Song for Ulvaak

from by Allie Goertz

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Lyrics by Patton Oswalt from his beautiful and tragically inspiring Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.


With a poisoned blade and a list of names

I stabbed and slashed and made my fame
For gold, I took lives free of blame
In the city of Gamotia

My sword was keen, my armor thick
No fighter’s thrust or wizard’s trick
Or curse from priest, or thieving pick
Could pierce my heart of stone

So off one day I rode and rode
Into a dungeon’s maw I strode
Some beast to worry, bait, and goad
Then kill, to claim a bounty

Then down a crooked hallway crept
Across a spiked canyon leapt
Into a chamber, phantom-swept
There sat my newest prey
A hissing demon made of bone
A rotted tunic, eyes that shone
Regal, sat on silver throne
A zombie king, I reckoned

It made no difference—I’d been paid
A killer’s contract had been made
This ghoul’s head, severed, would be laid
On my retainer’s table

Then up he sprang and drew a scroll
And with a voice dry-dark as coal
Began a chant that pierced my soul
And froze me where I stood

I wore two rings one carved from jade
One of mithril, elvish made
The first one cause all magic to fade, the second made me swift

Not swift enough or so it seemed
The ghouls eyes sockets yet still gleamed
And then drew close as gray mist steamed out of his hingey jaw

“Your contract’s null, yet you will live
I’m not the one your death to give
That fate awaits—but, like a sieve,
Your time is running short.”

He said, “There are worlds above our own
We are but fancies, proxies thrown
Into a dream—not flesh and bone
We are but dice and paper.”

“We’re hero figures for the weak
Who aren’t yet confident to speak-
To girls, or claim the life they seek,”
The ghoul said with a sigh

Back in Gamotia, suddenly
(Or had it always bothered me?)-
I sensed a subtle falsity-
In every face I spied

Their skills and defects, will and wit-
Seemed paper-thin and counterfeit-
Their fates the same and long pre-writ-
Off in some far-off sky

The sky I noticed seemed to be
Of crumpled foolscap torn me
No longer was I a killer free
To kind my own lifes path

I sensed, somewhere outside the land,-
A soft and inexperienced hand
That knew no steel and claimed no land-
Had brought me into being

And so decided, in a flash
I’d not be tossed away like trash
My sword would rend and gnaw and lash
Against a pudgy god


from Cossbysweater, released May 4, 2013



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AllieGoertz Los Angeles, California

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