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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


by Tracey Paradiso

Evil creatures are not bright
like a traffic light –
green skin, red eyes
and yellow teeth.
They don’t necessarily sleep
by day, and they certainly don’t
have to be wrapped in seaweed,
masked, pustuled oozingly
or speak in maniacal octaves
with threatening laughs
to cause hairs to raise
and hearts to race.

An expressionless,
emotionless, baby-faced
young man
will do the job.
Direct him to quietly cross
a serene, well populated
setting where he
blends in with the crowd.
Give him a gun.
Inspire him to match it
with his steely intention
to kill, machine-like,

Sound should be eerily silent
except for the pops
of the gun, the wails of those
hit and the shushing sound of writhing.
Make sure the male wails are equal
to the those of the females;
it will take the audience, conditioned to expect
by complete surprise.

There are many options for endings.
Have him captured
by a well-muscled, likable hero
so that the audience cheers.
Though it won’t feel quite like justice,
at least there’s the remote possibility
of learning: “Why?”

Have him take his own life
and let viewers simmer between feeling
he got what he deserved,
and he got better than he deserved.

Better yet, let him live on,
eluding arrest, leaving behind
a slew of bodies and the threat
that he’ll be back.
Because evil always comes back,
doesn’t it?
And an audience is always on the lookout
for a good sequel.

Tracey Paradiso writes all manner of business copy by day and poetry by night. She has studied with poets Sharon Olds and Carol Frost. Tracey resides in Cranford, New Jersey with her husband, Jerry and their two children.