Clairvius Narcisse

Ken Farrell


I think I am

being stalked by the man

I could be.

Late at night, he murmurs

through my window

his plan for the coming day.

He is my severed shadow

freed of the soul-binding sinew

his greatest pleasure

taking the measure of me

and before dawn        

he slips my shoes on

prances through my home

a happy genius pirouetting

over the spotty rug.


I wake and struggle

against the lesser in me

but lie dumb, a tangle

of nerves, grave-sewn

though I live, as he

loves my wife more lovingly.

Is he the phantom,

or is it me? Am I

who he labors to master,

zombie to his bokor?

No, I am not

the newly raised undead

soon to be enslaved

but the un-needed, the never born.


I am just  the unripe twin

bulging in his skull                      

blob of plasma   web of dead-end

nerves   scattering

of teeth   a teary   twitchy

albino eye   I am merely a cyst

he longs to excise                         

to ease the throb           

to put me down                                             


and for all



Ken Farrell’s work is forthcoming/published in journals such as Sport Literate, The Piltdown Review, The Offbeat (poetry prize winner, selected by Heid E. Erdrich), Pilgrimage, The Texas Poetry Journal, Writer’s Bloc, Connections, and anthologized with Arachne Press. Ken Holds an MFA from Texas State University and an MA from Salisbury University, has earned bread as an adjunct, server, professional cage fighter, and pizzaiolo, and for most of the past ten years, Ken has worked in a warehouse. He is currently busy with family and revising and shopping poetry and short fiction manuscripts, and in response to a challenge from his daughter who participated in NaNoWriMo, Ken recently began his first novel.