Sunday Special: 4 poems in honor of the new season of Game of Thrones, April 6th 2014

Dear Friends —

I tried and tried to think about stories and poems today, but all I can think about is Game of Thrones.

“Don’t fight it,” said a former student. “Write about it.”

Sometimes if you’re a writer you just have to go with the flow. Accept your obsession, and let it own you. For a while at least.

So — here are 4 pieces in honor of Game of Thrones, paired with some of the breathtaking fan art on the internet devoted to these books and the tv series.

Please enjoy. Write your own poem or story, craft your own picture, form a nice wax sculptured severed head, or knit a gold cloak if the spirit moves you.

But the main thing: use what moves you.


4 poems for The Game of Thrones


I like to hurt things

that is to say people

or rather animals–

a category, which includes


pain in others creates


a kind of order and frankly

this place is so disorganized

and I like things neat. I like the way

pain simplifies.

these wriggling creatures

flies, boys, girls, knights

they get quiet under pain

and those heads on spikes

they’re the quietest of all

see how precisely they sit

on top of my dead dad’s parapets.



men like me don’t

last long. we enact the

tragedy of the world of men –

we who are the perfect exemplars are

the ones who die

first: the combat experts, the steel

wielders, the teachers

of the death-dance. we’re brave

but also doomed. and doom is glamorous


if you aren’t living under its sigil.

or dying under it, which

is what I




I am the most mundane

of monsters: the ugly

woman, the tall woman, the

ungainly woman, with skills

that no man wants. Except for

him. But the kill-skill was

all he saw. And somehow that


made things




I almost saw my father

die –

another man blocked

the view, but it didn’t

matter. from then on all

I saw was death death

was all I wanted. not mine

of course, though I don’t

think much

about being killed, only

about killing and learning

to use my body and my will

to get revenge. I am still

small, but my knife list grows now it’s a

sword list an axe list and someday the list

will be as long as 1000 arrows

strung together into hangman’s rope

and everyone I hate will hang

from it then

afterwards — I don’t

know –


if I can stop

because if I ever do

I will have to learn to be

afraid and that’s what


scares me.



6 thoughts on “Sunday Special: 4 poems in honor of the new season of Game of Thrones, April 6th 2014

  1. Thanks Joe! The books are actually quite remarkable, and I am guessing that much of the fan art is riffing off the books, rather than the tv series. That said, the show is terrific — well acted and very satisfying for the most part. Thanks again!

  2. I’m reading a lot of English historical fiction and these poems vividly remind me of those times.
    I haven’t seen Game of Thrones, but now I’m interested in the books as my almost next series read. First some more poetry.

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