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  Table of contents Issue Nineteen A LINGERING SMILE


foul smile did visit every night
with pointed teeth of pearly white
behind these teeth where flesh had hung
a bristled, squirming purple tongue
no face or head to mar the scene
of this evil smile a’lingering

I sat before the hearth one eve
to post my journal and conceive
those special thoughts a writer saves
of kings and heroes, cowards, knaves
when from the fire I perceived
a smile too dreadful to believe

bulbous lips blood red and wet
cast in me fear I’ll ne’er forget
that mouth from hell so framed the teeth
as pointed coffins straight and neat
I drew the pistol from my side
and vowed to fire...when words it cried

“I am not myth from a spirit world
or satanic image with tail unfurled,
nor do I haunt like demon do,
my smile mirrors the soul of you”
What foolish demon was begot
that makes of me what I am not?

I sheathed the pistol and spoke direct
“You are my soul be that correct?”
It whispered “...yes” in level tone
“...this soul is yours and yours alone.”
What foolish demon was begot
that makes of me what I am not?




Ned Pendergast is educated along classic lines, but his work runs the gamut of unbridled expression from experimental, narrative free form, rhyme and miscellaneous assigned custom constructed forms. Ned’s work has earned a few awards along the way and has found publication in Canada, Europe, Australia, Near East and the USA. He is a native San Franciscan with family. Ned’s poem, Come and Go, appears in the Winter 2016 issue of HelloHorror.

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