A poem by IVY GAO.   i.   you had a daydream in which you begged for someone to stay.   you awoke and they were never there at all.   ii.   suspend the world in a sprawling sequence of atoms, equations, prophecies, and you’ll see how the shivering spaces between frigid shoulders decree that you will never be enough —   a side-line, a shadow behind the edge of the world’s sight. a half-hissed promise to nobody and nothing because nobody cares and you are nothing   iii.   to any observer, this reads like a love poem in which you try to make everyone fall in love with you and everything dies a little.   the truth is: the world does not owe you anything, and you know it. the world is a weary mouthful of ash and shadows. chew through to the centre of the universe…Continue Reading

(untitled)

A poem by NATALIE RUSSO. I wrote this piece in both Spanish and English to not only show how my mum and I speak Spanish as a second language, but to also address other language topics, too. One of these topics is language hierarchies: In societies across the world, the English language has come to take on various forms of importance, including official status. Not to mention how millions of people learn English for migration purposes. From our position here in the UK it is vital that many of us look beyond our monolingualism and fears of not knowing “enough” of any other language, thus “not knowing any”. As you have read, I did not translate some of the piece’s Spanish words and phrases. Whilst one reason for me doing this is that Ibero/Latin American texts that use English sometimes do not translate that English at all (so I thought…Continue Reading

Mama and Her Silver Rings

A poem by JENNA HAM.   This is a day.   This idyllic space, though, might Disintegrate before my eyes Like a frame I’ve dropped on the kerb, If I’m not too careful.   This time in my life, Roof-bathing in sun spots, Is on the brink of ending.   I don’t feel so good, Mr Stark.     This all withers and fades in the stillness of a summer day. These trees firm in their roots, even, Are turning white in front of me. To be uncouth, un-cuð, to cut right down.   The shuttle of birds past my left side Reminds me to walk On this cable-car line that I take on every day.   Even my poems are starting to sound the same; Same the sound to starting are poems. My poems are losing their face.   But I’ve never seen the leaves look so dewy: Shiny,…Continue Reading

Instructions: Frame This

A poem by SAM HUDDLESTONE.   When handfuls of human teeth are spat out of Earth’s warming belly – with all the speed of a mounted bicycle wheel – spinning when spun – they clatter against glass shop fronts in what the newspapers call a ‘holy percussive splendour.’   Older necks crane idly from above dropping down and ‘what the hell is that?’ dances in the street to the sound of enlightening and enamel frailty are soon stopped with too much force.     The policeman, who refuses to be one, removes his helmet and prays solemnly to Apollo; the famous librarian shakes a wrinkly fist at an image of Diana, and tracks the cringey way it’s all been adopted not quite right.   I try to kick through the brick but only provide a rhythm stronger – a boot clattering cements – a tooth led orchestra – in such…Continue Reading

Teeth in the Streets

A poem by SIMRAN DIVATIA. I stand, firm believer In the concept of self love, A hypocrite. A fraud, Cannot help But compare myself, To ‘prettier’ girls With skinnier waists And smaller thighs, I think we are all full Of positive advice, Until we’re talking To our reflections, And can’t meet our own eyes. Featured image by Flood G, source: Flickr. 

Hypocrite

A poem by CLAUDIO CAMBRA. noise Iʼm used to it. they said, I said, this is how it is. all this noise and everyoneʼs listening. everyoneʼs looking. talk to the ceiling but quietly, the keyholeʼs watching. somewhere out there the keyʼs going to come kill me. twenty thousand seatbelt threads ready to rip and throw me through the windshield and everyoneʼll hear me die. scratches on the wall I hear the nails scraping on the wall counting the times I breathe waiting for the last one to pass. shapeless faces staring through the frosted windows. listening through the blindfolds as I try to sleep. they tell me theyʼre coming. through the vents and through the windows. all I tell them is the same: Iʼm used to it. Featured image courtesy of Claudio Cambra Gomez

Schizophrenic

A poem by ELLIOT JAMES SMITH. No one sleeps in this city, no one, no one sleeps, not tonight. Tonight we’ll listen to Zarathustra and read the new Bible. Tonight we’ll walk through the streets of the Old City, though the streets, the twisting, turning, winding, weaving streets, and unlink all the hands that are linked because sleeplessness is found in solitude. Tonight we’ll kick everyone out of our beds and leave them sat on their luggage in Sants Station like tourists without a map, robbed of all identification in the Ramblas, the bars or the beach. We’ll call them Morpheus and refuse to slumber under warm Christmas lights and Coca-Cola Santa Claus, under shiny new blinking iPhones and bottomless beer bottles. This night we’ll celebrate Samhain instead of Halloween and wish the mainstream media happy Hanukkah because our name is not Palinurus any longer and we drowned all the Gods…Continue Reading

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

A poem by SAM HUDDLESTONE you said “jump” in your mind   like a lead laden leaf, you fall; skydiving initially, you risk drowning thereafter.   you pollute it when you break its surface, holding breath and closing eyes,   caught by a fraction of the volume. a squint of high stakes but still the sun floods, floods all but you and the area directly below.   once adjusted you look to see your feet dangle and dance down in the blue. straddling oblivion; treading water in a sideways figure of eight.   who knows how many of your bodies make up the depth. you see it so it exists but it is nothing. what does that make you then? lost in mirrors and photographs. you set your sights to a time signature and can shoot if it gets too much.   your arms are spread, you start counting down…Continue Reading

top down bottom up?

A poem by WERONIKA BRZEZINSKA. The entire world: shadow of the moon, the past, the soon, caught in your eyes, and wants to play hide and seek with us. Come! Above our heads a million lights, beneath our feet a million lives whispering their stories to blades of grass that pass them onto us in sound and scent and swing. See? The sun is pulling the horizon down by a string. A renegade in retrograde, like me. Sunburnt sky, red my lips, Evening flare, burn my tongue, Swaying waves, teach my hips how to dance to summer’s song. Can you hear it, the music in the distance? Listen… The wind is whistling a tune for two, will you sway with me if I sway with you? Here we are, now we are, as we are d a n c i n g hiding from our decadence, silent by coincidence, waiting…Continue Reading

At Sunset

A poem by ANONYMOUS. How many times will I go through Gower Street looking for you again?   In between the trees, And the Quad, And the faceless smiles, of every stranger that locks eyes.   How many times will I miss you again? In the library spot you liked With the panini you always ate Small memories are pointless I know. But they form a bigger picture of something else, something that hurts a little less.   All the places you once were, Are now empty and silent. I don’t know how to deal with it yet,   Your silence.   Our lives are part of other lives. Cobwebs made of cobwebs, Piles of red string tangled together, The best mess was our paths crossing in between it all. Despite it all.   I keep looking for you everywhere. Not in the trees this time, but in the sunny flowers…Continue Reading

Gower Street Missing