Richie McCaffery

 

 

 

Call
(After Vera Pavlova)

Often, the phone
in the corner starts crying
and I come running to calm it.

It’s my mother, again, calling
to tell me of the problem with today.

She’s the only person in my life,
to have studied my ear,
as a baby, quiet at her breast,

or else not listening at all, while
I cried out for her attention only.

 

 

Richie McCaffery is in the final stages of a PhD in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of two pamphlets, including Spinning Plates from HappenStance Press, as well as the book-length collection Cairn published by Nine Arches Press in 2014.

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Nashwa Gowanlock

 

 

 

Yesterday’s news was forgotten by morning

as if the world refreshes its memory
overnight. But this time the past latches on to
the blossom stench along the path by the park
where drug dealers meet at night to smoke
and I wonder, who hides in the dark
but those most afraid of the darkness within,
who sleeps in the cold but those who can’t suffer
the coldness of others. The clouds shuffle
as the sky swells to tell the same
story again, an old man to his children:
however it is lived, life will be scattered like the stars, but
even in death, projected across the universe.

 

 

Nashwa Gowanlock is an Egyptian writer, journalist and literary translator based in the UK. She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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Ottilie Mulzet

 
Reflection II

Reflection in a bowl,
slightly quivers. The puzzle pieces
have been imperfectly
assembled. The faucet
drips, no one
to hear. The wind has carried off
all the leaves
like a bride who
didn’t want to elope
but finally must decide
between the sky and the earth.

 

 

 

Ottilie Mulzet translates from Hungarian and Mongolian. She is currently completing a PhD on the subject of Mongolian riddles and proverbs. Her artwork, prose, and photography have appeared in the Prague-based journal Revolver Revue since 2000. Her poems have appeared in The Sand, morphrog, the delinquent, the Muse, the missing slate, and The English Chicago Review.

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J. K. Durick

 

 

 

Ingredients

First of all, there’s
the right word, when it finally arrives,
and the blank space, the silence the right word fills,
and then there’s the pattern the filled-in space is part of  —
the pattern that needed the right word to happen
and the reason we needed that word
in the first place,
but it’s rarely that simple.

 

 

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Camel Saloon, Black Mirror, Milo Review, Eye on life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

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Bob Beagrie

 

 

 

Self Portrait With Body Works
(after Gunther von Hagens )

Photography is not permitted so I make mental snapshots of everything
as I mooch around the exhibits and scribble a coded reference
in small pencilled letters in the lower left hand corner of each print
before filing it away in its proper place which I will no doubt forget
because it is not the Dewy Decimal Classification system that I use
far from it – you only have to take a glance at my book shelves to see
how that would never suffice but rather a rubric of many random
associations which only makes sense in the moment before filing
and which makes retrieving books and mental prints time consuming
frustrating but ultimately more interesting in the rediscovery of subtle
alignments and as I walk quietly through the half-light from consenting
monster to saint from fisherman runner tight rope walker and lover past
the human sliced thin as honey roasted ham bought over the deli counter
I am studying my own hands the skin old scars sub-dermal boulevards
then looking through my own face reflected in the glass of the display case
superimposed upon the catalogued cadaver with its spinal column
drawn back and out sprayed like the tail of a peacock – when I swallow
I notice how my laryngeal prominence rises and dips like a wary seal
in scummy waters by the jetty at Bran Sands although I always vanish
whenever I blink so I learned from early childhood to do this quickly
to avoid disappearing completely as gas moves somewhere inside me
I recall the leaf skeleton I picked up at the end of a winter while cutting
through the cemetery when the last snow had retreated holding out in
low gullied pockmarks in the hills and which I later placed delicately
but deliberately between the pages of a chosen book before sliding
the book back into its proper new place on one of my sagging over-
stuffed shelves which has so far managed to avoid being rediscovered

 

 

Bob Beagrie. Recent publications: Yoik (Cinnamon Press 2008) The Seer Sung Husband (Smokestack Press 2010), Glass Characters (Red Squirrel Press 2011), KIDS (Mudfog 2012), SAMPO: Heading Further North (Red Squirrel 2015) .  His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines and  has been translated into Finnish, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Karelian, Estonian and Swedish. He is a senior lecturer at Teesside University.

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Rachel J Fenton

 

 

Kiln

weren’t my idea of oven, more like top loader weshing machine, but were all art college ‘ad. inside: an asbestos lined cylinder, seven shelves, each level ‘eld by a joggle, pizza-esque. my work were first to go in: anthers amplified in excess of natural size; stigma and stamen, didynamous pairs; extruded clay wrought ‘uman like but for pollen grains tweezed on outside. i’d transferred for welshman i loved; white rose had gone for a leek. gran said peg’d tecken prop for a toddle. i were young, din’t think in relief, believed Schrödinger was name of some psychic cat purrin a box for laugh. i weren’t present when they lifted lid. occupying bottom shelf were to prove my undoing. i ‘an’t wedged clay reight; it’s fatal if an air bubble gets in. best part of a year’s work blown to smithereens. first in, blast out. walking into kiln room, i’ll nivver forget; a stormy neet. i went home to find all weshing off line, covered in muck in neighbours’ gardens. prop, fallen in long grass.

 

 

Rachel J Fenton was born in South Yorkshire and currently lives in Auckland. Finalist in the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize, she won the University of Plymouth’s seventh annual Short Fiction Competition. She blogs here, and tweets as @RaeJFenton

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Bethany Rivers

 

 

 

Without Goodbyes
(for Karen)

An eternal white corridor;
my mother retreating,
leaving me with a too-large bed
with medical-mint bed-spread.

She blurs to a Lowry figure.
The corridor cuts and incises
then magnifies her stiletto sounds
to a music I still hear.

 

 

Bethany Rivers has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Cardiff University.  She has previously been published by Cinnamon Press, Bare Fiction and Scintilla (USA).  She is currently working on her first full collection of poetry, and teaches creative writing.

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