A Taste for Arsenic

I resist the urge to touch my tongue
to the toxic crystals, leaden grey,
stir the poison in, although not so long
for it to eat the spoon away.

Not a year have I been his wedded wife
and already his voice has a steely edge
like the sharpened blade of the butcher’s knife
in the mattress of our marital bed.

I am not a woman who thirsts for blood,
likes to torture men for sadistic fun;
if it gets too much, and emotions flood,
in my handbag I’ve concealed a gun.

But guns are noisy and make me quiver,
I prefer a slower and quieter death;
I can watch as toxins cause him to shiver,
crap and vomit until his last breath.

In the meantime, I have my eye on another
younger and less experienced man,
with appetites and no father or mother
to wrench him from my murderous hands.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

A Taste for Arsenic

Image found on Pinterest

Today I am tending the bar at dVerse Poets Pub Poetics with the Dramatic Monologue. Also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Taking the example of ‘The Laboratory’ by Robert Browning, a murderous poem made up of twelve four-line stanzas of rhyming couplets with a regular rhyme scheme and rhythm based on the anapaest, my challenge this week is to write a modern dramatic monologue about a plot to do away with someone (or something). I don’t expect twelve stanzas, but I do ask poets to emulate the form as closely as possible with regard to the rhyme scheme and metre, and thrill me and chill me with their evil plans.


44 thoughts on “A Taste for Arsenic

  1. Kim, reading this poem, am reminded of that old black and white Cart Grant film, Arsenic and Old Lace. Poor guy, he didn’t stand a chance, with those old ladies, as they killed each other off, for his attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was paying so much attention to the rhythm and the storyline, I just fell into that rhyme scheme naturally. I did say as closely as possible and always allow for poetic licence! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a ghoulish read, full of dark intentions ~ A slow and quieter death would be okay, I think ~ The woman is off to another hunt for less experienced men ~ Thanks for hosting Kim ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed it, although I have to go to bed when poets on the other side of the world are just getting into their stride! I’ve just got up again and have a full day, so I’m off to do some more reading and commenting.


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