Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Glen Donaldson

The contest invited entrants
to come up with a name
for of all things a serial killer.
I asked myself was I game?

I had noted names of infamy
for many a year
Manson, Bundy, Wayne Gacy and Dahmer
all practitioners of paralysing fear.

But now it was my turn
to invent an alias, stage name or moniker.
Something that would ring true and describe
a devotedly and unequivocally heinous sir.

I began with Mr Dastardly
but I thought I could do better.
Next came Tourniquet Ted
but I knew also that was no pacesetter.

The Sunset Slayer, Skinner and Son of Bundy
then came to mind.
But sadly none of these
seemed like a truly great find.

Nutcase, The Asphyxiator, Fishnets and Swampee.
I tried so many
Killerchino, The Fetishist, Topknot, and Indiscriminate.
None of them really worth a penny.

With the Midnight Mauler
I thought I may be getting closer.
But in the land of nightmares and shadows
it really was no grosser.

The Dispatcher, Stethescope and ‘ol Dump’N Burn
all had a certain ring.
But compared to what I really wanted
they all lacked the hornet’s sting.

That night I went to bed
And when next I awoke
M &M (Mad Maniac)
was what I spoke.

It sounds so sweet
said my dear wife.
But that’s not what is needed I replied
quickly extinguishing its life.

Think you can do better?
I said to her.
“The M1 Strangler” she suggested.
But even this I did not prefer.

Stickybeak, Recluse and Short Fuse
I rejected them all.
Loner, Teardrop and The Countdown Killer
They were all dropped like a heavy medicine ball.

In the end
what I really needed
had been there under my nose
begging to be heeded.

Why was it so hard
to perfectly name a serial killer?
Toxic, Yellow Tooth, The Therapist and Masterchief
They all sounded like filler.

Finally it came.
This supreme nom de plume was not lame.
It had been there all along.
To a murderous fiend it would belong.

“Nameless” would be his title,
for this bestowed no sense of right or wrong.
No moral compass,
no way to get along.


  1. Who comes up with a poem trying to find a good name for a serial killer? And then, after delivering a slew of great ideas, actually finds the perfect name for one? What a hilarious and brilliant idea! I loved this!

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