Happy Halloween!

Here are some new pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

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13 False Memories, Recounted in a Celebrity Taxidermist’s Autobiography

1. Baa baa black sheep. Behind her eye is some sort of mechanism. If you look too close, it contracts to a pinpoint.

2. All sale items now 90% off. Hands fumble over jumbled junk. Parched eyes forget there’s a horizon.

3. First there was one man on his own, then there was a woman too, then there was shame. He put his hand on her breast and she laughed.

4. We tried to keep abreast of developments by dirtying our fingers on the Financial Times. Filthy lucre made us stinking rich!

5. I found someone else’s fingers in my glove. They were wiry and hard. I planted them in the garden and they grew into arm trees.

6. To take up arms against a sea of troubles…

I was dazzled by the lights and forgot the rest of the line. My head throbbed and I fell.

7. He rested his head on her belly. He was only asleep for a few seconds. He dreamt that the Bird King was standing over him. When he woke up his left leg had withered.

8. And if you’re naughty something will come down the chimney and take you away!

Susan felt the pain returning to her left leg.

9. She put her ear to his leg. I’m telling you, she could hear the cockroaches scuttling around inside his hollow body.

10. It was a marble mausoleum, thick with shadows. Our ears strained for sounds in the velvety silence. Someone coughed and I jumped.

11. The creature’s ears were attached to its abdomen. Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle. Shooting pains, blank looks.

12. You went in through the abdomen. Years lost in dark intestines. Eventually you found your way out of the labyrinth. Looking at a mirror, you saw the Minotaur staring back.

13. No good will come of this. Nothing lucky about 13. I don’t even know why I’m doing this, wrist-deep in the intestines of dead words.

Eight Days with Satan

This piece is an excerpt from Still Life, a rambling story composed of tweets, available in my collection Days of the Snowman
—–
Day 1. Satan appears to him as a twisted dragon, warping under the blows of God’s thunder.

Day 2. Satan appears to him as a shaggy-haired beast of fangs & claws, eyes vacant, the blood of innocents on his chops.

Day 3. Satan appears to him as a vanquished titan, brooding on his loss amidst the burning lake.

Day 4. Satan appears to him as the archangel ruined, bright Lucifer with his sword & shield, a pagan hero.

Day 5. Satan appears to him as the protagonist in a cosmic tragedy, doomed by his own free will to damnation.

Day 6. Satan appears to him as a comedy devil with scarlet skin, a goatee, black horns, farting hellfire.

Satan has been getting a lot of air-time. Where’s his holier-than-thou counterpart? Doesn’t He make appearances?

Day 7. Satan appears to him as his anagrammatical namesake, Santa. The Christmas tree burns. Tinsel writhes like snakes.

Day 8. Satan appears to him as a gigantic crow. The foul maw opens & carrion souls tumble out.

—–

All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.

Phases

I. Conception

Contracting space, a bleeding sun

Yellow yoke breaks

II. Gestation

Maggot, prawn,
To-be-or-not-to-be
Feeding slowly,
Revolving,
Spiralling

III. Birth

A hand smoothing down a stained sheet.

Light-filled air, fat as a scream.

IV. Childhood

The pirate kills the ogre.
School walls fall.

V. Adolescence

A secret wish in a secret place.

Policemen stand on blank street corners,
Watching.

Preserved in the formaldehyde of memory:
Her careless smile,
An overheard phrase.

VI. Early Adulthood

A body stretching by the sea,
Waves calling.

Eyes turn back to the boarded-up parade.

VII. Middle Age

Short nights, long days,
Croissants and coffee.

I can’t remember the name of that place,
But it was very nice.

VIII. Old Age

White eyes in a lilac room.

IX. Death

His lips look like plastic.

A hand smooths down the sheet.

We sit patiently, slightly bored.

——

This is a new, expanded version of a poem that appears in the collection, The Death of the Bird King. All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.

Vampire

five a.m.

a pencilled skyline of factories and houses
squats
under the belly of the clouds

fractured laughter under the railway bridge
where three vagrants
are dancing round a fire of refuse
a fourth thumping a maudlin tune
from a child’s xylophone

the air
heavy with rust and dust
hangs uneasily over
collapsed walls of corrugated iron

sleeplessness

shadows under a stark tree twisting like roots
conspiring whispers

one of the dancers has slipped over and cut his
forehead
the xylophone still shows its sharp little teeth
a modest fork of blood accumulates dirt on its descent

a scrawny urban cat bristles and flees

the hourly fast train passes

like a thick poison dawn seeps
through the crack of the skyline

From The Small Hours. All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.