The apartment was small and cheap. It was our first apartment. The walls were porous and there was a fug we could not remove. The landlord was supercilious and cantankerous and treated us as though we were fungus. The landlord had been married five times and was now alone. Our happiness was not contagious. We had jobs and at night if there were nothing on the television we would sit by the window and talk and I would say things like: “Everybody wanted to be a brave Indian back then. Nobody wanted to be a cowboy. I mean, there was a family called Cassidy and a family called McCarty and a family called Ford on every street.” We would laugh, we always laughed. One night I thought I had finished the last piece of sushi, a luxury. In the morning I saw the last piece of sushi still in the fridge. Brushing my teeth, I removed cockroach legs. This still makes us laugh. Our penury we found edifying. We lived next to a place where they put down dogs. The dogs were unwanted because they were deemed strange. Many of the dogs were deformed. I saw one dog that had five legs. We saw a dog with three eyes. One dog tried to communicate with us and we were sure it was begging for our help. Another had wings. They were fly’s wings, diaphanous. I watched it fly, but it could never get over the fence, it was too heavy and the wings though big were too light. In the morning I realized the dog with the wings was only a dream. The nights were full of the howls. From our bedroom window as far as the eye could see it was a field of concrete. Housed precariously on the concrete were many little huts. The dogs were kept in the little huts until it was time for them to be injected with the poison. One hot night we sat by the open window. The hot air was humming and heavy with the scent of dogs. The night sky was unblemished and we could see the planets. We could see as far as the imagination. The dogs had not been locked in the little huts. That night we watched an array of different dogs copulate until they fell down with exhaustion.
paul kavanagh lives in charlotteRead More
He starts early, wheels jagging channels
in the loam, churns his way back and forth,
north to south, in a whirlwind of gulls
and hummingbird angels darting and seeking,
wings skinny with frost.
No one is watching.
He is whistling as dawn unwinds across the fields,
hauling on the wheel to spare worm and beetle,
easing the Fergie gently into the air
above an exodus of spiders.
A jostle of cows arrives at the field edge,
breath hanging in drifts of bramble.
The first rays of sun burnish the bonnet;
he smiles, checks his watch and heads for home
down Salthouse Lane
past rumbling mills bleaching and pulping,
spilling veils of steam to billow on the tide
to Piel Island and beyond
where Stan is on his boat quietly
casting for herring.
It’s a good place to retire, the coast.
He has been here before but no one really
remembers. Here, they just get on.
No one wants to know his name;
no one cares.
Fat sacks of seed rustle in the barn,
manure steams in the chill air,
horses snort and stamp.
There’s a Norton in the milking shed
and a raft of clouds tethered in the orchard.
He keeps to himself; he has the whole earth and sky.
People are busy eating and drinking, buying and selling,
planting and building.
When no one is watching, who knows what goes on…
he’s not one to judge.
Jane Lovell lives in Rugby. Her poems have been published in a range of journals including Agenda, Poetry Wales and Mslexia. She runs the Warwickshire Stanza for the Poetry Society.Read More
Missing: Moth Cabinet No. 3 (Sphingidae)
After the Sphingidae disappeared,
he sensed them back to light
like Newton, stared at the pale
until bodies floated into his retina.
His eyes became wings, they flittered
back and forth from detail to detail
until the blanched rings on a Poplar moth
formed from the knots in a Batavian teak
cabinet in his bedchamber.
That night, he found the Privet, the Death’s-head
and the Lime in the blotted leather
of an East India shipping log cover.
A Cinnabar came to rest on his mouth
the day they packed his cases of taxa
into Europe-bound crates. It pressed
the red and black of its flamenco wings
against his lips, pulsed his words
through its skirts like a dancing girl
from the Sunda Kelapa. The wind
from its drumming, strong enough
to shatter thirty glass cabinets.
Elisabeth Sennitt Clough lives in South Limburg with her husband and three young children. She is writing her first collection, At or Below Sea Level, and is actively involved with the Maastricht Creative Writers’ Group. Elisabeth has been shortlisted for numerous competitions, including the Bridport Prize (2013). Twitter: @LizSennittRead More
Not God’s Angels
Are better than god’s angels
Instead of hovering
They are angels of true flesh
Of painful joints
Unafraid to face
This world’s emptiness
Born in Zagreb, Croatia Ana Lena Stipancic started writing in Brighton (1991) and published a poetry collection (bilingual edition) Afterglow/Odsjaj (English/Serbian) in 2004, Deve/Belgrade. Occasionally writes in Croatian. She has attended numerous poetry readings in Zagreb and throughout Croatia, written reviews and works as a translator. Leads a nomadic existence.Read More
An uneasy sleep,
You wake up with a start,
But there’s this dull throbbing
Inside your head which refuses to go.
A cup of tea grows cold
On your bedside table.
They are playing Beatles next door.
But to you it seems to be just noise.
You cram those cello-taped glasses
on your face-
But the buildings outside the window
Still continue to sway.
Things ricochet off the walls
And hit you squarely on the face.
But nothing happens to you.
They were repairing the roads yesterday.
Yet, you wonder why
every inch of your room, today
Smells like burnt asphalt.
And slowly everything,
(even the noise)
Like dust, settles down.
With those white knuckles
You rub your eyes,
And realize that you are awake.
Manosij Ghosh lives in Pondicherry, India where he is a math major. While not writing poems he can be found on the beach trying to solve problems in algebra. His papers on Number Theory have been published in different mathematical journals.Read More