Brian Rosenberger lives in a cellar in Marietta, Georgia and writes by the light of captured fireflies. He is the author of As the Worm Turns and three poetry collections: Poems That Go Splat, And For My Next Trick..., and Scream for Me

You can find him at these sites:



By invitation only.
It was a private collection.
The curator smiled,
“So few have had the pleasure.”
A smile I did not return.

He insisted on gloves if I cared to handle
Any of his treasures. I’d paid enough when
I accepted the invitation. Insurance risk
Defined in the small print. The gloves,
A necessary evil I accepted.

Speaking of necessary evils, a few books,
Only known by name in very select circles,
In whispers, sacrifices, and myth.

A small collection but impressive.
Books thought long-lost, cursed,
Texts clothed in flesh, inked in blood,
Writ in the forgotten Atlantean alphabet,
Scribed in ancient Lemurian,
And the language of the Damned.

The curator continued to smile,
Gloating over his collection.
Eldritch. Unholy. Forbidden. His words.
Now I returned his smile, tightening the gloves.

I had my own hobby.
I collected collectors.


Nothing grows along the path.
Not roses, mushrooms, or weeds.
Still, it shows the way.
Some travelers see tombstones in place
Of sunflowers, nooses in place of roses bushes,
Scythes in place of thorns, razors in place
Of hummingbirds.
Towering trees are sentries, providing shade,
Concealing murder, suicide, hope.
We all walk different paths of grief.
Some we just walk. Alone or with others.
Some walk an off-beaten path,
Like a Robert Frost poem.
No one ever jogs.
The Sun fades.
We walk in the dark.
We all do.


It had been seventeen years since their last invasion.
She was too young to remember. Just missed the cut off.
Not me, I remembered them like images from a 3-D movie
That played at the Drive-In.
Better special effects than the most recent Star Wars film.
My dog, Hershey, loved to eat them.
I came home to a puke-fest of partially digested bugs.
Like something from a John Carpenter film.
Great fishing bait though.
Their vibrating wings on the surface of a pond.
The fish could not resist.

My girl, she sat as the bugs continued their onslaught.
The woods were alive with their buzzing.
It’s hot. It’s humid. I continued to fish. Four perch on the stringer so far.
The fish still couldn’t resist the bugs.

She had to piss. I wasn’t leaving anytime soon,
Not when the fish were biting and I still had
The better part of a six-pack to finish.
I said “Pick a tree. Any tree. They aren’t easily shamed.”

I heard her scream over the noise.
She couldn’t breathe. Green spit dribbled from her lips,
Along with insect legs. Her forehead was twice as hot
As any Georgia Summer. Beads of sweat clung to her like parasites.
Like them damn bugs.

The woods were in full concert.

I’d seen it before. Seventeen years ago.
When I was a kid. My Mother.
There was nothing I could do then.
Same as now. God damn bugs.
I wiped my eyes and
Drank another beer.