Fiona Glass is picking her way through a concrete jungle

Concrete Jungle

Clutch and thrust of the concrete jungle reminds me of you. Roots clutch at the soil, fingers of men buried alive, gasping their last into the thick brown earth. Stems thrust lightwards like cocks of men at play, criss-crossing, bobbing, stretching towards their life. Leaves clutch the sky, stitched to the heavens, your fingers in my hair.

Your body a brown arrow as you dive, diamond drops capturing the light and holding it to ransom on your skin. You laugh, the sound echoing down the waterfall, smashed on the rocks below. It could so easily be you; I peer uneasily. You eel past my legs underwater, skin brushing skin, and you laugh again. Your voice as tantalising as your touch, promising more. Your teeth startling piano keys against your black moustache, but the piano does not make such sweet music as your voice.

You emerge, a salmon leaping for the land, scattering the diamonds which wither, releasing their pent-up sun back to the sun. The sun warms your brown naked body as you lie, head pillowed on my chest, my heart speaking to your ear.

Sudden flash of blue amongst the twisted shadows of fig trees: a jay scolds from a twig. Like sun on moving water they come out of the forest: a cerulean pillar of butterflies. Five, six, a dozen, their wings reflecting the reflection of the sky. They settle on your torso, painting it with light: cornflowers in coffee, blue eyes in a brown face.

You raise your hand to brush them away. I catch it, bring it to my head. Your fingers take root in my hair. We are complete.

* Fiona Glass writes darkly humorous fiction from a pointy house in Birmingham (the original one in the UK). You can find her work online at Fiona adds that this piece was inspired by the surrealist gardens at Las Posas, Xilitla, Mexico, which were designed and built by the English surrealist and patron Edward James in the early 20th century.

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Mark A. Murphy



Ubiquitous Unravelling





Reader, I can’t pretend to know you,

but listen intently enough, as though I do

in the concrete jungle they call

Piccadilly Gardens:


a glass of wine later

and a pint of Hobgoblin

as the conversation meanders like exhaust

fumes through lanes of traffic,

bus routes, tram lines

and the unsuspecting mass of bodies,

between city streets,

through and towards what we already know:

hard to imagine the years of care

amounted to this, no holding hands,

no linking of arms, not a kiss,

only the well ordered yawns

of a first and last face to face encounter.






Who could’ve known

that in that parade of flesh

we found ourselves caught up in,

only the dead one would come

to bare teeth

at our lonely conversation,

our conversation about being alone?


No use to lie, no need to sharpen the blade.


Just what has been rejected here –

but the idea of our future selves as giants

traversing landscapes, moor lands

and hill tops, pleasure bound creatures

hell bent on self discovery?


So we annihilate each others dreams,

speaking of mutability

as though our own flesh were indestructible

with all the hubris of solitary bees.





Mark A. Murphy’s first full length collection, Night-watch Man & Muse was published in November 2013 from Salmon Poetry (Eire). Murphy’s poems have been published in over 100 magazines and ezines in 17 different countries world wide.





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