For a short time, my ebook The Death of the Bird King is FREE!
It’s crammed with nightmarish poems and artwork, and the terrifying yet risible Bird King takes centre stage.
You can get the book here.
To celebrate the release of my new book, Head Traumas, I’m offering a free copy to whoever wins my creative writing competition.
Have a look at the five pictures further down this page. I made them all using image-editing software. All you have to do is write a brief creative response to each of them, posting your work either as a comment on this page or as a series of tweets addressed to my Twitter self, @badbadpoet.
A necessary evil, I’m afraid!
1. Each brief piece of writing must begin with the number of the picture to which you’re responding.
2. Your response to each of the five pictures must be no more than 140 characters in total, including the number of the picture.
3. You must deal with the pictures in their given order.
4. You must give your sequence of responses a title.
5. If you’re tweeting your responses, you must alert me to them immediately before they’re tweeted: @badbadpoet
6. Just one entry per person.
7. The competition closes at midnight BST on Sunday 4th August.
The series of responses I judge best will entitle the winner to a free physical copy of Head Traumas, with my signature scrawled inside, no less!
The winner will also receive a free electronic version of the book, as will two runners-up.
Furthermore, I’ll post the winner’s entry on this blog, to great fanfare.
I suggest you avoid simply describing the pictures: react to them, interpret them, use them as stimuli to take your writing somewhere interesting.
I put the five pictures in a sequence. They’re not to be taken as self-contained images. The best responses to them will contain the suggestion of some sort of development or unity, even if it’s very subtle.
Here they are. Look, think, imagine. Good luck!
then singing again
I’m sure it was that
but not the same song as before
this time sadder
I couldn’t open the door
every time she laughed her teeth showed
trying to explain
that different song
fuller, more colourful
as I said
trying to explain
and the door
and her teeth
not the right word
nothing to explain, after all
in the way of meaning
if that’s what you’re after
just a song
her teeth when she laughed
as far as I remember
just a few things
All texts and images on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.
Yesterday’s edition of The Independent included an article about poetry on Twitter, inaccurately treating it as a nascent phenomenon and citing as the principle exponents of micropoetry established writers who (with the notable exception of George Szirtes) dabble in online writing but write primarily for print. You can read the article here.
And if you’d like to read my response to the article, it can be found on their letters page, here.
The Bird King has a new mask. This is the avatar that will now appear here and on Twitter.
Like all of my artwork, this image was created on an iPad, using public domain photos. All rights reserved.
O little town of Bethlehem. Max is five. He sits on the floor, near the Christmas tree. Grampy is enthroned in his floral armchair and Max can hear the old man’s wheezing above the music. Grampy has thin nostrils with hairs sprouting from them and breathes through his mouth in slow gasps. He looks like a horrible old bird. While mortals sleep, the angels keep. Go on, Max. Aren’t you going to open it? Max looks at the unopened present in his lap. His mother has wrapped it beautifully in shiny silver paper and written on the gift tag. To my special grandson. Merry Xmas. Lots of love, Grampy xx. He looks for a way to open it and catches sight of the boy in the sheen of the silver paper. He looks thin and unhappy. Maybe when he’s finished admiring his reflection he’ll open the present! Flustered, Max tears at a small tab of paper. How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given. The present is a wooden train set. Now come and say thank you to Grampy. Max looks up and says, Thank you. Thank him properly, Max. O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. Max gets to his feet and walks across the room to the rasping bird. A hand rises suddenly from its habitual place on the armrest and grabs at Max’s arm and the dead dead eyes widen. Mummy’s waiting, smiling, anxious. Thank you very much for my present. The hand jerks Max nearer and the dreaded moment comes when he has to kiss the proffered cheek. O come to us, abide with us. Cold skin on young lips. Grampy smells of vinegar. Max feels as if he’s kissing a corpse.
All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.