the life & death of the WDB

about this time in December / as far back as I can remember / the Wholly Dubious Beast comes looking for me / (quite why is a mystery) / it’s difficult to describe the WDB / & maybe / the best I can do / is just tell it to you / roughly how it appears to me / and see / how far it gets you / & if it’s too awful and upsets you / I apologise / but if only you could see it through my eyes / maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible / and make my trauma a little more bearable

who the hell knows
so anyway, here goes

on first sighting

jesus – it’s ghastly / my pulse rate increases vastly / like I’ve run downstairs to answer the door / and reached the floor / two steps earlier than anticipated / I’m devastated / jarred & scarred / scared, totally unprepared / I’m in bits & tatters / in all the places it really matters / I’m wound up / beaten out & bound up / I’m cast down / sobbing like a superannuated clown / honestly – the shock is inconceivable / totally unbelievable

on the sound it makes

if anything, its roar is even more disconcerting / the very essence of hurting / a discordant chorus of yells and shrieks / cries and freakish mutterings / explosive splutterings / sundry spillings / the drillings of a hundred fillings / mixed with the kind of howls / that wake you up in the bowels / of the night / and you lie on your back rigid with fright / stock still, perfectly flat / wondering what the fuck makes a noise like that / and very slowly you turn on the light / and you lay there shivering the rest of the night

the body of the thing

good grief / it’s beyond belief / breaking all laws of physics / with its transmutational sleights & tricks / being both small / and tall / at the same time / a constantly changing bodyline / mega-round, super-thin / everything out, everything in / like falling into a hall of mirrors / the closer you get the weirder it is / resulting in existential panic and anxiety / vows of sobriety / and a nausea / that floors ya / a squeamishness / whose extremishness / can only be allayed / by jumping up quick and running away

what it smells like

its breath / is instant death / it’s like a bored and sloppy chef / said fuck it / threw some kitchen scraps in a bucket / marinaded them in slime / threw in a handful of thyme / zest of rat / soupcon of shit and rancid cat / left it to stand outside in the sun / then served it on toast with parmesan

those claws

those claws are horrendous / mightily momentous / big as harps / shiny & sharp / gruesomely aggressive / rapaciously recessive / crueller than an accountant’s audit / when he rakes through the books, smiles & takes all of it / every last cent / back in tax for the government / leaving just a scattering of torn receipts / and a customer satisfaction survey to complete

and then the eyes

the eyes, quite frankly, are the worst / opening like a volcano burst / showering you in molten disdain / & caustic, incendiary rain / a pyroclastic vent / of fiery contempt / that turns you instantly to stone / the second you reach for your phone / petrifying your posture / so that years in the future / when they trowel you up with the dogs and the horses / and stand you in an exhibition of stony corpses / all the kids’ll line-up in that solemn hall / and make jokes about who you were were trying to call

but then again

so that’s the Wholly Dubious Beast / or how it appears to me at least / and I’ll admit / even though I’m still afraid of it / there’s a part of me that kinda likes it as well / its sensitive pads & extraordinary smells / I like the offhand way it trawls down halls / dragging pictures off the walls / trailing its nails down the curtain rails / burning seventeen kinds of ruin / into whatever project I happen to be doing / rousting all my habits from their shells / stamping on the shells as well / & I like the way it stalks my dreams / with its suffering squint and measured screams / & there’s an elegance about its ugliness / a sadness / whose origins I still don’t get / and yet / when it reaches out to grasp my wrist / to drag me down to the things I’ve missed / despite myself I plant my feet & resist / and though its scaly tail snaps / still I can’t relax / and let go / and what d’you know / that’s it / shit / once again I’m standing here / with December dying on the threshold of the year / and the WDB crying and shoving me clear / and trailing away into the ground / and me calling out as it spirals down / I love you, WDB! It’s true! / come back next December and I’ll see what I can dowdb

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