Nosferatu in Florida

Roy Bentley Click to read more...

rbentley-198Roy Bentley has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio Arts Council. His poems have appeared in the Southern Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Pleiades, Blackbird and Sou’wester. He has published nine chapbooks and three books of poetry, including The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana, which won the White Pine Poetry Prize and was published by White Pine in 2006.  His fourth collection, Starlight Taxi, is the winner of the 2012 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry and will appear in 2013.

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Maybe vampires hear an annunciatory trumpet solo.
Maybe they gather at the customary tourist traps
like a blanket of pink flamingos plating a lake
and lake shore by the tens of thousands to drink.
The whole, tacky blood circus is theme-park stuff
and as Disneyesque as lifting the lid on a casket
to flit about sampling the inexhaustible offerings
of O Positive like the Sunday brunch at IHOP.
But if you had a booming, amphitheatrical voice
and had been recently rescued from the grave—
if you wore the republic of the dark like a cape
at Halloween, all bets would be off by the signage
for Paradise Tire & Service, a neon-green royal palm.
Bela Lugosi could materialize on a trailer-park lawn
and the locals would miss it, though lapdogs howled
as kingdoms rose and fell. You could say a kingdom
of fangs glows and drips red by the broken temples
and wide, well-lit aisles of Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
By the shadowed homeless holding up placards
hand-lettered in English, as if the kind-hearted
of the nations of the world spoke one language
and could be counted on to forgive misspellings,
bad syntax that announces one life is never enough.
The resurrection of the body is tough everywhere.
In the Sunshine State, despite eons to shake off loss,
a body carries the added burden of perpetual labor
and cyclical, inescapable debt. The dead know this.

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Discussion

4 Responses to Nosferatu in Florida

  1. Louise says:

    Excellent poem! Nimble leaps from one symbol or image to the next.

  2. Roy Bentley says:

    Louise,

    Thank you. And I much appreciate hearing that!

    Best wishes,

    Roy

  3. Sandra J Kolankiewicz says:

    LOVE IT!

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