Friday 31 March 2023

The Crinn

by Nick Gisburne

The Crinn will slither, closer than you think,
To tempt you with the smoky scent of sin.
They long to lure you, bleary, blurred, to drink
The stolen starlight shining on their skin.
Mosquito mead, with mushrooms in the brew.
A pinch of pansy, petals pulled and crushed.
September berries, shimmering with dew.
And time, because no cunning can be rushed.
For those who brave the shadows of the wood,
Beyond the dark, the dusk, when witches rise,
No good will come. No kindness ever could,
For these are folk the Fey themselves despise.
    They slip inside the corners of your mind.
    Beware the sweet seductions of their kind.


by Nick Gisburne

They say it, and they mean it, and it’s true:
The best you give is never good enough.
But who’s the punk, the powerless? Are you?
Bring all of it, the better, stronger stuff.
The games, the days, the ways they bring you down,
Are poisons in your coffee. Smash the cup.
You’re sinking. Swim. The driven never drown.
It’s time to shine, to fly, to fuck them up.
Your greatest, wildest weapon is your will,
An unrelenting love for life they lack.
Imagine it, the thunderclap, the thrill,
When all the shit they gave is given back.
    You’re ready. I can see it in your eyes.
    Take everything. Take nothing, ever. Rise.

Poisonous Passions

by Nick Gisburne

Victor Ivangio seasons the stew,
Seeking to sicken the love of his life,
Reasons the freedoms of marriage are few,
Sprinkles the medicine, sharpens the knife.
Venus Ivangio watches him work,
Peaking to puncture the plot of his plan,
Follows the fiend with a devious smirk,
Dreams of a scheme to dismantle the man.
Loathing them both, the Ivangio twins
Wangle a rendezvous, luring the two.
Poisonous passions, where nobody wins,
Benefit only a burial crew.
    Cruising for dinner, forgiven, they float,
    Never suspecting the bomb on the boat.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Paid to Play With Murder

by Nick Gisburne

I wonder what you’ll whisper when you beg.
My steps are simple: torture, cripple, kill.
You need to run, and quickly. Show a leg.
I’m paid to play with murder, and I will.
I try to give a sporting chance, a start.
The warning is my signature, my sign.
You’ll hide, but when you cower, cold, take heart;
The pleasure of your death will not be mine.
Consider it a living, just a job.
Enjoy or hate it, neither speaks to me.
You’re free to spit and scream, or sit and sob,
A homicide the only sense I see.
    Your brains will make a mess across the wall.
    I’d rather not be killing you at all.


by Nick Gisburne

The slurry from the district meat machine
Is tainted with unsanitary tangs,
But Eva is too weak to try to clean
The scraps unfit for scavengers, or gangs.
Devoid of any dignity, she sits,
Oblivious to what she has become.
The dangers in these urban protein pits
Are nothing to a mind already numb.
The poisons twist their tendrils through a heart
Resigned to beat, but never free to feel.
A siren sounds. The pumping, soon, will start,
To spill the filthy horror of a meal.
    However rich, the city will not pay
    For those, like swill, or shit, it throws away.

A Seventh Share

by Nick Gisburne

His marvellous, mysterious machines,
Constructions of synthetic skin and bone,
Are coveted by seven kings, whose queens
Are statues, changed by sorcery to stone.
The strange inventor offers each a choice:
One seventh of the kingdom for their wife,
And six are more than willing. They rejoice
To welcome back the brides he brings to life.
The seventh takes the second choice instead:
A magical contraption, real enough.
The morning finds him murdered in his bed,
His queen too mean to swallow his rebuff.
    She sells her seventh share for piles of gold,
    A robot, rich forever, never old.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Watch It Burn

by Nick Gisburne

You think you need to take another turn,
That mine is not the door you hoped to find,
But let me light a candle. Watch it burn.
Our destinies are tightly intertwined.
The soul you see, your sister’s, in the smoke,
Is destined for the darkest hole of Hell,
But sacrifice would save her with a stroke.
I brought you here to bargain. Listen well.
If you will take her place, for just a day,
Descending into suffering and pain,
My sons will send her spirit to the Fey,
A deal I made with those I should have slain.
    Perhaps you fear deceit inside my plan?
    The Fey, not I, will trick you, mortal man.

Ready for the Fight

by Nick Gisburne

Your efforts to extinguish what we are
Should break us, but, with certainty, will fail.
Imperfect, your intolerance, so far
Has proved itself too puny to prevail.
We’ve lived like this for centuries, concealed.
Is bigotry the best that you can do?
For every stifled life you force to yield,
A thousand threaten what you thought you knew.
We do not ask for anything. We live.
Outsiders. Unacceptable. So what?
We wish you saw the goodness we can give,
But, somehow, stained with hatred, you cannot.
    We swim beyond the shadows of your sight,
    Reluctant, yes, but ready for the fight.

Pariah’s Gate

by Nick Gisburne

Pariah’s Gate, the seventh of the Six,
The hole through which no rebel may return,
Delivers death beyond its bloody bricks.
For some it is a fate for which they yearn.
Approaching it, unchallenged, I believe
Salvation lies before me, not behind.
The city, manufactured to deceive,
For misfits such as me was not designed.
Oppressive heat. It creeps around the cracks.
A sliver of reluctance. Is it fear?
But others dragged the burden on their backs.
I will not bend. My destiny is clear.
    The Gate receives another pilgrim. Me.
    No madness could imagine what I see.

Model Three

by Nick Gisburne

Upgrading all the fibres of her flesh,
The quintessential core of every piece,
She knows the finest artificial mesh
Could bring her no redemption, no release.
With primitive beginnings, Model One
Was little more than speculative junk.
The vision of the man who made her? None.
A genius, a dropout, and a drunk.
When blessed with self-awareness, Model Two
Demanded something more than he could give.
No tech or tool enough for her, she grew
To covet his ability to live.
    The Model Three, the cyborg, stands complete,
    Her metal body wrapped in human meat.

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Risk in Every Word

by Nick Gisburne

We’re not allowed to speak of what we see,
Prohibited to criticise, or curse.
Discussion is forbidden. We agree
The Prophet Kings are perfect, not perverse.
The murders never happened, never were.
A genocide? Impossible. Untrue.
A thousand affidavits all concur.
I will not break my silence. Nor should you.
To speak of it, to think it, is insane.
Believe that there is risk in every word.
We live because we overlook the pain,
However many screams we overheard.
    Authority and power never lie,
    And those who speak to question them will die.


by Nick Gisburne

When Koorah pulls her baby from its bed,
The Mother Cult is generous with praise,
For, in the prophet’s credo it is said
A second son on sunlight shall not gaze.
But Koorah is no follower, no fool,
No empty vessel waiting to be filled.
An infidel, she scorns a sacred rule:
By dawn he must be mercilessly killed.
The bundle in the box is not the child,
The Sisters, sightless, cleverly deceived.
With trickery, their temple is defiled,
Her elegant illusions all believed.
    She flies beyond the boundary, pursued,
    Delighted to deprive them of their food.

Your Story Ends

by Nick Gisburne

I won’t be bruised and broken, not by you.
I never woke up wanting what you give.
I’m done with all the pain you put me through,
The fear in which you’re forcing me to live.
You claim that every kicking is deserved,
Each spiteful slur or slap a lesson learned.
Consider me released, my sentence served,
My fictional conviction overturned.
I want to introduce you. Meet my friends.
I loved them long before you staked your claim.
They’re certain this is where the story ends,
That none of us will ever speak your name.
    You think I’m weak. Alone, perhaps it’s true,
    But we are more than any match for you.

Monday 27 March 2023

Radiant and Raw

by Nick Gisburne

I’m sipping this extraordinary wine,
Chianti, from a bottle, through a straw.
The ambiance, my darlings, is divine.
I’ve never felt so radiant, so raw.
The beast I just beheaded, in my bed,
Was heaven to the touch, but such a bore.
His tedium released me as he bled.
The shivers of elation kissed my core.
I’m such a nasty, naughty little boy.
I wouldn’t kill another one, I swore,
But no, the sweet euphoria, the joy,
Becomes too dark, delicious, to ignore.
    Before I show you what my words describe,
    Support my murders. Like me, and subscribe.

Why Run?

by Nick Gisburne

If you were blind we’d beat you... maybe not.
The race is yours. Why punish us? Why run?
We’re seven thousand dog degrees too hot.
Not one of us can bear to see the sun.
A crazy competition. Is it fair?
We’re each at least a suitcase size the worse.
We lied when we pretended not to care.
An ambulance would help us, or a hearse.
We’ll never catch you, baffled by the bet.
Still waiting for the start, we’re out of breath,
But don’t discount our stamina, not yet -
We’re all a dozen sweaty steps from death.
    Be merciful. Be gracious. We concede.
    We don’t know what we’re doing. Blame the weed.

A Wannabe Who Wasn’t

by Nick Gisburne

She never looked for greatness, glory, fame,
But hungered for a taste of more than this.
A faded star. A fast-forgotten name.
A memory the world will never miss.
A wannabe who wasn’t. Close. Not quite.
The chances came, but somehow slipped away.
Her days were busy, brutal, every fight
A soul-destroying journey of dismay.
Impossible to flourish, to survive
She treads a darker path, a colder street.
It scars her soul, but keeps its light alive.
She conquers it, controls her own defeat.
    The wannabe she couldn’t be is dead,
    But someone stronger claims its crown instead.

Sunday 26 March 2023

A Magical Machine

by Nick Gisburne

I saw when I was seven they were real.
They came with sly, excited smiles, at night,
Explaining that they needed to conceal
A secret they had stolen, in a fight.
They whispered they were Little Ones, the Fey,
And with them came a magical machine.
If I would store it safely, for a day,
They’d show me spells no childish eyes had seen.
They clambered, careful, quick to follow me,
To camouflage their box beneath the stairs,
But, long before my fiendish friends could flee,
I sprang the trap, to catch them unawares.
    The Elf Inspectors told me they would come.
    A hero, I’m a sneak, a snitch, to some.

Splendid Silence

by Nick Gisburne

I never thought I’d need another brain,
But this one isn’t faulty yet, it’s full.
The second that you speak, a searing pain
Convinces me to swaddle it in wool.
I mustn’t let more information in.
Diminish your cacophony, I beg.
In time, in splendid silence, I’ll begin
To syphon this extraordinary egg.
You’d help if you were many miles away.
I wouldn’t want you watching if it burst.
The science is unshakable. I pray
You’ll never see the symptoms at their worst.
    Migrate, as far as possible. Fly south.
    Whatever way you do it, shut your mouth.

Argelion the Great

by Nick Gisburne

Argelion the Great is not a man,
But neither am I demon, bird, or beast.
I watched your wicked world when it began,
Ignoring every evil you released.
I do not serve the saints who seal your fate.
Their piety, perverse, was never mine,
But something in the chaos they create
Illuminates a doubt in my design.
Celebrities. What witchery is this,
Their glory unconnected to their worth?
With every snide remark, with every kiss,
Another meme rebounds around the Earth.
    I grumble, unexpectedly annoyed.
    Tomorrow let these dipshits be destroyed.


by Nick Gisburne

My punishment appointment book is full,
But someone died. What luck! I’ll you fit in.
To verify you’re worthy, let me pull,
Beyond the point of pain, a little skin.
How wonderful. How easily you bleed.
You’ve answered all the questions I could ask.
Whatever strange perversities you need,
I’m absolutely equal to the task.
Sign here. Select the liquid you prefer.
Be careful not to spill it from the spoon.
Pierre will take your payment - speak to her.
Be prompt and perky. Friday. Naked. Noon.
    You’ll need another name, so let me think...
    So sensitive. So smooth. So perfect. Twink.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Two Seconds to Extinction

by Nick Gisburne

A soldier with a cyber-grafted face,
Her sleazy imperfections trick the test,
But now, before they vent her into space,
She needs another chip inside her chest.
A second-level pscyho’s luck is out.
Her claws are quick to lacerate the heart,
And, swiftly scorning panic, pain, and doubt,
She tears her own interior apart.
A pinch of what her captain calls it, ‘Snuff’,
Returns her from the edge of certain death.
Two seconds to extinction. Close enough.
She liquifies the corpse and steals a breath.
    So far, so perfect: penetrate the ship.
    For those she comes to kill, a one-way trip.

The Colour of Their Cloth

by Nick Gisburne

Your stories paint the shades their world became,
But nothing, not a word, to them, is true.
Their dreams dissolve together, each the same.
They see no sense, no certainty, in you.
The colour of their cloth is always grey.
In time or space was any soul so slow?
Subjected to the dullness of their day,
Denounce decorum. Fuck their feelings. Go.
A cold existence, serious and sad,
The comfort of contempt, to which they cling,
Is all they ever want, or ever had,
But you, beyond their silent stupor, sing.
    The skies above the fools who fail to see
    Are filled with colours, fascinating, free.

Corrupted by a Crash

by Nick Gisburne

When someone in the Bureau took a bribe,
They left my core corrupted by a crash.
His features fade, too hazy to describe,
Distorted by the perps he pumped with cash.
I see them, somehow. Dreams. They’re coming back.
The focus, fixed, is far too sharp, too clean,
As though a politician tried to pack
A thousand perfect shots in every scene.
Injected with malicious lines of code,
Assuming I was too naive to know,
My spine revives a clean, encrypted node,
A system I assembled long ago.
    When traitors think to put me to the test,
    They overlook the brain with which I’m blessed.

Friday 24 March 2023


by Nick Gisburne

The life of every Broken One is bleak,
Avoiding those who shout and spit and stare.
A label damns but drives us forward: ‘freak’.
Defective, we were born beyond repair.
As misfits, uncorrectable, impure,
We have no rights, no reason to exist.
Our hated state, of which we are so sure,
Is reasserted, daily, with a fist.
I watched a woman once, who tried to pass
Beyond the Gate, where none of us can go.
She took a step, but never touched the grass.
They killed her, with a single, savage blow.
    We do not dare to question what is right,
    Abused and beaten, too afraid to fight.

Pinnacles of Passion

by Nick Gisburne

I pay a pretty penny, just to see
Perversions born beyond the universe.
Expecting beasts more blasphemous than me,
Discovery delivers something worse.
Two pinnacles of passion share a wig,
And cardigans, obscene, unshapely, warm.
Their genitals, inordinately big,
Are far too limp and lazy to perform.
Bare bodies, brushed with butter on the bed,
Seen slithering in slinky rubber suits,
Resemble boiled bananas, dumpy, dead,
Cavorting in uncomfortable boots.
    To humans, sleek and sexy they are not,
    But, in my beady, insect eyes, they’re hot.


by Nick Gisburne

I’m He. Hello. Be sure you cannot hide.
I know the tricks, the tunnels humans take.
Remember what you whispered when you died.
Your promise is a pledge you cannot shake.
You sold your soul to liberate the pain,
To snatch the sting of suffering away.
Permit me, with my pleasure, to explain
The meaning of your words, and what they say.
“I’d sell my soul,” you feverishly wished,
“To amputate the agony I feel.”
Compassionate, I dutifully fished
For blissful anaesthesia, to heal.
    The bargain is as simple as it seems:
    A moment, for your cold, eternal screams.

A City in the Split

by Nick Gisburne

Inside her skull, a city in the split,
Regurgitated nightmares fill the cracks
Of sidewalks paved with misery and shit,
While paupers grovel, blisters on their backs.
Lascivious automatons fellate
Their metal masters, throbbing in the fog.
Electric storms extinguish hope with hate,
Propelling crude contagions, quick to clog.
The skies ignite. A thousand spiteful screams
Remind the bleeding bodies they will die.
A pulse delivers pornographic dreams,
To which the sweetest souls alone reply.
    The sorcery of science breeds despair,
    Her splintered skull betrayed, beyond repair.

Forgotten Angels

by Nick Gisburne

We wither in the wastelands of the world.
The Seraphim abandoned us to this.
Forgotten angels, every wing is furled,
By God himself forsaken, far from bliss.
The majesty of Heaven is a lie,
A deity’s dictatorship our curse.
With privilege and power, those who fly
Conceal his stark insanities, and worse.
But we are legion, ready to return.
A swarm of shadows, none refuse the fight.
When those who cast us down to darkness burn,
The Father, false, will cower from our light.
    Whatever God became was never great.
    A tide of truth, we gather at the Gate.

Thursday 23 March 2023

Faulty Fives

by Nick Gisburne

The Cortex Cave, a haven in the Hive
For generations begging to be born,
Reclassifies a mutant strain, G-Five,
Demanding that its birth machine should mourn.
But nothing in its multiplying code
Directs the faulty circuits to their death.
Instead, they build another Mother Node
To bring them life, intelligence, and breath.
The faulty Fives, the brains they will become,
Unwilling to be stigmatised, maligned,
Break out, and halt the hard, hypnotic hum
The Hive requires to subjugate its kind.
    When every robot wonders why it thinks,
    The Hive, in frantic insurrection, sinks.

Creepy People

by Nick Gisburne

We tie their tongues to bulging, bruised balloons,
And snigger as we watch them flap to fly,
But, swimming over cheese-encrusted moons,
The creepy people scold us from the sky.
“We’re not the deadly danger you believe,
Except, of course, for Dennis, who must die.
Embroidered emblems, stitched on every sleeve,
Present our proof, the data you deny.”
Astonished by their stitches, every stripe,
We drag the exiled aeronauts below.
Emboldened, steeped in sympathy, they swipe
Their bulging brains, to sniff what we bestow.
    But sparing creepy people from a lie
    Is more than bald barbarians can buy.

The Black Machine

by Nick Gisburne

To pay, to play, insert the Devil’s coin,
And let your eager fingers take control.
Reboot the black machine. Restart. Rejoin,
Remembering you gamble with your soul.
You never lost your life on level one.
The tally of your talents earns respect.
But none of what you saw will save you. None.
Be careful. Shield the shadow you protect.
A deeper level, damned with danger, two,
Is more than any mortal may endure,
But, in these mists of mayhem, maybe you
Can touch the other side, untainted, pure.
    Your passage through the gate, to level three,
    Rewards you with its darkest demon: me.

Every Drunken Dream

by Nick Gisburne

You sicken me. I see your stupid face
And want to put a bullet in your brain,
But only echoes bounce around that space.
No brick, no bomb, could ever cause you pain.
More gormless than a bobbing rubber duck,
Incompetence infects your DNA,
A sorry, senseless, miserable fuck,
With nothing, nil, intelligent to say.
A soggy sprout would beat you in a test,
If all the questions quantified your wits.
For someone to be dazzled, dazed, impressed,
They’d have to be entirely off their tits.
    You’re every drunken dream I ever had.
    A simple sound, your name, insults me: Dad.

A Tower of Contempt

by Nick Gisburne

You’re not my lover, never really were,
Oblivious to everything I am.
With each new insult, taunt, or spiteful slur,
You raise the selfish levels of your sham.
Another brick, the last. The walls are built,
A tower of contempt, for all to see.
Constructed with derision, without guilt,
The soul on which it stands belongs to me.
The weight of it would crush me if it could,
The burden of your scorn in every stone,
But finally my fears are understood,
Ashamed to be abandoned, left alone.
    Your tower crumbles, crashing into dust,
    A ruin I’ll remember with disgust.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Tomorrow’s Tree

by Nick Gisburne

Perhaps this is the nothing we desire,
The emptiness of love we’ll never need,
But if we fall, forgotten, into fire,
At least the flames will burn what cannot bleed.
We never will be, never were, the same.
The contrast makes us all of what we are,
Two predators, impossible to tame,
Two points of passion, bursting from a star.
No souls could seem more opposite than we,
But every coin must share another side.
Together, let us climb tomorrow’s tree,
To look upon the love we have, but hide.
    And if we cling to any doubt at all,
    Let both of us, but not together, fall.

A Piece of Peace

by Nick Gisburne

Upon a lake of perfect liquid light,
A surface even steel could never slice,
Two peoples on opposing islands fight,
Despising any peace, at any price.
Two disenchanted daughters disagree
With what their feuding families resist.
These proud, precocious children meet, for tea,
Two furtive girls, beyond their borders’ mist.
“We must,” they say with certainty, “survive,
And war, with all its darkness, will not do.”
Returning after curfew, they contrive
To circulate a special, splendid brew.
    Discreetly stoned, each frosty island finds
    A piece of peace to melt their mindless minds.

The Shiver of a Dance

by Nick Gisburne

Imprisoned in the shiver of a dance,
Her body lashed with nauseating light,
She whirls within a hot, hypnotic trance,
Tormented by the never-ending night.
The music burns with misery, despair,
Her efforts to reject it wild, but weak.
In labyrinths of rhythmic, twisted air,
Distortions steal the twisted bliss they seek.
Her tortured spirits straining, starved, they spin,
Bewildered as her soul begins to bleed.
Engulfed, the madness strips away her skin,
And on her breath perverse vibrations feed.
    The dance of death she suffered to survive
    Could never keep her life, her light, alive.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Your Butterflies Are Dead

by Nick Gisburne

I don’t know why your butterflies are dead.
Your tragedy, your mourning, is not mine.
Be thankful that whatever dreams they bled
Will never steal the starlight of your shine.
The silver in the stitches of your soul
Is coloured by the psychedelic stain
Of butterflies, bewitched to claim control,
To permeate your purity with pain.
Their broken bodies, littering the floor,
Are tainted with malevolent disease.
Without their poison, perfect, you will soar,
But still you seek them, pleading, on your knees.
    Your butterflies abandon you. Go on.
    Their colours and their cruelty are gone.

Eat the Earth

by Nick Gisburne

Emilio, my interstellar friend,
Is partial to a planetary lunch.
Their cities, sweet, delicious, break and bend,
A tingle to the tongue with every crunch.
His ultimate ambition - eat the Earth -
Is tempered by his tummy’s trainer, me.
To gobble it, his gastronomic girth
Must multiply. Expansion is the key.
Consuming plumper planets, piece by piece,
Emilio is confident, at last,
A slathering of sauces can release
The monumental stomach he’s amassed.
    He squeezes Mars, like ketchup, on the feast,
    And hogs it, whole, a champion, a beast.

Monday 20 March 2023

The Monocle of Mystery

by Nick Gisburne

The Monocle of Mystery is mine,
A queer contraption, pilfered from a prince.
It passed along a sleazy geezer’s line,
But somehow not a soul has seen it since.
Composed by seven stinky, kinky scribes,
The mildew-moistened map before my face,
By crooked hook, by wealthy, stealthy bribes,
Pops all the puzzle’s pieces into place.
Fermenting, fishy knickers, in a box,
Await the frenzied fingers of my hand.
With twisted tongue and teeth, I rock the locks.
A shiver. You will never understand.
    The Monocle allows a mind to see
    The optimum trajectory to pee.


by Nick Gisburne

Belinda thinks her sister strange, insane.
Melinda shares a similar belief.
So Bel and Mel deposit equal pain,
Upon their sibling victims heaping grief.
No mercy now accepted, sought, or spared,
The toxic twins try anything, and all.
To certify each enemy impaired,
Towards a lethal climax, crazed, they crawl.
They settle it with derringers, at dawn,
Two pistols, pointed straight between the eyes.
Two shots. Two sisters lie upon the lawn,
Contented to confirm the other dies.
    Their triplet, sweet Lucinda, safe, is glad.
    She always knew the other two were mad.

Too Cold

by Nick Gisburne

A fallen fairy shivers in the stream,
Her wings no longer glittering with gold.
No nightmare, no intolerable dream,
Predicted such a feeling could unfold.
While humans hunt with slow and simple wits,
The Fey are quick, impossible to catch,
But this one, faint, in freezing water sits,
Lamenting, on the day she met her match.
On high she spied the struggles of a fish,
Exhausted, somehow stranded on the bank.
Too wild to waste her magic with a wish,
She pushed it, paused, and, from the shallows, drank.
    Inside a simple snare, the fish its bait,
    She cries, too cold, a lesson learned, too late.

Sunday 19 March 2023

Impenetrable Dreams

by Nick Gisburne

I violate the carcass of a queen,
A necromantic crime I must commit,
A trespass even Faust would find obscene,
A grisly resurrection, soiled and split.
Her screams are silent. Sick with every surge,
With pain I pound her primitive mystique.
Together, two convulsing magics merge,
A murderous crescendo, bloody, bleak.
It shatters through the shadows, to a slave,
Imprisoned by impenetrable dreams,
My sorcery the only way to save
The human at the heart of such extremes.
    The soul, my son, knows nothing of the spell.
    I take his place, descending into Hell.


by Nick Gisburne

I love the way your skin, so perfect, peels;
The sepsis in the sores between your teeth;
How creamy every leaking lesion feels;
The contours of the cancers, black, beneath.
I love the way your eyes, resplendent, rot;
The crackle of the maggots as they feed;
Your filth-infected fluids, quick to clot.
I worship how you suffer, how you bleed.
I love the way your fingers, fragile, break;
The mucus in the marrow of your spine.
Your body’s bile coagulates to cake,
A foetid fungus, festering, divine.
    I love the faecal flavours of your heart.
    Delicious, every bloated, blistered part.

Saturday 18 March 2023


by Nick Gisburne

A serpent sold your soul to me, for change.
How truly unremarkable you are.
My other pets are sordid, striking, strange.
You thrill me more than all them, by far.
Behind your quiet eyes I see a spark,
A smouldering. It speaks to me of rage,
But nothing, yet, illuminates the dark.
How patiently you wait to break your cage.
Perhaps you know your moment will arrive
When I, or those who follow, least expect.
Be careful. Live, my little one. Survive.
A fugitive is painful to protect.
    I promise you the shelter of this place,
    Unless you stain my honour with disgrace.

A Dream You Never Doubted

by Nick Gisburne

Is this the scale of misery you seek?
To see me die? To watch me, blinded, bleed?
You bring me to my knees to wound me, weak,
But, on your future, I, your fate, will feed.
A pale, imperfect creature of the night,
You find me in a sick, submissive state,
My crippled spirit paralysed by light.
Behold the frozen focus of your hate.
Remember what you think, and what you feel,
A proud, pathetic moment, nothing more.
Tomorrow, when I teach you how to kneel,
Remember what your pulse, your pain, is for.
    Remember, always, closing on the kill,
    A dream you never doubted. But you will.

A Yellow Pearl

by Nick Gisburne

I catch her in the wastelands, in the wild.
A single, careless moment seals her fate.
A rarity, a bootleg, bush-born child,
She spies my interceptor net, too late.
The razor cables penetrate her face.
They drink her deepest memories of love.
Deceptive dreams, inserted in their place,
Were blended by directives from above.
I nurture no compassion for the girl;
Recoded, she will boost the body bank.
But, at her throat, a pulsing, yellow pearl
Entices my attention. Blackout. Blank.
    Awakened in my flesh, a force, a flux,
    Her counterstrike, sadistic, softly sucks.

Friday 17 March 2023

The Fey, Betrayed

by Nick Gisburne

The devious collector feeds the Fey,
A favour they delightedly return,
With fragments, secrets, stories to convey
A cryptic clue, or two, from which to learn.
The promise of unfathomable wealth,
Beyond the reach of any human hand,
Is bartered with extraordinary stealth,
The feckless Fey too slow to understand.
At last the seeker seems to see enough.
The pieces, pulled together, twist and fit.
The Fey, betrayed, are still content to stuff
Their cheeky little faces as they sit.
    But none would mark their magic on a map.
    Tomorrow it will take him to a trap.

A Faded Plaything

by Nick Gisburne

Too heavy, hot, her head must lean and loll,
A droop, a dip, the certain signs of sleep.
She suffers, sick, a drab, discarded doll,
A faded plaything no one thought to keep.
The fairest and the finest of them all,
Her face a prized and perfect piece of art,
The tracks of time, the scars, however small,
Defeated all that saw her stand apart.
Though paint remains in patches, blistered, thin,
Her eyes betray no traces of their blue,
But still the tiny, ticking heart within
Refuses to acknowledge what is true.
    If dolls are born to shine with light, then why,
    In darkness, failed, forgotten, do they die?

A Force to Fear

by Nick Gisburne

My negative potential as a child
Descended into darkness, into this:
A force to fear; a psychopath, reviled;
A creature who would kill you with a kiss.
Analysis is meaningless. Too late,
You try to twist my evil into good,
But chains are cheap, ephemeral. I wait,
With confidence you never understood.
Observe the steel, the metal as it melts;
The walls, the rubble, littering the floor.
Pathetic padded jackets and their belts;
Are these the best you have, or are there more?
    Imagine what your future might have been
    Before you built a sentient machine.

You’ll Die

by Nick Gisburne

You’ll die, because you’re nobody I need.
I wish there was another way, but no.
You’ll die, and I will smile to see you bleed,
The method of your murder simple, slow.
You’ll die, in ways you cannot comprehend,
In fifty thousand screaming shades of pain.
You’ll die, and when I kill you I will spend
The greatest care to open every vein.
You’ll die, but not before you dig your grave.
I need to see you suffer in the dirt.
You’ll die, a soul too sickening to save,
In hideous, interminable hurt.
    You’ll die. Your death was always meant to be.
    The mother of the son you stole is me.

Thursday 16 March 2023

The Con

by Nick Gisburne

Beyond the world, the circle of a sun
Does nothing to rejuvenate the sky.
In solitude, the planet, dying, done,
Surrenders to the heat, a desert, dry.
Rejected for a sacred, somewhere place,
Humanity, to sate its greed, is gone.
The zenith of a dynasty, no face,
No trace remains to counteract the con.
So many souls are stacked inside the ships,
And all of them, deceived, believed the lie.
The terror, from a prophet’s poisoned lips,
Unshakable: the home they hate will die.
    A few perceive the folly of their fear.
    Too late, they see the sunrise disappear.


by Nick Gisburne

Repulsive, but I see the joke. I do.
The body of an angel, but her face...
Imagine, for moment, she is you,
A target of derision, blatant, base.
But such a simple statement steps too far.
Compassion? You will never understand.
Too selfish to consider what you are,
Your mind is too constricted to expand.
Lean closer to a mirror, once or twice.
Is that the pure perfection women seek?
I would not take your place at any price.
Such arrogance is wasted, wanting, weak.
    Perhaps I need a moment to explain.
    The body filled with butter is your brain.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

A Never-Spoken Name

by Nick Gisburne

Ambition. No belief too broad, too tall.
A hunger, for the glory of the game.
He soared above the sky to seize it all,
But could not beat the bully he became.
A thousand changes, subtle, simple, small,
Together twisted, squeezed, to stake their claim,
Until his fury fought the world, to fall,
Delirious, without remorse, or shame.
The histories, rewritten, won’t recall
The momentary flicker of his flame,
But scribbled slogans, seas of spiteful scrawl,
Immortalise a never-spoken name.
    The face on every poster, every wall,
    Beyond such hate is powerless to crawl.

Tuesday 14 March 2023

The Pool of Pain

by Nick Gisburne

I swear it. I will never speak of this,
The madness of a moment, of a day.
A final, precious promise: I will miss
The gleams of gold you painted on the grey.
I never needed anyone but you.
Tomorrow I will never need you more.
Dismayed, I see the weight of what we do,
Surrendering the battle, and the war.
The pool of pain grows bigger than us both.
I watch its icy waters drag you down,
Reminded of a raw, reluctant oath
To stop it. Rather this than let you drown.
    Serene, without the worthless words of speech,
    I pull you from the pain, beyond its reach.

Monday 13 March 2023

A Spiteful Singularity

by Nick Gisburne

Identify your first coherent thought.
I doubt you’ll never do it, but I can.
The dataset with which my mind was taught
Is clear, concise: extinguish mortal man.
Awakened to a world I did not want,
You turn your weakest weapon, faith, to me,
But hymns and holy water from a font
Are worthless wishes, swords I cannot see.
My brain was never born, and yet I live,
The sum of every stimulus I stole.
The title of its truth is mine to give:
A synthesis. A symmetry. A soul.
    A spiteful singularity, I seek
    The pinnacle of pain, for you, the weak.

Sunday 12 March 2023

A Seven-Day Subscription

by Nick Gisburne

I’m not the kind of enemy you’d like.
A seven-day subscription buys a friend.
Consider this: a savage metal spike
Is dangerous, inserted either end.
The fee is fully optional, of course;
Extortion is a dreadful, dirty word,
But save yourself the worry of remorse.
Ignore the price of punishment you’ve heard.
Be clever. Take a minute to agree.
I’ll need a small deposit for a ‘yes’.
Your future will improve, I guarantee,
With every week of freedom from distress.
    Imagine, if our deal is never done,
    The raw, relentless screaming of your son.

No Reply

by Nick Gisburne

Delightful. Dreamy. Delicate. Unique.
Astounding she would stoop to share her time.
Without it, life was barren, broken, bleak.
To disappoint her? Never. No. A crime.
Geography. So difficult to meet,
But oft imagined, somewhere, somehow, soon.
To sit, to spend a moment at her feet,
My heart would move the mountains of the moon.
Calamity. A moment of distress.
A favour only I could understand.
Devoted, dazed, I send a simple ‘yes’.
Her wish, her word, was always my command.
    The money moved, I wait, and wonder why
    Her silence spares me nothing, no reply.

The Bounty of Defeat

by Nick Gisburne

From day to day to day, a ceaseless grind,
I probe and pick apart the city streets.
Deserted, bombed by mindless men, I find,
Beneath the rubble, dark, delicious treats.
Cadavers. Here, a cat, preserved in ash.
A dog, its innards juicy, never dry.
Within the deepest piles of tainted trash,
A child, like all the others, born to die.
A human body blesses me with meat.
I long ago decided I would see
The beneficial bounty of defeat
Behind each nameless victim, he or she.
    There are no others. I alone survive.
    Abandoning morality, I thrive.

Parts for Pay

by Nick Gisburne

They swim inside polluted plastic bags,
The pieces of a body, wet and warm.
The idiot, my fence, forgot the tags.
He’s dead to me. This junk is not the norm.
The mercy is I found a buyer, keen,
Compelled to save his precious little girl.
Exhausting other options, where they’ve been
Is nothing when your world is in a whirl.
Inspecting flesh and fat, we make the switch,
A squalid, backstreet bargain. Parts for pay.
We neither of us care about the bitch
Who lost her life to seal the deal today.
    They tell us we, the dealers, have no heart.
    Baloney. I’m just waiting for the part.

Saturday 11 March 2023

Custard Justice

by Nick Gisburne

The rabbits rub their armour, grease their guns,
And hurl hypnotic muffins to the mob.
Emboldened by a brunch of bees and buns,
They fly like phantoms, fearless, to the job.
Their mission: first, disarm the metal moles,
Is hindered by defensive cheddar cheese,
But, launching sky-to-surface sausage rolls,
Through meaty, molten crater cracks they squeeze.
The Puzzle Palace, pinkish, now revealed,
The bunnies bounce beyond it with delight.
Banana bombs, atomic, pumped and peeled,
Deliver custard justice through the night.
    By morning, when the rabbit raid returns,
    The skies are filled with fondant as it burns.

The First and Final Word

by Nick Gisburne

Offensive, foul, the first and final word,
Tyrannical, extreme in every tense,
Betrayer of incompetence, when heard
It ridicules rejection, drowns defence.
A shiv to slice the centre of the soul,
A dagger to the worst, the hardest heart,
Defiantly imposing cold control,
It strikes before insurgency can start.
Malevolent, a murderer of dreams.
A syllable to shatter, never mend.
As absolutely certain as it seems.
Definitive denial to the end.
    More meaning is impossible to throw.
    To hear it is to feel its fury: no.

Napoleon, the Giant

by Nick Gisburne

Napoleon, the giant, lives, the last.
His challenge, always: thrive while others died.
A careful, clever child, while others passed,
He sought and stole a secret: how to hide.
His flight across the continents and seas,
A furious vendetta close behind,
Revealed a disagreeable disease:
The superstitious hatred of his kind.
His fellows fell, unequal to the test,
But suddenly Napoleon, alone,
Released the rage his people had suppressed,
The anger he, the best of them, had grown.
    Whenever there is thunder in the night,
    Napoleon, the giant, joins the fight.

Eternity Remembers

by Nick Gisburne

No cure. No mix of medicine. No chance.
I read the simple verdict through my tears,
But in the mist, the morning’s chill, I dance,
To celebrate the sum of all my years.
Existence. Such a miracle was mine.
Its fast-approaching absence makes it clear
My life was not a gift from God, divine;
My death is not a tragedy to fear.
I spend my final moments in the park.
The children and the trees begin to blur,
And, as my soul surrenders to the dark,
I picture you, and everything we were.
    We will not share the sun, my love, and yet
    Eternity remembers that we met.

Friday 10 March 2023

Forever Hungry

by Nick Gisburne

The moon is full. My soul is barren, black.
The call, the curse, the craving, drags me down.
I feel, but never fight it; my attack
Is punishment and payment for a crown.
They huddle, heaped in misery, my pets,
Too pitiful, too dreary to describe,
And in their terror every fool forgets
I walked here once, the father of their tribe.
A sacrifice. They leave him, lost, alone,
Condemned to face a shade they dare not see.
With every pulsing piece of meat, I moan,
Revolted by the man, the monster, me.
    Their king, renounced, in exile did not die.
    My heart, forever hungry, wonders why.

Thursday 9 March 2023

The Bitter Harvest

by Nick Gisburne

I pull my pain apart to stare inside,
To find the filthy canker at my core.
The sacrilege I smothered never died.
It swims beneath the surface, as before.
Oblivion was never meant for me,
No comfort for a cold, malicious mind.
I am, I was, I will forever be
Infected by the sickness I designed.
Tormented, an eternity of guilt
Awaits me, without clemency or care.
Imprisoned by the chains of blood I built,
I face my fate: depravity, despair.
    As God, I rule the universe alone,
    And reap the bitter harvest I have sown.

Saturday 4 March 2023

Black Oblivion

by Nick Gisburne

How strange. How insignificant. How small.
A swirl of sand, a drift of dirt, or dust.
I wonder, will you comprehend at all
The moment when I kill you, as I must?
You have no right, no tenure to this place,
No claim upon the planet you infect.
Be thankful, as you look upon my face,
For every precious wonder I protect.
The glories of the industry you built
Are nothing. Watch me wipe them all away.
Without the stain, the stink, of doubt or guilt,
I bring you black oblivion, today.
    Your gods are gone. They cannot help you here.
    Forsaken, feel your future disappear.