In this issue

Samantha Purvis
Kate Duckney
Mason Bondi
Leo Hunt
Melissa Hohl
Alessandro Powell
Vanessa Saunders
Andy Stallings
Samuel Rowe



waiting is an enchantment: I have received orders not to move Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse
The morning arrived when it was time for her boyfriend to go travelling and she went with him to the airport. In the otherwise deserted carriage of a train rattling through the city they sat across the aisle from each other. The train burst out of a tunnel into the dazzling yellow of a summer morning and then slid back into darkness. It was cool in a way that suggested it would be hot later. At the airport she said goodbye to him in an echoing white space between the escalators and the check-in, then watched him lope away clutching the straps of his backpack. By the time she embarked on her solitary journey home it was hot, mid-morning, the train carriages empty again. At home, the panes of coloured glass in the front door cast a warm parallelogram of green on the floorboards. She went up to her bedroom and lay down. It was so quiet that she could hear the hum of the fridge downstairs. Eventually she slept and dreamed that she could see the world through his eyes, drifting out of sleep hours later to the muted sounds of traffic and church bells tolling six. She went over to the window and heaved it open. Above the gleaming lead roofs there was nothing, or what passed for nothing: a crane dipping in the empty sky, a streak of vapour where a plane had gone past. Directly below her there was a battered Allegro idling in the street. Her next-door neighbours, a group of boys from university, were loading the car with boxes and suitcases. A couple of pot plants and a tatty leather bean bag sat on the pavement. Eventually the neighbours finished loading, got in and slammed the doors. The car pulled away, a fug of blue exhaust fumes lingering behind in the still air. Her friends were all travelling or at home with their parents for the holidays. Her plan was to get a job or try to finish her novel, but this first evening without him she drifted from her laptop to the fridge and back again, pausing to smoke out of the back door and watch the neighbour’s cat skulk through the high grasses. With nobody in town and little money to spend she soon became bored. One day she finally sat down to look at the university jobs website and found an email from him, his first communication since leaving over a week ago. He hadn’t written anything, but attached dozens of images. As she was clicking through them, a notification floated up from the bottom of the screen signalling a second email. Then a third, a fourth, until a run of (no subject)s filled the entire first page of her inbox. Of the thirty pictures, not a single one showed his face – he was always behind the lens. In the morning, the photos had formed a thin film over her vision, tinting everything the hazy electric blue of a Shanghai twilight. Ghostly red shapes rose up in front of her, as if someone had lit a field of sky lanterns in her kitchen. She drifted through her days with no real sense of how much time was passing, the only markers being her short Skype conversations with him. There were always anonymous t-shirt sleeves in the corner of the shot, a friend waiting for him to finish so they could go off and do something; she could never tell if it was a boy or a girl. In a supermarket that seemed empty for a Saturday evening, she drifted between aisles collecting the ingredients for her meal: salmon fillets, a bulb of garlic, a fresh lemon, a jar of honey. When she came to pay for her food, the cashier scanned the barcodes in slow motion. Her elderly neighbour was queuing at the next cash register along. Although she had never seen him before this summer, she often ran into him now in the supermarket or on the bus, as if she had fallen into the slow rhythm of life he’d been keeping to. She caught up with him on the ramp down to the carpark and offer to take one of his bags. They spoke in small bursts, and then the conversation died out. As they approached the top of the hill, she saw that the cavernous blue sky was imprinted with the image of a temple. The building drifted across the horizon and vanished. ‘Hello?’ her neighbour said. They had reached his garden gate, in fact she had gone slightly past it. Bees hovered around the lavender bush, hazy in the evening fug. ‘Sorry, I was miles away.’ Inside, he asked if she wanted something to drink and, without waiting for her reply, shuffled out of the back door to fetch some lemonade. Through the whitened window she watched him heave open the door of his garage and meld into the dim interior. She leaned back against the countertop and her arm touched something sticky. The plastic bags of shopping stood on the table, the handles straining upwards as if someone was still holding them. She went over and started to unpack them. As she did so, she became aware that she had heard her phone go off some time ago, when they first came into the house. The slowness of the realisation disturbed her. The air was a dense amber she was suspended in. She took the phone out of her pocket. She saw an image on the screen. The man came back into the kitchen and poured her a glass of lemonade which tasted too sweet and sharp. They talked for a while and then she said she had to leave. At home she saw the dirt in her house for the first time: the cobweb dangling from the bare and milky lightbulb, the specks of black mould around the glaucous eye of the washing machine, the shine of grease on the countertop. She wandered into the lounge, where the diffuse light through the white curtains blurred out imperfections. She took out her phone and looked at the photograph again. It was a picture of him with his arm around a middle-aged lady at some kind of festival. The image was startlingly clear on the small screen of her phone; in the background she could make out a trestle table laden with roasted meat, dumplings, cloud bread, boiled sweets. Beyond that a Bodhi tree scraped its brown-grey fingers against a stone wall. Three blurs of colour across the foreground resolved themselves into pieces of confetti. The picture quality was so high that she could see the slight shadow where each strip of coloured paper curled slightly as it fell. Both her boyfriend and the lady were laughing at something the person behind the camera had said. A tiny piece of paper fell from the ceiling and came to rest on her shoe. She looked up. Another piece of confetti fluttered down, pale yellow, and grazed her nose. Then a flurry of glitter burst above her head and made the air shimmer. More confetti was falling now: it came down in lazy spirals, sycamore seeds in slow motion, and left her skin tingling where it seemed to touch her. It collected in multi-coloured snowdrifts in the corners of the room, banked up against the legs of the chairs and floated on the glass surface of the coffee table. She opened her arms, a movie star in a sudden downpour, but the confetti danced away from her touch. A gentle hubbub of voices rose around her. She couldn’t make out the words, but they seemed to be saying that he was never coming back.


I think  we drink
our associations  the way our bodies

drink water    it’s true  we have to
suck what we’re made of

or we die

quite simply death
for a woman is exactly this

the cry  of ‘corporeal bitch’
under a great green
gas moon

my body leaks
 into the slant
where the shadow of my dog
should be     & forms
a cadaverous nude
whose head shatters
and regathers on steps

Fig Tree

I split logs on a wet December morning 
exposing rotten wood a hunt  
for salamanders turned destructive
she wondered why I was red in the cheek and calm 
she knew I was an arm biter 
so hard he dropped me without a sound inserting  
the ballpoint into the apple turning it
the wound was hidden  
I found my own voice  
to be keener than the fig tree 
the redwood grove in December

The Conceptual Arts

She is the recipient of delirious reviews in all the highbrow periodicals. She has taken the sound of a tree growing and trapped it in a glass case. She has written a poem named Empire of Sand, which changes every time you read it.

I do not understand her art. I do not understand her ability to make it rain merely by forgetting her umbrella.

We have rehearsed her new performance piece. I kneel on the ground and she pushes her hand through my body. Her arm pierces my back and exits through my mouth. My heart is held, still beating, in her hand. The floor is not stained by blood. A plastic sheet crackles beneath my knees. Beyond the fishtank walls of glass, I hear applause.

The Party

A dark room someone dances in it
street lights outside shine there is a halo
that hovers over all that is left
This is holy work a thing we’ve seen
crawl out of bodies 
We send letters someone dances in a dark dark
room repeating sounds until dawn
In dreams
all of a sudden the trees


Shadows trapeze
across windows 
they breeze
by like light
motes moving
in half-tones
down the hall-
way now your
fingers run down
said vortex of hues
--I was so sure
that was you--hell
I saw you yawn
between said beams
of dawn-light and
last night’s sand is
dusky, you know, 
as in still
in my eye, is
that last touch,
how you say
goodbye, or all
morning; I longed
to caress the 
Aztec temples of
thy cheeks again,
once more, 
in case you didn’t
wake before me.


Yesterday I walked out to the water. I saw Freud standing out where the cliff drops off suddenly. He didn't look at me, he just stared out at the ocean.

He suffers from gravity. I had to talk him down. Don't leave us behind, I say. Your anger is righteous however you can not let the anger get out of hand. He says, How can the people sleep? I don't know. He wants to be alone. I am afraid to give him what he wants.

: : :

Banners hung in winter.
No one to hold the ladder.

A soldier tells
the profit margin
and the tax.

In a station, in 
a station, well-lit 
empty shops stocked
for departure.

A child tells
the date to orient
absent bodies to
their destinations.

Riding one train
through winter
to catch another.

Mock Orange

July nights I ease the window open with my foot 
wait for the first roll of coolness.  
wind in the mock orange  
and it’s lost finger prints of spring   

soon the mock orange is shivering  
sticks at the window. Time  
passes things croak and plop  

that nail in the wall held something 
but the string of sense untied  
as the mock orange bloomed  

Enamel Moon

What is the moon 
becoming? One night
it turned

enamel filling
my eye. I found
myself open. Set

in the wheat field
behind our house.
A cloud moved 

moonwards and it 
winked open with 
a glint and together

the wheat heads
trembled. My throat
opened through

silver night bisecting
the lupine moon. A sound
to grind teeth

against. My spread 
teeth two rows
of gleaming moons.

Night blind the wheat
heads trembled
pushed air into

air turning the moon 
faster unwaning.
Rain fallen silver

to the wheat heads
linking mouth to
silver. White

the wheat heads
locked together
like so many 

lunar fangs. The glinting
moon a sideways
grin on the open field