13 tweets to lament the anniversary of the Bird King’s birth and celebrate his deserved death

One year ago exactly I wrote my first Bird King text and tweeted it through @echovirus12. Here it is:

The Bird King is mad again. He caws through empty midnight streets, moulting tar-black feathers.

That tweet was to be the start of a long series of Bird King texts, many of which would form parts of my long poems The Madness of the Bird King and The Death of the Bird King. What follows is a new 13 I wrote today, to mark the anniversary of that first tweet.

13 tweets to lament the anniversary of the Bird King’s birth and celebrate his deserved death

1. The Bird King is coiled inside an egg-shaped coffin. His rotting carcass blossoms with maggots. Who said death was the end?

2. Little is known of the Bird King’s parents. His father was a jackhammer, his mother a shrunken head, a victim of voodoo magic.

3. The Bird King was born in the waste land. Don’t go all glassy-eyed; the circumstances of his birth were neither pathetic not poetic.

4. The Bird King enjoyed a quiet childhood. He rowed little boats, started fires, made potions containing lemonade and piss. Happy days.

5. As a boy, the Bird King had only one friend: his shadow. Or so he thought. But the shadow despised him, plotted against him.

6. Adolescence was not a pleasant experience for the Bird King. Plumage and hair erupted from him. His song turned to a shriek.

7. The Bird King lost his virginity to an espresso machine. For the rest of his life he found the smell of coffee dangerously arousing.

8. The Bird King once mistook himself for a very large bee. Craving nectar, he shoved his head into the pale flower of a toilet bowl.

9. The Bird King changed swiftly from a character to a persona adopted by the author, a mask, a tool, a gimmick. His image proliferated.

10. I don’t know what the Bird King looks like. No one does, not even Diana Probst, for whom he sat.

11. The Bird King’s adult life is chronicled elsewhere, in a book. Most of that account is mendacious. So is this tweet. He liked a paradox.

12. In the mausoleum of the Bird King visitors are required to pay their respects by taking off their clothes and defecating on his coffin.

13. Happy birthday, Bird King. May your putrid wings carry you back to the nest of my skull.


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

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