by Walt Garner
“A Mister Thomas Bliss of Stonington
is missing and presumed dead this morning.
He was taken from his home at knife point
by a roving gang of motorcyclists
police have had no luck in apprehending.
Four other men in Bliss’s walk of life
(he teaches at the elementary school)
have disappeared from their Connecticut
homes in identical circumstances
(they were taken while reading Robert Frost).
By the morning after the abductions
the previous four were found in pieces,
their skulls having been hollowed out, their ribs
gnawed on and showing signs of being boiled
to extract the marrow for soup or stew
these renegades, cannibals, murderers
create to shore up strength for ensuing crimes.
Police have found what they can only call--
ghoulish as it sounds-- ‘belly sentences,’
which they think Mister Bliss in writhing wrote
upon the ground surrounding their infernal
campfire. (The Palmer Method was employed.)”
“ ‘Plato laughs and cracks a bone across
his knee; Demosthenes drinks Southern Comfort
from a skull. Gnawing on a bloody arm,
Aurelius is watching as I write
these words. They’ve killed four teachers just like me.
If you can’t save me, you need to know
their names and ways so you can stop their run
of rampaging through the ranks of men who
teach at the elementary level.’ ”
“The police surmise the captors watching
Bliss wriggle like a worm in the outer edges
of the firelight would not have known
that he was communicating with the law
enforcement community, but instead
they’d ascribe his worming to timidity,
self-pity, cowardice, lack of manhood.
But what he wrote in man-sized worm castings
amounts to an indictment the D. A.
only needs to write in legal jargon.
Bliss named names in his belly sentences
that’ll put this gang away for good.”