Anna Saunders




Blake Draws The Ghost of a Flea

Blake says the flea complains of a haunting.
He says he will draw the ghost within the flea.

From the darkness of the mahogany board,
Blake exhumes a body.

Not a pinprick creature that could be crushed under the thumb,

but a figure pulvinated with muscle,
a self- vaunting bruiser
standing between two curtain as if on stage.

it is stocky as an ox, pugnacious ,
posed menacingly under  the starry heavens
of Blake’s gold brush.

The flea’s ghost has insect eyes, piercing and hard,
a reptilian tongue
encased in a herculean form.

The ghost in the flea laps at a small bowl awash with red.

The ghost of man cannot inhabit a horse
Blake tells the critics.

Imagine the troughs of blood needed
to slake our avid thirst.

Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox ( Indigo Dreams) and the forthcoming Ghosting for Beginners ( Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018).  Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.  She has been described as a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North  and a poet of quite remarkable gifts by Bernard O’Donoghue.




After Williams Blake’s Painting The Ghost of a Flea – which depicts a monstrous man,  the spirit of whom, is trapped within an insect.


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Sarah Parker




Claude Cahun

Bald as an egg
naked and ageless

Your eagle’s beak,
your Buddhist’s ear
the shorn
vulnerability of your nape

shot by a flash.

Marcel Moore behind the lens
finger poised

you pose

your onyx eye
forbidding judgement

daring us to meet it.







Sarah Parker is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University who has recently returned to writing poetry. She is the author of The Lesbian Muse and Poetic Identity (Routledge, 2014).

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Derek Adams




(London 1955)

In the mirror
of fitting room at Harvey Nichols.
I am wearing a black sanbenito

by Tomás de Torquemada,
decorated with devils
from my past.

Outside the London streets are foggy,
in Lewes they will already
be stacking wood for bonfire night.







Derek Adams is a professional photographer. He has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, and published three poetry collections. Currently writing a series of poems about American photographer Lee Miller.

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Silas Gorin




Last Kiss

She landed,
her first hours totally floored.
Away from the nest
far away as a star.

Her wings are a lattice of straw
with lachrymal dope
binding the pale
rose-raw reed of her skin;

her eyes are a blessing of fear
thrumming the lids
as she rests.

In her sleep there’s a drone.
It is her lover buzzing for his supper,
rude and prancing in putrid.

He is dumb he is busy
He is using her trouble
dissolving the meat.

Her bill is still tender:
still parted.
He lands but to feed her

the questions he has,
not of flesh, not of death,
but of love:

they are interminable
questions of love.


Silas Gorin grew up in The Marches on the Welsh border and is now growing down, gracefully it is hoped, in Beijing. He works as an English examiner, and during his time as such he has gained an MA in linguistics. His work has appeared, apart from here, in zines such as Triggerfish Critical Review and Mad Swirl, and in magazines such as Orbis and Monkey kettle. He is currently editing a first collecton which will be published, one way or another, and pressed upon anyone he can find who does not recoil at the offer of free books of poetry. So be warned.

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Herb Kauderer




I Would Take
You Anywhere
Let us not succumb
to the American delusion
of nature & ruralness.
We are born of technology
and live in cities
with every amenity
we can afford.
I will gladly take you
to visit the country
and embrace wilderness
& absence of civilization
but when we’re done
let me take you back
to the city
back to the lights
and restaurants
and parks
that package nature
for the likes of us.


Herb Kauderer is an associate professor of English at Hilbert College.  He won the 2017 Asimov’s Readers Award for poetry, and is the author of two books and thirteen chapbooks of poetry.  More about him can be found at

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Claire Walker


At the Sociology Conference

She told us that even basic research
questions can be hard.

For example, she said –
paused to pour
a glass of water, time enough
to gather her words –
how many children have you got?

I’ve lost a daughter, she said,
so how would I answer that?

At that point, she sat down,
rested her head back as if the ceiling
might know which category to tick.

I registered the thought as sad;
stored it away as a piece of someone else’s life,
but at that point, I had never been pregnant
and was probably looking ahead,
wondering what would be for lunch.

At that point, I’d never lost any daughters.
At that point, I had all the answers to give.



Claire Walker‘s poetry has appeared in magazines, anthologies and webzines. She is a Reader for Three Drops Press and Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine. Her latest pamphlet, Somewhere Between Rose and Black, was published by V. Press in December 2017. Twitter: @ClaireWpoetry

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Marissa Glover



Running Into My Ex at Publix

With all the hard pains passed
we stand in silence—two years
and shopping carts between us—
pretending to search for expected friends,
hoping some familiar face will save us.

Without much to say
that hasn’t already been said,
we swap half-smiles, ask about deli deals.

Soon, we’ll make polite excuses and go
different directions at rush hour.

One learns to check fruit for ripeness,
feeling hard skin for soft spots. One learns
to buy just enough—and to eat it
before it all goes bad.





 Marissa Glover teaches and writes in Florida, where she spends most of her time sweating. Her work is found in After the Pause, Amaryllis, Clear Poetry, Solstice Sounds, and other journals. Read more at and follow her on Twitter.

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