Jim Khan is a father of five children and a recovering addict; both his finest accomplishments in life. He also feels uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person and has asked me (his conscience) to help out. Jim has a simple philosophy on life, and it involves nurturing both mind and spirit. The institutions of family and friendship mean more to him than his cynically one-sided relationship with God and it is in these fields that you'll find him chipping away like a moral ice-pick, trying to shape the obtuse into sculpted beauty. Literature has been a metaphorical life-preserver for Jim, giving him the mental buoyancy to float through a torrid life of living with both neuro-developmental disability and personality disorders. The gift of language and the tools of expression are something he cherishes dearly, eager to share his distorted creative perspective with others so they might see the glass may be dark yet far from opaque. From gothic tales of nightmarish denouement to Japanese form poetry Jim's appetite for creative expression is bigger than a banker's bonus (almost) and what is regurgitated makes for a deliciously sour second-hand meal of melancholia, metaphor, and the occasional gristly lump of reality-checked romance. When not writing poetry and prose, Jim continues to advocate voluntarily for the disadvantaged in a legal capacity and is working toward formal qualifications in the field of English Law. Jim lives in Nottingham, England with his long-suffering partner, his noisy and loving children and four unusually hyperactive dogs. To him, this is as close to heaven as a man can get without a death certificate.
The miners’ spines have slipped their discs, made crooked by the sack
Containing all those minerals and dignity in chunks,
In lightless labyrinth lunacy their fingernails turn black,
Their faces smeared in shadow like the cassocks worn by monks…
On top of me life’s comedy- those jokers
in the deck that wreck our focus,
off my centre, miss the locus,
that’s the way they think they broke us,
propaganda from the POTUS,
all the things they think that ‘woke us
don’t mean shit to laid-back smokers.
Continuous, the landscape coarse
and choked by urbanite decay,
I tried to sing but sounded hoarse;
a tuneless note of dank dismay,
ten thousand trampled daffodils
destroyed by deeds and dollar bills.
Whose words are these I know I’ve heard?
To read his marker seems absurd,
He will not see me stopping by
Nor holding back the need to cry.
Look to the east, to the symbols of destiny drawn on Tyrrhenian bunting,
Pirates approaching, rapaciously scavenging; eager for something worth hunting,
Seeing the sight of the youthful immortal they roar and express their elation,
Truly the gods must have favour for sons of the mighty Etrurian nation,
Brought to a landing and leaping like fishes,
Seizing their hostage, their motives auspicious,
Beauty so boundless, a body so healthy
Signals the son of a kingdom so wealthy.
Remembrance of a bitter season thrown upon the world,
when blood and bone would fertilize as fiefdom’s flags unfurled,
entrenched in mud, the good intentions blown apart by fear,
if only Spring might rear its head and Winter disappear.
Refrains, they are the quintessential keys
That open up the rhyming Villanelle,
Revealing what the poet’s passion sees.
The nuanced lines, expressive by degrees
Enclosed within the repetition shell;
Refrains, they are the quintessential keys.
Last night I had the strangest dream I’ve known
for as I lay in bed, my conscience soothed
I heard a growl of graveled baritone
and sat up straight as something subtly moved.
I saw a hooded figure dressed in black
that loitered only inches from my bed,
it wore an awful satchel on its back
and through that cloth I saw that something bled.