Why no one remembers the name of Janet Leigh’s character in Psycho.


Conundrum the saint
with the sadness of autumn crickets.
Flow your love to what cries unseen.
Rattle the linguist
with the voices of stones.
Render him soft as ashes.
Humble the poet,
death’s ventriloquist.
Victim means a knife stuck in throat.
Riddle the scholar a precipice—
You must leap through vertigo
to learn the meaning of a wound.
Man is a killer, the purest kind,
makes death an art,
kills first in his mind.
The hotel glows like Martian cancer.
The moon draws darkness to it,
the screen all mushroom, mushroom, mushroom…
Her part is pure pantomime.
She dies and dies without a why.
The dead speak the earth to silence.

Sean Lause

Sean Lause is a professor of English at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, Another Chicago Magazine, Iluminations, The Pedestal, Atlanta Review, Sanskrit, European Judaism, The Beloit Poetry Journal and Poetry International. His first book of poems, Bestiary of Souls, was published in 2013 by FutureCycle Press. His next book of poems, Wakeful Fathers and Dreaming Sons, will be published soon by Orchard Street Press.