These Old Haunted Halls and Other Poems (by H. Parlette)

Originally from the American Midwest, Hunter Parlette is an undergraduate student at Columbia University, where he studies sociocultural anthropology; prior to moving to New York, he served in the United States Marine Corps. Poetry has long been one of his preferred methods of exploring and understanding his thoughts.

These Old Haunted Halls

Green ghosts in the
gray matter,
bloody and omnipotent.

Obfuscated in steamy
sewers, tidal
waves of dread follow.

Slime a century-old
contributes its filth
without degradation.

Porous brick wanes
and absorbs,
collapsing reluctantly.

A Drizzle Drones On

Gray rain meeting black puddles,
nothing more dramatic than that—
just wind whistling through.

Past storms, wreckage wrought,
stick frame homes aptly named
when the splinters sang.

Funnels, tearing and gorging,
consumed the harvest
and left little to chance.

But now, under slate blue skies,
it’s simply too much rain
on drowned, flooded fields.

In A Land I Knew

When gravel so coarse
saved men’s souls,
who could predict the
impending tumor?

Ancient rocks have seen
crested turtles grunting,
scarlet lines of pawns,
pixels of death raging
in screen tears.

Monochrome reels show
red in all her forms:
liquid, plasma, solid, and gas.
Thousands of years of
footage, shot in seconds.

The black, gurgling
mass grows and corrupts
freely, taunting and
mocking and
begging to be ruptured.

The phenomenology of
failure stains the
highway of death—
but only for those who
bore witness.

Men in the Night

Luminous souls
guiding the way,
braving all danger.

Numinous tasks,
God’s work done willingly—
these men in the night.

Leading packs of earnest dogs
sundered by their

The light doth shineth in the darkness but
the darkness doth flow back,
energy beyond temporality.

Little Left Open

The Happy Medium
isn’t so happy after all—
just vicissitudes of pain

The Mean was the Way
until I learned otherwise—
what now?!

Stuck between
passion and reason
when maybe neither is correct

Avalokitesvara, I beg,
compassion to those righted and wronged;
even as karma follows.

Failure embedded,
little left open to
chance and happiness.

To Be With Them

To the brothers we’ve lost
and the women who no longer love us,
I raise this glass and raise this pistol.

A crowded room in an empty house,
maddening darkness for those
longing to be let in.

Shrieks of carousing and
debauchery penetrate the walls,
taunting and tantalizing.

Against the slimmest strip of light
under the door,
a desperate man will crush his face like a nervous dog.

Too Many Empty Chairs

They say that
is pretty young but
how come
I feel
so old when
I weep for those we
lost in combat
perhaps even worse
the ones we lost
after we came home

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In Parentheses Magazine (Volume 7, Issue 3) Winter 2022

By In Parentheses in IP Volume 7

32 pages, published 1/15/2022

The Winter 2022 issue of In Parentheses Literary Magazine. Published by In Parentheses (Volume 7, Issue32)

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