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Showing posts from September, 2022

Body Weight by Julie Stevens

When a body backfires, spits tar doesn’t work for you, take it off. Pack it with no light the shiniest ribbon, or it might whistle, start singing for escape. Now wait. Move away slowly, stop all clocks and listen − feel the mould, feel the surface of nothing. Know you’re safe. Take four glides and don’t look back open the door to outside, sail through, enjoy the release swing with it. --- Julie Stevens  writes poems that cover many themes, but often engages with the problems of disability.  She is widely published in places such as  Ink Sweat & Tears ,  Fly on the Wall Press  and  Acropolis Journal .  She has two published pamphlets:  Quicksand  (Dreich, 2020) and a Stickleback  Balancing Act  (The Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021).  Her next collection  Step into the Dark  will be published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press later this year.

Small Talk by Ross Thompson

Funny how neither of us chose to mention  the mizzle lightly spritzing our shoulders as we queued for a train long delayed by - so the Tannoy explained - leaves on the rails.  I thought better of drawing attention  to the mascara trails inching southwards, and you politely paid no heed to my fringe,  serrated as a split seam and pasted  to my forehead by the unyielding rain.  I regaled the air, by now thick and grey,  with tales of my inane day job while you chatted about your neurotic dog then slyly put up your umbrella: cherry red  with a wooden handle shaped like a duck’s head.  You winced as the wind blew it inside out - canopy clapping in the gale like a sail,  rib tape snapping and runners splintering -  as I struggled to remain upright while  the squall howled the loose words from our mouths. --- Ross Thompson is a writer and Arts Council award recipient from Bangor, Northern Ireland. His debut poetry collection Threading The Light is published by Dedalus Press. His work has app

Review: Small Machine by Demi Anter, reviewed by Charley Barnes

"I'm still not sure when my want is enough, how to know I won't get bored." - Pink Coat The above couplet is taken from Demi Anter's Write Bloody collection, Small Machine . I read it aloud to a friend, across twin beds in a hotel room, and we both lay there in silence for a second or two before my friend eventually said, 'Oh my god.' It's been weeks, and I'm still thinking about that couplet - and if that isn't the sign of impactful writing, then I don't know what is.  Small Machine  is Anter's debut collection, though it reads with the style and polish of an experienced poet from the start. In many ways, the work reads as a love letter to Berlin (among other things), which features heavily throughout. Evidently inspired by the author's time there - Anter spent five years living in Berlin before moving back to London - there is a delicious use of psycho-geography here as Anter discusses the feelings and mental connections that root