The mannequins


I try to enjoy my book
but the mannequins
  keep tapping
     at the window

When I look up
    they vanish

fibreglass clouds
  are kept in place
by invisible wires


Sometimes the mannequins
   get behind my eyes

I feel them tugging the strings
                 of my nerves
playing with my mechanisms

They make themselves at home
in the lumber room of my skull


     I’m most vulnerable

Last night I dreamt that
   after a stock-take
the mannequins murdered the staff
dressed them in fashionably ugly clothes
     and displayed them
           in the window

     The night before
cold hands placed plastic flowers
       on the graves
of fashion designers


My persecution
isn’t all bad though

It has its benefits

When the mannequins
   possess my hands
I tap out little poems on my phone

The index finger
                of my tweeting hand
                    pecks the touchscreen
          like a nimble bird

Words chirp
in the kingdom
of their cage

      But the hand
   holding the phone
is made of fibreglass


The Dream Shop


From nine at night
   until five in the morning
the mannequins staff
      the Dream Shop.

Customers sleepwalk in
         and murmur their enquiries.

Some of the patrons are very demanding.

They queue outside before opening time,
             pressing sleeping faces
      against the windows.

Last night an old man died in the Dream Shop;
    the Yves Klein blues blew his mind.

The mannequins dialled 999
         but couldn’t speak.


The mannequins are only playing dead


at night
the mannequins leave
    their glass prisons

         and hunt owls
   in the forest


sometimes they dance
      a slo-mo tarantella
            in a clearing

      in the moonlight


in the morning
back behind glass
their blank looks
give nothing away

behind them
          tills open with a yawn
          and close with a sigh


The fox



The mannequins build a mechanical fox.

The last piece they put in place is its voicebox.
But it’s faulty. It whines and shrieks all night.


The mechanical fox is rust-red.
The mannequins see through its eyes,
hunting nocturnal thoughts.

Never have a wet dream when it’s near.


The mannequins enjoy playing with their fox
so much,
their blankness suggests
a smile.

The forelegs bend up and backwards,
the spikes of its ears twist into a crown:
it’s the Bird King!




The mannequins dream
of the silence and perfection
of the chessboard

the alternations
of light and dark.


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


3 thoughts on “Mannequins

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