Max Porter reads from his debut novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers



boys there's a feather on my pillow pillows are made of feathers go to sleep it's a big black feather come and sleep in my bed there's a feather on your pillow too this leaves the feathers where they are and sleep on the floor crow very romantic how we first met badly behaved trip-trap to bed upstairs flat spit level slight barbed error snuck in easy through the wall and up the attic bedroom to see those cotton boys silently sleeping intoxicating harm of innocent children lint flat back button the whole place was heavy morning every surface dead mum every crayon tractor coat well II covered in a film of grief down the dead mum stairs clickety Plinko claws whisper down to daddy's recently mum and dad's bedroom I was Hearn the hunter hornless bunt Mundt he is out drunk for white I bent down over him and smell his breath notes of rotten hedge blue bottles I prized open his mouth and counted bones snapped a little on his unbrushed teeth flossed him crowley tossed his tongue hither liver I lifted the duvet i Eskimo kissed him my butterfly kissed him i flat fluttered Jenny Wren kissed him his limp toejam rent bug sacks sad and cozy sagging gently rising then down rising then down rising then down I was praying the breathing and the epidermis whispered flesh flesh flesh it was just beautiful for me rising just like me then down just like me pan shaped just like me and it was any wonder the facts of my arrival under his sheets didn't lift him stench rot yacht cut wake up human bird feathers up your crack down your eye in your mouth but he slept and the bedroom was a mausoleum he was an accidental remnant I knew this was the best gig a real bit of fun I put my claw on his eyeball and weighed up gouging it out for fun or mercy I plucked one jet feather from my hood and left it on his forehead for his head for a souvenir for a warning for a lick of night in the morning for a little break in the morning I will give you something to think about I whispered he woke up and didn't see me against the blackness of his trauma going he clapped go easy you

6 thoughts on “Max Porter reads from his debut novel, Grief is the Thing with Feathers

  1. Soooo cool! Beautifully written! Crows are my favourite animals, I think it's going to be one of my favourite books. Also the book cover is just grand. Well done!

  2. wow! – this is amazing on so many levels! I hope many people can appreciate how unique this work is – the depth is astonishing. I look forward to owning this book.

  3. ' for a little break in the mourning' – this spoke to me in volumes but no one's died – just a little part of me – thank you for this poem max porter

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