Tom Sastry




The Office

Keyboards slork and chirrup their way
through diets of words. The striped cough of the printer
punctuates the settling of sludge-mugs on the
woodskim tops. Everything has its
secret grammar. Voices skit and burr
on phatic tides; the cobbler’s sigh imprints
the damped floor and a phone makes the sound

of a bird. I don’t know which one. We do not have names
for birds in here. You can bring the name of a bird
in from outside, if you like. You can bring its call
on your ringtone, you can bring
the possibility of a bird. You can bring it on the chance
of a call from your letting agent or lover.
It can trill in your pocket. No-one cares.



Tom Sastry is a bureaucrat and occasional human. He writes poetry and short fiction.

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Ann Cuthbert




I am going to disappear      (After  César Vallejo)

I am going to disappear one evening when the moon has risen,
though the sky might not be dark. I have seen this.

Looking out of the landing window at 2 a.m. when the moon
has moved from left to right without anyone noticing and the stars,

bored through aeons, have rearranged themselves
into pleasing patterns, I have seen myself disappearing.

And the bed will become cold, the cup will stand unlifted,
the dregs inside will film over, grow skin, as I dissolve.




Ann Cuthbert writes poetry, short stories, travelogues – mainly to keep herself amused. She has also discovered recently that she enjoys performing her work in front of live audiences.

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Bianca Oana




invisible wars

The years of my parents hurt
their lives already lived
giving birth to me crush
to the point that I am once again
dissolved in the darkness before life
to the floating almost nonexistent
feeling of love between the two of them.



Bianca Oana was born in Romania in 1986 and lives in Bucharest, with one foot in Athens. She writes for the screen and on paper. She composes her poems in English. She has been published on Antiphon:

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Joseph Davison-Duddles





Every summer, oranges grew like heartbeats:
my father went to the grave of his sister
and my mother picked them from the trees.
Mornings and nights were peeled from their days
and every day seemed a Sunday, a few fruit bathed
in cold water to slow their ripening.
Occasionally, with the oranges unwatched,
we would steal them early from the water –
our hands dripping across the kitchen floor.
The juice went sticky and stained our hands
till we soaked in the basin water at evening,
when the sun is a fruit on its lowest branch.
On those evenings, my father would sit
in the orchard after every fruit had fallen
and watch them change to molten shades.




Joseph Davison-Duddles is seventeen and lives in the north of England. This year he was a winner in the Foyle Young Poets competition, commended in the Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets, and came second-place in a Lancaster Writing Award. His hobbies include untidiness and political disappointment. His poems can be found in Ambit, Cadaverine, and Prole magazines.

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Tom McDade





Sentry Billy B.

Good dope kept
Viet Cong on white
chargers at bay while
on guard duty,
seeds for poems
about Rimbaud, etc.
fell from saddlebags
said Billy B.
Slight of build, no nose
for the specs he wore
so always frame poking.
His faded fatigue jacket
celebrated nothing
but survival and good
deep pockets perfect
for contraband.
No one on campus could
roll joints with such skill
with the dash and élan
of a screen cowpoke
fashioning a legal stick.
Later teaching fancy
prep school English
his poetry and tales of dope
might have been visible
in his busy, haunted eyes
or stolen from
from his rucksack..
That look or the awe
on looted legal pad pages
reeled in unruly buy isotretinoin india classes
so expertly they checked
their pockets and purses
for missing wallets
after a poke at the specs
and an easy erasure
of textbook words
as charger chalky
off the blackboard
long and green
as Billy B. recalled
smacking erasers
together as a kid
and the muffled waste
good dope made
of war noise.



Tom McDade is 68 year-old retired computer programmer living in Fredericksburg with his wife, no kids, no pets.  Graduate of Fairfield University, he served two tours of duty in the U.S. Navy.  His poems have most recently appeared in Release Magazine, Gadfly and Paragraphiti.

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Rachael Smart



Ursus Maritimus

Waiting at the junction where I turn left: logical
and you turn right: creative, I take down my guard

gesture for you to. The glass partition gone, I see you are all
nose, the whites of your winter fleece and Northern

hair distract me from snare-eyed suffering.
If we weren’t caged at a red light hiatus

we’d wag our heads and go – run free, gallop as swift horses do
across sugared snow, finger the glacial, part the silver waters

stretching far, a voyage to play at us until I was beneath you,
Orion over you. We’d kill her; the seal, bite off her slick

head, crush at fat and brittle shell, gorge on cerise slush.
The traffic lights spark green and our eyes converge,

the ice screen between us. I imagine your big hands pawing
the steering wheel on the A52 towards home.




Rachael Smart is a social worker from Nottingham with a thing about words. Her short fiction and poetry has appeared in various publications including LITRO, Ariadne’s Thread and Prole. Rachael recently co-edited My Baby Shot Me Down, a women’s anthology which features ten new writer’s work, including some of her own.

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Ben Banyard





Look up on a clear night,
you’ll see me glint by.
I’ll try to wave assuming
I’m not doing space things.

They’ve got me growing
weed under lamps;
I have to roll it generously
and put on funny hats.

There are box sets
but not what you’d hope:
“Little House On The Prairie”,
“Merlin” and “Bread”.

I’m the last one aboard,
a chimp in loungewear.
I’ve spilt my peanuts
to see if they notice.


Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, where he writes poetry and short fiction. His work has appeared in print and online in Shortlist Magazine, Sarasvati, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Stare’s Nest, Fry Your Friends, Nutshells & Nuggets and others. He edits Clear Poetry, a weekly blog publishing accessible contemporary poetry:

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