Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2019

Herms by R. M. Francis

This third incarnation of thirteen stiffs semi-circle Sheldonian’s stern - still, indifferent, stoned and sometimes crowned with traffic cone, wren shit hufflepuff scarf. One or two have humour for it. All stare, unblinking at map gripped tourist tracks, inert undergrads - ghouled by samsung screens, blinkered cyclists and white vans vying like Tamesis Pike and Carp wrestle Osney Lock currents. Thirteen Herns are angler fixed - baits weighted for another incarnation, another three-hundred years when our postcard pics have weathered and our server farms are lost, after palm oil took precedence over air, the babewyn continue to unhook themselves from gutters and spires and run jokes past the emperors, about parallel lines crashing together in infinity. --- R. M. Francis is a poet from Dudley. He's a Creative Writing lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and author of five poetry pamphlet collections. In 2020 Wild Pressed Bo

It is like something out of a painting by Hiëronymus Bosch by Anna Saunders

It is like something out of a painting by  Hiëronymus Bosch everyone who has just fallen in love, and everyone who is heartbroken here in the garden at the same time. Those who are in love speak in petals, break out of pink eggs like sheeny birds, burst from the heads of flowers, dusted with pollen. Those who are in love are lavish as rococo gardens, lofty as the arching vaults of gothic cathedrals. All the weather is upon those who are in love and the rain gleams. The displaced butterflies are come back to settle on those who are in love and the blackbirds beat their wings as if in applause. Those on the lawn who have lost love   stand on nail points and knife blades crawl out of ears or intestines drop like buckets to the bottom of wells. Those who are heartbroken   flail their legs like dying flies as black shells snap shut on them and thrash their waxy limbs in bondage, strapped to harps that will never play again.

An Eavesdropper Walks the Streets by Joe Cushnan

It’s my relationship, nobody’s business and it suits me. It was a hammer-and-tongs conversation outside a pub, A young girl with a screeching diva voice that could rattle glass Talking to a man, red-faced, and trying to get a word in. A break up, a breakdown, roll credits, the end, wait for outtakes. Don’t speak to me. Don’t speak to me. Don’t speak to me, rotten git. She let out a Baskerville hound-howl followed by expletives. He walked away, raising an arm for a Churchillian V. * I was so sure his middle name was Charles, turns out it’s William. Two women of years chin-wagging outside a greetings card shop Talking about a deceased neighbour and how much they’d miss him, His Walter Brennan musical-chuckle laugh and good manners. He came round one day and killed two big spiders, one with his boot, The other with a rolled up People’s Friend which I hadn’t read. The women hugged and went their separate ways. One shouted back, His handwriting was p