The Prayer of Marilyn Ross*

Let me conjure dark aesthetics. Let these
Words glide unsettlingly like fingers
Lightly passed over wrists of the dead. Let
Me find the right words for cemeteries
Blanketed in chilly fog that lingers
And enshrouds until you almost forget
That there is anything but death around.
Let me evoke the rough coldness of thick
Stones struck hard in the earth, facing nowhere,
All in rows, no living soul to be found
That remembers what they say, edges slick
With black moss, eroded smooth. Let me share
The stuff of nightmares, the rising of full
Moons above forgotten graves where spirits
Do not rest in any sort of peace. Let
My words convey the shrill horror that pulls
And pushes against the face of things, pits
Reason with reaction, fear with regret
That you are able to be scared at all.
Let me spin a gruesome web of words which
Catch your throat like shadows with sharp claws.
Let my words be unexpected, and fall
Into your very gut, let my lines pitch
Back and forth. Let me leave you wanting more.

*Marilyn is the female identity through which William Ross wrote such genre gems as Castle Malice ,The Gathering of Evil and 32 novels based on the TV series Dark Shadows.

Juleigh Howard-Hobson


Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s poetry has appeared in The Comstock Review, Anima,  L’Éphémère, The Lyric, Weaving The Terrain (Dos Gatos), Poem Revised (Marion Street), The Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch), “The Literary Whip” (Zoetic Press podcast) and other venues. Nominations include “Best of the Net”, The Pushcart Prize and The Rhysling Award. An English ex-pat, she now lives off-grid in the American Pacific Northwest, by a deep dark forest full of oak and ash. Follow her on Twitter: / .

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