Most people rise with the sun,
I rise with the ghouls.
It is a time when The Dark is at her
Oldest and her shadows are at their youngest.
Nightingales play herald and Great Horned Owls
Roam as her sentries,
Their horn-rimmed glasses blanched in
The bleak black blank.
A cricket orchestra chatters above the wind,
The rustling leaves bewailing an

It is a time of perverse rebirth,
When the graveyards empty, made boneless.
Cemeteries become more vacant than motels
On the Black Horse Pike.
Mausoleums appear robbed, ransacked like
The pharaoh tombs. We half-dead denizens
Have business elsewhere.

It’s a mad limping dash to
The doors of stores town wide,
Eons before the citizens of
East Hanover can begin to dream
Of waking up, where we begin
Our invisible toils behind the scene
And inside the walls.

We moan with the creaking pallets,
Wail with the falling boxes,
Chatter with the mouth of the compactor
And whisper between empty aisles,
All while dancing to the tune of the moon,
A music no one else can hear.

The world of retail is run by specters,
Mere shells to the eyes of mortal men,
Lesser beings with built-in higher
Purpose, ghosts in the first world machine
That oils its gears with our ectoplasm and
Recharges its batteries with our haunting

We are zombies,
We are phantoms,
Long dead and daily dying
For a society that would rather
Dismiss the existence of useful
Poltergeists then acknowledge
The paranormal work that they’d be
Worthless without.

Garrett Hoffman is a 24-year-old writer from NJ who loves mythology, hats and music. He writes about life in all its forms. His goal is to be published in every state. His eyes are now set on New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Michigan.