Kurt Newton began writing poetry as a child, and cites Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and Edward Gorey as his earliest influences. His poetry can be found in the pages of Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry, Dali's Lovechild, and The Book of Night, an anthology of dark verse.



Kurt Newton


Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin... a-gobelin...
Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin we will go!

The singing stops,
the door stands tall,
a hand jumps out
and knock-knock knocks!
"Trick or treat!"

The seconds pass,
heartbeats beat,
the door knob turns
and opens at last.

"Trick or treat!"
the garbled, strangled, 
mangled voices, 
hidden behind
three perfect masks, repeat.

"How cute," the kindly lady gasps,
bending to deposit
bars of chocolate
in each flesh-toned bag
each little goblin
extends for her to reach.

"Happy Halloween," she says,
her smile wide,
her eyes a-sparkle,
her face a glowing jack-'o-lantern
shiny and sweet.

The tiny trick-or-treaters
move on to the next house,
stopping first to gobble down
the chocolates gathered
in their flesh-toned bags.

Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin... a-gobelin...
Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin we will go!

Another set of steps,
another door,
another knock-knock knock
just like before.
"Trick or treat!"
the trio shouts.

This time
when the door swings wide,
a couple stands,
the husband wields a candy bowl
while the wife takes photographs.

The tiny goblins growl.
The goblins grab the candy blindly,
stuff their bags
and shuffle quickly away,
into the dark to grab a snack.

Jawbreakers and sour balls,
the rock-hard treats
are just no match
for such hungry teeth.

Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin... a-gobelin...
Here we go a-gobelin... a-gobelin we will go!

They arrive at a house
with no doorstep light.
But somebody's home,
the three can tell,
their noses know
just by the smell.

They climb the steps.
"Trick or treat!"
their garbled, strangled, mangled
voices yell.
Knock, knock, knock...
"Trick or treat!"
they cry again.

No light?
No butchered pumpkins
grinning in the night?
This is no way
to celebrate
a proper Halloween!

"Trick or treat!"
they try again,
they stomp their feet.
Knock, knock, knock...
"Trick or treat!"
"Trick or treat!"

And suddenly
the light comes on,
the door is gone,
and standing there
in its place:
a monstrous-looking man
with bloodshot eyes
and angry veins.

"Get the hell off my property!" he shouts.
The goblins hold their ground.

"Trick or treat!"
each garbled, strangled, mangled
voice repeats.
They hold their flesh-tone bags

But the man has his own
trick up his sleeve:
a kitchen knife.
In one quick slash
he cuts each flesh-tone bag in half.

"Ha! Take that you little brats!
Now scram before I call the police!"

"Trick or treat..."
the goblins say again
as quietly as goblins can.
And before the door can slam,
they rush the man,
knock, knock, knocking him
to the floor.

A-gobelin, a-gobelin, a-gobelin they go,
until the man is nothing more
than hair and teeth and skin—
skin they use to make new bags
to replace the ones the bad man tore.

Because the evening is still young,
and a goblin is forever hungry.

There they go a-gobelin... a-gobelin... a-gobelin...
There they go a-gobelin... a-gobelin they will go!