13 poets in Hell

1
Paradise Lost is cast into the lake of fire. Satan tells John Milton to rewrite it in 140 characters or fewer.

2
Filippo Marinetti languishes in a dismal rural idyll. His hand, possessed, scrawls euphonic odes to the moon with a quill.

3
Henri Michaux floats through the eternal peace of his inner space. “Where are the monsters?” he wonders, unhappily.

4
“What’s this penty nonsense about ‘phantasmal gnomes?'” demands Pound. Eliot tries to explain, but he has lost his voices!

5
Wandering lonely as a cloud of smog through the city, Wordsworth looks into an oily puddle but can’t find his reflection.

6
Tristan Tzara cuts up a newspaper article into its individual words and scatters them. When they land they form sonnets.

7
Antonin Artaud wakes from troubled dreams, to find himself transformed into Pam Ayres.

8
Shakespeare sits in the drab fluorescence of a classroom. “Take out your copies of Macbeth,” mumbles the teacher.

9
Fluttering letters perch on the page, spelling APOLLINAIRE. Then a noise startles them and they disperse forever.

10
Coleridge scratches at the door. The visions are seeping into his lungs. Where’s the man from Porlock? When will this end?

11
SOMEONE TURNS
THE VOLUME UP
ON E E CUMMINGS
AND HE IS DEAFENED
AND FLATTENED
BY HIS OWN POEMS

12
William Blake realises that the physical universe is everything.

13
André Breton claws his way out of the negligée and lies, spent, on the tiled floor. Towers of washing-up await him.

—-

Originally published as a series of tweets. All texts on this site are the copyright of James Knight. All rights reserved.

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