What follows are the first three parts of a 13 I wrote recently, entitled Mr Punch Dreams, or 13 items discovered at the murder scene. When the sequence appears in its entirety, it will be accompanied by an artist’s illustrations. I hope you enjoy this little sample!
1. An uncooked black pudding.
Mr Punch likes the stars. They’re as pretty as his dreams.
They wink and twinkle, clink and tinkle
in the empty night.
you put a seashell to your ear you can hear the sea actually it’s your own blood roaring through you waves smash the shingle the moon hangs
– Well, here I am! What do you want, now I’m come?
– What a pretty creature! Ain’t she one beauty!
– What do you want, I say!
– A kiss! A pretty kiss!
– Take that then! How do you like my kisses? Will you have another?
Mr Punch’s head is in the clouds.
The crescent moon cuts his hair, shaves his chinny-chin-chin.
2. A glass eye, with a thin crack running across the pupil.
It’s raining inside Mr Punch’s head.
His curtains are red rags.
Judy is somewhere out at sea,
on a ship with hand-shaped sails.
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!
There’s one wife for you! What a precious darling creature! She go to fetch our child.
Mr Punch fears Jack Ketch’s gibbet.
It casts long shadows across his dreams.
The noose is the law’s lizard eye.
There, there, there! How you like that? I thought I stop your squalling.
The hangman’s eyes roll madly like marbles, like dead moons in headlong orbit.
I dropped it out at window.
3. A length of rope, frayed at one end.
Jack Ketch is a tetchy wretch with a scarlet rash.
He tends a tree in the public garden.
Every day, at noon, he deadheads the roses.
The curtains fall away, exposing the booth’s wooden frame. Mr Punch shits himself: it looks like a gallows. Where’s Ketch? He turns around this way. He’s behind you! He turns around that way. Where? Where? I no see him. Behind you! An imaginary rope in the air.
– Mr Punch, you’re a very bad man. Why did you kill the police constable?
– He wanted to kill me!
– With his damned laws!
– That’s all gammon. You must come to prison: my name’s Ketch.
Ketch retches, fetches up ketchup
as red as the booth’s curtains.
He sleeps on a wooden bed with no mattress,
a portrait of Mr Punch hanging above his head.
All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.