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If I stare long enough into the polished black obsidian mirror,
they will come to me
the angels or demons.

If I look deep enough into the crystal orb
or focus meditation on a stone.

If I stay awake for night on end
or work out till I drop.

If I drink enough red biddy
or lick slime from a toad's back.

If I fry up magic mushrooms
or chase the dragon's tail.

If I fill my lungs from a bag of glue
or pull a noose tight round my neck until all air is gone.

If I look too long into your eyes,
they will come to me
the angels or demons.


Copyright © 2002 Derek Adams

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Born in London, England, in 1957, Derek is a professional photographer and has been working as a photographer at the Natural History Museum, London, since 1984. He has previously had poems published in many small press magazines including Apostrophe, Clean Sheets, Moonstone, Other Poetry, Poetry Nottingham, Red Lamp, Sol, Seam, Strange Horizons, Tears in the Fence, and Winedark Sea. His previous poems in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. For more about Derek, please visit his Web site.

Bio to come.
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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