Anna Forbes




Above the quarry, a rain cloud shifts.
Scoured against the sky, its body
gradually disintegrates, trailing itself out in long wisps
which drift towards the earth
like hundreds of delicate limbs.

Blindly it feels its way
over the desolate land-
weaving around telegraph poles
sidestepping the husks of burnt out cars-
it passes, miraculously unscathed.



Anna Forbes is a 23 year old poet from Edinburgh. She has spent time living and studying in Cornwall and Ireland.  She is currently working towards a degree in Comparative Literature at King’s College, London

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Gregg Dotoli




pop 70s

how do I love you
if you don’t love you?
we are
rusty nails
flat tires
and umbrellas
love throws but
always misses
let’s assemble
love and kisses



Gregg Dotoli studied English at Seton Hall University and enjoys living in the NYC area. He is a white hat hacker, but his first love is the Arts.

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Pam Thompson



At Dinner
(after a sculpture by Eusebio Sempere)

You appear in the hallway,
a shimmying fish-skeleton,
your bones, tin-foil.

We fill each other’s wine glasses.
We try to hold a conversation.
Turn our backs on you.

In the end we switch off the hall light

But we can still hear your
susurrating scales,
turning, clock-wise,
widdershins. We can’t think.

All night you spin and shiver in our imaginations.






Pam Thompson is a poet, lecturer, reviewer and writing tutor based in Leicester. Her publications include The Japan Quiz ( Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time, (Smith | Doorstop, 2006).  Pam has a PhD in Creative Writing and her second collection, Strange Fashion, was recently published by Pindrop Press.


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Rob Stuart



Action Poem


Rob Stuart’s poems and short stories have been published in magazines, newspapers and webzines all over the world. He has also written the screenplays for several award-winning and internationally exhibited short films. His website can be found at


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Amy Kean is our Pick of the Month Poet for September 2018


Our Pick of the Month poem for September 2018 could only have been written in the 21st century and the depth, wit and brilliance of Amy Kean’s ‘I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver’ resonated with many voters

Amy is an author and advertising creative from London. Her first book – The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks – is out in October, and she’s had work published in The Guardian, Disclaimer magazine and Litro amongst many others.

Amy has asked that her £10 ‘prize’ be donated to PDSA, the charity that offers reduced cost and free veterinary care for pets in need.



I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver  

Pornography implies this a fruitful strategy for lonely women.
Often their husbands are out of town, but you could be anywhere.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, hot ribs and bang bang cauliflower hint at my intentions.
The miso aubergine and Chilean Malbec brazen, our language: body and artisanal oriental fusion.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, barely-there razzmic berry shorts simmer on my thigh tops.
These neatly boxed breasts ready and protein-heavy like five days of meal prep in airtight tupperware.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver, painted my lips crimson as a blood clot five centimetres in length.
Pinched my cheeks so hard the rest of my body forgot how pain feels.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver to prove my fruit is not forbidden. I am Eve, original biblical MILF. I am the childless witch in a gingerbread house, I am his stepmother, I am your cracked, overheated induction hob.

I put make-up on for the Deliveroo driver but the helmet hid his face. It might have been you. He might have been wearing make-up too. A woman with appropriated braids was vaping in the car.  He was late, forgot my spring rolls and the sticky shredded chilli beef still breathing. I imagined it was you. Delivering sustenance in disguise to check I’m alive.




Voters’ comments included:

I thought that its structure seemed effortlessly worked and loved its ‘killer’ humour which belied such pain. Great poem, seemingly light but full of deep emotion.

Bold and vivid imagery, long lines, primary colours, unashamed sexiness and brilliant that the braids are “appropriated”.

Very heartfelt poem

Amy is corky and [a] brilliant writer. She is super intelligent and [has a] great sense of that old traditional English sarcastic humour

Inspirational and motivational magic

It’s so real – it really landed with me.

I love the idea of non judgemental cosmetic application. I agree, when I wear lippy & mascara it shows I value me!

It’s honest, sad, real, in-your-face and ultra modern. Love it.

Loved the humour.

Human, fallible, wonderful writing

It’s funny and fresh and oddly real!

It’s hilarious

Quirky. Funny. Relevant.

Just brilliant

Resonating themes.

We all do it

So original.

I love her sharp incisive wit

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Martyn Crucefix translates Federico Garcia Lorca




Tamar and Amnon
for Alfonso García Valdecasas

Moon wheeling across the sky,
no water on the plain,
hot summer now scattering seeds,
talk is of tiger and flame.
And miles above the roof beams,
nerves of metal squeal,
a twisted breeze comes blowing in
with the bleat of wool.
And spread-eagled, the earth shows
its barely-healed hurt,
or it shivers in incandescent white
of cauterising heat.


In her dreams, Tamar was lost,
birds in her throat,
with the swish of cool tambourines,
a moonlit lyre stroked.
Up in the eaves, her nakedness,
North the palm grove,
she wishes for snow on her belly,
on her back, hailstones.
How Tamar loves to sing her songs,
stark-naked to the roofs,
while scattered around her feet
are five chilly doves.
Amnon is slim and definite
in his tower, gazing,
brimming, full, his frothy groin,
his beard swaying.
Her nakedness is all lit up
on the terrace below.
The whispering between his teeth,
an arrow striking home.
And now Amnon shifts his gaze
towards the rising moon,
but finds his sisters’ firm breasts
only obscure the moon.


It’s half-past three and Amnon lies
sprawled upon his bed.
The whole room is an agony,
wings crowd his head.
In its grave of dirt-brown sand,
a dull light inters
villages or unearths the brief
pink of rose and dahlias.
First-pressed lymph of silence,
dripping into urns.
On moss-covered trunks of trees,
a hanging cobra croons.
Amnon groans deep in the cool
linens of his bed.
The crawling ivies of his chills
obscure his burning blood.
In silence, Tamar tip-toes in
to the noiseless room,
the colouring of vein and Danube
distantly traced and dim.
—Tamar, my eyes, erase them,
in your certain dawn.
Threads of my blood have hitched
ruches in your gown.
—Leave me, brother, leave alone.
Your kisses on my neck
are like a twinned swarm of flutes,
a wasp and wind attack.
—Tamar, in your swelling breasts,
two fishes bid me rouse
and your every single finger-tip
speaks of locked-in rose.


In the courtyard, the hundred horses
of King David neighed.
Against the wispy vines, in slabs,
still the sun remained.
Already he’s ripped her dress,
her hair in his grip.
In streams, a warm coral’s daubed
over a pale map.


O what commotion then was heard
from the upper floor!
What a thicket of blades they found
and her clothes torn.
Slaves, on the dismal staircase,
hurrying up and down
as if they played, thighs and pistons
under stilled clouds.
Beside Tamar, the gypsy virgins
set up such a howl,
while others gathered up the drops
of her martyred flower.
The pure white cloths turning red
in the shuttered room.
Rumours of shifts in vine and fish
and then tepid dawn.


The frenzied violator, Amnon,
flees on his horse
with black bow-men loosing arrows
from watch-towers and walls.
And when four hoofs were echoes,
nothing more to hear,
King David took a pair of shears
to the strings of his lyre.

Martyn Crucefix’s most recent publications are The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017) and two chapbooks: O. at the Edge of the Gorge (Guillemot Press, 2017) and A Convoy (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2017). He has also translated the poetry of Rilke and more recently the Daodejing – a new version in English (Enitharmon, 2016). Cargo of Limbs will be published by Hercules Editions in 2019. He blogs regularly on many aspects of poetry, translation and teaching:

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