THREEE POEMS ABOUT DEATH, DECAY & RADIATION BY STEPHANIE WYTOVICH
PHOTOS TAKEN BY STEPHANIE AT AMERICA’S MOST HAUNTED LUNATIC ASYLUM; THE TRANS-ALLEGHENY LUNATIC ASYLUM IN WESTON, WV
BEHIND THE GENETIC REAPING
The world, a soon-to-be hospice,
brings with it a creature, a monster,
a culmination of everything less-than-desired,
an inactive participant, dormant, asleep;
yet there’s a stewing in the after wake of medical nightmare,
this freak-show discovery,
this harbinger of mutation,
it waits in syringes-induced comas
hesitates in its failed posthumous abortion
for inside this genetic accident,
there exists the hardship of weakness,
an off-color, misbranded creation
that looks different than those around it;
a blinking taboo, a wheezing unmentionable
there’s a crack in the system, a fraction in the plan
But, hear me, death-bed inhabitants!
Listen close: there’s a reaper in your head.
A slave to the dominance of survival,
there’s a cowering, a receding back to black,
a hanging in its suspended womb, this miscarriage-survived;
it was created to suffer, to duel out the agony of existence,
to force-feed humanity it’s political agenda of hate;
like a well-oiled mechanical mutant,
it writhes in declination with each breath,
a recessive abomination, disease ridden and paled,
it feasts on your supply of white blood cells and hope,
a meat suit siphoned, a psychic heretic
it will eat you to survive, harvest you to laugh.
NUCLEAR TEST SITE: ROUND 2
The second time, nothing came back but roaches stained smoke and ash
against the backdrop of a gray desert and a yellow-mushroom sky. They raced toward
the demolition camp, past feral refugees buried underground in shelters made of
wood and wreckage, their bodies mutated, their screams a faint howl in the stillborn air.
Droids tracked the homes for carnage: four pairs of goggles, the traumatized hands of a test dummy,
a torso made of wires, a torn suit and sheared apron. The fake family’s paper dinner
still glued to the kitchen table. The door of a microwave unhinged, propped against the sink
inside the seventh identical house in the site.
There’s no clean-up, just abandonment, this leaving of all things mattered at the cost of science,
at the price of war. An atomic experiment, a nuclear trial. The robots collect pressed soil from holes
large enough to house prehistoric monsters, test air poisoned enough to wilt the metal of their eyes,
to choke the electricity from their chests.
RADIATION POISONING & STALE COFFEE FOR BREAKFAST
My coffee cup is teal, bought on whim when I found there were others,
The threadbare blanket on my sofa will have to do
Much like the food that expires today, but it’s still good,
I promise—trust me like you did the day the stars stopping shining
Because when I open the mailbox, there’s a letter from two years ago,
Left still, dead like the time I wondered into the forest,
All those hallucinogenic colors dripping from branches,
Making impressions in the pond.
There is a haunting in the wind now, the sound like crying wasps,
Their wings broken, stilted in a proverbial twitch, I feel the prick
Of a thousand stingers inside me, my lungs filled with radiation,
The world glowing like the first time I dropped acid.
Here, take a seat, this bone marrow will make you strong,
Let me grab you a cup of soup from the sky’s tears,
It’s been weeping all morning, the Big Dipper is bored
Sometimes when I’m lonely, I remember out back,
I’ve already dug up my own grave.
Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others. Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, and An Exorcism of Angels. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press. Her next poetry collection, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, is scheduled to be released October 2017 from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Her story ‘Because of Their Different Deaths’ will be appearing in the upcoming CLASH Books anthology, Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath.
Follow Wytovich at http://www.stephaniewytovich.com/ and on twitter @JustAfterSunset