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Showing posts from September, 2019

Why Men's Judgements of New Clothes Shouldn't Be Trusted by Simon Williams

I join four men outside the fitting room, while women try on size 14 with 16 in reserve. We’re trying to look in place and failing. It’s important not to let your eyes settle on any racked garment for over 30 seconds or any racked customer for over five. This is especially true if the fitting room in anywhere near lingerie. Nobody is interested in our slight discomfort; five expressionless faces keen to compress time, urgent to breathe less material air. People want to read Big Thoughts on how we were misused as boys, how we were louts on bikes. But it has come to this; such a longing for a brief appearance from the cubicle, a show-off of prospective wear that all clothes look wonderful on you. --- Simon Williams  has eight published collections, his latest being a co-authored pamphlet with Susan Taylor,  The Weather House , published in 2017 by Indigo Dreams. Simon was elected The Bard of Exeter in 2013, founded the large-format magazine,  The Broadsheet  a

To the storm witch’s lover by Kate Garrett

Take this hawthorn twig and keep it close – collected from the forest floor in exchange for a copper penny – if the gusts threaten to take you, if the lightning flashes sickly over the roiling ocean, the charm will keep you. I’ve caught fair winds for you in my hair, braided it tight. If the king’s ships chase your sloop, I’ll know – I’ll see across the world through the hagstone, undo a knot, blow a kindly breeze to your sails with a kiss. Come back home to me with wine and gold; once again we’ll cheat the noose, lay low – certain as the moon, the tide. --- Kate Garrett is the author of several poetry books of varying lengths, most recently  The saint of milk and flames  (Rhythm & Bones Press, April 2019) and  To Feed My Woodland Bones  (Animal Heart Press, September 2019). Born and raised in rural southern Ohio, she moved to England 20 years ago, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a cat. More information about Kate and her wor

Gonna Build a Shrine by Gwil James Thomas

For the loose ends of that love,  all those days gone that now feel like a way  to stay close –  fill it with our mixtapes, sex and sentiments – so I don’t forget of course,  like I could forget of course,  so it can greet me  each morning,  night and day  until it looks like some  museum of mistakes and I’ll pick up  the hatchet,  lighter fluid, matches and call you up so we can burn it down and go separate ways, looking back with a smile – having done one last thing together. --- Gwil James Thomas is a poet, novelist and inept musician originally from Bristol, England. He is a Best of The Net nominee whose work can be found widely in print and also online. He has forthcoming chapbooks from Concrete Meat Press and Holy & Intoxicated Publications He is currently laying low somewhere in Northern Spain.

Holidays by Leena Batchelor

I know my kids are home, The socks now live on the floor. When my kids are back, I can’t get in the door, And the cat looks askance at multitude pairs of feet That are dodged on the way to the gate. I know my kids are home; The house has become Blackpool with illuminations, And birdsong is drowned by the latest MTV. Tetris is the new kitchen game, Amazing how high those plates can stack! Wait, what’s that – oh – there’s the matching fork – and Since when did plates live in bedrooms? I know at least one of them will become a Nobel scientist, The proof is in the experiment growing in the glasses collected on bedroom windowsills. One will probably be an engineer, at least when he learns how to put that clock Back together! Yep, they’re home! I wouldn’t have it any other way. --- Calling herself a “poetic minstrel with living in her veins”, Leena writes passionately about everything that strikes her mind and heart, hoping her poems offer some meaning to others. Qui