Hyperacusis: Usher-ring in Christmas

” … I beheld him gazing upon vacancy for long hours, in an attitude of the profoundest attention, as if listening to some imaginary sound. It was no wonder that his condition terrified—that it infected me. I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet certain degrees, the wild influence of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions …”
—The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe, 1839

It is not pretty,
not musical, not poetic
the cursed, flat clang
of the bell rung by Christmas Collector
who steams vodka wishes
for Happy Christmases.
In my purse, in my pocket, in my ear—everywhere I turn!
It is not pretty,
not musical, not poetic
that dismal tink-tinging
of pocket change hitting bottom
in the red bucket of the robotic Christmas Collector.
How sore his arms at the end of shift, how stiff
his fingers!
I’m reminded of the man who stabbed his wife
eighty-two times. When asked why eighty-two
by jaded authorities, he bald-facedly responded:
“Well, I would have kept at it,
but my arm got tired.”
The crime scene was not pretty,
not musical, not poetic.       But
if the deceased was a relentless nag,
a haranguer, a ceaseless talker,
I understand his motive.
In my purse, in my pocket, in my ear—everywhere I turn!
Is it madness to envision
prying the bell from the rigid grip
of the Christmas Collector
and flinging the discordant instrument,
an instrument of torture,
across the parking lot?
Is it insanity to imagine
bashing the alcohol-befuddled head
of the Christmas Collector
against the wreath-covered brick wall
of the supermarket? Is it?
In my purse, in my pocket, in my ear—everywhere I turn!
Or would you,
possessing just a tad of the devil deep in your heart of hearts,
and perhaps applaud
my motive?


Currently the Poet Laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Patricia Gomes is former editor of Adagio Verse Quarterly. Published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, both in print and electronically, Gomes is the author of four chapbooks and a 2008 Pushcart Prize nominee. She is the co-founder of the GNB Writers Block as well a member of the New England Horror Writers Association, the Massachusetts Poetry Society, the Bartleby Scrivener Poetry Group, and the SciFi Poetry Association.

Lisa Bolduc, aka Ratty: I am a Boston based Hip Hop artist, specializing in poetry and art that encourages critical thought. My pen name is Ratty. The letters stand for Righteousness And Truth Transform You, representing my art’s mission to awaken one’s spiritual senses.