by Richard Stevenson
Cuero, Hueke Hueke …
other name a monster cryptid
hunts in Chile’s glacial Lake Lacar
the Andes beyond most prying eyes.
plesiosaur pleased to see you.
giant sturgeon. Not a serpent
zeuglodon or giant eel or any
Ness Nellie’s or Ogopogo’s kin.
like a cowhide Manta Ray
Mala turtle without the neck
head. El Cuero’s querulous
best of times. Vicious, aggressive.
wanna wash clothes in his waters.
wanna let an infant sleep nearby.
claimed a baby, leapt out and engulfed
body, dragged her to the depths.
vegetarian algae scum sucker.
rivers between Chile and Argentina
for meals on the hoof, slow fishes,
stops to quaff from the shore.
an ancient river stingray
(family Pota motrygonidae)
body parts. Stand well away
shorelines when you Google him.
soon eat as greet you, son.
laundry in the lake just gives him
towelette to dab his lips
he’s bitten off your head.
Remember the name
refrain from hunting or fishing for it;
hero you’ll end up as
hero sandwich—without the bread.
(Weeping Woman )
by Richard Stevenson
was her name,
to wed a
the story goes.
drowned their children,
joined them in icy waters.
Montez was so distraught
himself, but even
name Luisa left
penitent lips, Luisa was reborn
Llorona, the weeping woman.
to repeat the past,
Llorona appears in a sheer
at many a southwest shore,
searching for her dear ones,
any children who come near.
Llorona weeps and Sr. Montez
his ears, but he cannot
hear. And each time she wails,
bullet rips through his brain,
children’s faces circle a drain.
Luisa what is to become of you?
cannot take all the world’s children
watery grave. Your heavy heart
become a floating speck you cannot
away. A tear-sodden tissue…
La Llorona, the last any child sees of you
is not a
peasant girl’s woebegone face,
hideous, smirking bat’s face
part the curtains of your hair
the first wave of water breaks.
Llorona, weeping banshee woman,
devil refuses your entry into Hades,
Peter won’t stamp your passport
heaven either. You’re doomed to prowl
after shoreline, calling for your kids.
did cannot be forgiven;
continue to do,
buy foot passage across the River Styx.
draw your clammy nightgown close;
your three drowned children closer.
by Richard Stevenson
was just a middle class gal
out on a
rural jaunt with her husband
they got caught in a snowstorm,
control of their car, and left the road.
up in a ditch with her husband’s
her lap. Totally lost it, of course,
lost in the woods looking for a way
suburbia, three squares, and a home.
fungi, berries, and insects to stay alive,
a blizzard whipped up the odds
her, she had to find warmer shelter than
trees and a few blankets had provided.
what she thought was an empty oil drum,
herself inside, a mummy in a barrel.
traces of mutagenic toxins seeped into her
her brain, and she not only went insane,
the months, eventually, years, began
mutate into a horrid beast and feast on
that crossed her path, including hikers,
folk, small mammals she could trap.
now, with limp hair and outsized incisors,
wandered deeper and deeper into the woods,
and deeper into the madness that was
her; grew hair like some lycanthrope.
lithe and lean and muscular
a mate to brave the backwoods with.
she became a hermaphrodite,
masculine and uptight. Killed everything in sight.
people disappeared. Victims of
cannibalistic, lycanthropic rage.
huntress through and through, she became
stealthy wayward creature of gargantuan appetites.
civilization came to her in the form
armed posse, boxed her into a canyon
back against a wall. Still, she managed
up that sheer rock wall and disappear!
still die on camping trips into the woods,
Penelope still mutates into a monstrous
with sharper teeth and sharper claws.
gone now, she’s completely left the human fold.
her wanderlust and appetites have
alive. An old hag now, no doubt,
probably decked out a cave, lost her
along with her desire for kitchen aides.
Penelope, what’s it like to get up
and gather all day, forget Safeway
rapid transit? Do you speak bird or bear?
that hair, and no place to buy underwear,
it like to be a feral nudist
tulies? Do you bathe regularly in lakes
streams? Do you still dream of human beings
to follow their scent back into the burbs?
have you found some hairy ‘squatch
a brood with? Is he good to you?
like not havin’ to work all day for a pay cheque
three squares. How does it feel to live off the grid?
kids cavort and play at bein’ vegetarian?
they’re not Rotarians. Do they know
hunt and how to make clothes or are they
enough to get by with a cave and no mod cons?
sometimes I wish I found a can
mutagens and could transform myself into
species of hominid. If you found love,
enough? People die for less; they really do.
Pope Lick Monster
by Richard Stevenson
trap trip trap, indeed!
wasn’t a nasty troll
flared nostrils and long nose
the three Billy Goats Gruff
over his rickety bridge
fat on grass on the other side.
me! Part goat, part sheep, part man,
under the Pope Lick trestle.
I was the
biggest Billy Goat Gruff
wasn’t in any mood for mutton
goat meat. No siree!
after the way the travellin’
promoters and MCs treated me!
I was a
caged Goatman freak,
escaped when the circus train
leaving Kentucky. Revenge
remains my motive, see!
lookin’ for some crazed
with an axe, famed
hacking humans to pieces,
ain’t me either! I ain’t
serial killer on a mission to
homo sapiens or goats
sure as heck not going
bellow Who goes there? every time
you drunken fools comes
over Pope Lick lookin’ for me!
got better ways to lure
meddling morons to their doom.
I don’t just
mimic your speech—
human, after all,
can mimic birds and screech your name
ol’ hoot owl—louder too!
drunken teens step out on the trestle—
even notice the train coming
I’ve mimicked it three times.
Cattle catcher creams ‘em,
don’t look up and jump first.
long drop either way. Oh yeah!
Lick Monster, they call me,
humans with guns and crossbows
provoke me. Why don’t you all
f-f-f-fade away, leave me
for roots and berries? I’m
that needs to munch grass to get fat.
trap trip trap. You think I’ve got horns
impale your sorry lot? Heck, I
have hooves to crush the broken
from all your broken bottles, ya goofs!
Stevenson, firstname.lastname@example.org, of
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada , wrote BP #83’s poems, “El Cuero,” “La Llorona,”
“Penelope,” and “Pope Lick Monster” (+ BP #82’s poems, “Killer Clowns,” “Queensland Tiger,” “The Turtle
Lake Monster,” and “Vermont Pig Man”; BP #80’s
poems, “Bondegezu…”, “Donkey
Woman,” “Napes,” and “The Yeren’s Complaint”; BP #76’s poems, “Honey Island
Swamp Monster,” “Skin Walker,” and “Ucu.”) From a series called Cryptid Shindig, these collected poems
concern cryptid encounters, ET lore, or unexplained phenomena; others have
appeared in three published volumes in the series: Why Were All the Werewolves Men?
(Thistledown Press, 1994), Nothing Definite Yeti (Ekstasis
Editions, 1999), Take Me to Your Leader!
(Bayeux Arts Inc., 2003), and in a New & Selected volume called Bigfoot Boogie.
Retired from a
thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing at Lethbridge College, the
published thirty books in that time. His most-recently published books are
haikai poetry collections: Fruit Wedge
Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015),
The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis
Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders (a long poem from Dreaming Big
Publications, 2017) and A Gaggle of
Geese (haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai, and haikai sequences from
Alba Publishing in the U.K.). Other poems from the cryptid critter series have
appeared in Aphelion, The Literary
Hatchet, On Spec, Liquid Imagination Online, etc. (25+ mags so far) and
in 3 previously published collections: Why
Were All The Werewolves Men? (1994). Nothing Definite Yeti (1999), and Take
Me to Your Leader! (2003).