August/September 2005

The Musician's Haunted House
Karen L. Newman

The line moved quickly as monkeys took
visitors to organ grinders that cranked out
kidneys hissing piss
hearts beating on the floor
and lungs squealing arpeggios.

In a ballroom women hung by
piano wire from the ceiling while
their partners were pierced next to them
with violin bows. They swayed
and dripped together to the sound
of succinct screams from small children
being struck with razor-covered hammers
inside a grand piano as ghouls played
panpipes made of hollowed-out rib cages.

Next the visitors saw the severed heads
of forgotten rock stars lining the hall
leading to a room of propped-up
corpses posed to applaud a band
composed of a man holding two femurs
while beating tightly stretched pink skin
covering a bone barrel and two men
playing guitars crafted from recently emptied
caskets and strung with catgut.
Worms wiggled in the panties
surrounding the lead singer.

Upon exiting visitors were shot
two become props for the house.