Thursday, January 5, 2012


His cape wet with rain,
Edgar Allan Poe slips into a 24-hour chain pharmacy under cover of night,
And asks the pharmacist for laudanum.

He is recognized.

The pharmacist is a crap poet who lives in a nearby bedroom community.
He participates in fantasy sports pools,
And worships Charles Bukowski.

Poe is strung out; desperate!
His shaking hands offer out-of-circulation bills, in wads.
"Laudanum," he repeats, with urgency.

Instead, the pharmacist
(whose name is Ted)
Starts rhapsodizing about "Buk".

There is so much blood.
Officers from this quiet suburb have never seen
Anyone impaled with an umbrella before.
A nearby display of magnifying reading glasses has been upset in the fracas,
And their empty lenses bear useless witness
To the waste of a human life.

An answering machine beeps.
"There is one pharmacy call," chirps a robotic female voice.
It will be pending for all eternity,
Or at least until the yellow crime tape comes down.

Meanwhile, Poe has scored something from a teenage boy loitering outside the 7-11.
He doesn't know what it is, but he takes it anyway, because
His girlfriend is gone,
His mind is a roiling snakepit,
And he has nothing else, nothing at all
To protect him from the storm.


Brian Miller said...

hell me some poe...and some take on him and the pharmacy trip....writes like this are a blast...and certainly no disappointment here...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

When I saw "Poe" on my blogroll, I was already grinning. You so rock!

hedgewitch said...

If only he'd gone to Danny's instead of that crap pharmacy. He should have known by the fact there were no glowing red bottles, lack of dangled anatomical skeletons and counters full of 'tonics' that things were grimly different. Love the last four lines here, where you take the tongue out of the cheek and go for the throat.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Ha! Goes to show that being raised from the crypt is not all it's cracked up to be (yeah, pun intended).
What an imagination you have to transport an iconic figure to the present and render him obsolete. Bold, brave writing, Shay.

Mama Zen said...

Last time I was in Target, I had to show ID to buy Nyquil. A similar scene was narrowly averted.

I love "There is so much blood." The starkness, the abruptness of it is perfect.

TALON said...

You paint with words, Shay. And your imagination soars. Loved it! He should have gone to Danny's.

Marian said...

hah! buk worshippers unite at your peril!

Cloudia said...

see, real poets like Shay & Poe are gritty and authentic and real with strong passions, and sickened by dilettante suburban hipster judgmental small-thinking trendies....

me too

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


Daryl Edelstein said...

I'm with Hedgewitch

Brandee Shafer said...


Marion said...

Genius, pure genius! As much as I fight with my pain management doctors & pharmacy, I'm pissed off that I didn't think of this one. :-) xoxo

Lolamouse said...

Poor Poe! I'd hate to think what he would've done if he'd had to sign the big book like I have to do just to buy some stupid cold medicine!

Lydia said...

Tsk. And there are those who think that Obamacare is a poe idea!

Loved this, Shay.

HermanTurnip said...

This is one the best pieces I've seen from you! I like the cut of your jib, and would love to subscribe to your newsletter for another year.

A Fan

Caty said...

you just can't mess with Poe, always give him what he wants! ;) Love the quote at the end, too

Anonymous said...

just Poe's luck to have the pharmacist be a crap poet! just the crap poet's luck to go too far with a strung-out Poe!

your labels are better than most poetry ~ your poetry is better than most poetry, too. LOVE this! ♥

{crawling under the bed to hide again as my poetry-envy takes control.}

ellen abbott said...

This one's a little compelling, there, at the end.