Skip to main content

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.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Home by Jessa Forest

Home scratches at her shingles with tree branch fingers, pulls the air conditioning unit close to her grimy aluminum siding, and keens an empty song of mourning. We found her wandering the tornado snarled wild three months ago, starved and lonely. She doesn’t know how to take care of herself, you see? We fed her shards of dining room tables, kindling for the fireplace, and cast iron bathtubs clawed feet first. She was slow to recover so we gutted her plumbing, ripped out her nerves, and rewired the electricity. She let the water in every time it rained so we put a new roof on her and let her out for regular walks around the wolf pen. Let her mingle with the vultures, I said, let her feel useful and clean up the dead but no one wanted to listen. We found rot an mold in her corners, infused her insulation with antibiotics, and quarantined her for two weeks while she belched ladderback chairs, sofa cushions, wind chimes, and broken bookcases. She still has her bad days. After feeding time

Smoking and Swearing by Ian Manson

He’s stood outside, he’s on his break. He’s unsure whether to be smoking or swearing. He decides on both. Inhale. Fuuuck! Inhale. Fuuuck! A person, a visitor, or a patient. Heading to the hospital, sees his scrubs and scowls. “ It’s not very professional for a nurse to be smoking and swearing. ” But he doesn’t care. He’s already done his good deed for the morning and by midnight he’ll have done a dozen more. Yesterday was a paltry four. Tomorrow’s shift will be five or two or maybe eight, and another night of finishing late. Inhale. Fuuuck! He breathes a cloud of smoke. Watches it swirling, ascending, a spirit en-route to heaven. The person’s saintly sanctimony means nothing to him. Because he’s on his break. And he’s smoking, and he’s swearing. --- Originally from Scotland, Ian has lived and worked in Worcestershire for the last 11 years. He can normally be found performing his poetry and prose at events on the Worcester spoken word scene

This morning I wanted to send you a photo essay: The Year in Volcanic Activity by Marisa Silva-Dunbar

You’d see the beauty in a fountain of lava, fires spreading across the blacktop, the necessity of creation after destruction. I drink tea—try to swallow my suspicions with lemon and honey, the bright sweetness doesn’t stop my obsession with destruction. Monday, I will try not to disintegrate—try to unravel the lies, how you once wanted a weak girl who shared the same type of destruction. I find ways to eviscerate your former paramours in conversation with others; I have been leisurely indulging in my own destruction. Sometimes I want to spill the secrets that I keep from you; I see ghosts around every corner—they poke at my fear of destruction. My anxiety is death by a thousand cuts—yours a slow suicide; we do our own dances with the Grand Dame and Varlet—Destruction Even on the days when I rage alone, I long for the nights curled next to you tracing sigils on your back to protect you from self-destruction. Archetypes sewn in my bones—I’ve mast