Sheila-Na-Gig online


Stuart Stromin


Stuart Stromin is a South African-born writer and filmmaker, living in Los Angeles. He was educated at Rhodes University, South Africa, the Alliance Francaise de Paris, and UCLA. His work has appeared in Sheila-Na-Gig online, River River, 500 miles, The Cynic, Rigorous, etc.



I am growing
a collection of dead
friends and accomplices.
Butterflies pinned

They all still hang around me.
I forget
that they are dead.

They are traveling
in distant cities
busy with their lives,
being dead.
I understand
why this gathering
is increasing.

Like sentries alerted,
like signposts along a one way road,
like a sergeant armed with a warrant,
notice is given.

There will be more.

Invitations are going out
to a Halloween party.

I once saw a costume
of the grinning Reaper,
made of velvet brocade
and puffed Elizabethan shoulders,
like a character in Shakespeare.
All he recited was, “Very nice, very nice,”
as every guest paraded by,
laughing in chain-mail and taffeta,
as sailors, clowns and witches.
In the end,
he would possess them all.

There are messages in the mail,
coming in from the outskirts,
tightening in concentric circles
to a bullseye.

The worst is yet to come.
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