The Devils Below


A proposed anthology of free verse.

We speak as of going beyond a certain time, a train of events which have arisen out of circumstances quite foreign to corporeal ailments. We touch upon themes of body, death, memory, and love – the corporality of the celestial – to seek that which possesses or obsesses the mind, and can exert power transmitted through the motive and sentient spinal nerves, here occasioning a little smarting of the eyes.

This anthology contains the remains of those substances which existed in the world, and can be remembered as past, or imagined on some other occasion, where the mind does not regain its balance. And it must be some fatal error that causes a rapid descent love must fall upon someone deprived of all salutary control, or the memory of a life that was calculated to exist in heaven.

Calcitrare in testiculis

It may be taken for granted that there is no honourable way out of the most atrocious poetry called ‘contemporary’. There appears a most deplorable union of publishers (litty-fiddlers) and everyday banality, and after this customary stupefaction no robbery, murder, or other heinous crime is too good for them.

We are all men of strange truth, and we recognise it as such.


God’s Own Will
There is particular difficulty in the notion
Of an external world and the consequent unreality of things.
Such is the beauty of a clock work.
We have no proof of spontaneous generation,
And cannot conceive of it as so existing –
The better able to resist the constraints
Of supernatural appearances which tend quickly
To undergo a slight molecular change,
Sometimes very remarkably.

The science of pure time unfolded.
The body trembled.
I have prebreathed the vital air,
And in this condition erections easily occur.
All things are either dead or alive.
For this reason, I have lingered over time:
It is a deception and bears a slight resemblance
To friendship or love, the abstract ideas of things
Not readily or vividly recalled.

The rise and progress of them in conception
Is now apparent. Then arises the necessity for a wish.
But they (who have a yearning) are slow to feel,
And, by chance irritation, crawl upon another animal
And expend themselves physically on the phenomena of nature.
There are rules common to every scheme of predestination,
And being satisfied of its entire and perfect necessity,
I am struck with the feeling of recognition,
The very great proof of life.


Neatly arranged in line and look, a little ball of clay
drawn down by celestial, differed so far in shape and bloom
In all kinds of heat, ready to animate the sparkling eye,
Gilded inside, colour light pink.
The ground of all its glory, becoming fuller, and softer,
In sympathy with the womb, more open and spacious,
And bleeds when pricked.
Not a drop extracted, though blaze with azure and emerald.
More strange than any other motions, ovarian and spinal,
Seminated as garnet, descending deeply,
Driven by a momentary impulse, loosely but symmetrically,
Force conceived to act as to produce a deadly artifice:
No pain, no respiration. None would be blessed.
No rain falls between her thighs.
The skin of the blonde stroked with a feather,
Before midnight, when lying down.

The Devils

The devils cannot generate upon women,
And of their own accord can never act a lie.
The devils may terminate their existence by self-destruction –
Invisible, indeed, but slightly subject to death and darkness.
From all and singular things does existence come spontaneously,
The dead are somewhat alive to this fact.
The devils may crowd themselves into the compass of atoms,
And be spasmodically held in that free space above and beneath the moon.
Some other inhabitants may be driven to despair.
They will have no place void. They move in measured step.
They might make an overt attack, and with stupid wonderment
Conceive agony as the beginnings of animal life.
Others still, may consider eternity as a malady peculiar to their sex,
A ceremonial observance to put the body out of pain.
Then this must be spiritual also, they having been long
Accustomed to perform such rites: an imperceptible germ
Nourished in the womb; “I love you.”


A sovereign lord, like a tender passion,
So sweetly beguiling, and knows no bodily shape,
But like sudden light of joy and recognition,
Affording a temporary union, as might be expected,
With the human soul.
A long-desired voice, how beautiful it is!
An ethereal medium pervading all space,
A truth evidently revealed.
He shall not appear in his whole body,
A luminous figure that breathed a deep nature,
Spirited away, half turned, merely visible to the naked eye,
Still living, preceded by a sensation, the same light of revelation.
The talk is straightaway of babes that loved each other dear.
By alteration of things that remain, every perfect gift from above
Is continual and uninterrupted.
She is discovered on Hang-Monday,
And heard in the adjoining room,
which properly signifies hell.

The Transient Visitant

Here is the rooted vine planted out in the low pits,
Not infested, not observable of any sexual form of multiplication.
The object drawn by eye has no breadth of being:
I declare things enabled, no sex discovered in the
Extremity of the abdomen, no foetal heart heard.
Every incipient dread shall be revealed.
All else is fume.

The transient, only like moving shapes, to be imagined
And not allowed to waken. And if they are deformed and suck
Upon the breast, they will go back and recall no other life.
The spirits who living entirely upon dreams, seem to be gathered,
That we may suspect the existence of another child.


Before the human female appeared, perfumed with sweet things,
The last metamorphosis (so often before named as resurrection)
Took place: a being existing here only temporarily, a vestige
Of terrestrial breath so far withdrawn from original nature,
Seeking the place below, but still subservient
To human pleasures, to those above, and to the divine.
The creature has the characteristics of both sexes – nebulae and rare –
And gives origin to the female organ, the nature of flowers,
And the everlasting of semen upon the prolific earth.
The worms and brutes sing praises to God,
And the creature having leisure takes an interest in itself,
And demands particular attention, and is not at all perplexed
By the amatory life; which by a kind of habit produce ova.
Heaven might appear the more transcendent, coalescing soft,
Rather rare, a smooth-faced animal of a very promising
Appearance equal to that of the finest classic outline.
Yet the unchanging picture is a visionary dream,
An involuntary act that constitutes infinity.
What the female furnishes is not thus alive,
Except by accident, and is essentially immortal.

From Heaven

Spirit of the air, who dies faintly away, there is scarcely a memory.
No bond of association required in the first movement to take away
A part from the rest, to draw the breath that goes out of the womb,
And only admits of momentary duration. A change of habit,
As if unconscious: dresses dreaming, and made perfect as the first day.
The husky skin touched with the naked hand, hair curling beautifully.
An unblemished revival passed over time, and would pass through space –
A single shock, pressed into the opening, excited and moved by itself,
A slightly luminous flame that came from heaven.


Now the whole mystery revealed to me, unknowingly
Yet surely, passing from death to life on the new earth.
The apparition waking out of sleep – gold and silver –
The spinneret on the soft membrane, the drop hanging below,
First called a chrysalis, laid singularly upon the human frame.
Loose hair and skin covered with a piece of muslin;
The life carried away, swept into the open extremity.
And from the all-pervading law seen then to return
Void of all perceptible heat – the arms wide open,
Close the fingers up, and so I made a thought endowed
With endless life. And from the mere organism of matter
Reduced to immortality – “You are that boy,”
And slipped my hand away.

©2023 Jason Potter