Psychedelic Death Shroud

Pretty please with sugar on top,
it’s what kids say to exact a favor.
Panic is when you talk in a loud,
loud voice in the mountains. 1
Pedigree is a frame of mind,
unless you live in Eastern Kentucky.
In Eastern Kentucky it’s a psychedelic death shroud 2
or a Hasil Adkins one-man show
also featuring
Philip Seymour Kafka
Ralph Waldo Kardashian
Jennifer Love Angelou
Edgar Allen Streep
J.D. Bono
with special guest,
the hitchhiker.
Thanks for the ride, Lady! 3

1 From Brian Evenson’s Facebook status update. The original status read: “Max: Panic is when
you talk in a loud, loud voice in the mountains. Max, I believe, is Brian’s son. In any case, he
was kind enough to allow me to appropriate the line for this poem.
2 From an episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s program Cosmos. Tyson used this phrase to
describe the aftermath of a supernova.

 3 A line from “The Hitch-hiker” the third episode of the 1987 movie Creepshow 2. In the
episode a cheating wife returning from a tryst runs over a random guy trying to catch a ride. He
zombie haunts her repeating this phrase over and over.



Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer, poet, and novelist from Kentucky. He is the author of three books, including the novel Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016). His most recent fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming at Wigleaf, Vestal Review, New World Writing, and Free State Review.