Sean Woodard (he/him) serves as the film editor for Drunk Monkeys. His creative work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books; Screenshot Lit; South Broadway Ghost Society; NonBinary Review; The Cost of Paper, Vol. 4; and Found Polaroids, among other publications. You may follow him at http://seanwoodard.com, Twitter @SeanWoodard7326 and Instagram @swoodard7326.
The Three Mothers
after Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Inferno, and Mother of Tears
I Mater Suspiriorum
Within the dance academy you lie in waiting,
concealed by blue and crimson velvet walls,
each student pirouettes as if on a string
wrapped around your gangrenous finger.
Wine—or is it blood?—dulls their senses
and maggoty food poisons their bodies.
You are but a shadow on the wall, a name
to those who only see the outward façade—
until you break their bones, string them up
by their necks or bewitch them into your servitude.
II Mater Tenebrarum
Beneath the floorboard you sequester,
injecting lies into the building’s residents.
Lustful hearts, greedy hands, and inquisitive minds
lead to tragic ends by flame or severed neck.
Their horrid screams morph into your cackle,
as the mirror cracked reveals your true nature
under robes of deepest black.
III Mater Lachrymarum
taint the holy city of Rome.
Your whispers of despair corrupt
the minds of the weak and powerful.
They plummet from great heights
to their death; no proper burial
will be bestowed upon them.
Clothed in a red tunic, you gather
strength in the musty catacombs
while you amass your followers.
Philip Marlowe, Retired
Tossing his Royal Stetson
on the opposite chair,
Marlowe seats himself at a table
with a view out the window.
Pretty, he thinks, glancing at Idyllwild
pines and incense cedars.
Better than muggy LA streets
and smog that’d choke a seagull.
A waiter lays a cup and saucer
before him. Marlowe sneaks a pint
of Four Roses from his overcoat
and pours some in the steaming coffee.
He takes a drink, holds it in his mouth
before swallowing, sighs with satisfaction.
Fishing out a crumpled Camels carton,
he slips a cigarette between his lips.
As he strikes a match, the shadow
of a figure hovers over him.
“Philip Marlowe?” He extinguishes
the match with a flick of the wrist,
blows smoke in the inquirer’s face.
“Beat it. I’m enjoying my coffee.”