The Twisted Text, a poem written by Away With Words at
Balazs Horvath

The Twisted Text

 The Twisted Text

written by: Away With Words



CHAPTER I – A Simple Book

On these pages: a story writ.
Not lines of love, near opposite.
With wicked words, bursting seams.
and pictures ripped from horror scenes.

This transcript: tallied tragedy
seemed clear, at first, of trickery
such that I said, with full belief:

“I simply bought a book,

simply bought a simple book

bought a simple book this early morn.”

Nary a choice did I resent
more than my steps up staircase bent.

Had I known what fate was in store,
I would’ve stopped short of the door
and listened to my heart’s retort
turn my back to oaken boards;
neglect to knock, proceed no more.

Alas, the wiser choice did seem
like foreign words I could not read
a weaker foe to curiosity.
Thus on the door, my knocks numbered three.

On portal’s edge, the wait did seem
a lifetime spent, eternity.
Heard racing heart, mistakening
its pounding pulse for echoed feet.

A lock’s release, my wait was for;
an unlatched, oaken, ornate door.
As portal opened to the store,
of echoed feet, I thought no more.


CHAPTER II – A Book’s Nook

Creaking hinges, a’rust with age
made way for shopkeep’s leathered face.
His cobwebbed volumes filled the space
and gave the air a smell and taste.

My steps were s l o w; I didn’t know
what book, which nook, my search was for.
So I walked the aisles, for a while:

‘Till a hidden book stood out

A hidden nook stood out

A hidden book’s nook stood out.

Into that nook, up to that book
my outstretched arms raised hands that shook

But now I see that I was blind
to evil glints in shop-keep’s eye,
and how my steps had crossed the line,
but like a fool who pays no mind,
I gripped book’s spine, as chill gripped mine.

Alas, Where once I felt so free
this “simple” book imprisoned me!
Looking back, it’s plain to see:
Text locked the door, and tossed the keys.

On portal’s edge, I sat a spell,
For front my eyes, world turned to Hell.
Clocktower bells rang out death knells,
Mixed metaphor with sulphured smells.

A lock released, an op’ning door;
Followed by sounds I can’t ignore
As I walked home amid the storm,
of echoed feet, I thought once more.


CHAPTER III – Shadowed

What harkened there, shadowed so?
It made no noise; I didn’t know.
and so my steps fell soft as snow,
heard silence then, and nothing more.

Was it the shopkeep, hidden there?
In darkness deep, ‘thought saw his glare
and so I turned, searching, scared.

Nought, I saw in darkness there

Nought, eyes spied, no shadows spared.

Nought, my cry left my fear bared:

“I face you now, as friend or foe!
Why you hide yours, I do not know.”

So still, the shadow stayed his frame..
as if playing a hidden game.
His outline froze, stuck; seeming strange,
Besot, I sought the shadow’s name!
but to my ears came only rain.

Alas, light passed, lit up the space
where I expected a strange face,
but to my shock, the revealed place
held only water, reflecting face

On puddle’s edge, I searched the grass,
still found just water, still as glass
Just as I thought, “This fog won’t pass,”
my clouded mind came clear at last.

A calming breeze cleared my mind’s haze.
To self, I said, “If blindly brave…
I’d sell tomorrow to yesterday;
risk retrospect of future fate.”


CHAPTER IV – Ghostwritten

Thus, I thought a tale would end,
The book, or life, I can’t portend.
Post-curse, I’m worse for wear, my friend!
Now words alone don’t serve to mend.

I turned a page into the book,
and as before, my hands, they shook,
The leaves were blank! Was I mistook?

No words were writ, the pages, bare.

No words to read, no lines to share.

No words to see, then one appeared!

A balked belief, before my eyes:
that ghost-writ word was leading lines!
and so I read, still scanning script
‘scarce skipping stanzas, none I missed.
I turned more pages, teeth a’grit…
Falt’ring, failing to feel my fits;
I couldn’t stop; cease reading it

Alas, time passed, still keeping speed
words filled white pages, enrapt I read
How does this work? What’s this all mean?
Why was the cursive cursing me?

On pages’ end, the words did seem
a lifetime writ, for all to read
Right from the start, text taunted me
divined a doom, a destiny

Its pox perceived, print paper flat.
I begged the book to take it back
“Who’s words were those? Who’s fate is that?
Who’s life and death, in white and black?”



Daunted, I delved so desperately
for I felt my future had past, you see
Living my life so longingly
feared my fate’s folly, unfortunately.

As I read, the book, I took
my final form, ‘spite balance shook;
lapsed living lies; won’t die a crook.

I blinked, unlinked, to weaker chain

I shrinked, to think, of lesser gains

I winked, on brinks, but not insane

So now, my friend, I’ll pen some prose;
dream up new lines; make up new words:

Where once I thought that what was writ:
the rise and fall, all of it
could not be altered, not one bit;
as if in stone, the letters sit;
lines laying law, commanding it!

But now I face what fate comes forth;
leave letters forming words with worth.
My written rhymes give gallant girth;
they sing a ballad; but say one verse:

I put down past, but faced it first
in breaking down, I found what works
I fixed my fate, and shed the curse,
Better for me but, for you, much worse!

The book, this poem share a name.
Perchance that fact would make it plain
When written words hide horrid hex
You cannot flee, for you are next!


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