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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Kevin Reid


He tries to sell his cream at markets;
the phased neutering of brothels
helps. His shivering spine is a mirror
of families overdosed on self help.
On the street his ears come into flower,
on the road years go missing. With roots
come other burdens.

Used and useless amidst a jungle of graffiti:

Grey underwear
sodden trousers
a torn shirt
a stained mattress
swollen like my sockless feet…

…bigger worries…this perpetual limbo…
short-lived kindness…honest things
dying off.

Intoxicated, I'm instantly transported…a shoe
shop …in the window a row of yellow light bulbs
like neglected teeth …scattered and faded
family photographs  …extinguished candles
…a nun in a red rubber habit …a rare burst
of laughter… she asks, “What size do you wear?”

…still high on fumes of rubber glue…
…strange faces speak in tongues just to get a job… I can't
do shit for money…

…a young artist paints the high street
and comes up with today…the big issue…

…I don't want to be paid for my services,
just lend me a family 100% true.

He talks to a street vender
About perfume and broken lines;

…a chance to reinvent myself…

©Kevin Reid Sept. 2012

Kevin Reid lives and works as a librarian in Angus, Scotland. He studied English Literature at the University of Dundee. He has a key role in organising Scotland’s longest running teenage book award. His poetry has appeared in various publications, such as, Pushing Out the Boat, Scottish Poetry Review, heavy bear, The Recusant, and Counterexample Poetics. Body Voices, his first chapbook, will be published very soon by Crisis Chronicles Press.

Craig Podmore

Lazarus Is A Proletariat
Shackled in uterus,
Born in an ash-like residue
Dispersed by fires of the modern mob.
His womb –
A billboard advertising abortion
With a smiling model: fuck-worthy.
Resurrected due to selfishness
And vanity; Lazarus is televised,
Dressed in fashionable cloth and take away stains.
He knows how invaluable life really is:
“God did not bless me with life again,
He has given me penance, which I am to
Persevere life again but instead,
I’m going to embrace the vicious pulp
Of this degenerate specimen.”
He goes on to beating apes to death.
He watches endless bullfights.
Hits the red light district.
Ravishes cocaine at church altars.
Sells arms to the third worlds
As well as collect benefits
Because after all,
Lazarus is a proletariat. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

John W. Sexton

High Heaven

subterranean oceans ...
Martian sea-folk
followed the soak indoors

the universe
our engine

sheen of moonlight
on her hair ...
distances collapse

sedge skirts the menhir
under rising Venus ...
the mind contains space

Coyote swaps the moon
for a turd ... the sky stinks
to high heaven

beneath the floor
the mouth-mouse
... our house floats on Sheol 

The Negative Fog

flash-frozen mermaids …
prices slashed
in the suffermarket aisles

hangar 666
the hearts idling
in a billion, billion flies

the hedge begets …
of sparrow angels

the here of there …
distance passes
through the spaceleech

‘twould twist your tongue
three micecubes chill
old Vlad’s vodka

electric bayou …
the mist guitar
of Johnny C. Through

scales of light the lamps
of the deep … by the pinch
of her tail he follows

frozen match-flames …
in the negative fog our
thoughts become brittle

Finite Frontier

space just
a puzzle-box
now it opens up

cools to pumice ... a pilot too abstract
to comprehend

cherry blossom
shatters the heart ... no astral ribbons
tether us

cup and ring marks ...
stone engine ready

crew of
the modified protozoa ...
blood-space the finite frontier

slimy sapiens ...
from their glass vialships
the vladpoles hither

wyverns of hollow Mercury ...
a pea-sized sun
gives never-night

John W. Sexton is the author of four previous poetry collections, the most recent being Vortex (Doghouse, 2005) and Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009). His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in spring 2013. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Sue Cosgrave

Dream I

I hear the call.
Unhusk my tongue;
a forked ribbon that leads me along
a kaleidoscopic byway
where every gnarled tree is ringed
in garlands of night-black feathers

recalling to me
your feathered boa
your spray-stiffened beehive
your hands
sheathed in pearls that glint.

You sway in the eye of my room
sour nuggets drooping to your feet—

How you cherish these apples of Sodom—
your new born babes
whom I now I endow with names:

Craven soul  Apollyon;
fallen light Eblis;
daughter you deprive of warmth;
the forgotten Oblivia;  
the bounty-less Neap;
your empty Nix—

and then,
last of all
the waif whose love
is always forbidden.

I try to drown them
within un-dream rivers

but they burst in my hand
in acrid puffs
of ash.

Sue Cosgrave is a Russian-born, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic writer living in Cork.  Her poetry and prose appeared in the Cork Literary review, The Five Word Anthology, and Can Can. She was guest reader at the Over the Edge in Galway, Wurm im apfel, Civic Trust House in Cork, the international Al-Mutanabbi Street commemoration, and on the invitation of O Bheal took part in the Cork Coventry poetry exchange series of readings in the UK. Sue is working on a novel and her first poetry collection.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

J. Divina Erickson


the floor boards are vocal chords. he steps forward, they repeat themselves, a protruding nail rips his t-shirt, slices skin. blood trickles down & reflects where he has been. he lays back and opens up his chest, replaces his ribs with goose bones, feeds his meat to the dogs. mushrooms decompose the bones leaving no trace. he must get away before winter. the night is spent glueing pigeon feathers to his thighs. counting seconds through an hourglass he jumps out the window before the last grain echoes in the emptied room. he goes south, leaving a trail of blood in his wake. if you had a strong enough sense of scent you could find him on a beach somewhere replacing his ribs with whale bones and fattening up on whiskey and rare meat. if you ask him what he's doing he'll be straightforward: i'm going somewhere to be alone, where there are no people, where there's no pain.

Neil Ellman

(after the screenprint by Jean-Michel Basquiat)

As if alive
bone layered on strata of bone
remnants of the Pleistocene
the hair still grows
the nails
the teeth still gnarling
an angry grin
the eyes gather and hunt
still the eyes
stilled but staring
at empty space
among the worms.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Kyle Hemmings

The Green-Eyed Shwemyethna
Eyes that flash a beautiful anger,
 two green moons,
an anger endless as dog day shadows.
I watch this moon-girl, bare bellied, waist wispy,
gyrate on the dance floor, as if she‘s possessed
by fever or the ghost of a scarred ancestor.
The DJ, too stoned to get off his ass,
can't  stop playing West End Girls.

Moon-girl spins around & around
drunk on her outrageous momentum
as if she could make the world rotate
 on its own fables.
 Spin along the edge of your own spoon.

She weaves her crazy limbs under the dash of lights
until they blur into four or eight arms
& her strange dance taunts me,
robs me of all false name pretense,
the body no longer a shock absorber
to sudden love.

Back at my apartment,
a grotto of night,
I embrace her quiver,
mimic her trilogy of sighs,
grip her arms white as heroin,
a shade of Alice, a shade of sugar.
Her love is hard & fast,
sand & death & moon-dust kisses
but she soon evaporates from the room,
past the wall of white sleep,
perhaps too, from the agenda
of stonewall rules & shallow breathers.

Tomorrow, the city will wake with the bustle,
the roar of downtown buses, the grumble
of impatient commuters & scam artists.
It will rain green, the weathermen predicted it,
everywhere it will rain green droplets,
& people will think green rain,
shake off green rain at bus stops,
this green rain, its tragic love affair with the earth.
& somewhere a water-sister cries over her brother-lover
addicted to solids & city street maps.
I know that story.

& the world will know green
but it will not remember
the green-eyed Shwemyethna
who died in my sugar-deprived sleep.

Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan. He lives and writes in New Jersey.

Neila Mezynski


It won’t go, up. She saw them. Sweet girl braid down back, stern stride his. Eyes. Before. Why. It thought not her. Five finger of not know. Come out out. Can’t you. Freeze. In out lift. Hand. Too much like. Maybe. Me.

Neila Mezynski is author of Glimpses and A Story (2013) from Scrambler Books; pamphlets, Girls In Trees, (2010), Tucson Dessert, (2012) from Greying Ghost Press; echapbooks from Radioactive Moat Press Yellow Fringe Dress (2011)  and Patasola Press , The Pure Girl (2011) ; chapbooks from Folded Word Press, Men Who Understand Girls, (2012), Nap Chapbook, Floaters , (2012);  Deadly Chaps Press, Dancers On Rock, (2011), Warriors , 2013), Mud Luscious Press, At The Beach (2011).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Christopher Barnes

Weariness And The World

Spindrifting from immersion, gag,
A twist at boscage, an unslopped sky-line.
Deflect the swim-with-the-stream nightmare,
Grope dark-wolf prowls, 17 years of midnight.
Fortune Telling

A gate swerves, whines.
Wasted sourwood mutates, grander each day.
A racketeer searchlighting desire,
Drags a chain, cowers,
Ruffling the leg
Of a flinching ghost
As you hour-glass your eyes, doze…


In preparation
I single out the arms-length
Unthreading lip-wisdom slogans.
Propaganda’s a side blow.
Be fit for what won’t be blinked.
Almost ready,
Shaving, overlaying the jacket,
A once-over –
In tallying ways.
Clankingly the penny drops.
To war.
I card-index laid traps,
Musk evening’s silver air.
Stretch a point with daring.
Muffled drums are hitched.
Christopher Barnes' first collection LOVEBITES is published by Chanticleer.  He is a participant writer for and reads at Poetry Scotland's Callendar Poetry Weekends.  He also has art criticism published in Peel and Combustus magazines.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Misti Velvet Rainwater-Lites


Don’t touch me with those gummy hands those scummy hands those filthy
fuck knows where they’ve been hands. I’m scared of so little. So little gets past me.
You could whittle it with tobacco in your mouth until the sun sets on the wreckage
and the blood turns to tea. I’m nowhere. I’m plastic. I’m silly maw. I’m Halloween punch splash.
I’m warrior rainbow vagina angel
singing and shining
from my vast and vicious
glittering hell of ice.


Unkind Hymn

This loathing tastes like Wolf Brand chili (no beans) and mustard and sweet pickles
and white bread and fried SPAM. This loathing feels like old cheap stilettos sweaty on my stripper feet.
This loathing sounds like “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago although not as poignant.
This loathing looks like American television at 1:58 a.m. on a Sunday in September.

There will be no church no sanctuary no redeem no solve.
There is a trail that kisses the sky with trees and rocks that do all the bleeding for you
but not for free but that trail is not mine it is too far from here.
I drove to the ocean, put it all in a bottle but the bottle will not make it to bonny Scotland
or Rio de Janeiro. No one can find this can turn this into anything other
than what it is.

It is common.
It is ugly.
It is fat with 39 years, most of them belonging to Texas and various small towns and men who sound better
and love better
over the phone.
It’s sticky it’s messy it’s dripping from my wrists.
It’s trash.
It’s refused.
It’s tackier than a sympathy card from the dollar store with lukewarm pineapple juice
and stale pretzels for a snack.
It won’t make the ball.
It won’t save lives.
It won’t stop fists from slamming the slut
from goddess eyes.

(Marie Crenshaw still scorns me, her least favorite,
from her
heavy grave.)


It’s fucking basic.
It’s elementary.
You’re long in tooth, doll.
You should get it by now.
When a man sends you a picture
of his cock it’s not intellectual discourse
and emotional intimacy he’s after.
There won’t be an airport meeting.
Forget fucking on an actual train.
This is where trains and hotel rooms
are invisible and you cannot smell
the cum or piss or sweat or cologne.
Kisses are tasteless.
This works for most.
If it doesn’t work for you
write a bitchy poem about it.
So used.
So discounted.
This is where the muse comes in
spreads her legs
and demands
a quick fuck
and a century of cuddle.
It’s over. It’s dust.
The wicked world

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I see an image of a vulture eating itself.
I see many images that make no sense.
I am hardly surprised by what I see.
I know no one will believe anything I say.
What name can I give to these visions
of nature going out of control?
He owned an island
where he lived in silence.
He liked to bury his thoughts
to not spread lies or rumors.
He walked its shorelines
and gazed upon its horizons.
He tried to stop his sadness
and cover up his wounds.
The island did not heal his
heart.  There was a storm
of rage brewing.  The pain
was still raw.  He wanted
to live and die.  He peered
out to end of the sea
far away from the island.
He gagged from the silence.
I saw your reflection

in the blade of a knife in a dream.
I saw you bite the dust
in the same dream as you
held a rose between your teeth

in a one soldier firing line.
There was mist in your eyes.

You were buried under an olive tree

in an ancient prison yard

on an extremely windy day.
No one came to your rescue.

To add insult to injury
the rose between your teeth was not real.
The petals were made of plastic
like the stem of the rose.
The stars above refused to shine.
The terrible stars refused to shine.
The distant stars refused to shine.
Few could be distinguished as stars.
The plastic rose fell to the ground
just like you.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Gillian Prew

The Arrival of Mourning

This plug of grief, loosened,
a warm funeral. Abandoned
to the knotted waters. The blind tide
heaving and wrecked. From birth
the beckoning of cascading waste.
How the jagged skyline, sinking,
reflects the blood, whittles the air.
The arrival of mourning,
brave and black-suited,
chiming its mirror bell, shutting
the day to a leaning tomb.
Its withered eyes, like cherry stones,
lamenting their lost sweetness. I,
a blushing callous on the sideline,
singing like a shadow. Speechless.

Above the Black River

I jostled a dark thing
shadow on shadow
while a low song fell behind me
like a tumbling wound. Drifting
and useless,
            a ghosted knot
ragged from the bone’s whittle, I
drop to a silence
dense and benignly broken.
The rotting chime of nowhere
is a lost echo
and there are storms in my throat
such that my fingers cannot pull
or threaten with destruction.
What is this foreign night of fliers?
A black whir of crows,
the dusted carcass of a snowy swan
floating the looping line of the black river.

Poem from the Edge of Autumn

I am disappeared,
like the rain already fallen, like my neighbour
despondency. Summer, slendering
to a point untouchable; turning to a fist of fires,
a fury. Oh, the view from here. The river
spreading to the sea, the boozy backs of not-so-grand hotels.
And you, still and iridescent as an opal,
sleeping away the dusty silver of my morning. My beloved
mornings, where solitude is the silhouette of my husband,
where I am weightless for a snatched moment, where I
pluck the sun from nights full of arrows. Autumn,
your blade is my collar bone stuck out, the ridge of my pelvis,
my fingers digging in. I am not glad of you.

My Silver Lights 

From forgotten surfaces the songs; 
the winged libretto of my wedding. 

A dreaming, a hollow weight; my bones 
a finger-wilt from a spurious burial. 

Empty as birth my glass tongue,  
my confetti breath, my flowering mouth.  
My silver lights, 
they sway 
a foreign freedom,  
a bough over a grave.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

David McLean

not bleeding

the sky is not bleeding for these deserted streets,
and any melancholy that is there we have put there,
for the rats themselves are evidently
happy with every imaginable suicide
clenched between their winsome teeth;

the rats find little prettier than the dead
with all their hungry and noisome obligations;
and that is why this sky does not bleed
any more than dead men might feel;
these living human children have all the raw

torn flesh that history needs

carved names

the names carved into the graves
are incessant repetition, and their nemesis
flesh returns to them in a puddle of gormless
blood, muddled memory and dusty love;

there are corpses behind the names on graves
we are not supposed to touch

not suffering enough

we do not suffer enough
so they sell melancholy and abject
nostalgia, apt suicides to which to aspire,
and time enough not to love

very much, we suffer fools
easier, and would love some of Sheol's
dust to munch. memory's severed intention
does not pretend to touch

such groovy gurus and ghosts,
it only hopes to die alone
with centuries spent and worlds to hold


David McLean is from Wales but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there on a small island in the M√§laren with partner, weather, boat, dog and cats. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). His first novel HENRIETTA REMEMBERS is coming shortly. More information about David McLean can be found at his blog