From The Dragon Slayer’s Notebook

By Anthony Labriola


I weigh the pros and cons of dragon slaying.
No more damsels in distress, I cry for help.
My master says: On any crying jag,
beware the dragons of the mind, the dragons
of desire. A dragon seeker

becomes the slayer, but also one of the slain.
Like a fictional character, I walk out
of a fable and step into your life.
Does it mean your life becomes a legend?
A fiction? Are you in distress? Locked

in a tower? In all my chronicled quests,
and crusades, in the pros and cons of slaying
a dragon, the crest of the winter sun
shines through the torn curtains. Ailing,
I lie in bed, side-by-side, Knight and Lady,

or Knight and Knight. The honeymoon refuge
keeps us warm. I get out of bed at my own peril
and walk towards the spidery sunlight.
Someone is watching me. I look over
my shoulder and smile down. Turning,

I draw aside the curtain and unlock the window.
Let the snow fall in drifts into the room.
Will the dragon come back, bereft of the past?
Will I recognize the shadow of what the beast
has become? Will it come back to bed

and lie in the dragon seeker’s arms?
The story continues to be told of how,
to overcome the monster, we enter each other’s fables.
How the true plot is in our dreams. The action
unfolds in the secret gestures of our two lives.


Anthony Labriola’s works include: The Rigged Universe (Shanti Arts), Sun Dogs (Battered Suitcase Press), Devouring the Artist, The Pros & Cons of Dragon-Slaying, Poor Love & Other Stories, Invisible Mending, The Blessing of the Bikes & Other Life Cycles (Anaphora Literary Press), and The Japanese Waltzing Mouse & Other Tales (Cranberry Tree Press). A new novella, The Lonely Barber, will be out in June 2017. A new collection of poetry, Birds & Arrows (Shanti Arts Press) will be out in 2017.

Featured image via Wikimedia, Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, public domain.