Peter A. Balaskas's fiction, critical essays, and poetry have been published in LA Miscellany, Criterion, Pale Skies, Sage of Consciousness, and his gothic horror novella, "The Chameleon's Addiction," was a semi-finalist in the 2004 Glacier Press Writing Contest and is now published in Bards and Sages.
Resident of Room #4
Lying. Lying here
so, so still.
Curled up near the small, safe corner.
My little, comfortable, padded corner.
Curling my head so close to my chest that no one can intrude
into my private domain.
They all want to enter, to examine, to pry.
But they know I will never let them in.
Suddenly, I see my companion.
Seeing that white lint on the soft, padded floor,
with its curled body and yellow tongue.
Moving, crawling, contact!
“Who is that knocking at my door?”
Opening slowly, hesitantly,
entering my room of infinite reason.
It’s burrowing into my vast, thick thoughts,
digging through every cortex, every memory,
nibbling into my remaining dreams and desires.
Past. Present. Future.
Until there are no more,
leaving behind only my hellish nightmares for me to savor.
But that worm will remain,
laughing and mocking, like a little clown.
My little, hungry clown.
My Yorrick. My Feste. My fool, cruelly abandoned by Lear.
Oh, but those in white coats try yet again,
They still try to intrude, to penetrate, to probe.
But I resist and push.
Pushing, pushing those intruders away.
None of them are welcome,
not even my own primitive, corrupting shell.
But my worm is. My ever-present companion.
My insatiable resident.