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Showing posts from June, 2021

Monash, and St Hunger's Day by Robert Beveridge

Monash You have what it takes. You told the headhunter you have no experience but you’ve always been good at picking it up on the job. You asked the mall Santa for an AR15 and promised you’d be the best little boy with the best words. You know stardom means they’ll let you do it, let you do anything. When you stumble you go into an interpretive dance to cover. No disease is too serious to be mocked. Your solution to the crisis is to employ the person with the finest looking hound. You got your bachelor’s degree on Ramadan and wrecked it in a drunk driving accident three hours later. You make machine gun noises with your underarms and get a standing ovation from the largest crowd in history.  --- St Hunger's Day the ache continues each day a touch deeper between the bones the pen grows hot in my hands the injections supposed to relieve pain for six months last two if I'm lucky what will happen when I can no longer write? Footnote: ed . note: it exists! December 22 nd . Hunger wa

Muse of the Month by Chris Hemingway

‘Muse of the Month’, the advert read. ‘In twenty one instalments, Just two pounds a time.’ Though there may have been an asterix, I know small print  has my interests at heart. ‘You’ll be the envy of your friends and family as we send you stimulating artefacts, expertly sourced from around the globe. Guaranteed, a poem in every parcel. ’ I haven’t looked back,  Package after package, Etruscan pottery,  Sumerian costume jewellery,  left with all my neighbours, propped against cold frames and wheelie bins. So far I’ve written nothing, but I fit it all in. Even this huge stone totem. It’d make a great uplighter. I’ll call it my writer’s block. --- Chris Hemingway lives and works in Gloucestershire. His first pamphlet “Party in the Diaryhouse” was published by Picaroon Poetry in 2018, and he has self-published three collections: “Cigarettes and  Daffodils” (2012), “The Future” (2015) and “Who Lied About the Mermaid’s Ghost” (2019).    Chris has worked as a volunteer for Cheltenham Poetry F

Your Tinder Match is a Witch by Chloe Hanks

Now bloody your fists  and have me for the taking you wouldn’t believe how my bones have been breaking; I’m drawn to the cusp and my fingers are bleeding and who would have thought that it’s you I’d be needing. I’ve fought off the demons they’ll leave us tonight but we don’t have much time and I need you for life. If we get the spell wrong I’ll be shattered forever and I don’t see a way things could get any better. I know that you’re scared and you think I’m a stranger; if you don’t trust my magic just feed off the danger— Oh, don’t mind my friend, he’s been sat there for months; just the bones of a man that I failed to love once. --- Chloe Hanks is an emerging poet from Worcestershire. Her writing explores fantasy, folklore and legacy which collates her recent publication May We All Be Artefacts published with V Press. Her current projects focus on witchcraft and female empowerment through history.

Intermission (1963) and Mockingbird by Ross Thompson

  Intermission (1963) after Edward Hopper I love this tranquil moment: the intake of breath before the house lamps dim and the projectionist pulls off a conjuring trick by coaxing an illusion of light, shadow and sound  from a locked box and discs of concave glass. The whole theater is embroidered, making us moths in the warm glow of a triple lantern, our rich lives soon to be shortened  by the birth of the multiplex. We will  all be forgotten eventually,  gone like the duchess whose ghost still reclines in her love seat, waiting for the first strains of The Birds , Charade or The Great Escape ,  content as a cumulus in blue-tinged  dress, ankle idly scratching the other to placate an itch that will not desist. Before we are eclipsed by the darkness that fills The Saturn, we are precious pearls. --- Mockingbird i.m. Philip Seymour Hoffman When the music stops, some of us, the blessed ones, find warm, outstretched hands, kind eyes to smile back to meet our own, palms to press against

Four Bottles by John Short

So suddenly she’s gone: one more dead friend I don’t delete from Facebook out of respect. She changed her name thus, Kirsten became Christina, said there were twelve people living inside her and she’d grown fat from the medication. Her daughter, a homeless punk who befriended refugees; her husband unhinged and violent. She quizzed about my poetry and if it was evolving. Asked if four bottles of wine a day was too much. --- John Short lives near Ormskirk in Lancashire after years in southern Europe. He has a diploma in creative writing from Liverpool University Centre for Continuing Education and is a regular reader at Liver Bards and Dead Good Poets. His pamphlet Unknown Territory was published by Black Light Engine Room Press in 2020 and his full collection Those Ghosts appeared from Beaten Track Publishing in January 2021.