Dec 18 2009 2:00pm

I Speak Fluent Giraffe: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Night-Gaunt

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Night-Gaunt, art by Brian Elig

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Night-Gaunt

Among innumerable mountains of madness,
The only moving thing
Was the tail of the night-gaunt.

I was of three minds,
Like a madman
Tickled by three night-gaunts.

The night-gaunt whirled in the Ngranek winds.
It was a small part of the Dreamlands.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a night-gaunt…

I do not know which to prefer,
The haunter of the dark,
Or the horror at Red Hook,
The night-gaunt writhing
Or just after.

Dusk filled the perilous eyrie
With daemonic damp.
The shadow of the night-gaunt
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Kingsport,
Why do you dream of white mist?
Do you not see how the night-gaunt
Lurks around the caves
Of the hoary form of Nodens?

I know yellow masks
And putrid, inescapable flute-sounds;
But I know, too,
That the night-gaunt is involved
In what I know.

When the night-gaunt flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many Zoog rings.

At the sight of night-gaunts
Flying in a green light,
Even the dholes of Pnath
Would wax emphatic.

He rode over Baharna
In a tethered zebra.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The wings of some insect
For night-gaunts.

The Skai is moving.
The night-gaunt must be plunging.

It was evening all eternity.
It was dank
And it was getting dank.
The night-gaunt whirled
In the primal mist.

Illustration by Brian Elig.
(Click on image above to see at full scale.)

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Fade Manley
1. fadeaccompli
I just finished a poetry class in which we had to imitate (and review each other's imitations of) Thirteen Ways etc. many, may times over the course of the semester, during which people variously looked at Thorns, a Human Being, a Music Box, and so forth.

This is me trying not to laugh hysterically in the coffee shop, because it would be exceedingly hard to explain why to onlookers.
2. ArtfulMagpie
Aimee Stewart
3. Foxfires
"A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a night-gaunt…

Oh how I love this.

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