Fred R. Kane

The May Featured Poet is Fred R. Kane

Please feel free to email Fred at: manfred_arcane@yahoo.com

fred kane


I’m thinking,
Clarke’s Law:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The burglar appeared untroubled when I hit the light switch. 
Dude looked like a Frazzetta character straight off the cover
of a Warren magazine
complete with rune covered black robe, wand, and pointed hat. 
Only thing missing was the company of demons.
He didn’t even mind the Mossberg I had on him.
In retro, a twelve gauge in the kitchen isn’t the most Einsteinian of thoughts
(the significant other might take issue to the buck shot aftermath in her perfect kitchen).
Chalk up my weapon choice to reaction over thinkin’. Didn’t much matter, though
as my weapon became an open mouthed alligator: 
the stock taking a chunk out of my right shoulder before I could think to pull the trigger.
I dropped that lizard and it crawled off to the corner, then went back to being a shotgun.
Impressive, I thought
as I sat on the floor, propped against the wall
in extreme pain and dying from blood loss.

The sorcerer continued to sack the kitchen drawers for anything of value.
I’m wondering, what does this Late-To-Halloween mofo need with my silverware?
Only thing I could figure is
He’ll turn it all that silver to lead, then from lead to gold.
Lead to gold is what them magic guy alchemists do. Right?
So it makes sense
that an advanced tech wizard-guy can take that shit a step further.
You gotta assume the guy is high tech.
How else you gonna explain the alligator Mossberg? 
How else you gonna explain how he got in without disturbing the doors or windows?

When he finished bagging my stuff, he just vanished. 
Because everybody knows magic is bullshit, science would have to suggest
he’s using a Star Trek transporter.
Or maybe an HG Wells Time Machine. 

From a shock induced detachment,
I’m reflecting on everything that has just transpired.
So here I am, propped up against my kitchen wall, bleeding to death, 
from an alligator bite administered by my shotgun,
after being robbed by some high tech asshole in a loony suit
who just vanished into thin air,
and I gotta ask myself,

“Why does that motherfucker really need all my silverware?”


The trip begins with a death in the family. 
My youngest brother on my mother’s side.
Somber enough? 
To Alabama, we must go crossing
state lines to say goodbye. 
Thus begins another Stephen King short.

Past Atlanta, GPS goes south taking us too far west.
Hours crawl from dusk to
full moon in the rearview.
Uniontown Ala. is not the intended destination.
WTF are we doin’ on
highway sixty one?

Damned from the interstate. 
She’s been quiet as dead radio since the last big city.
Knowing my wife is all high-angst and stuff, I 
break the silence with a half-assed attempt at some light hearted  trivia, saying,
“Look babe, highway sixty one! 
Robert Johnson sold his soul on this road!”
(It’s not really that highway 61, but why not have a little fun.)
I turn up the AC/DC: Bon Scott declaring his self fulfilling prophecy.
Wife ain’t amused. 

Way too many hours
following directions from a digital device
apparently hacked by hillbillies!
“Turn right on county road...”  
It’s a dirt road barely visible from our new found lost highway.
Nothing on that road. No shack. No trailer.
Just kudzu and trees.
Another attempt to make us missing persons
(probably to be done in by inbred cannibals).
Luckily, I’m able to back track to the highway,
but the GPS is intent on placing us deep in the woods!
It says, “turn left on county road...”
Now my nerves are frayin’ I growl:
“Another fucking dirt road to nowhere?
Unplug that bitch!”
Ol’ lady says, “I did!”
Ghost in a machine. Just great.
Maybe I should call for directions, but it’s like
pride, you know.
Leading to the fall.

Half light display beyond the windshield: Crows on road kill.
Good mourning breakfast: a murder on a murder.
Bad signs just keep on coming. We arrive at:
a silent gas station. Pull in. Decide to wait until it opens.
Sane idea until the ol’ lady notices the taxidermy sign.
“Motel Hell my ass,” she says, and I’m persuaded to drive on.
“Is there any civilization anywhere?” she asks,
prompting my agitated reply:
“The Lost Highway. 
We died in a wreck on I 20 outside Atlanta, and we’re
doomed to ride forever. In this rented fucking Jeep!”
That shit long since lost its humor. 

In the maturing light of morn, crows give it up to buzzards.
Like all bad murders should.  Still, we ride.
Coasting into the bible silent
Sunday Nowhere Town. 
Give it a name. 
The movie,
for lack of corn, may be titled:
Kids of the Kudzu.
Only familiar site: a Dollar General...
By my guess, built in the 1920s. 
Judging from the craters of missing asphalt,
I’d guess the parking lot was imported from Afghanistan.
I’ve fallen enough. Screw pride.
Call for directions, but the phone died from neglect. 

And Stephen King just keeps on writing...

Fred R. Kane is the horror genre’s most admired underachiever. While many of his contemporaries are household names, Kane has yet to publish even one chapbook. Is he lazy? One reason his work is a rare occurrence, according to Kane, is that he only writes when he’s got something to convey. Another could be that he keeps his motorcycle in the road, and making a point to go nowhere in particular. 

When questioned about the low output, Kane will smile, place tongue in cheek, and refer to The Witchfinder General and the argument between director Michael Reeves and actor Vincent Price…

Price: “Young man, I have made eighty-four films. What have you done?”
Reeves: “I’ve made three good ones.”

Kane’s verse appears in CCTC Reflections ‘94 (one poem winning him the college’s literary award for poetry,) Walpurgis Night, Necrotic Tissue, The Horror Zine, and Pedestal Magazine. His only short story appears in Morpheus Tales The Best of Weird Fiction Volume 2.