
Smashing our heads on the hard ground,
rousing the uncompromised ghosts 
and banshees who refuse to let us
off our blasphemous hooks. Saying not again
when the wind shakes the trees 
with a mocking rattle. We thought
we were pirates or two halves
of Sexy Death. What we are instead
are consumers in scenes tailored to
the falsehoods of American Halloween.