James Arthur Anderson is Professor Emeritus at Johnson & Wales University and a part-time instructor at East Georgia State College. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island and a B.A. and M.A. from Rhode Island College.

His speculative poetry has been accepted for publication in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Star*line, Scifaikuest, and Spectral Realms. He has been nominated for a Rhysling Awards and a Dwarf Star Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He is also the author of The Linguistics of Stephen King (McFarland) and Excavating Stephen King: a Darwinist Hermeneutic Study of the Fiction.

He currently lives on “Avalon Acres,” his own little piece of utopia, in Garfield Georgia, with his wife Lynn, and an assortment of dogs, cats, and horses.



The nuts and bolts of it is this:
I was made from throw-away parts,
a grotesque patchwork of skin, sinew,
organs and bone, meat and brains,
pieces exhumed from moldy graves,
salvaged from the ossuary,
swept from the slaughterhouse floor,
scraped from the dissecting bench,
dragged from filthy alleys by brutes
begging for a copper coin.
I’m found art, you see,
a gruesome collage packed and sewn
into a muscled frame.
What did Victor think was going to happen?
He abandoned me before I was fully awake,
before I knew who or what I was.
He claimed to have given me a soul
but what use is a soul without
a teacher of right and wrong?
Noble savage indeed!
So here I am, not quite human
yet doomed to the brimstone pits,
suffering the eternal flames of hell
for my creator’s deadly sin of pride.


I am the secret of the night.
I am the serpent, the beast, the demon.
I am the wisp of wind, the hole in the cosmos.
I am the thing with fangs and claws
and horns and scaly skin,
the thing with compound eyes,
more than two legs, leathery wings.
I hide in caves.
I swim in swamps.
I lurk behind the door
and linger in your basement.
I creep under your bed at night and wait.
I tap on your window at midnight.
I blow damp chills on your cheek;
I slither across your ankles
and slime against the back of your neck
when you’re just about to fall asleep.
I wake you up in a cold sweat,
take you by the throat
and make you shiver and shake.
I make you question your beliefs.
I make you pray.
And though you think I’m not real,
I am.
I am the thing with no name,
but you know who I am.
I live in your brain.
You opened the door and let me in
and now that I have clamped my tentacles in deep
I’m not about to leave
until I make you scream.


I laughed at the witch
when she gave me the evil eye
and hexed me with a curse.
Now I stay by the pond
making haiku sounds
as I wait for a princess
to favor me
with a kiss.


The only way to destroy
the cancer within my brain
was to invite the demon in
He promised relief from pain
a long life, and a cure.
He kept his word.

Now I realize
that the other side cannot be worse
than the hell I’ve endured
upon this earth
since the demon drilled its immortality
into my soul.
Voices, again voices, mocking.