Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (33)
Haemal fountain’s gargoyles
Slurping by convolvulus.
Suntrapped at velvet curtains,
Sabrina Roper squirms brainsick.
One rootless leaf in backwash.
And ad hoc recording,
A face-saving scene
Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (34)
Camera 3’s irresistible overdrive whirls,
Pans right to evince a suitcase.
Lick-and-promise sham of reality.
Sick-at-heart Doberman gambles
Poltroonish through a train station.
Bat tightens – splayed on a waiting room window…
Cut to…four nauseous faces
Pre-empting the brawl for lunch.
Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (35)
Anticipate Camera 6
From all its characters,
Upon a speckled floor,
It’s destined to scrutinize the overblown mirror.
The past continuous
Sammy limps – apparelled in an evening dress,
Leg-o-mutton sleeves –
Gore smutching lips,
Ensnared in a simple frame
Where chicanery is spared.
Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (36)
Manola Dean waddles off, screen right.
We crushingly grasp as much as she.
Sammy moves near, looming at the door.
Bone chair, reddening cushion.
One maimed bass drum. The fluently bogus clop –
Geldings on cobbles.
Earwig headlong over lampshade.
As the credits bleed
Camera 2 loiters.
Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (37)
Hook-laced thigh boots
Gnarr of a night buzzard.
Mourning leather gloves
On a steeplechaser’s rein.
Bevan glints ruby eyes
At Rosalind Prior.
Camera 3 pans a glade – carnage.
A shoulder balances in blue light.
The lens is slobbered,
Trickling with leg-pull gore.
Biography Christopher Barnes
In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle 's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
On Saturday 16Th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St .
I also have a BBC web-page www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle . This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho. I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University , including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which I read my poem On Brenkley St . The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle 's Centre for Life. I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children's literature building. In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gallery/recent_exhbitions.htm
The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had"; I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456
REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival On September 4 2010, I read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland. I have also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines.
The Rain on the Grand Canal
For once, I don’t have
to look at my watch.
You talk, relive
memories of the canal.
The black water
sparkles in the moonlight.
shine along the embankment.
A sudden rain
like a force of a pebble
strikes my wide hat.
pushing up the limp brim,
and kiss me.
A towering affection
The breeziness of unexpected affection,
comes like a perfected dream,
shatters my calm.
I try not to lose myself,
yet, I drown in his taunting charms,
like a spray of exquisite perfume,
too beautiful to part with.
I’m like a puerile child,
an inane dependence
handcuffed to his heart.
Sizzling lobster at Donelly’s
Jeep parks on a dirt road,
I am limping on sharp pebbles
to the beach.
Hot, warm air of summer
ripples on my bare skin;
my face, arms and legs.
Lying on a rug,
a straw hat on my head,
sand coats my feet, blending
the deeper tan of my legs.
a smell of grilled meat.
Sizzling lobster hangs before me,
at Donnelly’s, the best seafood
in the village.
I hear it from the English lady,
a ravishing face, rosy complexion,
wearing a hat, hardly
bigger than a cocktail napkin,
covering her pure white chin
and forehead, a small nose,
dotted with freckles,
her pale hands, well manicured.
A faint jingle of keys
reach the jeep,
the engine shakes to life.
Amy Barry writes poems and short stories. Her poems have been published in anthologies, journals, and e-zines, in Ireland and abroad. She loves traveling and trips to India, Nepal, China, Bali, Paris, Berlin, have all inspired her work.
Signs of stagnation, in immoveable objects,
yet they got there, but that's another story.
Comfort breeds fear, kills creativity too,
and always has been known, so then futile to hide.
Bars on windows, reverse prisons of Mayfair,
while ours are used to stop us getting out,
yours are used to stop us getting in,
and once safely locked, house fire your only real concern.
Together alone, alone together,
surely the greatest sadness of all,
feelings numb, disconnected, diminished,
with only comforts mime of love to suffice.
Still, It Looks Like Affection
You always have to pick up,
where others have left off,
they smile as you salute,
watching you assume control.
Patterns as regular as wallpaper,
and it looks like another roll is required.
You can't learn old dogs new tricks,
but you can still beat them with a stick,
and they'll usually always return,
though out of fear only.
Still, it looks like affection,
but I dare you to try it with a big cat!
Another series of mistakes made,
all in the name of self improvement.
There's nothing greater than an old fool,
and as the years pass,
the words can be worn as comfortably
as a clown suit in a nudist camp.
As the orchids are strangled, by freak shows sprouting everywhere,
somewhere right now, a bearded lady
has stopped shaving in preparation for work.
Delusion has descended upon everything,
bursting into life just like weeds.
Mountain Goat In Dead Tree
Mountain goat in dead tree,
watches flying fish land at Heathrow,
as wild horse plays piano....jazz style,
raising the tempo to feverish pitch,
encouraged by the sight of fourth elephant,
failing in its attempt to jump on board,
as toboggan disappears without him.
At same time the apes have decided to cut down their trees,
while the snails head off on their annual Health and Safety
Convention in Salt Lake City.
Nearby, a giraffe limbo dances in crutchless panties,
viewed jealously by rhinoceros in stockings and suspenders,
craving nothing more than liposuction.
And now the sloath reads,
that two Governments have been made redundant,
taken over by unelected outsiders,
with connections to the banking sector?
At same time, around a thousand miles away,
a duck toed Chancellor,
with no knowledge or experience in economics,
smirks as he announces yet more pain.
If you feel some of this is too far-fetched,
well I agree with you,
so delete the second paragraph!
M1 Motorway, Heading South
M1 motorway, heading south,
from north east of England.
to my left, as I over take a cattle truck,
I see cows with heads bowed down low,
looking out sideways onto road,
hopefully they were off to a field somewhere,
but I doubted it.
Further south, parked on north bound side of motorway,
outside of car, a child was being sick,
hopefully just car sickness.
Later, listening to a Josh T Pearson's
I see a young couple who've broke down,
their car left on hard shoulder,
they, waiting for help, on grass embankment,
huddled together under umbrella,
with their backs turned to the torrential
They should have worked out
the odds, and stayed in their car,
no matter what anyone says,
sometimes it's just better to die.
Dead pheasant in fast lane,
looks like car not bullet this time.
And workers walking in fast lane,
reason for 50 mile per hour restriction.
Removing cones and playing the odds
everyday, wearing waterproofs too!
"Be careful!" I imagined them being told,
constantly by loved ones.
I remember breaking down myself,
in heavy traffic, heading north the previous year,
just managed to get car off road and onto grass verge,
near Peterborough around 11 am.
Gear box had blown , car was going so well I recall.
Called Automobile Association, told I would be
recovered within one hour because of dangerous
position I was in, told to wait outside of vehicle,
but didn't bother, slept in car, it was raining that day too.
Even police rang me, said they would remove me
if AA didn't come soon, they also told me to wait outside vehicle,
don't know to this day how they got my phone number?
AA finally arrived at 9 pm, was dark by then,
with no food or drink in car, was forced to eat chocolates
and drink from bottle of rum, presents for my parents,
well it's the thought that counts.
Because of lack of staff, AA recovery service
dumped me and my car at nearby services,
told me taxi would come soon and take me home,
my car to be returned following day.
Drunk by the time I was picked up,
poor driver from Afghanistan was no doubt glad
to see the back of me, finally reaching home
around 1 am, fair to say, not one of my better days.
Nearing Nottingham, the rain forced my wipers speed to max,
to my right, the weeds that grew in abundance
between cracks in the concrete on central reservation flew by.
Clinging to life, sprayed constantly by endless traffic
from the rain soaked salted tarmac,
in the summer I wonder how many insects
never completed the hazardous journey to their pollination?
At around 4 pm, with seat belt on and air bag at the ready,
the oncoming nights darkness started to make its move.
As I drove on, with 70 miles still to go until home it occurred to me,
everywhere and everything I'd seen today had reeked of suffering.
With spring and summer too far away even to contemplate,
never before had I felt this connected to winter in my life.
CHEZ MAXE, JOINVILLE, 1947
With no finesse or finish, but still
a ladies’ man, his steps are those
of a country dance or a dance
implying country matters.
No rise and fall, no pull through,
his frame dissolves in swagger
as he takes in hand his two girls
who, less impressed than he imagines,
are riding the waves of riffs and wails,
the imported sounds of freedom,
in a public space where they embrace
la vie en rose and where so recently
their sisters were stripped,
cropped, and smeared.
David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and published his first collection, Brueghel’s Dancers in 1984. His retrospective collection, In the Distance, was published in 2011 by Night Publishing and a collection of more recent pieces, Work Horses, has recently been published by Ward Wood Publishing. His poems, translations and reviews have appeared widely in journals including Agenda, Ambit, The Bow Wow Shop, The Critical Quarterly, The Irish Press, The London Magazine, Magma, The North, Orbis, Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Reader, The SHOp and Stand.
ANOTHER THOMAS IN WALES
Brittle manicles embrace the manic rhymes,
coal braces the sky.
Soft vowels ring the grey/green...whispers breath the florid breath of ecstacy -
Dylan has too much to say boyo.
The Irish have coupled their limmericks with Yeats and blown the playwright into
Actors empower the celts with an excess of Shakespear; no restraint for the American market. God clings to the words of a poet buried in the land of valleys.
Obsessed with the language of the Bible - the welsh preacher hears more than just the fame of poetry.
WHO IS CALING FOR RE-ELECTION?
Mobile phones disrupt a howl, a satellite follows communication
Taxis ferry the hippy movement to nowhere;
a crowd of daffodils wait for red to turn green.
Seeds explore the vacuum pack, cities corrupt the wind, too powerfull for commerce
Machines are helpless.
REpublicans are calling for help Mr. President.
Romneys' Mormons preach to the NHS,
Obama Care disrupts Capitalism with another victory.
is currently based in Hereford and Worcs after living previously in
Swansea where she did some seasonal work for Amazon and participated in
various events at the Dylan Thomas centre. Caroline did Ted Hughes at
school(Surrey) with a bit of Betjeman which seemed an appropiate
addition to Bonner Hill's production of the Pirates of Penzance. She
enjoys writing Limmericks, but the 2 pieces here are blank verse...
in the mind of the moon
carefree creatures cavort
happily over hilltops
of endless possibilities
and drink cool waters
of contentment in the valleys
where death is less substantial
than even these shadows
that stalk my earthly movements
and haunt my derelict dreams
these shadows sharpening their teeth
the most efficient means
of separating me
from what's left
of my sanity
remembering Steve Cozy
he was tall and
sported a mullet
well into the 21st Century
and almost always had a beer can
in his hand
even when he mowed my lawn
drunk at 3:30 in the afternoon
the exact time of day I asked him
not to mow it because that's
when I arrived home from my
loud and hellish job and needed
to take a nap
so again I asked him to please mow it
anytime before 3:30 and
again I pulled in the driveway at about 3:30
to see him staggering and swaying
behind his rusted mower
so I fired him and he ranted
and raved all over the trailer park about
what a bossy bastard I was
soon after that he stole a giant, inflatable
Shrek from outside a movie theater
and somehow got it onto the roof of
his trailer just in time for his next beer keg
which was livened up by a very large woman
who followed him all over the yard behind his
mobile home while inside his place
we drank and moved freely from his trailer to
the yard and back again because Steve kept his
back door open so the homeless cats
in the park could always come and eat
from the paper plates of cat food he kept in there
then I remember the knock on my back door
at about 3:45 (or was it more like 4:00 or 5:00?)
he knocked until I woke up from my nap
and opened the door
to see Steve standing there
tears streaming down his puffy face
asking me if he could borrow just a little money
until his disability check arrived
because the cats were starving
so I nodded, peeled off a ten (or was it a five?)
handed it to him and shut the door
a few months (or was it a few years?) later
the beer finished off Steve's liver
and Steve too and
the fat lady who loved him
and the hungry cats
won't be the only ones
who'll miss him
Frank Grigonis writes poetry and fiction. He is currently working on a novel.
Young Werther to Lotte
At midday in Micklegate
I clocked you, stepping lightly
from a bus to the shining street.
In Fossgate I found you
cross-legged, head bowed, raindrops
dripping from the end of your nose.
In Grape Lane, you poured wine
from a carafe. In Navigation Road,
you kept your eyes on your map.
A shot of mercury, your presence
moves through me, until you return
to the shape of a shopper,
a student, a beggar, a thief.
Like one bereaved, I confront
your likeness in every street.
The lift and fall of a page.
I looked up. Your head
above your book.
I would have stayed with you like this,
in this room, in this silence
until old age overtook us
and I passed contentedly away.
At night, I dreamed of the sea
rising up through the streets,
crossing gardens, creeping
beneath patio doors.
I mourn for my memories.
The shade and shape
of your hazel iris
has left me.
Your soundtrack plays
no longer inside my head,
though the pain in your voice
when I hurt you remains.
The light is fading from your face
in my photograph:
you are a woman waving
at someone you can't quite place.
The train moved out of Oxford
with a lurch – a jolt
I turned the knowledge
in my hands in fascination,
a piece of antique china:
I will never see her again.
Tiny picks and spades chip away,
chip away at the dark seam
of my abdomen.
James R Kilner is
a freelance writer and poet. He worked in the newspaper industry in his
native county of Yorkshire for a number of years, before embarking on
PhD research. His thesis, concerning the poetry of Ted Hughes, was
completed successfully in 2009. His writing credits - previous and
forthcoming - include Other Poetry, The New Writer, Aesthetica and
Message in a Bottle. He lives in Tyne and Wear.
Out Of Burqa
thus liberated at last
she slipped out of burqa
now she is coming towards me
baring her breasts
this is serious
am I to bare my false teeth
and whine like a frightened ass?
Suchoon Mo is
a Korean War veteran and a retired academic living in the semiarid
part of Colorado. His poems have appeared in a number of literary and
cultural publications. His recent poetry chap book, "Frog Mantra," has
been published by Accents Publishing of Lexington, Kentucky.
In the factory that is my mouth
a root-filled tooth no longer tells my brain
it feels pain or even exists.
Instead, my gum, tongue and other teeth
signal that it’s functioning normally,
and I no longer notice
that part of me has gone.
gravity’s the law
a way of looking at the universe;
so, new celestial bodies
that cannot be seen
by others falling towards them.
a man on the telly
says every part of that landscape
whispers something of it,
but never coincide to form it fully.
so he’s acquired a love
for animal remains,
footprints in the snow, …
and always wants more.
a series of interlinked
narrow chalk ridges
traverse the steep slopes.
sheep are using them to graze.
holding my young child’s hand,
I climb directly up through them
until I find steadier footing
taking me away.
growing up in films
the plasticine monsters
and polystyrene masonry
of early films
seem unconvincing now.
and even though the films that came later
are more believable
the burst dam washing away a village
has more than a little unreality poking through:
and then there’s now
when even the unreal
looks more real
than the real of any past,
if the director
chooses to make it so.
on the bedroom floor
our belts curl
round one another
Tristan Moss lives in Sheffield where he works as an English language teacher. He has had poems published in ''Magma', 'Obsessed with pipework', 'Snakeskin', 'The Journal', 'Ink Sweat and Tears', 'Word riot', 'Elimae' and 'Alba'. He has also just had a pamphlet published by Lapwing publication (Belfast) entitled 'Disclaimer'. He can be contacted at email@example.com .
For Danny Browne aged twenty nine and the Hubble Space Telescope
As we are being observed from outer space
By thin green men with bulbous heads and froggy face
I hear them chattering now and throwing their eyes to heaven
Glory be to frog on high I hear them sighing say
They don’t have slimy pecking-orders and reverence for popes
They don’t tell lies and shit themselves like all us earth-tied dopes
They don’t suck up the propaganda spewed from every shore
They don’t have green men paid to rape and rob the lovely poor
No it’s only here on planet earth apparently where thicko rules
The slack-jawed boney boys grown fat on eating other fat-faced fools
Where priests and nuns in the name of god abuse the littlest ones’ backsides
And policemen beat the black men blue for the colour of their black-born hides
It’s only here on planet earth where right is wrong
Where men with knives control the industry that breathes the song
Where fear’s the thing that makes the frightened sing
And death the only comfort that the frightening doctors bring
Hay Machine (e)
Suppose there are souls that really exist
in eternity on the other side
where 24/7 evangelists
promise death to those who bridge the void.
Suppose them sitting in homes and cities
in their virtual, spiritual forms.
Would their ghostly, gaseous entities
risk it all for a stirring of warmth?
Suppose that a soul accessed a peep-hole
and observed you disrobe and unfasten
black stockings and skirt, your red camisole -
ectoplasm would ache for orgasm.
Suppose he ignored the hell-fire advice
and in jumping a gigantic bound,
found flesh and voice and blessing his choice
he’d undoubtedly utter that sound.
I’m Oxfam clothed and head full of henna,
he’s Age Concern dressed for less than a tenner.
Does this make us rivals or more compatible?
Anything is possible now I’m out of hospital,
picking his path oblivious to obstacles,
catching him in an unguarded interval;
he’s too hospitable to swerve my tentacles
and I too intent on the prey.
“What’s with the titfer?” I bubble up giggly,
kissing his cheek and trying his trilby,
holding his eyes – why should I feel guilty?
If he’ll be Jesus in Gethsemane
then I’ll be Judas flirting with the enemy.
Don’t say betrayal and the double agent,
I’m just a female at my play station.
He used to be nurse and I the patient,
now we negotiate new relations.
Aspiring to more of an equal footing
I’ve climbed too high and abandoned hoodies,
the dreary woollies, sackcloth and ashes,
the words that stuck to my tongue like glue.
Between heavy make-up and credit crashes
I talk too naughty and hug too warmly –
he can’t ignore his turn to be poorly,
his turn to breathe in blue.
In minutes the mood will be mellowing:
I shall saxophone and cello him
and proffer the charms of poor scarred arms,
the burnt flesh of thighs and breasts,
this sin within my second-hand dress
to caress his heart and capture him.
Wind and string go enrapturing!
Pull him close to the edge of the abyss –
I want him to hang on my lips
as I’ve hung so long on his.
Lily wakens prematurely
make-up lipstick powder nose
Lily pads and prowls the lounge
pirouettes expensive toes
Lily looks askance at laundry
socks and knickers decompose
Lily puts her records on
harmonising talent shows
Lily practises her smile
wearing pantomimic clothes
Lily chats on MSN
Lily taps and points her feet
at the apostolic rows
Lily snaps her fingers- snap!-
the boys adopt a slavish pose
Lily is beside herself
third person singular she goes
There must be a shadow
in every scene; one word out of place,
a face in the branches of a tree
that is only a crow widening
its wings; a ripple in the water
that is only something that barely
needs to breathe
stealing another breath: a broken smile
on a broken face, a ‘yes’
dropped like a coin
from a tower block, embedded
in the concrete at your feet:
a shadow from a building
they knocked down last week.
A shudder in the skin, a tremor
in the soul that says yes,
my answer is no
and will always be so,
no matter how many times
you leave knives on the welcome mat
when I come home with your shadow
sleepless on my back.
The War Is Nearly Over
When the soldiers finally left
father folded his penis
back into the pocket of his pants
and turned his eyes to his daughter,
who crossed her arms
like cheating cards
over breasts like young apples
budding hard in the sun
feel no shame, my daughter;
you are as beautiful
as your mother the first time I held her
on the bridge at Ramallah
the day the war begun.
Knew I should have gone;
I could be on the sand by the dunes
right now, standing
in the silence, breathing in insects so tiny
I will never feel them die
on my tongue: but I breathe out
one hundred tiny corpses
and they rise like the last breaths
of all the people who have
not to cloud, but somehow
to brighten the sun,
as though each passing builds
the firewall we shelter behind
a little higher; until one day the last man
reaches the summit, takes down a star
and pockets it
for late summer days like this one,
when you imagine
you’re stuck at home;
you were out there
Ian Mullins hails
from Liverpool, England. He has published poems in Purple Patch, Orbis,
The Journal, Gutter Eloquence and The Camel Saloon, amongst others. His
e-chapbook The Dog Outside The Palace Gates can be read on-line.
His head is full of broken clocks -
seconds hands move quicker than a memory,
but slow enough for anger to feed.
When the clocks are buried, he'll learn
that there is acute beauty in pain's wake,
that it just takes a few screws to re-hinge hanging doors.
In the next room his mum
sleeps with dead men every night.
Her love for him, supple as a willow sapling
and he's only ever addressed her by name.
He sleeps in an old, mashed bed. The sweat
of uncountable bodies that slid over the mattress
grips his skin, his hair, and holds him like the dying
as they try to out-linger death.
At night he spoons out his eyes with dirty fingers
and tosses them through the holes in the walls;
holes where he can fall, and nobody's there
to stop him.
On the stretch of summer days he stands
at his steel window and as the putty dries and cracks
he watches the other children playing.
The flies drop to the ledge and mound in the corners.
When he's older, when nobody missed him
his mum's words flap in his eyes
like digital bluebirds, back from migration
with nowhere to perch; with all the branches
already snapped and pointed, like frozen hands
on broken clocks, like frozen hands
snapped and pointed.
As I see people, I imagine how they'll die.
Not how they go, but what enlightenment
they canonise death with, and what they leave behind,
but not you.
Always the death of winter on your coat.
My smile lasts longer than yours;
not enough thoughts running through me.
When you are at peace, you chase birds
with no murderous intention, not like the girls.
Weary of humans and wisely so,
you'd be much more relaxed if you were more dense.
Even as a puppy you were nobody's
but loved all your kind.
This morning on the stretch of garden
you finally found the right ground to squat on
but before you finished your nightmare begun.
With its heavy gnarr right behind you on the road
you scurried in the other direction. Stopped and turned.
There it was; illuminating the whole street with its noise
and its countless, ugly lights.
Your eyes shot wide, like hatchlings' mouths
so I save you from running and put you on the lead.
We walk around the corner and teams of schoolchildren
are walking straight at you; you hit the floor like an egg,
flat, on your quivering knees.
The sky is too far, the ground,
too high, and the lead is a noose
not quite tight enough. Mute and helpless--
suffocating in the dark morning's bombardment,
I drag you from the world
that moves angrily around you, tightening your rope
and I, the hangman, am as free as you;
condemned and dangling at both ends.
You were a figurine in my snow-globe.
It was early morning, white streets,
drunk on lust and shaman-charms.
I accepted your touch like I'd never felt,
and I hadn't.
You stayed there, in my bed
for two nights and three days.
You didn't want to eat, or leave.
You drank water and rushed to the toilet.
I'd fall asleep
with your hands, your fingers
tracing every strange centimeter
on this peculiar man, laying beside you
and I would wake
to the palpatory witchcraft
like your fingers had insomnia.
I wonder now, what it was you saw;
what your fingers told your brain,
your heart --
or if it was a curse
to bend my thoughts and words
back to you.
You set your memory in iron
and I'm still waiting for it to rust.
Daniel Mutch is an Englishman living in Germany, and poetry works as a survival technique.
say what you like about Rome insomnia kills you there
your guts on fire with rentlessness
root of all ill
booming wheels roaring drivers
to wake the deaf or sea lions at the Pole
still you might be crushed some night
high the roofs a tile heavy
defective pots go right out the window
down to smash on the cobblestones
make your will before you dine thou dizzy with disasters
tragedy is under any broad window while you're making your way at night
so pray the hussies never throw aught on your pate but merds
o the sodden lout dying to brutalize some fool
he rolls upon his bed another Achilles he
languishing for love of the late Patroclus
sleepless 'less he pummel summat
stoned howsomuch he'll not go near th' em-
purpled flashlit searchlighted fellow
surrounded by the vastness of his bodyguard
me on foot by moonlight schlepping
or shielding from the breeze a guttering dip
he doesn’t care a fig t'avoid
the price of admission
you kick the sign in your forehead
with your own left foot
it isn't a guarantee by any means
something about your grace when doing so
must win the heart of the machine
shop 'til you drop
I. Brokeback Market
you check your guns at the door
the lonesome cowboys on the soundtrack
watch your every move
with rustling eyes
II. HQ Super
this is the peaceable kingdom
swans and geese are for sale
pigeons and sweetmeats
fans and automobiles and diapers
III. meat market
the lonely matador leaves his ring
for security at the carniceria
you can fight it at four
and have it on the table by seven
The bright water; even as one’s childhood tears,
The attack upon the sun by the pallors of bodies of dames;
the silk, en masse and lily-pure, of oriflammes
under walls some maidenhead protects from fears;
the frolic of angels—No... the current of gold on the march,
moves its arms, dark and weighty, of cool grass. She
founders and calls out, the Sky her canopy,
for a curtain of shadow from the hill and arch.
Eh! damp the windowpane offers its clear broths!
Water lays out with gold pale and deep ready beds;
Little girls’ dresses green withal and faded
make up willows, whence spring birds with no bridles on.
Eyelid warm and yellow, than a coin more pure
the marsh-marigold—the keeping of thy vows, o Spouse! —
at noon sharp, out of its dull mirror, is jealous
of the grey warm sky’s pink and precious Sphere.
Madame is standing much too straightly in the meadow
nearby where the threads of labour snow; sunshade
in fingers; stepping on umbels; for her too proudly made;
children at their reading in the flowery verdure
of a red-leather book! Alas, He, like
a thousand white angels disparting on the road
sets off for beyond the mountains! She, cold
very, and darkling, runs! after the man’s hike!
Regret for those thick arms and young of puremost grass!
Gold of April moons in the holy bed! Joy
of abandoned workyards by the river, prey
in August evenings that make grow such rottenness!
Let her weep at present beneath the ramparts! the breath
of poplar-trees on high is for an only breeze.
Then, it’s the water, sourceless, grey, bearing no gleams:
an old man, with a net, works in his boat motionless.
Toy of this dreary water-eye, I cannot clasp,
o motionless small boat! oh! arms too short! nor one
nor other flower: nor the yellow that calls me on,
there; nor the blue, friendly in water the colour of ash.
Ah! the dust of willows which a wing suspires!
The pinks of all the reeds long since gone to air!
My little boat, always tied; and its chain moored there
At the bottom of that water-eye—in what mire?
tr. Christopher Mulrooney
Would you like to unwind
an afternoon at the lake?
Solar sparks spilling over us
in showers of golden sizzle.
Put on short shorts, skimpy tops,
stick our toes into oozy mud.
Breezes will shake treetops
while we listen to birdsongs.
Why not float on new grass
facing an Alice blue sky?
Read celestial comic strips
from mounds of clouds.
We can count sunbeams,
chase yellow butterflies.
Devour bowls of cherries
painting our lips crimson.
This noontime is perfumed
with illions of wild flowers.
Let’s go away all day...be
embraced by the goddess.
Between deep night
and soft dawn the
mist covers fields
spreading over daisies
wetting seeds, leaves.
Milky smoke roams
back and forth
Whistling in fog
up cloudy layers
up up circling
As if you could come so swiftly
unnoticed like butterflies tapping
wild flowers with soft yellow wings.
Appearing before me quietly
while morning mist curls through
coolness of mint-green spring.
You walking over roads through
fields where tree shadows make
heavy slants against the sun.
As alive as day...saying my name...
filling me up with the taste of you...
kissing my mouth awake again.
By touch and whisper how we would
imitate long leaves weaving, undulating
and finally surrendering to silence.
Joan McNerney lives in a small town outside of Albany, New York. Her poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon Books on Blog, Blueline, Vine Leaves, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky, A.P.D. Press, Albany, New York.
Some Indian Wars
Our days of nearly-manic noise:
Those fifties cinemas, we boys,
Packed in to celebrate the fall
Of feathered Indians, bad guys all.
The heroes: Stetson men, Tom Mix,
And Autrey, Rogers, Trigger and
Ron-John Wayne-Reagan, good guys all.
Arrows spun short as wigwams blazed.
Socked jaws crunched in, teeth split, lips bled.
Back home for lunch; we holstered arms.
Still bloodshed-happy, socked-jaw-high,
We stuffed on Mom’s best pecan pie.
The Palace Flea-pit, ’56,
Sent forth its sons, who prosper now
On boards, executives, on trusts.
They preach respect, they castigate
The feckless, self-indulgent poor
(Indians, no less, poets indeed),
And, dew-lapped with disgust, talk tall,
Pour scorn on Indians, bad guys all
Back in Martini-land, their wives
Most decorously entertain -
but sometimes dream, the Chairmen’s wives,
Of warm, wide-open prairie lives.
Remember Custer, Chairman Guy,
The Little Big Horn, odds stacked high.
Back in the woodland, Indians fire
Long-shafted arrows of desire.
In the Beach Café, 1962
Exactly fifty years ago, this showery
August, we sat in a Broad Haven beach café
as rain rolled solemnly down the windows.
Those two boys, sickle-keen, their futures
carved in hope, into influence and mighty
good. The girl, long raven-haired,
our archetype, she played guitar for us,
smiling down vistas of love and socialism.
I’ve seen none of them again, in half a
century. I’ve seen no revolutions, carousels
of love and brotherhood. I simply hope
those boys never sold trash for easy greed,
polluted neither minds nor beaches,
that they’ll have taught, administered,
constructed decencies. And she, maybe
she worked on good and generous things,
maybe wrote songs. Maybe her children too
reached eighteen years of age
with hope and earnestness unhurt.
Robert Nisbet has
had poems published lately in Orbis, The Interpreter's HOuse , Other
Poetry, Obsessed with Pipework, Purple Patch, Poetry Wales, and on the
London Grip Website. His chapbook Merlin's Lane appeared from
Prolebooks in 2011.
A fox came to Powell Estate
sipped sky from my bird-table,
we exchanged territories.
Ablaze in mist she glided to leftovers
cities have eaten the forest
her snout sews the green man’s ghost.
Vermin and baby made front pages.
I read in a side column not long ago
they were shooting dogs in Rwanda.
The Lions, The Fauns and the Wardrobes.
Here come the sons of Adam
half human fauns conjoined to bones
of a bagpipes lament.
Here come the Fathers of war
heads heavy as daffodils
amputated with benefits.
Here come the lions roaring on cloth
laid to rest on a stone table
in a Whitehall Narnia.
Here come the true flags,
furred clothes wearing wardrobes
the last battle lost.
Here come the real hymns for God,
a lifetime of two minute silences
bugles turning fauns to stone.
The House with its lights off
We double bagged their decades -
a chipped ballerina from Benidorm,
the blushing bride in black and white
her red garter tied to love letters,
this starved room is ready now.
In a box marked bric and brac
doilies floated like dirty snowflakes
the ones she spent a month of Sundays
cross stitching silk over errors
used from odds and sods.
There is a photograph older than us
the one she hid in a Mills and Boon
they were younger than all of us,
he was feeding her strawberries
rain washed the plates.
Antony Owen is from Coventry, England. Following his 2nd collection, The Dreaded Boy (Pighog Press) Owen is collaborating on a suite of urban poems with Joseph Horgan. In 2011 Owen was a poetry competition finalist awarded by The Wilfred Owen Story.
The nonsense academics write
about the invisibility or death
of the author, and which authors, trying to ease
their inner turbulent turgidities,
endorse, is the dialectical
obverse of, i.e., the same thing as
a striptease. Who says “poetry,” “poem,” “poet”
says “I” in the same breath;
to flatter Language means “I want to hide.”
Although I’m at my desk now or long dead,
the neurasthenic nightlong rain,
the bachelor disorder of my bed,
the relative bohemianism
of lying here while cars on the other side
of the view have been awake for hours,
exist substantially, like me.
The trees are weakened and could fall.
The storm is measured by their bark:
how much of its circumference is dark.
Is that a signifier or a sign?
And what of the accumulated grunge
atop the white blades of the ceiling fan?
All right we won’t go out.
The new films aren’t great.
And if they are, the reviews
that say they are are somehow
dispiriting. – Not worth the traffic,
the parking, the crowds
both of the living
and those who mewl at the edge of being,
wanting to get at us, to get us.
We don’t have to go out.
There’s stuff in the freezer.
We’ll read, make a fire,
put on music. It shouldn’t
have to be said that I love you. Saying
“you” halfway through a poem,
as mainstream poets do, is like mentioning
poetry in a poem – a way of hiding
from an ungreat culture,
feeling superior, which it hates
as much as being superior …
I loathe this time of year.
Their music is the same
five imbecile tunes. They scourge
their god on film until
you’d think they’d admit
it is the whip they yearn for,
and a chance to hunt and kill.
Sunset in an hour.
We’ll stand by the window, hug
and watch it. I may quote
La Rochefoucauld, who said
that people fall in love
only because they hear people talk about it;
then immediately think
that doesn’t apply to loneliness, which
predated speech and will outlast it.
Land of Nod
If you fail, try to fail
elsewhere than LA. The one-,
of stripmalls and homes
will stare too impassively,
more like nature than nature.
At least skyscrapers
fate or a Judge, however
obdurate, in the cities of the East.
In Edge Cities, trees
and a general air
of decentered joy
while motels on the strip
north of Tucson demand
fifty dollars. You must
already have failed
to belong there.
Like the guy who, the day
his wife kicked him out, had
her name and those
of his kids tattooed
on his belly and chest,
with roses and attestations
of love. His soul assured,
he retired out West
to one of those rooms,
and drank mortality away.
Fred Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press. Other poems in print and online journals. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.
BELL-BOTTOMED BIKE RIDE
BETTING SHOP BOREDOM
BLUE DUNES ON GARAGE DOOR
BLUE MESH OVER WINDOWS
BLUE WASTE BINS BLOWING
BRICK SHORNING WHINE
BURNING TYRE SHOP
CHILD IN ARC
CHRISTMAS TREE IN TOILET STAIRWELL
CONCRETE OCTOPUS STRETCHED
CRIME SITE PIGEON SHIT
CUM BUCKET PASSES
CUPBOARD SCULPTURE PLANKS AND BOARDS
DEAD SEAGULL BESIDE THE PATH
HEAD COCKED TO SIDE
HEADLOCK IN THE PERFECT PLAYGROUND
LAST OF THE HANGING BIRDS
NO ITEMS AFTER THE CROSS
OUR VERY OWN BINGO QUEEN
PILLARS OF SPIES
RED CYCLING CLUB CIRCUITS
SHRIEKING TEENAGERS PUNCH
SMASHED ALL OVER BENT OUTWARDS
STUNNING NEW DEVELOPMENT
TERRIBLE LETTERING ALL OVER
THE ONLY WHITE KID ON A RED ROPE
THERE’S MORE THAN 27 BUSES NOW CHARLIE
THEY WAS FIGHTING AMONGST THEIR OWN
TUMBLING LEAVES OF OLIVE GREEN
TWO HOUR MINIMUM
UNCOVER A MOUNTAIN
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO CYCLE CLIPS?
WHATEVER THE COLOUR, WHATEVER THE FINISH
WHO’S THE GUY WHO WENT AND DEFEATED THE ROMANS?
WRAPPED AGAINST COLD THAT DON’T EXIST
close eyes tight
raise arms high
fall over backwards
drop onto knees
scream at sky
mumble into chest
twist body round
roll around ground
shout to oneself
shake head hard
throw hands about
giggle at no one
Tony Rickaby has shown his conceptual works, installations and paintings throughout Europe and the US. He has produced hypertext animations for Drunken Boat, Locus Novus and Toad, visual poems for Altered Scale, Counterexample Poetics, Cricket, InStereo Press, 20x20, Otoliths and Suss and writings for Anderbo, Athregeum, Aspidistra, Dark Sky, Ditch, Fox Chase Review, Pocket Litter, Streetcake and Word Riot. He lives in London.
The Land of Eoghan
X Ta Tu Anseo – You are here.
In this place of saints and fairies,
of shipwrecks and picaroons;
you might be offered dulse,
a kind of gothic rubber bunting
found in warm Atlantic bays
stretched across their ruckled strands.
Through the Kingdom of O’Neill
to the gentle ground at Lagg
and a white church on the edge of sand
with a marram path between the stones
of Doherty and McLaughlin,
lie the bones of a volunteer -
an Inishowen man.
has been a school teacher for over twenty years. He took up poetry
about ten years ago, usually writing after dark when his family have
gone to bed; driven on by those rare moments when something appears to
It’s a wonder
the Great Pyramid still stands.
to the fact of Khufu.
made of time served stone.
Wot no Romans?
for tourist or Kilroy to climb.
Mrs Cheeseman’s conservatory.
A fine tradition.
We will remember them.
The Blood Blade
It was the time the moist mist drifted away,
the mother tree emerald with light.
It was the time the blue bird hung upside down,
a plumed display to dazzle my eye.
It was the time the golden shells sang
to swim in waves beyond my play.
It was the time my older sister shared
her warmest smile, her eyes so pale.
It was the time my mother adorned my skin
in red earth, her hands gentle and cunning.
It was the time alone in the heart I heard
myself alive, the forest breathing.
It was the time the shadow came,
danced the blood blade within my secret cave.
It was the time one became two became one,
within the root I found my warmest smile seeded.
I share a camomile tea and after netting off
between supernova and nebula,
I come back to earthbound things.
We chat about suicide, a healthy diet,
a poet that died a lunatic. Your scone,
and teasing smile, are sweet with cherry jam.
I sense Pluto is drifting out
of orbit, toward a supermassive black hole,
the gravity well drying,
the words rattling in empty spaces.
Between the blushing sea and burning sky,
a canoe glides with natural ease. Its blades
are rippling whispers to celestial places.
She lives on the other side of Greenwich.
Distance is not an issue,
I randomly explain.
specialist teacher at the age of ten because of his poor reading. Phil has a B.A. Hons in English Literature. Proof that
education and poetry does inspire!
Show me how melancholy magnifies on the surface
and reduces, how it oozes from cookery, spills
from pages, slips from your Chardonnay,
how work resolves it when harbored into twelve hour days,
and returns in evenings when the shadows shorten.
Read about meditation, mountains, Tao,
and taking seaside walks, read how
chocolate satisfies and heals, how yoga feels
charged from salutations to the sun, glamping
in a bright orange wigwam, swapping black tea for ginseng.
Revive hobbies, parties, travels and the smile
of rhythmic feet, how you capture life through lens,
choose angles, try to find sun-ripened brambles.
Show me windmills, sparkling seascapes, wild flowers
now that you have shown me melancholy.
'Melancholy' can be found in the anthology Sea of Ink by Ink Pantry Publishing.
Shopping Lists in Spanish
At the end of the season summer backdrops
are pulled from terraces of tourist havens,
waiters pack away chairs and tables,
strip easels of their faded menus,
group growling pots of geraniums
into corners until spring.
One week on I see bolted shutters,
tumbleweeds of sticks and wilted flowers
that yawn at the wall and the sun,
those faces gone.
Signs on doors showing closed for business,
nowhere for Pa amb oli or free chupitos -
life held in suspension.
So in the winter I live amongst locals
hang around bars and drink Coronitas,
interrogate their language,
make potato tortilla
shopping lists in Spanish.
(Pa amb Oli is bread and olive oil commonly eaten in Mallorca and Balearic Islands)
‘Shopping Lists in Spanish’ can be found in the anthology Sea of Ink by Ink Pantry Publishing.
By the River Seine
By the River Seine
our butterfly wings flutter
in multi-directional flight
to every inlet and flower,
our heart chakras fused together.
This, our crimson painted padlock,
to the railings of Pont des Arts
the key depart
into the shimmering waters.
By the River Seine
our bee wings hover
to taste the nectar,
to have ‘honey pot’
nine months later.
Here, with kisses slow like tantra,
we climb to Montmartre,
to the café with smoke curling
by the Sacré-Coeur.
By the River Seine
your wasp wings brittle
in the sudden
chill of autumn.
Since I put life
under the microscope -
all my cries are in vain,
I am uncradled,
uncushioned from the blow.
By the River Seine
I claw the chrysalis open
and on its empty shell
harden my wings.
‘Une table pour une’,
in the café with smoking curling
by the Sacré-Coeur,
to face Paris alone.
is a Project Manager and Writer. Her poems have been published by Ink
Pantry Publishing, What the Dickens Magazine, Anti-Zine, Kumquat Poetry,
Ink Sweat and Tears, and Atavic Poetry. She co-edits the webzine and
quarterly journal for Word Bohemia.
studying longitudinally the pencil
I saw a lofty palm tree, not crowned
by palmate leaves,, but by a sharp
lead exhibition,, descriptive skill,,
an artist’s brush,,
lead replaces the sword, and the gun
the point crowning this thin rod
a fulcrum on which danger pivots
the use of an eyebrow pencil necessitates
dexterity, otherwise beauty stumbles
studying those eyes
at some point was a good idea
but I remembered that danger pivots
on the point at the top of the thin rod
a set of layered dangers
the lead is more dangerous than the
eyebrow,, or ,,
the eyebrow is more dangerous than the
I still couldn’t find a clue