A poem by NATALIE RUSSO. Yes, I’m at a point in a young life where I’m stitching a sort of patchwork of my past. Snags in the fabric–affirmative–but what you do is gently brush your hand over it, can only accept it. From now I’m learning to work my love, see what lasts and gets born when I break off for tomorrows. At these crossroads I remember very well, but memory blips too. Jump starts and quick flicks. Yes, sun-setting times of old have been stored and simultaneously don’t exist in our adult world if I lived them at 8 years old, a small adult all too old for 8–it’s ok, no one can help divorce and all that trails behind it. If I was 10. A muggy adolescent. Around here, healthy people heat up parts of their past selves on stoves and feel them evaporate. They say I need…Continue Reading

Graduating

A poem by JENNA HAM.   These drops beat on the floor of my mind, in sparkly whirlpool chimes.   It’s part imagined and part experienced: this glittery sensation of hām. The whole day has been a space in time, as the tick-tock of the clock is drenched in rainfall, and tyres beat the ground relentlessly. I can’t tell whether it’s day or night, summer or spring, April or November. Today is faceless in the rain, and so am I. Blot it out of the calendars! It’s too rainy a day to be today. Featured Image courtesy of Jenna Ham.

Rain

A poem by BENJAMIN CAMPBELL.   Well, the walls enclose our place in this pub – We like it, at least.   A round is called for, to clink and give thanks for cheap Yorkshire drinks –   down through the gold O of a shouted laugh guffawed at a gaffe.     Tomfoolery. We see autumn orange of wilderness dales   roll within our ales. It’s shrinking, this band of merry young men.   Perhaps that’s why we cling to our habits like ancient tabards –   the sign of our time and space, briefly bound before the end of the round.     Featured Image Source: unsplash.com

Last Call

A poem by JENNA HAM.   On the brink of another month, I’m a string of lunar lights, and bulbs that smash.   There’s power in these deserted streets in the morning of honey hour, alone with my thoughts: marigold, honeydew, white-gold, barely gold – the gold of sleepwalkers and the apocalypse.     I’ll crackle like a vinyl as it comes alive, and wash my face in cyan clouds with a bed-head step. My past selves echo out of these faceless sunny days, and rise after dark.   It’s exhilarating.   When I read the signs I realise that these have been the most important days of my life. Ic hine cūðe: I knew him. Under this flat, snow-globe summer I am free to roam.   Featured image courtesy of Joe Joyce, with permission.

Sunrise Shift

A poem by IVY GAO.     plucked from the depths of the cosmos, snug as a pea, pearl-soft, toes to the moon, mind a starry sea. a twitchy hatchling, a tickly tadpole, a wriggling fish, soft as cookie dough. damp as a lilypad bathed by a sun-shower, velvety as the belly of a cherry-flower. slick as raw yolk, and twice as sunny, jumpy as a wood clock, pink as a bunny. hairless as an onion, a tulip bud scampering across the sky, a happy bug. warm as a kiss in the morning mist, a loaf of bread rising, damp with yeast. in the midsummer sun, a springy sprout curled like a question mark, tummy to the clouds.     Featured image courtesy of unsplash.com

i’m baby

A poem by BENJAMIN CAMPBELL.   Not a face you’d find photo-chopped on National Geographic fronts. Not safe enough for a shoot, anyway:   not with skies electrically alive, drowning in a constant droning that sets the teeth even during sleep. In khaki with old Kalashnikov too big, a brother’s hand-me-down, he speeds past ruined, horizonless sands   and scans for contrails as surely as a pupil bent to text. Inside him lies the unexploded man, the knot   not yet unravelled – then a bullet threads the needle of his eye. Stray chance. Then his body, like other sacks   is simply shrugged from out the back of the truck. Twenty other eyes, ten unexploded mines, watch on. Featured image source: shutterstock.com

Boy Soldier

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 prose piece by NATALIE RUSSO.   He had told his daughter not to bother with this scribbly drivel, but: What if we brought our crafts together, you slot your slats, I scratch out letters? I’m going to paint your portrait. Lend me cement and watch exactly how I make a house of your day in day outs, unqualified—yes, and the cement already burns my hands as I saw down images too confusing, search for metaphors in the skip skip skip. God, many men on this building site.   He repeated that his daughter should really not bother detailing any of it, confiscating my materials so I could barely jot down with pencil-behind-ear that He was already out the door moving with steel-capped boots (DeWalt) a-clomping. Dawn in the UK. Those big loud boots warn me: I must be literal, no drivel now so OK whatever you say, watch! My commentary’s…Continue Reading

He Had Told His Daughter Not To Bother, But

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