Snowmen are clowns
in sinister stasis.
While you sleep
they smother cats
and feast from bins.
their paunches drip.
(from "The snowmen")
Head Traumas is the latest collection from the author of The Madness of the Bird King, a book described by acclaimed novelist Jeff Noon as "a brilliant piece of work".
This substantial collection contains poems, prose poems and pictures. It includes a revised version of The Madness of the Bird King, Mr Punch Dreams, nine Oneiroscope pieces (combining text and image), numerous 13-part prose poems, and more.
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By Diana Gallardo
Apr 10, 2014
I did not find James Knight on Twitter, he found me. He is a poet of Twitter and understands the beauty of its possibilities and connections. Anyway, that's how the connection started, with tweets. Here is one of his--- "a book is a butterfly case, in which words are pinned in rows to white paper. Twitter is warm air, troubled sky, where words flutter and veer." His works start out as tweets, evolve and transform themselves. The words are like the song of some dangerous and marvelous bird. In this collection, you will meet the Bird King, Medusa, Mr. Punch, Mon, 13 Cyborg Poets, and more. They are sublime, in the true sense of the word--a mix of beauty and terror. There's also subtle wit and savage humor. This is the stuff of dreams and nightmares, basements and forests. There's the moon, and mirrors, monsters and mutations. And there are the Oneirographs--how can I describe them? They are surreal, collages of dreams. They have humor and haunting beauty. They will color your... More > dreams, too. To hold this collection in book or ebook form, the pages fluttering, would be a wonderful thing. So, meet James Knight, and follow him on Twitter, too @badbadpoet.< Less
This aptly named eclectic collection of James Knight's huge range of work will fascinate, disturb and literally traumatise your mind. I'm glad that The Bird King, a character I love, is still a big part of his work. I laughed out loud at some of the poems which feature him, such as “Nectar” or “Fart”. But I also love the darker side, when the madness stops being quite so funny and you wonder instead. A real study of the edge of sanity. Quite, quite brilliant. Other than the Bird King works, notable poems here include “Mon”, “Thresholds” and “Mirrors”. I can't yet read “The Snowmen” because the pictures freak me out... Don't be put off by this being called “poetry”. This is very complex, grown up, multi-layered writing presented in simple and visual formats. I also found myself reading aloud just to enjoy the sounds of the word combinations and alliterations even more. Although the works are relatively short and easily read, the imagery is so full-on that each fragment needs time to be... More > taken with it. This is especially true of the themed “lists”. My favourite is "13 Fragments of a Somniloquy" - walking through a basement and hearing conversations from the rooms above. At first I thought it a pity that James' artwork in the book is in black and white because I have seen a lot of James' artwork. I really love the way he combines beautiful images to create foreboding, almost disturbing compositions that settle unnervingly into your brain and keep you coming back. However, I have now resolved this by getting the e-book as well, just for the colour images because the colours and tone clashes James plays with really add to the unsettling fascination and the images are worth the extra on their own. Bravo to the Bird King and much praise to the creative genius of James Knight. I am addicted.< Less
Words dipped in elegance. James' writing has held me still many a time, coming (as it often does) in the dead of night or the stillest of moments. Head Traumas is lucid, challenging and daring in exactly the right amounts.
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