Do your neighbors have tentacles for arms? I mean real tentacles? Maybe you should read this. I first heard Gary Jackson at the Michael Datcher event. What a wonderful night that was! And this matter-of-fact treatment of the totally grotesque has all the dark irony of a reporter covering a nightmare.
Gary Jackson was born and raised in Topeka, KS, but received his MFA in Poetry from the University of New Mexico. His poems have appeared in Inscape, Magma, literary bohemian, and local chapbooks. He currently teaches as a part-time instructor in Albuquerque and is a fierce lover of comics.
"I've always been fascinated with juxtaposing the reality we live in with the one we read about in superhero comics and similar escapist settings. The poem "Autumn in Chestnut Falls" is different from most of my other poems that explore this because unlike my poems about popular comic-book characters, the characters in this poem are all of my own creation."
Autumn in Chestnut Falls
Sure, some of us felt sorry
when the Franklins moved.
But once their oldest boy
grew tentacles for arms
we couldn’t help but keep away.
The way they slithered
alongside him, as if they had
a mind of their own, ready
to drain the blood from toddlers
who stumbled too close.
And that was before Lucille
found her Labrador broken in two
in her backyard. But we should have
known that boy was trouble when
he got kicked off varsity for leaving
welts on everyone he tackled,
even though he could hold onto
a ball like nobody’s business.
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