A Grand Guignol Kind of Night

The right kind of night for
a theatre of the dark absurd,
an enchanted evening’s folly
for addict-connoisseurs
of murder most foul.

Shadows were gathering,
in the salon, the greenhouse,
the library of countless shelves,
dread passions soon released
in the night, voices raised
in anger, three screams,
the barking of a dog.

Morning would find
blood in the back garden,
a scimitar discarded
on the study floor,
the stoked remnants
of belladonna dreams
in the sunlit haze
of the unaired rooms.

On the screened porch
the chairs and tables
tossed this way and that,
broken glass and the
residue of spilt drinks
scattered across the tiles.

Bodies would be
trucked to the morgue
in the county meat wagon,
thick with the scents
of death and horror.

By noon of the next day
the slaughter and wreckage
will have streamed away,
furniture properly placed,
dead bodies resurrected,
shifting shadows restored,
prepared for one more
dark enchanted evening
for addict-connoisseurs
of murder most foul.


— Bruce Boston


Bruce Boston is the author of more than fifty books and chapbooks. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, the Asimov’s Readers Award, a Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling and Grandmaster Awards of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His latest collection, Resonance Dark and Light, is available from most online booksellers. bruceboston.com

Editor’s Notes: Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol (The Theatre of the Great Puppet was a theatre in the Pigalle area of Paris (1897 -1962) specializing in naturalistic horror shows, often graphic and amoral popular from Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre. (See Wikipedia for more discussion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Guignol

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