Spotlight: James Khan
Updated: Jan 26
It is with great enthusiasm to introduce poet James Khan and his work on the Jimmy Broccoli page!
Fairly recently I discovered James' poems and immediately had to read more. And, it's been great getting to know him (even separate from his work) as well. A genuinely friendly and prolific guy/writer.
Hope you enjoy!
In his own words:
Writing poetry and prose is a therapeutic medium advised to me by a psychiatrist back in 2010 as both a way to reconnect to the pre-addiction mind-set of finding joy in activities outside addiction and also of keeping emotional stability by effectively purging any negative or intrusive thoughts out and onto digital paper.
I find creative writing is an excellent outlet for me to remain sane and focused in a world that is anything but that. I have written in virtually all recognized poetry forms and I am a keen student of
classical meter, but I also enjoy free-verse poetry and creating my own poetry forms.
This first poem is a WW1 sestina written sometime back in 2012:
A cry for my sweetheart
No roll-call rouses sleep-encrusted souls
for slumber is a grace received in death
and time, an abstract omnipresent thread
is measured by the gaps between the shells.
The echoes of our brothers’ latent breath
still linger in the void that was their post.
For fallen friends we mime a mute ‘Last Post’
but have no room to contemplate their souls.
The earth above lain scorched by dragons-breath
reverberates with flourishes of death the merciless bombardment from the shells that pull apart our fortitude like thread.
Across the barren leas the wires thread
in coiled barbs and post by slanted post
they circumvent the gutted farmhouse shells,
abode to none but disconcerted souls.
The air alive with aromatic death
infects the ragged rasp of every breath.
And oh!-what I would give to feel her breath,
my sweetheart swooning in her finest thread;
alone, awaiting rumour of my death
announced by men with hand-delivered post.
Those men, she knows are kind and goodly souls
yet duty-bound to fracture family shells.
Our hearts, I fear are mussels torn from shellsI hear it in my comrades’ hitching breath.
This filthy trench, a rut of sombre souls
all clinging on to life just by a thread
but never would we deign to leave our post
to face a disavowed deserters death.
For come it must, that cavalcade of death,
approaching now on wings of Mörser shells
and oh!-my love, you may receive your post!
Your name exhaled upon my final breath
as scissors made of honour cut my thread
attests one day we shall unite our souls.
This post, this pit has claimed so many souls,
those shells of courage clothed in khaki thread
whom death, benevolent has stilled of breath.
This second poem is an excerpt from my poetry book, Cyclothymia & Chardonnay: a bittersweet meal of modern poetry which can be found at this link: https://www.amazon.com/cyclot.../dp/B08C7HV7L6/ref=sr_1_1...
The usual Valentine
The mucus encrusted announcement of morning,
the eyelids roll up like a marketplace awning,
the hum of the traffic and rain, ever pouring
compounded by sounds of a drunken man snoring.
A rumble below from belligerent bowels,
an absence of loo-roll and sanitary towels,
the hair like a harpy, like coils of Medusa,
a waistline that's making your lingerie looser.
The kids in the kitchen with clattering manners
who sound like they're making their breakfast with spanners,
a clanging cacophony, arguing voices
debating semantics of cereal choices.
The boiler is 'funny' and won't heat the water,
the bathroom off-limits and claimed by your daughter,
the husband like Lazarus groans, resurrected;
his breath like a drain in which sewage collected.
The musical nonsense of kid's television
like vinegar poured on a finger incision,
you slump at the table with minutes to barter,
a run-down Madonna, a motherhood martyr.
From nowhere, a plate full of pancakes and bacon,
a look on your face as the gift is mistaken
for something it isn't but wait! - there's another!
a card with a heart and a present marked 'mother'.
The hands of the family lain on your shoulders,
the warmth of attachment, the morals that mould us
impressed on the heart by the bond of committal
and life becomes bearable, little by little.
Photo: James Khan