Illustration by Poet Rummager


“Before the feeble dawn of gaslight and tea…” ~ Patrick Hamilton

Gaslight – (verb) : is a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is manipulated to doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. (Wikipedia)


Poem By Jaye Tomas

I told you I was sorry,

I promised to be better,

but the words dissolved like the sugar dust on a hot funnel cake,

and I meant them for as long.

You all think I’m a monster, a bastard, a fiend…

and I can’t argue.

My heart seems quite fine without beating,

and I can carry the leadweight sitting lumpishly in my chest,

like a huge and stupid bird that won’t learn to fly,

quite easily.

You are waiting for me to buckle I know,

waiting for a tear to well and my throat to crack,

and an abject shaky apology to spill out

that you can replay to all your friends and family…

but it won’t happen.

Call me monster,

call me inhuman,

call me fiend.

I don’t deny it.

I struggled too long to hang the correct feelings on my face,

nailing them there with good intentions,

but it didn’t feel right and I could never deliver my lines without snickering.

So instead I fed them to you and you lapped them up like a kitten at a cream bowl

and later screamed about gaslighting,

and your precious psyche,

and you know,

I don’t care.

I don’t care…

I never did really.

I created myself in my own image

and I am all the company I need.




I shuffle the cards and win all the hands and you shrug and say well, I took a chance

never realizing that my deck is all jokers,

and the coat of many colors you all so admire as I stride down the street

is stitched together from favors I have stolen.

Once procured they fade and like a crow I search again for the bright and glittering,

for trophies and conquests

loving the hunt and its adrenaline spike even if the end is already written;

the soft and tender throat turned up,

your drummer heart marking time 

while mine cools even more….

Why buy what you can command?

Why take what will be pressed upon you?

Why pay when you can strut that coin across your knuckles for a cheering crowd?



as if human was a commodity bought and sold on a street corner,

a badge,

an app.

I proclaim my heartlessness,

I revel in my self indulgence,

there is no mask upon this face.

And still you come,

with big pansy eyes,

and a coy, smiling certainty that you,

you and you alone,

can be the whetstone I am smoothed upon.

What fools these mortals be Puck proclaimed,

as do I,

for look how close to the bone I have cut 

and still never bled.

And I sat idly by and watched as all the lights I set were taken by the winds

and blown into wildfire. 



Monster monster…


But then…

why are you still here?



By Jaye Tomas

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Chimera Poetry 2016©



Published by Dead Donovan

SlasherMonster Magazine

15 thoughts on “Gaslighter

  1. A deck full of jokers is my kind of deck!

    Gaslight is an interesting term. I Never heard of that word before. Jaye’s poem certainly provides new insights on a different type of monster, and it doesn’t need claws or teeth to inflict a hurtful wound.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A hand of jokers you can always keep under your hat! 😀
      Yes, monsters come in all sorts of packages, and wounds we carry aren’t always visible. Watch out for those hidden fangs and retractable claws!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. What a gripping and disturbing poem. It makes you wonder if people like that are really aware of how horrible they really are. Yes or no, the answer is scary. The illustration was great and a perfect match.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gaslighters probably don’t care. Like Fly said, another breed of monsters all together. I’m glad the poem gripped you (you don’t have to tell me where). 🙂 Thanks for enjoying my drawing, as well — Matt finds the best backgrounds to complete the title cards! xo


      Liked by 1 person

  3. The ending is the creepiest part of the entire poem. And the illustration–nailing feelings on a face–taken from it. Wow!! A great poem all around, one that was so authentic it about made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When your comments appear, I rush to read your words, because I know they are always so fascinating to read — just like your stories! Jaye is an extraordinary talent, as well — I urge you and others to visit her blog.

      Thanks a million, Cathy! I’m happy you “got” the jest of my drawing. xo

      Liked by 1 person

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