Grant Tarbard

 

 

 

blind beggars

on Ronnie Kray’s funeral

1.

The great madman, trapped
in a headache, whizzed
from weeds pulled out of
the soil’s bunting, a
bouquet of red fire.

Florid petals pour
grotesque painted skulls
and trombones played in
the disjointed songs
of old pearly dears

passing between life
and disfigured death
on the old kettle
creeping boulevard,
the wolves will scent the

mould whitening meat.
Poor crimson petal
covered madman with
his cheap black suited
East End funeral,

the mourners all had
stained glass Chelsea grins.
Yellow skeletons
leer into the hearse
and wither all the

wreaths. The unfound dead
march like soldiers and
raise their heads again
ticked in seaweed cockles
and headlong concrete.

 

 

 

Grant Tarbard has worked as a computer games journalist, a contributor to football fanzines, an editor, a reviewer and an interviewer. He is now the editor of The Screech Owl. His work can be seen in such magazines as The Rialto, The Journal, Southlight, Sarasvati, Earth Love, Mood Swing, Puff Puff Prose Poetry & Prose, Postcards Poetry and Prose, Playerist 2, Lake City Lights, The Open Mouse, Miracle, Poetry Cornwall, I-70, South Florida Review, Zymbol and Decanto.

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Lydia Hounat

 

 

You Were To Me

you had a moon-smile
and black hair that contained
the DNA of ink

you had the snap of a crocodile
one with no teeth
and the way you smelled the air

The salt of the sea
made fishes consume paradise

 

 

If you could ask Lydia Hounat to sum herself up in 3 words, well, she wouldn’t be able to. She’s a gobby cow. But she is 17 from Manchester, with a lot of poems she wants people to read, a huge love of chocolate cake and has been writing for many years.

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Emma Lee

 

 

 

I want to give you this

 

under blossom confetti,

as Spring edges into Summer

and sunlight dapples through leaves,

a nap of grass studded with daisies

always ending on she loves me.

 

 

 

Emma Lee’s Mimicking a Snowdrop is forthcoming from Thynks Press and Yellow Torchlight and the Blues is available from Original Plus. She blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com and is a blogger-reviewer for Simon and Schuster. She also reviews for The Journal, Elsewhere, London Grip and Sabotage Review magazines.

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Lauren Vevers

 

 

 

Departure

You’re being scrutinised by a woman in the carriage. She’s wearing a mauve blouse; there are dark rings around each armpit. Flushed neck fat trembles as the rest of her soft body subtly bends and leans. It’s a slow dance. You observe for a while – she tries to avoid your stare by feigning an unconvincing sleep. Her lipstick is a youthful cerise.  She is very solid.
You’re reading an erotic novel. There’s no sex. The book is erotic only because it’s relating to or affecting the senses; it’s changing your perception for a moment. You’ve always found it difficult to find the right combination of words. When you do find them, they are more soothing than any numbing medication.
You’re close to your destination. You think it’ll be a shame to disembark after experiencing such temporary calm. When the train slows, your colour wheel moves back to blue again – you suffer any change in hue through your wrists and hands which are heavy with a cosmic kind of lethargy. After the announcement, you respond slowly because to cling onto the last seconds of relief feels salacious.
You reach under your seat for your bag and the view alters. Across the way – beneath her pencil skirt – you see bulbous veins on grey dappled calves.  From this angle she is half-dead, already in some pathology lab to be analysed. Her exposed toes bring to mind mismatched fingers from other people’s hands. You cringe at the thought of someone sucking them. You can imagine the smell of dead skin saliva.
By the time the doors prise apart like unwilling thighs, everything is decaying; even the light Autumnal wind is sour from the breath of purposeful passengers who all appear to know where they are going.

 

 

 

Lauren Vevers is a writer based in the North East of England. Her work has been published/is forthcoming on Hobart, The Cadaverine and Electric Cereal.  Twitter: @LaurenVevers Blog: www.thebellinijar.com

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Paul Clyne

 

 

 

The House in Which You Do Not Live

There’s a knack to unlocking
the door you’re unfamiliar with,
a certain wiggle of the key.
Imagine yourself navigating
its long and echoing corridor,
climbing the staircase
to the mouth of a silent room.
In the manner of a tourist
draw a mental map : yourself,
stood by an unlit fire
questioning the brass tack of things.
Now. I want you to cross the floor.
Switch on that naked bulb.
I need you to fully experience
the splendour of this house in which
you do not live. And, eventually,
when the time seems right,
I want you to undrape the heavy cloth
from this trio of gilded mirrors
exposing a set of features
that pixelate between yours,
your mother’s and your father’s,
each of you stunned as the other
to be speaking at last
in tongues your hearts
had refused to remember
and only now begin to own.

 

 

Paul Clyne lives and works in Fife, Scotland. His poetry has appeared previously in Magma magazine and he has work forthcoming at The Open Mouse later this year. His website can be found at http://paulclyne.moonfruit.com

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David Subacchi

 

 

 

No Candles

There were no candles
Around your coffin
And the church was cold
No altar boys to carry
Cross and holy water
It was I suppose
A school day

The priest tried
To say good things
About you, although
They were a bit generic
I went to the sanctuary
To ring the bell
As the altar boy
Would have done

Afterwards
Lingering outside
Loading the hearse
I imagined you there
Shaking your head
An unlit cigarette
In one hand
Car keys in the other.

 

 

 

David Subacchi lives in Wrexham, North Wales.  He was born in Aberystwyth of Italian roots and Cestrian Press has published two collections of his poems. First Cut (2012) and Hiding in Shadows (2014).  He is an active member of Chester Poets and Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets. Blog http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi Twitter@DavidSubacchi

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Jenny Danes

 

 

 

Graduate

The bell ringing tumbles
clanging down your spine.

You feel a soft wind, warm
enough for bare legs, and the

baked grass stencils itself
into your flesh.

It’s the slow yellow evening
after her graduation. You think back

to trying on her robes: how you’d
jammed on the heavy, wobbling

mortarboard so it dragged
your hair from its knot; hung

the gown over your shoulders. It was
more like carrying than wearing,

an absurd costume on you, scratchy
black like old school blazers; sleeves

dripping, hood slipping. On her,
however, it glided;

a graceful, meaningful wake.
Your face was a picture

when you took in the gilded bannister,
the thrones, the carpet, the rousing

Handel overture. You waited for her head
to bob into view, watched as the chancellor

Laid his hands over hers. You felt young
as you posed for photos, the sun as strong

as a hand pushing at your back.

 

Jenny Danes grew up in Essex and now lives in Newcastle where she studies English Literature and German. In 2013 she was highly commended in the Bridport Prize for poetry, and she is currently one of the literature editors for Alliterati magazine. She also runs poetry workshops within Newcastle University’s creative writing society.

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