Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Heavy Ghosts by Jared A. Carnie

The heavy ghosts of Sheffield
spend their money on beer
just like you and me.

The heavy ghosts of Sheffield
drift between West Street Tesco
and Glossop Road Sainsburys.

They feed off winter air,
floored eyes
and sorry-that’s-all-I’ve-gots.

The heavy ghosts have living dogs.
We see them and we smile.
We think of them shivering in the rain
and we reach out to them
and tell them they are good.
The living dogs tugs at our heartstrings.

The heavy ghosts are there and waiting.

We build their coffins
out of 2ps and apologies.

---

Jared A. Carnie lives in Sheffield. He won a Northern Writers Award in 2015, and his debut novel, Waves, was published in 2016. He can be found at www.jaredacarnie.com.

Monday, 28 January 2019

What we're looking for

The online writing community is a wonderful space for creativity, questions and general support. So it comes as no surprise that this section of our website was prompted largely by a simple tweet from a user asking:

'Dear Reader, what kind of poems are you looking for?'

The answer to this question could get a little too long-winded, so in the interest of keeping things short and sweet: I (Charley) am looking for something that makes me feel. It might seem like an abstract answer, but anything that looks at something in close detail, or looks at something anew, anything that gives away a little piece of the author and leaves me with a, 'Hm', feeling, is exactly what I'd like for Dear Reader.

To give something a little more concrete, here are some please do's for submitting:

  • Make sure that your work is edited and proofed, because it breaks my heart to turn down a poem just because it hasn't been cooked for long enough
  • Have a look at what has been published so far; it's very early days for the site so I'm publishing things that really stand out and pull me in, so previous publications is a great way to start
  • Try to be respectful to others, because while I want Dear Reader to be a place of free expression, I also want it to be a gentle place for readers as well
  • Pick work that you're comfortable sharing, and that you're proud of; ultimately, what you submit is your decision and it has to be work that you stand by
  • Provide a little cover letter, but don't feel that you have to write an essay; it's just nice to have a note from the author rather than an attachment and a blank email
There's every chance that this post will see one or two further updates as the weeks and months roll by, but for now, these are the immediate thoughts in response. If you have any queries and concerns, you're welcome to contact Dear Reader by emailing: dearreadersubmissions@gmail.com

I look forward to reading your work soon! 

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

He Chose This Track by Emma Lee

He was the physics graduate
who couldn’t operate a washing machine.
The grade eight pianist whose fingers
shook too much to caress the keys.
The man who’d argue addiction wasn’t his fault
and, in the next breath, deny he drank.
He wanted the band to make it so he could
be managed, but skipped rehearsals,
wrote clich├ęs and watched his history.
He said his biggest achievement was marriage,
but chose not to see he was killing the thing he loved,
the thing who refused to enable him,
the thing he undermined by turning to family
who would pay for him not to return to them.
His tragedy was that he chose not to see the band
imploding, chose not to see unreasonable behaviour
on divorce papers, didn’t see connections,
chose to press self-destruct.

---

Emma Lee’s recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, UK 2015). “The Significance of a Dress” is forthcoming from Arachne (UK). She co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea,” (Five Leaves, UK, 2015), reviews for The Blue Nib, High Window Journal, The Journal, London Grip, Sabotage Reviews and blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Pareidolia by Jennie Farley

She sees faces in clouds, cushions, car wheels,
the froth on a cappuccino. She’s seen
the Virgin Mary’s frown in a cheese sandwich.
But never the face of God.

In Church she feels the glory all around her,
golden and sticky like brandy snaps,
the Saints are glaring, stern as glass.
But where is the face of God?

She searches town and country,
the patterns in pavements, grazed
walls, the tread of steps backs of buses,
rain-streaked windows, puddles.

In the woods one day she is caught by
a sudden storm. A hurtle of wind flings
her against a tree, eyes black and staring
from a Wanted poster nailed to the trunk.

---

Jennie Farley is a published poet, workshop leader and teacher. Her poetry has featured in many magazines including Under the Radar, New Welsh Review, The Interpreter’s House, and online journals. She has performed her work at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Swindon Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, Bristol Berkeley Square Review and other venues. She founded and runs NewBohemians@CharltonKings providing music, performance, poetry and workshops for a local arts club, and has held workshops at festivals and schools. Her first full collection My Grandmother Skating was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing 2016 followed by
Hex 2018.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Letters never sent by Beth O'Brien

 write you letters, like these ones here. 

I focus on my handwriting 
so I don’t over-think the words 
I’m never going to show you. 

I burn a stamp, an envelope, and imagine 
flames dancing from inside a postbox,
pretending I can smell the ink melting. 
Sometimes, I think that’s the only way forward
and I wonder if red becomes redder if you burn it? 

Every letter I write is a reminder of why 
they are letters never sent. 
Every letter I never send is a reminder of why 
I write you words, like these ones here.

---

Beth O’Brien is a third year English Literature student at the University of Birmingham. She has had work published with Foxglove JournalNine Muses Poetry, and BellaOnline Literary Review. She is a reviewer for Mad Hatter Reviews and Riggwelter Press, and has written articles for sheswanderful.com and the Graduate Recruitment Bureau blog. 

reflected in puddles by Paul Robert Mullen

locals gather                 centre of the village an old man flying                    kites             high above the square w...