Ian Hornak Asmodeus


The night is loved: but in those lusts

What others wait?


Though you by dreaming days escape me

By night, I feel


You sleepily descend, the night-thief,

A shadow’s touch


As soft as silence drifting over

An empty bed.


Prince of afar, my incubus,

Your phantom’s breath


On the neck, sweet like cinnamon,

Close as fear.



A karakura is a figure in Turkish folklore not dissimilar to an incubus. The image above is Ian Hornak’s Asmodeus. I adapt from virtually anything. 


6 thoughts on “Karakura

    • Sure! Ultimately it comes from studying poetry itself: meter, sibilance, structure, etc. Best way to learn that is by reading widely, also Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Traveled is a great guide.
      Then for me it’s about idea generation. Sometimes a particular feeling, mood or experience is brought to mind, accidentally in life or through contemplation (often one which does not have a straightforward name, not just “melancholy” or “elation” but some experience in its own context). Sometimes a particularly interesting or beautiful phrase comes to mind (e.g. “Hold no candle to the dawn”). I note this down in a commonplace book.
      You can then return to it when there is peace, quiet and preferably tea / coffee / wine. I then work and rework those ideas with the poetic toolkit I’ve known since I was a child: rhythm, rhyme and rhetoric. Edit until you cannot reasonably spend any more time on the thing. Then, there is a poem.

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