In a sleazy Martian bar
A Golden Shovel poem after William Shakespeare:
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
A drop-dead gorgeous femme fatale orders a double
bourbon on Venusian lava rocks, served with double
portion from tongue of lark in aspic. She doesn’t toil
very hard in the red light district of Olympus Mons, and
Earthmen searching for alien women easily find trouble
in this joint. They’ll soon discover touching them is fire
scorching wayward souls—hellfire with a lasting burn.
Space witches live here; they love to cast their spells and
teach those macho men the truth about the fiery caldron
stirrers. They cackle just before men’s blood will bubble.
John C. Mannone has work in Artemis Journal, Poetry South, Blue Fifth Review, as well as speculative work in Pedestal, Eye to the Telescope, Altered Reality, Star*Line and others. He’s the winner of a Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature (2017), a Weymouth writer in residence (2016 and 2017) and the Celebrity Judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He has three poetry collections: Apocalypse (Alban Lake Publishing)—won 3rd place in the Elgin Book Award (2017); Disabled Monsters (The Linnet’s Wings Press)—featured in Southern Festival of Books (2016); and Flux Lines (Celtic Cat Publishing)—love-related poems using science metaphors due out in late 2018. He’s been awarded the Horror Writers Association Scholarship (2017), two Joy Margrave Awards for Nonfiction, and nominated for several Pushcart, Rhysling, Dwarf Star and Best of the Net awards. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, Silver Blade, and Liquid Imagination. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com