Please enjoy the bric-a-brac presented here.


Hiding in the foliage from Adam, Eve strokes the serpent. Pomegranate juice drools down her chin.

Her daughters will be the first vampires.




The poet was dead.
They put him in the ground.

Night fell
and a word-tree
burst up from the grave,

poem-leaves trembling on thin branches.





Red sunset through grimy windows. They sit, static, rasping quietly. Men and women more reptilian by the hour.

They struggle to stay warm. Blood cooling, muscles knotting, hardening. Eyes look elsewhere, through walls, through time.

A nurse with prim hands executes her duties, moving among them with the deftness of a machine.

She sees the mangled statues, the husks, the inertia. She doesn’t see the slow but firm beating of their hearts, their sapling dreams.




Josef K Through the Looking-Glass: sketches towards a Lewis Carroll / Franz Kafka mashup

Someone must have been telling lies about Alice K, for one morning the Queen of Hearts burst into her room, shouting, “Off with her head!”

The two men introduce themselves to him as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. “I am here to arrest you,” says one. “Likewise,” says the other.

The warped geometry of Looking-Glass Land is such that, the quicker he strides towards the Castle, the quicker it recedes into the distance.

After drinking the contents of the bottle, Alice suddenly found herself transformed into a gigantic insect. “What will become of me now?” she thought, forlornly.

Franz Carroll looks at himself in the mirror, dreams of escaping its gilt frame.





You can hear her purring in the darkness, gentle engine rumble of taut cathood. Slick tail, a fan of whiskers, hot lithe creature; you’ll never catch her.

Slipping in and out of bad dreams, the sorceress’s familiar, female of a thousand names. Or in the midday heat, a single frame barely perceived in the lacklustre movie playing before your eyes. Either way, a disturbance, a drop of black ink in still water.

She yawns and stretches out a paw towards you. Mesmerised by eyes and claws. The flickering lights bring hard forms in and out of the picture: a dusty lampshade, piles of books, an open door. Echoes of a crime scene. You remember the murdered woman and the spiral staircase where it all began. She arches her back and grins at you. Barely there, almost invisible. Sharp little teeth glint in the sporadic light.

These literary phantoms bore me and I close the book, letting it fall to the floor.




The Bird King’s Eggs


The Bird King’s eggs are
subatomic particles
created serendipitously


in a quantum physicist’s dream.

Occupying a space
between existence
and nothingness,

and madness,

and cauliflower,

they lie dormant
in the brains of millions,
their presence sometimes hinted

by a little blackout,
momentary aphasia,
a smudged face in a memory.



Frequently mistaken for full stops
(periods, if you’re American),
the Bird King’s eggs
are in fact

They rhyme with horse,
and curtain.

But because they’re neither poetry nor prose, those with a mania for classification refuse to acknowledge their existence.



It won’t surprise you to learn
that the Bird King’s eggs
resemble hand grenades
or suppositories,
depending on the time of day
and state of mind
of the observer.

They smell of parsley, plastic and piss.

If you don’t have any,
you can make some at home.
All you need are
a jar of dolls’ tears,
a strip of lightning,
a ghost’s moustache
and twenty pints of sour milk.



We’ve reached that point in the poem
where a discussion
of the author’s intentions
is inevitable.

So, what do the Bird King’s eggs represent?

Lacking the stable symbolism
of a cross
or a skull,
the Bird King’s eggs
and out
of meanings,

They are coffins, building blocks, severed heads, cocoons, seeds, paper weights, lumps of clay, shells, bombs, Russian dolls.



Some have argued that the Bird King’s eggs are merely imaginary.

Their naïveté is astonishing.


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


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