If there’s one thing that you’ll never catch
It’s the pain of the bite of the Bandersnatch
They don’t exist–obviously, natch–
They’re not in your closet, and not ’bout to hatch….

No-one know what a Bandersnatch is
So when it tentacle-attaches
Lock your mind and close the latches.
Who needs Prometheus when we have matches?

This is the Bandersnatch I seek:
It’s not Egyptian, Atlantean, or Greek
It dwells in the heart of each circus-freak
It’s sometimes mild, but never meek.

Here, while humans jump at shades,
And try hard to make their minds unmade
When we brew our own fear like lemonade
And hold it in our heads, where it should never have stayed—

My solution’s strange and befitting
It will come for you, wherever you are sitting
Out of the closet, through small spaces flitting
And ravel up your soul like tattered knitting.

The Bandersnatch is your bogeyman
It lurches along on a logy plan
You could be getting sunlight, or eating a hoagie
(Or engaging in activities roguely)
But, instead, we are frozen, unmoving
At this monster no-one is unproving
In the back of our head, the beast is grooving
Forkly tailed and cloven-hooving.

Now this is the thing unbidden:
Bandersnatches (like all monsters hidden)
Gain power most when you believe, and fear them,
When you’re sure of them, but dare not go near them.

There are many more things in the world, Horatio
Than fit neatly into the Golden Ratio
But to our mind’s darkest place we owe
Not a single bit of our lifetimes grace. Oh!

Bandersnatches thrive on fear
And if you’d like yours to un-appear
Look for bravery in your chest (it might be near)
And straight towards the discomfort, boldly steer!

This is the solution to Cordwainer’s Pain,
We do not need to have burning brains.
You are not destined to go insane.
Go forth! Control of your life, regain!

…or else live in slumber full of disquiet
And pretend to be calm while your insides riot.
For me? Oh, friend, I’ve gone on a diet:
I don’t eat madness anymore. I damn well deny it.
Learn, then, this mantra, here, in closing:
The data-plague keeps firehosing
Distress into our sweet reposing.
So envision a door. Envision it closing.

Lock the Bandersnatch in a chest
Made of adamant, sharply pressed.
Be not wildly distressed.
Be not, in your own mind, a guest.

Now, again, this is the thing unbidden:
Bandersnatches (like all monsters hidden)
Thrive on hurt and fear, like buzzards on a midden.
Say unto them: THOU ART FORBIDDEN.

And now, go back to the life you knew.
And should a Bandersnatch crawl through
Torment its paws with powerful glue
And teach it: it cannot mess
With you.

~Jeff Mach


My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.

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