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Showing posts from April, 2022

The Demon of Shape is Rehabilitated by Tim Kiely

having lived in other people like  a monk inside their cell – where the walls  are made of hands – having spent lifetimes  practising the taste of curses  – whispers – stones – bread –  endeavouring to do them justice –  having walked the geography of foreign  fingertips – having made sore  those feet desiring to walk unshod  up the slopes of all of them on the way  to holiness – and at the end  having travelled back through their bewildered  eyes and stories to what was imagined  as a self – only to find that there was  a luminous nothing – was itself  as thrilling and eviscerating  as redemption was always reputed to be  – in the best stories – having been stripped  of all illusions – beneath that cloud  when the downpour broke – when skin slid  away and creation lay unclaimed –  stretching away to the very  extremities of all perception –  having drunk the wind in all  its coldness – having been shown  that all was lost and recovered – all  was unselved and instant – having known --

Iceberg by Ed Roffe

Alt text of poem:   My glass was ice empty when I met you but my eyes were full. Thawed vermilion through the future I saw in your glacial hips. Frozen shut by the gentlest brush of my elbow. I didn’t think my eyelids could contain you all – inevitable and effortless, an iceberg under glitterball. You asked my name and clanked it against your teeth, wrapped your tongue around it, melted it, and trickled it back into my ear to see if you had it right. I didn’t know – that night I learnt its true sound through your lips and repetition. --- Ed Roffe writes poetry within and adjacent to themes of liminality, mental health, love and family. Frequently he can be found at Oxford Brookes University, where currently he is studying towards an MA in Creative Writing, and occasionally also on Twitter, @roffeed.

Review: Salt & Metal by Sallyanne Rock, reviewed by Charley Barnes

"Lay me on a tartan blanket and crowbar open my ribcage." - Workshop manual for a date Sallyanne Rock's Salt & Metal is a brutal and tender collection. Having known loosely what the content covered ahead of my reading - it should be noted there is a considerable content warning here for mentions of domestic violence and abuse - I promised myself I would ration the poems out, pace myself. However, once I started that promise became short-lived and I found that I was compelled to read on.  Rock guides you through the trauma of abuse with a gentle tongue that tells in rough metaphors and hard-edged figurative language, all of which shows a mastery of control - both over her own writing, that is, and over the reactions she evokes in a reader.  "He will ask you in front of his friends why you are so miserable all the time. He will look at them and laugh and say after everything I have given her " - The man is a jealous thief  What I was especially taken with - a

Dust by Chris Hemingway

Hold that thought. Hope it relaxes. Let it know every notion has a place. That sometimes polished thoughts are the ones you should trust least. That truths lurk on broken shelves in run down holiday homes. Park that thought. But do it unaided. Let it rest without uniform or privileged space. The best letters look the same in rear-view mirrors. Short words fill gaps on scrabble boards, in silences. Hold that thought. Like it’s on the verge of falling. Let it know every surface tells a story. --- Chris Hemingway is a poet and songwriter from Cheltenham.  His first pamphlet “Party in the Diaryhouse” was published by Picaroon Poetry in 2018, and he has previously self-published two collections, “The Future” and “Cigarettes and Daffodils”. He helps run Gloucestershire Writers Network, Cheltenham Poetry Festival and the “Squiffy Gnu” poetry prompt blog.  You can find out more about Chris by visiting his personal website just  here .