Green Hills Literary Lantern

Why I ♥ Zombies


They've let go of their pride.

They're not vampire aristocrats

spoiled by virginal necks,

or mummies older than Christ.

They're retired plumbers

in boxer shorts pulled snug

on beer-and-potato-chip bellies,

or housewives in dumpy nightgowns

wandering barefoot on the lawn,

hypnotized by crickets.

They're not Frankenstein's

monster with bolts in his neck,

or alien coneheads with 500 IQs

& rotten claw teeth.

They're volunteer firemen

with charcoal puffy eyes

from watching Carson night after night,

or secretaries softening faces

with cold cream before bed.

They're not bikers, hippies, or rednecks,

the stock villains of 1968,

but young men with good haircuts

& worthwhile careers,

teaching high school biology,

or managing a Chevrolet showroom.

All good citizens, they're eager to help

a young crew from Pittsburgh

film a low-budget nightmare

at an old farmhouse. Amid spotlights

slashing the lawn, they shuffle & groan

as cameramen kneel for closeups:

gunshots to the chest, spikes to the head.

They're thrown out & burned

like junk furniture. They have no idea

one day they'll be famous,

terrifying us by being so ordinary.

Will Nixon is the author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse (FootHills Publishing) plus two earlier chapbooks When I Had It Made (Pudding House) and The Fish Are Laughing (Pavement Saw). He lives in Woodstock, New York.
He has a website at