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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Poem Inspired by Tis Pity and Young Frankenstein

Justin Karcher contemplates the monster he has created

'Tis Pity You're Justin, Creator of Monsters


Tonight we’re all having nervous breakdowns

changing our Facebook profile pictures every 15 minutes

each photo coming closer to the truth, a heart ripped

from the source, hopefully the blood dripping to the floor

will reveal where we’ve come from & where we need to go

a creepy castle on a shimmering mountaintop

in Buffalo’s Theater District where we play our parts

discarded objects great for a quick fix, but real risky

when it comes to mental health, how we’re always eating

plastic bags from Wegmans hoping we’ll eventually blow in the wind

like divinely inspired doves, ambassadors of peace

but things get in the way, cop cars beatboxing

in the hieroglyphic blur of not understanding the world

a static cluster gluing our feet to the street

a mob of angry villagers looking for the next song

it’s tough making sense of things, so we concoct schemes

in bed, at the bar, on the operating table

how to fall in love, how to defy nature, how to catch catharsis

like a disease, how to get revenge on your enemy & then there’s me

hypnotized by every dumb little thing I see

in my search for who the fuck knows

like standing in front of the closed AT&T store

in the middle of the night when it’s all locked up

so I’m staring through the windows looking like a creep

& thinking the store looks like a hospital nursery

full of newborns ‘cause the smartphones are so pure-looking

but deep down I know they’ll eventually be corrupted

by broken language, paranormal sexts & cruel voicemails

that undeclare our independence

in the most passive-aggressive way imaginable

‘cause eventually this city will be more cemetery than café

more laboratory than lovers’ lane

more necrophilia than rollercoaster aerobics

more November than the dog days of summer

what must we do to be saved?

what must we do to prevent the things

that slither out of our fingertips

from descending into chaos?

I don’t know

the other day, Melissa asked me

“You ever think you created a monster

with these theater poems?

Like people expect you to write one for every show”


I did create a monster

but it’s a worthwhile monster

a way to stave off a breakdown

for me

& maybe everyone

I just pray

that we don’t lose ourselves in the process

or that villains won’t carve out our hearts

& hold them up to the rotting sun

like blood sacrifices

I just pray

that lightning bolts won’t betray us

when we attempt our flashy resurrections

comeback kids

crawling out of the shadows


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