Disturbing books, poems, etc.

Well, I figured that since there was a Disturbing Movies catagory, the other disturbing things that exist should also be shared. Plus, I had a poem I just had to share 'cause it’s quite sad. But beware! it’s long.

Once on a piece of yellow paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
and he called it “Chops”
Because that was the name of his dog
and that’s what it was all about
and his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
and his mom hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
Took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
and his mother and father kissed a lot
And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine
signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
and he called it “Autumn”
Because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
and his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
and left butts on the pews
and sometimes they would burn holes
that was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
and the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to see santa claus
and the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed a lot
and his father never tucked him in bed at night
and his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
and he called it “Innocence: A Question”
because that was the question about his girl
and that’s what it was all about
and his professer gave him an A
and a strange steady look
and his mother never hund it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year that Father Tracy died
and he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
and he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
and his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
and the girl around the corner
wore too much make up
that made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
and at three A.M. he tucked himself in bed
his father snoring loudly

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it “Absolutely Nothing”
because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
and he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen
That’s from The Perks Of Being a Wallflower, which I recommend to anyone who has had less than a perfect life.

I’ll bite.

This probably seems shallow compared to the poem above, but the book Pet Sematary (do I need to say who it’s by?) disturbed me the last time I read it. The first time I read it, I was 13 and invincible. The last time I read it, I was probably 10 or 12 years older, and had lost several family members and pets. It rattled me a little bit more in that context. And of course, the part where the dad is carrying the body of his son out to the Micmac burial grounds, and keeps seeing and hearing things that may not be (but probably are) there…I’m 26 and still scared of the dark, ok? I don’t need to think about what may or may not be crashing around out there. (Maybe this is why I’ve been frequently so many skeptic web sites lately, they comfort my over-active imagination.)

Anyway, first time I read it, it was spine-tingling gross out fun. Last time I read it, it reminded me of my own mortality and that of my loved ones, plus things that go bump in the night. I gave my copy away.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

I read part of this in college. We had a psycho for a lit teacher and part of her curriculum was Baudelaire’s * Fleurs de Mal * (Flowers of Evil). This part was from his poem * Hymm to Beauty *

  • Who cares if you come from paradise or hell,

appalling Beauty, artless and monstrous scourge,

if only your eyes, your smile or your foot reveal

the Infinite I love and have never known?

Come from Satan, come from God- who cares,

Angel or siren, rhythm, fragrance, light,

provided you transform- O my one queen!

This hideous universe, this heavy hour? *
This guy did not get out of the house too much.

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

This epitaph on a child’s grave marker has always bothered me:

“Goodbye little one. We were ready to love you more and more, and not weep for you so soon.”

I think the most disturbing story I remember is “The Monkeys Paw”…to paraphrase, a family finds a relic that will grant wishes, and they wish for money. They get the money in the form of an insurance benefit for their son, who is killed in a gruesome accident because of their wish. Then, the mother wishes her son back…the father makes the final wish just in time- to send the son away, as he was about to return to them all bloody and chewed up from the accident.
Be careful what you wish for!

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

For musical creepout factor, try Elvis Costello’s “The Juliet Letters,” particularly “Dear Sweet Filthy World, My Wife.” It may be the most heartless suicide note, real or fictional, ever written. There’s also a song that’s a “You May Have Already Won” type offer (literally) from Hell.


I’ll have to second The Monkey’s Paw, Zette.

Jude the Obscure, or really just about any of Thomas Hardy’s novels always affect me greatly. I have learned never to read one when I’m already feeling a little down.

I saw a set of paintings in an art show that were the most beautiful things there but also the most disturbing. They were portraits, almost caricatures, with garish colors and slightly misplaced features. Of course I can’t remember the artist or the work but they were part of the William Paley (the late prez of CBS) collection.


“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

John Donne’s poem “For whom the bell tolls” means a lot to me.
I have to agree with the Thomas Hardy books–so darn depressing you almost want to slit your wrists when you finish them. ONe of my all time least favorite authors.
Most recently–“She’s come undone” Great book.

Joyce Carol Oates’ “Haunted-Tales of the Grotesque” is a good, creepy read.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”