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October 14, 2013 by Laird

I used to write poetry. Had some published in a local paper when I was a boy. Placed a few more pieces here and there over the years. I subsisted on the likes of EA Poe and Robert Service during my youth. These days it’s Mark Strand and Anne Sexton.

A tough discipline. In the years just prior to my breakthrough into the horror/fantasy field with short fiction, I tried to improve by writing poetry and nothing but for a year. One of the wisest courses I’ve ever undertaken, but grueling. I never shook the feeling of punching way above my weight class. Even so, it would be nice to think that eventually I’ll return to the ring. In the meantime, here’s  one from back in the day.


by Laird Barron

Father is a Saxon killer

Father slays Picts too

He hits them with his hammer

He chokes them with his chain

When he stomps home, his maul is bitten

I cannot lift it from the table—yet

You should see his hands

Big and black as iron

Father’s beard smells of  hound

Father’s beard smells of cinder

It tickles my ear and I laugh

When he kisses me goodnight

Berserker, Lewis Chessmen


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