Nevers After

(At the risk of recursion, I’ll link back to my earlier short-short “Fairytales For Bad People“, whose own introduction, in turn, links here. I was starting to write a little prologue, all about oral tradition, and the printing press versus the electron, and then I decided: To Hell with all of that jazz. What I wrote instead was the first part of this poem.)


Of fairytales,
of tooths and nails
of Princesses
and epic fails:

of apples sweet
(with poisoned meat)
and foxes fleet
and oven-heat
and Wolves
(and Wolves!),
with fools to eat:

Let me tell you yarns that grate:
Of woodcutters arriving late
Of monsters (who will neatly plate
Those who thought Joy came from from Fate.)

Now: Fairytales!
Now: Epic fails!
Now: Princesses with Goblin nails.
Come follow me for queer derails;
with darkling winds
let’s fill your sails.


I’m not the first (I know I’m not)
To spin you tales of Fairy rot,
To want a world that’s un-forgot
That Fairytales are tangled knots:

If Ever After’s newfound station’s
“Always end in jubilation,”
Then things are broke, in this iteration:
Foreknowledge leads to soul starvation.

See, once, these tales with blood were filled
Heads sometimes lost, breath often stilled
Bones for bread were ground and milled
Ere endings could be sewn, or tilled.


Now, I don’t mean each tale must end
With the death of a love or a dream or a friend
That things, once fixed, must now un-mend;
That journeys prove un-worth the wend.

It’s only this that I aver:
If you’d the heart awake, or stir,
Make thoughts which, ’til now, never were,
Make unexpected things occur:

You can write for fame, you can write for glory
You can write to get out of Purgatory
But if you’d write a decent story

complacency’s predatory.


Let me pause and be (briefly) transparent,
And remind you: I am quite aberrant
If I say “I dare”, instead of “I daren’t!”
It’s because I’m deranged and strange and errant.

So before I offer you camaraderie
Remember that I’m as cracked as pottery
On sanity’s ledge, I’m drunk and tottery
When it comes to weird, I’ve won the lottery.

But I say: come join our cabal
Write like an Orc in an Elf-bar brawl!
Make mythos that no-one could fail to recall
And to the normal, be never in thrall:

Some tales should end with happy laughter
And some with hangings from highest rafter
Come join with us! Be a monster-crafter!
Full of unpredictable


Jeff Mach, Dark Lord, Villainpunk, and reader of too many dictionaries, feels there are other things in life besides sleeping, exercising, drinking coffee, and making things; he just doesn’t know what they are, and doesn’t really intend to find out.

Jeff is a writer and creator who has long aspired to be the sort of person who neither needs to promote his other work at the bottom of his short stories, nor need speak of himself in the third person. Sadly, in both regards, he has failed.

If there isn’t such a thing as Villainpunk, we should invent it.  Click here to find out more about Evil Expo, the Convention for Villains.

If you’d like to read about, and probably not be eaten by, several copies of, my darkly satirical fantasy novel, “There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN,” click here.

To boldly go where an uncertain number of beings has gone before, click here.

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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