­Hell Party #1008­ – a poem

Photograph by Abed Ismail

By Louise Peterkin

Your head bobs down the identity parade:

Jason Voorhees, Pinhead, Freddy Krueger and

Mike Myers in crushed blue velvet, fake teeth

and cravat – a misunderstanding of the brief.

Pinhead spent torturous hours painting a bald

cap white and pricking it with his mother’s Q-tips

which now fall silently into his IPA like helicopter

seeds or soft hail. It all started so well,

you swallowed down a menthol evening; patent

streets seemed to swell, curve to your momentum

until you were a bear on a circus ball

flashing your teeth at the stars. You were

a bear that night, clutching your costume head

by its mane, swishing your tail behind you

down the tight lanes and closes, pausing only to peek

into the opening of multi-story carpark, brimming

with a bright light colder than darkness. I like to look

inside things you try to say to Voorhees

who is unpicking a cheese and cocktail onion

hedgehog with a elegance that belies

his circumference. But under an arched formation

of holes, his eyes are pewter coins in black plashes

and you can’t tell if he is looking through you

or beyond. So, with exigency you search round

the room: the fan boys and the psychos, demons

and millennials, all the while evading the jerking

V’s of Freddy in the throes of the Batusi. But

it would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it, pessimistic

to walk towards the unremitting gaze of Pinhead,

pilaster-still and shedding against the wall. To be

on the top deck of the night bus, staring down

into a demolition site, a pocket of apocalypse,

your hair and golden fur studded with Q-tips.

Photograph by Kevin Escate

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