J. M. Cozzoli

The March Editor's Pick Poet is J.M. Cozzoli

Please feel free to email J.M. at: jmcozzoli@gmail.com



Earl grey steeping
In a chalk white pot
On a red check cloth

Discussion drifting with the twill dun snow
To so important, unimportant things
Time passing with words ticking
To so brief, so long moments unsharing

Then blue scarf whirls, with grey coat she rises
Spilling earl grey steaming from a chalk white pot
On a red check cloth
To mingle with the blood
Still dripping from her knife


hung myself, did no good
now outside, looks in
a ghost haunting itself
an exclaimed point, in air rag
a free-worse line, ended in too many rewrites
rabbitfoot with boxcar eyes, wanted little joe
now must pad down


The fifth installment of gory loudness,
The often repeated script of messy deaths in time and time again,
Cinema horror fan, who cannot express
Such bread and butter tales more bloodily than our rhyme:
What bowel-fringed tissue fragments haunt about your screen
Round loose heads or flopping appendages, or of both,
In air flying or across floors smearing, outside or in?
What victims are these? What maidens quartered thus?
Which death pursues? What struggle to escape when sequels beckon?
What screams and entrails? What wild ecstatic gore?

Seen terminuses are sweet, but those bleeding reddest
Are sweeter still, the soft impalings, gut on;
Not to the sensual eye, but, more endeared,
Slice to the entrails, tear the eyes, these messy ditties:
Fair youth, beneath the car, you cannot not breath
Your song of fear, nor ever can these scenes be fair;
Bold victim, never, never can you live,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
You cannot fade, though you have not the stomach nor other bodily parts,
Forever will you die, for Death be not fair!

Ah, happy, happy fans! that cannot shed
Your quest for gore, nor ever bid the grue adieu;
And, happy dramatist, unwearied,
Forever piping scripts for ever over and over again;
More happy death! more happy, happy death!
Forever breathing warm, and wet, sopped to overflowing,
Forever panting, and forever young;
All breathing human misery far above,
That leaves a heart bursting forth, and cloyed over rest,
On burning forehead, a dislodged tongue, or cleaved breast.

Who are these critics coming to the sacrifice?
To what film altar, O mysterious critic,
Leads you to that review lowing at the tale,
And all its slimy flanks with gorelands dressed?
What nestled town by river or sea-shore,
Or home-built citadel in city or temple,
Is emptied of its victims, this pious morn?
And, nestled town, your streets for evermore
Will no longer silent be; and not a soul, to tell
Why your art's so desolate, can ever return,
Till sequel plays havoc once again.

O terror shape! fear attitude! with dread
Of creature men and bosomy maidens overwrought,
With frightful branches thick with the trodden bowels;
This, noisy form! to tease us from thought
As does eternity. Cold tableau!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Will remain, to kindle other woe, more
Than ours, a fiend to all, to whom will say,
Horror is truth, truth horror—that is all
You know on earth, and all you need to know,
Till the next final destination…

Tired of being a corpse-orate zombie, John M. Cozzoli traded in the sharp needles and voodoo doll effigies of his coworkers for the more rewarding pleasure of writing his blog, Zombos’ Closet, where he reviews and views the pop culture of horror, the genre people love to fear. Growing up as a monster-kid in the 1960s and having two theaters within walking distance in his neighborhood, it was bound to happen sooner or later. He lives in Westbury, New York with his wife and son, and dreams of one day owning an old-styled movie theatre serving steamy hot popcorn smothered in real butter, ice-cold Bonbons, and lots of horror movies, old and new.