Five Compression Poems
– from special effects
one look at her face | her eyes
her blue tattoos |
she steps onto no man’s land
takes a deep breath & touches the hearts
of last week’s stripped & searched
cosmic-brokers of dreams | she doesn’t budge
to the helmeted head of a childhood
folded back into the earth
known figures investigate
the open fields of your rooms
counting their nights in the dark
putting words in mouths
memory serums line your shelves
the space you occupy now
is furnished for a child
i survive identities
dig the garden
stab at the birthing holes in plants
& you practise the ovarian experience
of green blood in your streams | your gullies |
in your lexicon of new bones
body hungry i stumble about for a mouthful of her absence
i taste a raw consensual acquiescence | an unspoken sentence
is caught | manhandled | as to her whereabouts
is a matter of interpreting calendars
he spends days unearthing
adjusting to observations of black cats
mad-eyed owls | a Judas sheep in the backyard
i’m told at night he sleeps with toys
Iain Britton‘s poems have recently been published, or are forthcoming in Molly Bloom, The Interpreter’s House, Long Poem Magazine, Stand, Clinic, Card Alpha, The Curly Mind, M58, The Literateur. Since 2008, Iain has had five collections of poems published, mainly in the UK. A new collection photosynthesis was published by Kilmog Press (NZ), 2014.Read More
servant of the living word
a chill breeze pours over me from the night window,
what baptism should have felt like had God existed
when I was fully immersed, decades ago, in a Wisconsin
lake, a disassembly and then a remembering, a being
shaken from stupor into light. now, faithless, I am
much more worshipful, more given to speaking in
tongues. daily I rise early, fan the holy spirit into
brightness and release her, servant of the living word.
Devon Balwit wears many hats in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry does likewise. Some it has found recently: 3 elements, Birds Piled Loosely, drylandlit, Dying Dahlia Review Leveler, Of(f) Course, The Cape Rock, The Fem, The Fog Machine, The NewVerse News, The Prick of the Spindle, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Yellow Chair, txt objx, and Vanilla Sex Magazine.Read More
by the garden fence
blow farther from truth
lunch beneath a maple
turkey vultures circle
When not writing poetry, Craig W. Steele is a professor of biology at Edinboro University in northwestern Pennsylvania. His haiku have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Modern Haiku, Asahi Haikuist Network, Akitsu Quarterly, High Coupe and elsewhere.Read More
Hauled by a Cudworth Mail Engine,
the South Eastern Railway express
from Folkestone to Cannon Street
grey-green like hawthorn.
A lady and her companion
in a first-class compartment.
She wears a bonnet trimmed with arctic fox.
He sits, a skewed coat-stand.
The train gathers momentum.
The lady and her companion do not use words.
His short beard black
as a hedgehog’s nose.
She leans her forehead against the glass.
Where is my child?
They approach Staplehurst.
Clanking, clattering, jerking.
Claret-dark carriages helter-skelter
down the embankment.
A shrew scrambles
through the bruised grass.
Edwin Stockdale‘s debut pamphlet collection, Aventurine, was published in September 2014 by Red Squirrel Press. He lives in Leeds and is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham.Read More
It was impossible to exit stage left
(Princess Charlotte, Leicester)
It’s my stage. Framed
by two speaker stacks,
sounddesk either left
at standard rock setting
or frantically manipulated
by the band’s sound engineer,
in the low ceilinged room,
carpeted by beer and dust.
The stage saw fall-outs,
every single mirror-
After a walk home
starting with shoegazing indie
from open car windows,
traditional Serb folk
from the Saxby Street B&Bs,
moving through a bridge
of bangra, walking past
that hippie household,
before being blasted
by urban and rap
then shutting the door
and letting that night’s
gig reverberate to fade.
My job was to review
those who played on
the uneven floor
scattered with gaffa tape,
and the random splatter
of dark red, spilt paint.
Emma Lee‘s most recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, 2015). She was co-editor for “Over Land Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” (Five Leaves, 2015). She reviews for The Journal, London Grip, Sabotage Reviews and The High Window Journal and blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.comRead More
By Harrow Road
Against dusk’s bands of scarlet-velvet light,
a Jehovah’s Witness clutches a crumpled
Book of apocalypse, and glowers
at a slammed front door.
Behind her, part in dare, part pulled by blues,
nonchalant to foretold doom, a teenage boy
walks on a wall’s slender height. To the left,
a harried old man takes unsure steps
down to the chill of the GP surgery;
and the kid stops, spotting a school girl
who sambas and sashays on toe-tips,
smiling as though it’s August Carnival,
when the air pulsates to a free jazz rhythm –
circling, adapting, vibrant, then gone.
Neil Reeder is a researcher on public services, who lives and works in London. His poems have been published in Iota, Equinox, the Rialto, and Soul Feathers.Read More
Crossing the English channel by foot- I’ll make Dieppe by tea-time.
I push images of that great bolt of fluid
streaming out of Shoreham sewage treatment plant,
snaking towards Brighton beach, out of my mind,
striding into the churned, murky waters, cloake in neoprene,
the rain storm long passed to a flash of sun,
jellyfish and lone weeds thrashed against the
pebbles, I come to my neck,
snap my eyelids shut, ignoring the thought
of storm drains awash with the babble of the streets,
take a breath,
and head under the wave, which pulls easterly
as the sea drags itself further and further
away from us.
Hailing from the countryside of Gloucestershire, but currently living in Brighton, East Sussex, Tom Stevens is a twenty-one year old who studied English literature at the University of Sussex. Most of his poems are unpublished, and those that are, are in small editorials and student collections. Blog link