Hot Coffee For Hot Days
– For the Café Mediterraneum, Berkeley, CA
My readied latte
lazes on a sun-soaked,
whose marble mimes
of Kennecott malachite,
one among a straightened row
of caffé lattes venting steam,
awaiting their respective persons
of purchase hiding
inside stuffy washrooms
wiping sweat from
their porous backsides
with towelettes soaked
in Calabrian citrus
that could have come from KFC
if there was still one left
in Berkeley, California;
so claims the barista,
who daydreams of Piedmont
where the gianduia grows,
romantic daydreams that follow
a soaking in the summer sauna
of perspiring thoughts
first innovated in the depths
of Finnish forests;
during early afternoons,
meditating inside the Mediterraneum
a globally warmed month of May,
drinking hot coffee on hot days
as consumers of the Ethiopian drug
observe the Telegraph Avenue peoples,
never seeming to mind
their own damned business
in the granny smith apples of
their nonchalant eyes.
Felix Purat lives in Europe. He has been previously published in Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Salzburg Review and Pulsar. Felix has just completed a pamphlet of poems and a novella.Read More
Trotsky took the bus to the other
side of town for his friend’s birthday.
The birthday was torn up by children
running around homemade ponds
in hand-me-down trunks and chocolate
covered faces. Trotsky had become annoyed
by the exponential rate of his friends
having children like bacteria on an agar dish.
Children changed them.
They lost touch, lost hair and put on weight.
At the same party a man in the corner,
everyone thought someone else knew,
read The Spectator,
with the grace of a baby eating
a peach on a train.
The man scrunched every double sheet
into a ball and read it in that order.
He threw the balls at the nearest child.
Reading The Spectator out of sequence
gave him an inadequate knowledge of current affairs,
but a kaleidoscope image of what news could be.
The man left the party.
On the chair he left a biro and four tightly scrunched newspaper balls.
He had half finished the crossword.
Trotsky completed the crossword.
He never saw the man again
but left him £3.56 when he died.
It was the least he could for his widow.
Sam Murphy is based in the West Midlands. Sam has recently completed an MA in creative writing at the University of Birmingham, with a focus on Poetry. He tweets infrequently @Sam_Murphy00Read More
Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to learn to sing like fire. She sat in front of the fire continually, mesmerised by its rhythm, its high notes and its pianissimo. She was wondering, could this be my life? She knew it’d be impossible for her to catch the spirit of fire, let alone its essence. She didn’t want to ask her parents how to do it because, she was sure, they would say she was mad. One morning she saw a burning bush high up in the mountain, and felt gripped by an irresistible sense of destiny. She trekked up the mountain path, thinking that if her little finger was singed by the burning bush, she’d be able to sing like fire. But when she got to the top, there was nothing. She only saw the skin of her left thumb beginning to crack.
Chin Li was brought up in Hong Kong but has lived in the UK for many years. He has published short fictional works through the Gnommero project, and in Glasgow Review of Books. See also: https://glasgowreviewofbooks.com/2014/10/24/cooking-for-one-a-short-story-by-chin-li/Read More
Buried in darkness,
but umbilically linked
to a mother husk,
seven pearly potatoes
must surrender to the spade.
Watch how willow twigs,
lichen, fine hairs are woven
into model coracles
harboured high up in a tree.
slips off in the wind
leaving a dark skeleton.
Pat Farrington has had poems published in Orbis, The Reader and The South, and in Haiku Quarterly.Read More
In the sauna
We are no longer
surprised pleased aroused
by our bodies.
In the dark heat
steam is a salving poultice
I see disappointments
trickle down your back
on the way to acceptance.
My breast leaks droplets
of salty suffering that hang
then fall between cedar slats.
Through the silence
we have become completely
Chrissie Cuthbertson works as a writer and editor in Oxford and Helsinki. She read English Literature at the University of Reading and wrote Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Her poems and short fiction pop up in various places including Flash magazine, Ink, Sweat & Tears and South Bank Poetry magazine.Read More
My Adored Wife is a Wicked Strumpet
She renders them so Hot, these Gallants Rakes Libertines –
married men who love much to Commit Adulteries
than to Divest themselves with Whores.
She labours her Honeypot, pretty it is with pure Inclination,
their Gimcracks and kisses she pockets and boxes;
her sweet little Commodity.
I see nothing
but know Lasciviousness:
at the Tailors Bakers Coffee-House – Scoundrels!
I spy on every Foppish cobble she treads
in case she obtains her Heats
(when she sleeps those eyes dart Amorous Combates ’neath drowzy lids).
O come back beloved Wife.
The cold air’s Ale stain is all the yeastiness of her Tongue
and the nearly-Spring sunset blooms her Pelt.
Marriage (a cursed Folly!) wrecks the heart year on year.
The bit in my Jaw hauls this Carcass through March
and my Soul is a pulley at the Well of her.
One does not need…
Smell of this city with the hints of bubble perfume
Damp morning and the freshly squeezed T-shirt
Orange headphones shielding you from the outer world
And your gaze, your steady gaze into the nothingness of the river.
I brought you a cup of hot chocolate, your favorite signature one
Please talk to me and re-assure that this is just a stupid row
We don’t need to refer to our past, what’s done is done
Let’s amend our present to make the weather fine.
I’m becoming numb because of your weak reaction
I understand your desire to run away from the unfairness of this world
Don’t make hot chocolate feel worthless too
Take a gulp and finish the glass until empty.
See, even squirrels stare at us in bewilderment
We are alive; our souls are in motion. What’s more to ask?
Give me your blue hands, I’ll swirl you in the air like a child
You are my beautiful person, never (you hear me!), never close up.
One doesn’t need to reach Tibet to join in sweet union with silence…
Leyli Salayeva was born in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her first poetry book Twelve Thirteen was released in 2014. She is also the author of the book for kids Dilber and her spoonful journey. She uses her poems as a medium for expressing beliefs and sharing emotional experiences.
Connect to Leyli Salayeva on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeyliSal