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.


The Body
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.

Another Life

I am brought locally from heaven, a vein of glistening white
Sparingly dissipated in the midst of a womb, all woven in one root.
And nothing more constant are the beings whose many arms do
Spread more suddenly than others, and seem to be in continual motion:
Whereupon the images are seen at first, and not to be adored.

Afterwards oftener than once I grew hot with it:
A penetrating gold that seemed capable of bearing pain.
And in such cases as broken ribs and other injuries,
I may shake myself free, for I incline to the opinion
That light is a body.

From these considerations it may be manifest that there is no
Distinction between the body and its accidents. I may be settled
Deep within, and all manner of forms shall be companions to the man.
Those things that come will declare the truth, that by such measures
They should revive again and restore the pledge of eternal life.
I do possess those accidents and movements of another life.

Death in a Coming Aeon

Death is not easily detected, and is apt to be overlooked.
It is not a friend that men have been made aware of, being
Of a more rare and subtle substance. It cannot be in many
Places at once, and consequently it might be immense.
An appearance of this kind implies a knowledge of the relative
Situation of delayed death, a most common affliction presenting
Mere physical changes with very little alteration of sentiment.
It is not indispensably necessary to attend to its development.
One may indulge a morbid form of curiosity, by some wondrous
Change of the circulation, and the actors, of the most beautiful
And varied forms, are seen to lie in a helpless manner. The arteries
Of the foetus are very slender, and not contorted as in the human.
This is perfectly finished. The sense of pain and touch is wholly lost.
It is enough to make the words true.

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.

This Day

This day his body becomes one, and there are others
Who witnessed the same – a dead man that lives by hope,
And draws light out of things, safely kept in the miserable earth.
A mind most like to disease. Yet he cannot die that lives by breath,
Reposed in the infinite and eternal beauty,
That never went so near the scenes of earth.

How often, in dim shadow, when the extreme hour
Touches all around, does splendour overspread the living form?
Time and space could not appear to that advantage that would
Command shop-women who seem asleep and neglected, while
Nothing is required of them, no future eternal home,
No accident of any importance.

In this abyss, being here below,
A spirit confesses secrets to a dying man,
And he who fancied himself near palls away.
No creature of man, no friend so dear as to be glad.
The animals in their spheres have risen out of the earth –
There they will abide, neither dimmed nor worn out,
Fastened together in the imitations of their world.


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