Zombie (On Behalf Of)

Felicia Sanzari Chernesky


For television—bless its heart—is not congenial
to messages of naked hate.

            Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

                       so why deny our troubled souls

from pressing on those wounds that make us real?

A bruise can teach

pulsing hammer beats

our brains to pulp, and then we resurrect

to feast on what was never ours

                       mindless of the chance to learn

but hurling it aside for something “more,”

we were told, to keep us entertained


Terrible Things! What nourishment we waste.

Our taste buds never had a chance to bloom

beneath a sun of better minds at play

a brain’s a brain’s a brain’s a brain’s a brain’s

for breakfast lunch and dinner what we crave

No just deserts.

like the break of day

on this gloomy, shuffling consciousness

we lurch a stagger-waltz

       entrails dangling

      smear our blood on flickering shadow walls

Is this some kind of sick      twisted joke?

We keen in mother tongue        mouths agape

                     misplace the faculty to laugh

among the knobs and sinew that remain.

A loss—yes—of Miltonian proportions:

     The Abyss versus On Demand

contemporary drama at its finest

but chew on this          in the consuming

who are consumers, who are gobbled up?

A bit of human gristle in the teeth…

    yet you just can’t keep a Zombie down


Felicia Sanzari Chernesky is a longtime editor, slowly publishing poet, and author of six picture books, including From Apple Trees to Cider, Please! and The Boy Who Said Nonsense (Albert Whitman & Company). In 2018 she moved away from the masthead of an academic quarterly to work with those who want to share their ideas, stories, and poems in print.