"And love is a thing that can never go wrong
And I am Marie of Romania."
It took about a ton
of clay to fashion him;
aquamarine Pisces gems for eyes,
dirt from Jim Morrison's grave
for a voice,
Cyril's cross around his neck
instead of David's star.
And when it was done--
I'd wanted a muse,
but had created a monster.
"That is not dead which can aeternal lie
And with strange aeons even death may die."
--H. P. Lovecraft
When my muse died,
we had a lovely funeral.
We sang old Negro spirituals
and all the songs we remembered
from Sunday school.
They had to break his legs
to fit him in the plain pine box
which was all I could afford;
dispensing with embalming saved cash.
When they lowered the coffin
I threw in a bouquet of blood-red roses
from the day-old bin at Boulevard Florist.
The roses had begun to turn black--
he would have liked that.
He was that kind of muse.
What friends I had left
hugged and kissed me then;
others had run screaming from my
monster muse long ago.
When I was sure that everyone was gone,
I ran back to where they buried him,
and threw in the fourteen-carat
Ten Commandments pendant I'd earned
for learning my psalms, so many years ago.
"You kill the head, you kill the body."
--Night of the Living Dead
What's dead might not stay dead.
He tracked slurry into my bedroom,
looking more alive than I.
He smelled of earth and salt,
but no corruption; his lips
were as soft as a newborn's.
So I patched him together
with spirit gum and spare parts
from a special effects house
in North Hollywood. But when he spoke
he blamed me for all his ills:
his broken life, his broken legs,
the evil that I'd done in making him.
I put a bullet between his lovely eyes;
took the cross from around his neck--
how it burned me! I cried--
and then I think I went mad.
So now you understand.
Purify me with salt water,
and smudge with Five-finger grass,
anoint me with Van Van oil,
and tell me that you understand.
Please tell me that you do,
please tell me.
Then let's clean up this mess.
Copyright © 2001 Denise Dumars
Denise Dumars is a college English professor; an entertainment journalist specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror; a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays; and a lifelong resident of the beautiful South Bay area of Los Angeles County. Email her and she'll take you to Brennan's in Marina del Rey for a drink.