askance From Hell



From Hell what is the fourth dimension



September – silhouette of leaf

                in time soon passed
                men walk slowly
                side by side out
                from nowhere
                talking shaping
                the only portents
                they knew
                without guile or
                ghastly duty
                bonded by
                aged to speak
                safe ever if no one
                hears of it
                let it be be

gathering cloud over clifftop sea and houses

                tween them
                and the world
                the importance
                of honour kept
                where twilight
                covers the
                whole of sky
                the balance of
                importance – the
                inside and the


(askance from the prologue to From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)



                                events happen
                through all measure of name
(history happens in echo-wet streets while shop fronts stand and stare)
                                lives subsist behind walls
                and know only of purpose to step through the door
                                (meanings glimpse
                                 between windows both ways – make art and go to bed to sleep)

                                meanwhile chimneys
                                disperse coal at right-
                                angels angles, over
                                city and line and
                                only when the
                                streets occasionally
                                empty do you know
                                of immense happenings
                                in the silence
                                and the yard-silt
                                where the buddleia
                and knotweed grow black into the night


(askance from chapter one of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell carriage




the journey to outside doesn’t begin
and doesn’t get anywhere but waits

and eventually sees the plumes sufficient
to every bird that passes in flight if you but

listen to the drips the shifts and echoes all
around in the long tunnel; if unheard a cry

of love will stay inside enveloped
in the dark around a window or under a throne

the dark around the brother’s corpse – not
his own – the misshapen head amid the dark

not ‘worfipped’ and all the blackness can
so easily be made imbecilic; the two men walk

to the distance little wondering that
there is only half of height of age below the clouds


(askance from chapter two of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)



a child searches for a mummy
among the sketches while the
streets outside fill with traffic

the strong lines of architecture
inverse to sketchy life, there are
dark lives behind twilight streets
there is no power in the rain

there are no mummies possible
in sketchy line they all end up ‘…
down the rabbit hole’ there is only
discharge and account remaining and

the four whores of the apocalypse


(askance from chapter three of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell four whores of the apocalypse



                                ha ha ha

so, there always is purpose
(two men ride on a carriage)
it was all about, everywhere,

locked in stone and resonance
(the gods never disappeared)
reason punctured the skyline,

vision was buried in the ground,
reason made the sky stop
in a line, defined the sky

in our mind, from the earth;
there is a point inevitably
atop every steeple, there is

always only a point, there is
always only one God, above
all columns and pediments …


(askance from chapter four of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


FromHell full page god



                                amid the pediments and private windows
                                that make such things inevitable
                a conception was made
that would wash the steps and pillars with awe and blood
                                for tens of cascading generations

                                                all the while
                                the stations of toilet and repose
                                are observed with due quotidian solemnity
                by both the Righteous and the Have Nots
until their ineluctable encounter through askance
                                diptych panels

                                and always    hinged    conceive
                                darkness clinging around
                steeple and chimney like black-hatch etching
until light feels its way through the sky again making everything a grey


(askance from chapter five of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)



                                in rooms of procedure and name-plaque
                the days event and compromise as ever
                while only the rooftops through windows ajar
                ‘for a bit of air’ seem to know things ‘what
                 happens’ and they’re keeping silent as ever
adrift under the sky

                                despite busy movement over the cobbles
                the buildings recede in perfect line and
                the streets just fill with business, while some
                mop the pavements others exchange their
                local stereotypes; two men stroll through, one
of them talks of lives


(askance from chapter six of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell don't tell anyone



                it’s only when letters
                threaten to tell all words,
                that buildings in which we
                exist and exit become

                ghostly like curtains (then,
                it is best to hang your head
                in common with others
                on public transport) oh,

                and when all there is to
                eat are the brand names
                on the sides of passing
                coaches in autumn; and

                it is only when high up from
                time’s point of view that
                building solidifies again and
                those who can tell the time

                can also see the portents as
                they pass, and know which
                way to turn that lets ‘you
                know how it is’ happen in

all decency without thought or echo under silent direction of architecture


(askance from chapter seven of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell riding through streets



                by September the leaves
                are browning and dry
                if not caught by cobble
                and drain leaving branches

                to reach and twist in all
                consequence; is the bigger
                picture really worth more
                than lodging, release and the

                                                muffled glass echoes of
occasional compassion

                the gnashing below the
                startled eyes suggest yes,
                the lines of three four
                storey houses in rows

                cast doubt in passing;
                is purpose only outside
                and love only in, is the knife
                or the coming century enough;

                                                the dash is magnificent
the shadow grotesque


(askance from chapter eight of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)



carved faces more real than
peoples’ cross-hatched lives
make chaos easier to understand

as curse – March of Civilisation –
the beginning of the Word has it all;
those who know of symbol

come to participate and connive
in that to which it points, those
who don’t live and struggle on

bench-cold poverty, but it brings
the nation together like glue, we
know where we stand and the

wheels keep turning over cobbles;
the buildings were raised and we
burned the common traitors with

our whore-y little compromises


(askance from chapter nine of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell venturing out



                the darkness
is always gathering, the light
                only picks edge and selected texture

                it is hard
to tell the age we are in – scarcity
                of perspective, rolled-up eyes – it is

                the sudden
violence releases it, throws
                absorbing stasis to scatter

                but why bother
for when light is digested complete
                it shines through all the click-construction

                and neon
nevertheless; it has been millennia digesting
                and it

                                                will …
                                be …
sumed; the world cannot let light just be,
                sleep now is just



(askance from chapter ten of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell vomiting



the 20th century

and so everything’s for getting
and it’s business as usual as long as

the denominator remains common
enough, high and low, because it is

so much easier to re-circuit a life
at the mere implication of a switch

(no need to call ‘howzat’ anymore)
it makes certainty very difficult, even

inappropriate; some thrive in it,
most live with unanswered questions

and awful duty (well, someone’s got to
do it); but the cranes on the riverside


(askance from chapter eleven of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)



                it’s only
the guts and instinct worry us now,
                parley of glimpse mostly inured to us, and
only in desperation and worthless art do we follow them
                to unravel the unholy mess a little
(too much strain to untangle
                                too much compromise to try)

                the cab
that took him away left
                perfect receding lines by the kerbside
out into the busy streets of London;
                peoples’ lives are not so sacred now
they twist and float
                                like idle smoke
                                                                from the settled skyline


(askance from chapter twelve of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell how may I help you



                                studying the walls and windows
                from across the street; the lines are not that straight
after all; you have to talk with people now and read
                between all sorts of lines
                                creatively and incredibly

                                                there is
                                                a crunch
                                decades into a career
                decades coming (all the while
adverts growing out the ends of terraced housing)
                puts decades of striving into doubt when
                                pension is mooted


(askance from chapter thirteen of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


From Hell rain



                                                                `comes a time also
                                                when inside and
                                outside do not matter
                anymore – ha ha ha
and what heavy and cantilevered structure in which life in all its wrappening
                                falls away then
                                                and what hideous possibilities
                                we have propelled become in all our many life we are (sic)
                                                                and we suffer them all
                                                                                step by lifetime-step, accompanied
                                                or alone, within walls, looking
                                                                                through windows and centuries or just
                                                                                                outside in light


(askance from chapter fourteen & the epilogue of From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)


FromHellNew_001-004.qxd:Redazionali Hell


I own none of the images used to illustrate this work – they were all found on the internet; all the drawings were made by Eddie Campbell, any text included in the drawings were written by Alan Moore – if there is a problem with any or all of their use, I will certainly take them down; both my poems and the illustations have been included as homage to From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell which I contend to be a beautiful (sic) and significant piece of work


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