Little Horrors


A horror story wears its head
with eyes like pimento snooker balls
and the whole caboodle resting
like a bird's nest on
a broken trellis. It rears

up, fingers hobbing like hooves
across the baize
of its narrative, trembling with static

energy, too. Its dimpled slippers
conceal horn and fur,
shamble over the pages
with a kind of witless integrity, before

giving the neck a good cricking.
Something jumps,
a broken stub of pencil, or
the dubious character on the keyboard:
the one that

gives the game away Christ what's that
in the fire without fuss
or even reflection.

Its spine: scrawny. Someone
has chewed the penultimate chapter
with surprising hunger:
perhaps the story, fed up
with pretence, has got its hooks

(and its fangs) stuck into
the victim.

Who of course is blithe and fair,
and is quickly consigned
by shovels of colour
to the whim of the plot.

From Looks Familiar