The Horror Zine
Haunted Lighthouse
Alec Kowalczyk

The October Featured Poet is Alec B. Kowalczyk

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Alec Kowalczyk


In the solitude
of an abandoned lighthouse
an unsound homeless person
finds a journal of an unstable man
fearing for his sanity
fearing the compromised structural integrity
of the crumbling lighthouse he inhabits
fearing the gales and divers elements
beating upon the standing straw-like shaft
fearing the torsional stresses
twisting the lighthouse barrel
fearing the bending moments
on this vertical edifice of masonry
fearing the shearing strains
slicing through the mortared joints
fearing the overturning
of the entire brick-laid structure
fearing the underpinning of his very mind ...
this man in the journal
who also finds a journal of an unhinged man ...


Hotel /predawn hours ...

looking down from the 4th floor
a doorway illuminated below
one minor beacon in the urban gloom

a dark wreath on the angled door
and its shadow a distorted lozenge
on the fractured tiles of the walk

a wind rocks the tiny bell
of a neighboring church

and the tone is like a toll


The pair of lions' heads in stone
flanking the courthouse steps
the dynamic tension in their jaws
ready to spring-shut at any moment
as any passing child knows instinctively
as any sleeping adult knows intuitively
the unimaginable made imaginable
to have a hand caught in the vice-grip
of those incisive locked jaws.     


Summer night ...
by this time
he was getting restless
having eluded his captors
surprised they hadn't called
admitting and conceding to defeat
had they forgotten him?
the constant laughter and shouting
had long stopped now he thought about it
where did everybody go?
he wondered as he turned
into a dark lane
an avenue of sighing poplars
within the local cemetery.


A rolling tumbleweed
bisects a circular patch
of stone shards
that once supported
a merry-go-round

forging a beeline
past the boarded-up rink
where a lone roller skate
rusted at the end of
a disintegrating lace

dead-on toward
an overgrown grove
of trees gone wild ...
the wreckage of a tangled
timber rollercoaster -
charged sub aural screams
from cars that jumped the track
left hanging in the air.      

Alec B. Kowalczyk is a native of South Troy, New York, a civil engineer by day, with an interest in the mechanics of poetry. His work has been published in 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Semaphore Magazine, Pif Magazine, ChiZine, Yellow Mama and others, winning a Dark Animus award for poetry. Snark Publishing released his chapbook titled Shadow and Substance. Most recently some of his work can be found in Jeani Rector's The Horror Zine anthology titled Twice the Terror.

You can find Shadow and Substance HERE.