The Pop-Up Halloween Store


The Pop Up Halloween Store

By Chase Dimock


The Pop-Up Halloween Store

is the zombie corpse of a long dead
retail outlet rising from the grave.
Beneath the orange banner
looms the faint spectral glow
of a Borders Books sign.

Crumbling red Circuit City tile
lines the gates of hell.
The ghosts of VCRs and Walkmen
haunt the shelves now lined
with sexy nurse costumes
and adult sized My Little Pony onesies.

The souls of empty Blockbuster DVD cases
moan in the aisles, grieving the hole within:
the lost copy of Shrek II that will never be returned.
Radioshack floppy disks flutter like bats
in the rafters, blindly searching among
the plastic pitchforks and novelty severed hands
for the Tandy computers they once called home.

The death mask of Geoffrey the Giraffe
silhouetted in dust and grime on the wall
looks over a display of polyester werewolves
hears the faint memory of children jumping rope
and dressing Cabbage Patch Dolls drowned out
by the eternal loop of “Monster Mash”
bellowing from the rusty intercom.

Come November,
when Smarties and Almond Joys line
the discount candy bin and the trucks collect
boxes of unsold rubber Pennywise masks
the retail Zombie will shut off the fluorescent lights
and bury himself again beneath the crumbling
asphalt parking lot and the scuffed linoleum.
It once more becomes the haunted K-Mart
teetering on the hill. The ghosts peer out
eyeholes cut in their Martha Stewart bedsheets.
The damned wipe Ecto-Cooler off their chins.


About the Author: Chase Dimock is the Managing Editor of As It Ought To Be. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and his scholarship has appeared in College LiteratureWestern American Literature, and numerous edited anthologies. His works of literary criticism have appeared in Mayday MagazineThe Lambda Literary ReviewModern American Poetry, and Dissertation Reviews. His poetry has appeared in Waccamaw, The San Pedro River Review, and Trailer Park Quarterly. For more of his work, check out

About Chase Dimock

Chase Dimock teaches Literature and Writing at College of the Canyons. He is the Managing Editor of As It Ought To Be Magazine.
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