The Horror Zine
November 2009 Featured Poet

Dennis Bagwell is our November 2009 Featured Poet

You can email Dennis at



The alarm went off
And I opened up my eyes
Feeling for the snooze button
Under red November skies

I turned on the T.V.
To get my local news
Nothing that surprised me
But today I am confused

Destruction I expect
Along with social unrest
But why are these malcontents
Eating raw human flesh?

The emergency broadcast
Is now on every station
I open up my door
And find a Zombie Nation!

The President confirms
What I already know
Stay inside and lock your doors
There's nowhere you can go

Bolt the doors and load your guns
And wish away your fear
Save a bullet for yourself
Cause Armageddon is here

Are my neighbors really zombies?
Is this some kind of dream?
I back away from the door
As I try to hold my screams

The sky is getting redder
And the fires of Hell are fanned
Hell must be full
So the dead now walk the land

I write my last words
And say a final prayer
They are trying to get in now
And it's more than I can bear

Goodbye cruel world
I forever close my eyes
I place the gun into my mouth
Under red November skies



If Frankenstein’s monster were alive today...

He would sue the doctor for malpractice and a jury would award him millions
The doctor would blame it all on the pharmaceutical companies and plead not guilty by reason of insanity
He would enter some kind of rehabilitation program
Congress would enact new laws prohibiting mad scientists from constructing humans from the dead tissue of other humans and regulate the use of lightning for scientific research

The monster would change his name to Steve or Ron and Oprah would have him on the show to tell his story
Dr. Phil would get to the bottom of his abandonment issues
How his heart is filled with rage because his daddy doesn't love him
The monster would cry and the audience would cry with him

He would work for charities to raise awareness about monsters, or as he likes to call them, “Reanimated Tissue People” or RTPs
He would run for mayor of a small town to show other RTPs that you can do anything you set your mind to
He would write a best selling book entitled, “I Am Not a Monster”
He would go on Larry King Live to promote it and Larry would ask the “tough questions”

A made-for-TV movie about his life would draw the highest ratings in TV history
His Halloween mask would be the must have costume for several seasons
By day he would bask in the glory of his new found celebrity, but he would spend his nights alone, grunting and moaning in an alcohol soaked stupor trying to drown the monster inside of him
He would drive drunk and crash his car into a pole on Sunset Boulevard and suffer serious injuries
But with a face like his, who could tell?

Time magazine would have his police mug shot on the cover with the caption, “Man or Monster?”
He would go to the Betty Ford clinic and emerge humbled
Maybe he would have plastic surgery to make himself feel better
He would go on Barbara Walters and apologize and tell the public, “I am a man, not a monster! ”

He would wisely invest his riches and marry a hot former playboy center fold

His fifteen minutes of fame would come and go like the flash of lightning that brought him into being
He would die in relative obscurity

Despite his philanthropic work, a best selling book, a made for TV movie, a popular Halloween mask, raising millions of dollars for Reanimated Tissue People, dozens of schools and plastic surgery hospitals named for him, hundresd of Steve or Ron Frankenstein scholarships for underprivileged inner city youths,

Obituaries the world over will remember him simply as “the monster”



The story goes like this…
A man filled with hate
From a life of abuse
Gets in his car
And he's on the loose

He goes on a six month
Murderous binge
But he makes one mistake
Because his mind is unhinged

A rip in the fabric
Of his warped DNA
His eyes see nothing
But revenge and blood and pain

He killed another victim
But she wasn't really dead
She ran down the street
Crying as she bled

Exhausted and broken
And waiting to die
The moons crescent smile
Mocks her from the sky

The manhunt was on
With a description from the victim
A shoot out ensued
But the cops only nicked him

They took him to jail
Amidst a speculating press
A search through his house
Revealed the gruesome mess

Uncovered from his kitchen
Were things you wouldn't believe
I can't begin to tell you
On this chilly Hallow's Eve

The bodies were uncovered
From beneath the hardwood floor
The rest will make you sick
So I cannot say any more

The trial commenced
But his lawyers cut a deal
His sentenced was reduced
More hidden bodies revealed

But what about our victim?
The one who narrowly escaped?
The one who was stabbed
And brutally raped?

A rip in the fabric
Of her victimized brain
Her eyes see nothing
But revenge and blood and pain

She hid a gun on her person
So the news report said
She followed him to court
And shot him in the head

I feel sorry for this girl
Her mind became unhinged
But this story has a happy end…
Because the victim gets revenge



It started with two small, modest bumps on the back of my leg; followed by a slight redness that enveloped the bumps.
A mild irritation was felt that was easily soothed with a gentle rubbing of the area with my fingertips.

As the day grew hotter and a little more humid, the mild irritation became an itch, soothed by a gentle scratching of the bumps with my finger nails.

The mild irritation that became an itch turned into a major irritation not so easily soothed by my fingernails.
Scratching this itch quickly becomes a ten minute exercise in futility until my entire leg is bright red.

The bumps begin to show signs of several layers of skin being scrapped away.
Tiny flecks of blood begin to come to the surface.

The itch is more than I can bear, but what to do?

I jump in the shower to run some cool water on my now throbbing and very slightly bleeding leg.
That seems to provide some relief, so I go to bed.

Not long after, that familiar burn returns.
My leg is hot. No, it's on fire!
I am scratching an itch that feels as if it goes to the bone.

I get out of bed and make my way down stairs, scratching my leg on anything I think might relieve the itch.
The carpet, the banister, pictures of the kids, whatever.

I get a knife from the kitchen drawer and scratch furiously for 15 minutes until I notice that I am no longer using the blunt side of the knife, and I am bleeding profusely.
Still no relief and now I am positive that the itch is going straight down to the bone, maybe even to my very soul.

The itch is boring a hole straight to my brain.
I can't take it any more.
Me and sanity are no longer friends.

I go to the garage leaving a trail of blood along the way.
I start scratching with drill bits, nails, pieces of scrap wood, "Hey! A hack saw!"
By now I am losing so much blood that I am feeling light headed, but still no relief from these two little modest bumps.

I slap a fresh battery into my reciprocating saw and start right above the bumps.
Flesh, muscle, arteries and bone become no barrier to getting relief from this infernal itch.
"Hey! Blood really does squirt all over like it does in the movies!"

And then. . . Ah yes. . . There it is. . .  It doesn't itch any more.

I lay in a pool of blood on the garage floor surrounded by drill bits, nails, my hacksaw and pieces of scrap wood.
My vision growing dim, dimmer, black.
But it doesn't itch any more.
Sweet, sweet relief.



































Dennis Bagwell

Dennis Bagwell

These are Dennis Bagwell’s warped rantings and observations about the cesspool of a world he feels we are surviving in. Dennis is a thirty-something, politically incorrect, mad at the world, conservative/liberal, X Generation, heathen, musician, poet, and writer from suburban Orange County California. Dennis moved to North Georgia in 2007 and now he is living peacefully in the shadows of the questionable heroes of the Old South. He has been writing in one form or another since high school. . . which keeps his spiraling descent into madness at bay. Dennis has had his poetry published by the League of American Poets and the American Poets Society. He has released two spoken-word CD's, A Random Litter of Thought (2006) and Paid in Full (2007) on Batteryface Records. A short film of Dennis’ poem Hollywood was made available to coincide with the release of Paid in Full.

Visit Dennis at