13 Variations on the Theme of Madness: a Composition for Violins, Electric Guitar, Cymbalom, Voice and Chorus of Mechanical Birds

1. Eyes like flies, a tongue like bees. Happy trapped thoughts. Up, down, up, down, I’m coming.

2. The king face down on the riverbank, his double doubled up with the usurper’s glee.

3. Silence on the stair, a hand or maybe the shadow of a hand reaching clawingly for the bannister.

4. Sing a song of sixpence. Who sneezed? Laughter in blue halls and sobbing under archways.

5. The cockroaches waltz through your kitchen, raffish and debonair.

6. Tired smiles, trembling smiles, forced smiles, anxious smiles, wily smiles, wily crocodile smiles, vile wry wily crocodile smiles.

7. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT.

Now, start again.

8. An idea for 13 sequences of 13s. Let me write that down. On second thoughts.

9. Uncle Mick smashes through the water towards us. Our terrified laughter incenses him.

10. You called him Pillow Head. A childhood monster, nonsense, a nothing. Thirty years on, you’re still talking about him.

11. Lights going on and off in front of everything else on and off can’t you see them don’t they bother you on and off it’s too much

12. A rug, a cross, a book, some windows. A grey face drooling stories, murmuring murdered memories.

13. The sign says STOP. A hand holding a skull. This is supposed to be a symbolic moment. Stop talking! They’re not listening. Close now.

—–

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

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