I am Narcissus

The Ink Jester

I am Narcissus

“God bless my haircut, and my job.”


—An egotarian mantra

I keep in choice alabaster,

next to my summer self-portrait—

painted in gold hues—of me.


I AM the closet narcissus,

God has blessed me with good visage.

I AM holy, holy, holy,

Blessed be my glorious name.


“I AM. For God creates great men.”


©Iain Sutherland, 2013.
Charles Allan Gilbert – All is Vanity (1892)

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Harrison-Shepherd – had been eagerly named

The Ink Jester

Harrison Shepherd had 
been eagerly named. 
His parents had imagined him as
priestly famed,
A vicar of the church, a
shepherd of the flock;
But, Harrison worked barges
early at the dock.
The Good Shepherd had set fire
to the neighbours shed,
His father raised a knife, and
told him he was dead!
So he was not destined, to
live by Jesus’ tome,
His parents abandoned him,
to a wayward home.
It was barrels and boxes
set his heart afire,
Not lofty incantations
of the holy spire.
A pack a day, a drink at
night would set him right;
In alleyways he’d stumble
for a prick to fight.
Once his barge held elephants
destined for the Zoo,
And Rhine-bound film crews, he’d
entertained them too.
Harry had no children, he
always worked alone,
No lover’s kiss to greet him with-
in a welcome home.
Harry cast…

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The Ink Jester


A mannequin with a long tenure

Does not need skin to keep a tan,

Or salad-safe options to keep it off;

Yet, a Woman; yet, a Man, begotten

In the image of fashion—crafted

In our minds eye, our standard bearer—

Waits an incontinent vigil with a wry


A woman with no love, or heart,

A man who is all legs and no brain


Still standing time as we gaze, and

Our moneybags sag with joy, and

The mirrors sparkle and burst with

Good luck, and easy hearts.

—I hear

A simple call, “How do I look?”

“Like a crash test dummy,” says I.

“But wait! can’t you see how I feel?”

“Like a crash test dummy?” says me.

“It brings out my eyes, my very own soul”

“Like a crash test dummy,” says we.

© Iain Sutherland, 2013
Mannequin Parts – Deviant Art (Above), Mannequin Head (HeaderP

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The Ink Jester

When the world is silenced, and you find yourself under
The roots of the brier bush with no light.
“You can not”
Embrace the limp earth.
“You can not”
Morsel on thorns or make mud pies in the shade.
Your eyes white
And fetal posture seem to fuse your spine together.
All you know
Is bitter spite, and shattered mirrors.
“You can not”
Embrace such existential wisdom–
“Learn from”
Those mud stained knee caps, and
“Toughen up”
“Pull yourself together” –oh, jigsaw cut life.
“I can not.”
Walking through dark-set burrows of thick
breathing shadow.
The sound of bird song seems to you
“The Devil.”
The blossom scent of impending spring
Is odourless.
The world is forgotten, lost under strangled roots
Fused in fear.
“You can not”
“I can…

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The Ink Jester


A clear born lake loch ripple-rips
A startling pool
                 of ice cold

His eyes blur like moon-mirror magic, into
zipper wrenched
                splice holes
                     ---shine to reflect.

A vicarious image shudders from black-white
               the pool
                       it shifts to show:

A ghost with flesh taped raggedy on
News-cut fixtures of
                            formed flesh.

Tap dance an image across mind’s quick eye,
of lives not led---
                   an applause
                              to observe.

Spinning top innocence floats easy gone bye,
to see dreams fall,
                   to see dreams fail
                                --to see.

Black lidded soul shutters glisten and gape,
A startling pool
                 of ice cold

By Iain Sutherland
  (The Ink Jester)

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The Ink Jester

A poem inspired by Robert Aldrich’s “Kiss me deadly”, 1955. 


Something interesting. Something strange. Something quaint,
Cute, cuddly, and—

A proactive detective guarded from empathy
— not a heroic figure.
A bedroom ‘Dick’, who takes divorce cases. He’s a blackmailer, and a pimp…

He’s a user of everyone to get what he wants. Proposed,
“What’s in it for me?”
“The great what’s it.” They, they, they—

— The ultraviolent hero, smiles whimsically as he crushes your finger for
The Key. The Key to what? “The great what’s it.”
“What’s it?”

Something provocative. Something sad. Something mad-bad, grab-grab,
Jab-jab: Beware, the

By Iain Sutherland
(The Ink Jester)

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