I do not know what IT is.
IT has no form, no colour; IT makes no sound.
But IT comes every night after dark.
I can only call it THING, and it is
My THING, as mine as is my birth… and my death.
IT expands and pulses as my heart-beat expands, in speed and intensity.
If IT engulfs me it will be all over for me,
As I know me…
Tonight is THE NIGHT
The night in which it will all happen.
Tonight is make, or break apart
The “Night of Power”… or complete disaster without end…
It depends on ME then: no more screaming out for help
I must deal with it or all will be lost.
“Once upon a time there was a butchers shop. And in the window of the nice shop was a row of
I see those arms dangling, their fingers hopelessly groping, grasping at sawdust and straw, then
limp and futile…
“Then, one day the arms went
D D D D
O O O O
W W W W
N N N N…”
DESCENT: as in a lift broken free in its shaft, hurtling DOWN…endless, forever falling “for it hath no bottom…”
Back in the room I see other things:
a witch, but a cartoon witch complete with broomstick and tall hat, glowing purple hanging in the air…
I don’t mind.
AND, then a soldier with boots and busby but with a white tunic: not fully dressed..
(Funny… I THOUGHT: soldier! And there it is!)
NOW… I see, I SEE! What I think of, THAT is what appears!
(Folds in the bedding suggest serpents, and there they are writhing!)
I open the door to the room and suddenly
a crowd of young boys BURST INTO THE ROOM…
“No, NO… my room… MY ROOM!!!”
I fight them, their limbs batter me; some fall but always more, ALWAYS MORE!!!
Back in my room: no boys.
But NOW I realise: the THING will come out…
It’s getting light outside it doesn’t have much time left to EMERGE from its lair.
This time I must LOOK at it: not turn away or scream
Or it will ABSORB me
And I will be ITS, FOREVER.
And IT COMES… throbbing with each beat
Pulsing, leathery, dark and strange! I stare.
IT falters… and IT returns back into its hole…
I KNOW: I WILL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN!!!
All that’s left: a fire breathing dragon perfectly projected onto the wall, pretty in green and gold.
As if my mind were a slide projector!
(On the opposite wall years earlier I saw a medieval town with a castle on the hill in glowing stained-glass colours; not unlike Norwich where we live…)
I’ve seen nothing since.
Monty Oxymoron (Laurence Burrow) is an improvising musician (who has been known to create visual art and writings.) He trained as a psychiatric nurse in the 80s and has worked as a nurse part time ever since (He now works at a unit specialising in Dementia care.) After nurse training he studied “Related Arts” and after this Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths College London. He has remained interested in the various arts therapies ever since.
Monty played drums and keys in “The Dr Space Toad Experience” in the 80s and in the 90s keys in Captain Sensible’s band. In 1996 he joined the Damned as keyboard player (when Captain rejoined) and has toured, written and recorded with them to this day. He is also a member of the Safehouse Collective in Brighton and improvises with “The Vitamin B12”.
In 2019 he played piano solo in San Francisco “Flower Piano” event and also some solo gigs on the East Coast of the US. In 2015 he was invited by Andrew Phillip Smith (editor of “The Gnostic”) to write a preface for his “The Secret History of the Gnostics” (Watkins Press) and in 2018 contributed to a discussion “Psychological Oddities Among Performance Artists” published in “Psychotherapy, Literature and the Performing Arts” (ed. Bruce Kirkcaldy, Palgrave Macmillan.)
Cover Photo Credit: Kylie Supski