Submission Guidelines

Thursday 5 April 2012

David Mac-


The black tar trickle,
brown river snaking,
through a
tinfoil valley,
crinkled silver,
the smoke curling

‘Darling, slow down.
flow between
Hot gloom,
sweet smile.
Don’t say a word.’

And outside
the sun was dropping,
down into the
earth with
shame. I
swallowed and watched.
I didn’t want to miss

The shadows were coming,
creeping through
the walls,
eating and

I cut myself with the knife
again and again but the
wasn’t sharp enough.

And outside one bird flew off,
spooked by something,
and all the rest


I clocked the girl as she passed me.
she smiled and looked down.
my cock stirred and saw her.

I smiled back.
I had never smiled before and it
felt strange.

But the guys around the pool table
all swivelled their mean heads to me.
They looked like ancient gargoyles
with twisted snarls,
faces like ripped thorns.

I went to the bar and slurped a pint,
my back to them,
the cocaine throbbing in my head:
a frenzy behind the eyes.

I hoped they’d hurt me tonight.
I longed for the taste of blood.

The Burning 

The junky had a
cross tattoo
on her neck.
Her eyes were like
sharp nettles and her
limbs like
drooping leaves.
Her mouth was full of
fish eyes.

She walked in and he
sorted her out.
She shook and fidgeted,
her body alive and
squirming as if
something that refused to
stay down
wriggled for survival
just under the
surface of her skin.

She paced and I
watched her,
writing her down.

She trembled and
her shadow trembled,
it rattled across
the wall,
looking for something,
we were all
looking for something.
But she had it bad,

her insides knocking,
and burning more
than we’d
ever know.

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