13 machines from the Bird King's private collection

by James Knight

1. The sparrows' heads revolve slowly when you press the red button, but the boxing glove attachments don't work.

2. A weird weaving of voices, unmusical harmony. One phrase punctures the texture: “The empty slot.”

3. Poems are processed into more useful verbal artefacts: shopping lists, legal documents, instructions for the use of contraceptives.

4. Christ-in-the-Box leaps heavenward, eyes agog.

5. Don't look too closely at the little dials and switches. They present an infernal microcosm that will swallow you.

6. Tinier than a nanobot, it was once the scourge of the amoebae.

7. Simply place unwanted food in this funnel, pull the lever, and watch it emerge from this opening as the man or woman of your dreams!

8. I like the mouthpiece and the piston action of the fleshy appendages. But I dislike being aroused so violently.

9. It can't just be a cage. It must do something, surely, to be classified as a machine? But it escapes me.

10. The user is invited to lick the touchscreen, and thereby induce nausea or an orgasm (sometimes both) in whoever's image appears on it.

11. You're having a fucking laugh, mate. What's so special about this heap of shit? I've got ten like this at home, & they all smell better.

12. New from Mammon Inc: the Dream Egg. Let it hatch your secret desires.

13. Some of the other visitors think Machine 13 is actually the Bird King himself, encased in red plastic. Whatever it is, it terrifies me.