In this issue

Sammi Gale
Leo Hunt
Kate Duckney
Alessandro Powell
Andy Stallings
Meredith Thornhill
Joe Luna
Vanessa Saunders

hammocks were not invented to have siestas, but to dilute the attraction of public hangings. Horse fly, el Mexicano. Mercury was definitely in retrograde during the making of that film. Altitude produces spontaneous nosebleeds, and surface this time is a bunch of flowers, hidden within the vanguard. There should be a word for wanting to throw your keys and phone over a bridge, or open a car door on a motorway. Merely copying soap, my friend, the isotope, arrives through the margin to write a biopic on BongHit Maggie. Personal shopper. Touché, it’s a Citroën! Please respect our neighbours and depart quietly. What you are reading is an ache list, and what you are really sensing, when lighting a match during a gas leak, is the modernity. Please respect our Citroën, it arrived silently, merely imitating soap. Loosen
and translated the phrase ‘When Sparks Fly’. Explained to the classroom what the TV meant, inducing a coma. Day seven. The journalist wanted to know if I was the understudy. After dinner – which ruined me thanks to an animatronic singing prop fish – we ‘walked and talked’ for a while, until I came down off the vitamin rush. He was blinded and myopic and biased with respect to the TDK D-C60 cassette tapes, for which I really did have an anvil feeling, like I was alone inside a huge forest of my own making, with no saleable skills, whatsoever, the forest canopy obscuring the view from above. In a committed image, a lung cannot be punctured by a spork, or other forms of hybrid cutlery. It can be cold in April, even as the


Having opened his mouth the story escapes and grows bold, grows old; the story is such a strange capering creature that he scarcely recognizes it as his own. The voyage happened, there is no doubt of that. He tells his listeners of gods, because they expect gods, and he tells them also of monsters, knowing that they have the genuine article sitting in front of them, if they cared to look. He tells the listeners of his crew, for a great man needs followers, although in truth he sailed alone, naked by day and sullenly wrapped in a stinking blanket by night, his beard permanently clarted with fish grease. He does not mention being so hungry he would bite into the shining flanks of fish whilst they were still convulsing in his hands, nor the gouts of watery shit this raw diet produced. Heroes do not squat and whimper and wash themselves in the contemptuous stinging waves.

        He tells his listeners that his voyage took ten years, although in truth he has no idea how long he spent out there in the waves, his only god the sun itself, peering each morning over the golden seam of the ocean like a pitiless eye. He tells the fire-lit crowd about women so beautiful you would drown yourself for them; and hadn’t he spent those cold nights retracing the hollows and hills of every woman he had ever lain with, picking over these memories until their bones were bright and clean? He speaks to them of monsters: blinded giants and their herds, sorceresses with an eye for a strong-limbed sailor king; he serves the crowd lashings of monsters, monsters with many heads, monsters who devour grown men like you or I would pick an olive from a bowl. Monsters who return home from a distant war, long thought dead. Monsters who find their wives living with another man; who kill their wife and her suitor both; blood, dark as wine, spread over the unmade bed.

From Ada

in the kitchen where the white foods are  & the air sometimes curdles
it is easy to hate someone in the kitchen
in the morning     say a freak you loved fucking in a dream & the shame
of that pleasure    slurries in the farmhouse pond when he
asks me if I have been a bad girl  & my knees sink   like a bag of kittens
knotted for the river      really there are ways of choking the oesophagus
namely laughing    so today at the end of spring   he is
bashing ostrich eggs on the edge of a pan   his voice a barrel chest
breaking through   yet another shirt  & I am Arrietty  little Arrietty
sucking the dew  from the filters of nasturtium leaves  scathing with my
pointed face poking the conchcurl of his ear  I love yaya   big lug notice
how the policeman’s shoulders always shrink  when the tiny waitress
tells him this at the end of her shift ripping out her bra fillets shaking off
her wig   what would happen  if we all got smaller and smaller

Mid-Ocean Shallows, Or, Charybdis’s Revenge

Swallows whales whole

underwater umbrella

a spiral sort of spine, forms

from bags laced with algae

where eels once intoned 
of love & Odysseus. 
Something plastic

caught upon his tongue eternally.


I remember a face that I drank like water. 
The hot afternoon sky seemed, 
at the edges, painted – 

dripping white, hot and crushing 
over the pines. Resin spread a net 
over the clearing where 
we searched for magnetite. 

Everywhere, sap slid 
imprisoning insects I wouldn’t 
even call surprised. 

Gramma fixed a drink and one for later, fed us 
butter crackers. There were too many fish in that
 creek. When I closed my eyes they were all I could 
see, slick shadowy torsos rotating, bumping, 
rotating – 

It was very quiet.

A Whole Ocean's Apart

Not hungover Enya remix.
Ah, Enya, I apologize
now ten days away.
He expressed himself,
the details.
Nostalgia in praise of shadows.
Tell me at last
a high speed train late response. 
Imitation game apologies.
I love again,
I return home.
The whole thing
a moment
of frantic boozy enlightenment.

ii. A Japanese culture kick captivating thoughts getting lost in it. I feel, Monsieur more myself spread my wings in many ways more freedom. Flying home anxious to sing ‘Silent Night’ a household movie watching to see you, a lovely Christmas Eve. The airport Sunday eve I’m afraid I won’t want to come back. To London a flat in Notting Hill.

xv. Pretend it’s Christmas again. Watch films all day draw in bed blag a day off, you lucky sod. Your feelings you’re still zen check it out, Andy Stott. Meet contemporary friends carry these people throughout your roller-coaster life inspiring at best a good one. A roller-coaster, the simplest way how to express January. The sheer adjustment to this newness, to slow down take a breather for me to acknowledge I’m tired, Dave. Inexplicable ruts not easy to get through an invisible line continues the design colors sound. The evolution of the road, a planet under pressure.

In the Garden

and what could be more serene than a cat
pawing at a sundial glorious to crack 
my back out on a slab of granite
I see my shadow leans too far 
over your shoulder I must learn
to respect your ruminations on
the novel you have been
reading all summer pages
falling out have become a way
of telling when it is your private
time of the month I could see right
through you last week when you were
trapped inside the greenhouse waving at me


*a dialogue

“Each new hero is the law of proof bludgeoned
into hot sauce, a kind of breathing joke afforded
the respect to vigilantes and the blind elevation
into figure, a flinch of politesse one morning was
botched carnage by the meat on your apprentice
shindig rapped on moral standby feverish descry
the utmost guts for garters in a subaltern stiff
Without me you would not otherwise
              be dead, since in you I find myself unutterably
alive, your grip in fierce abandon cuts the mustard
spreads a biochemical cascade and all four wheels
openly inject a curve: I thought to melt that
tracer, thought to massage one specific track
for duller optic infinite decay.
Aries new moon is
a cardinal cross section.
I almost saw you that way.”

“But you are my little chocolatey monkey plum
pot aren’t you?
Where else can terminators cut
down traffic over continents, respond eagerly to
bitter weeping snap my tune fellow’s got the knife
stuck in his lip or brow breathing hard out next
door in the wandering gamer’s grip part sanctioned
by some breathing scab arguably stuffed so full
of pristine satire light the whole game slides counter
              tenor to the way you were before all this happened
the indelible stupidity of love before
the passion-fist was gone down to write versus strike
action, you make the morning factory aplomb
when you imagine whatever you imagine panic to
Stop scrounging platelets.
No was all he said
it’s OK chef, my life clammed up immediately,”

“Stop blood from simply going home.
to the damage that goes in diagonally, punching the
turkey in the oven writing is a primitive election
denatured to the same mass bracket that a creamy belt
prone to all the modular derailments each wrong
defibrillated branch is used to, to swallow squares of felt
in year four, sitting down.
The problem with my
childhood was that it sucked: a combination of con
              sent and virtue bridled to my relationship with scorn
became untenable as a common sun turned by
satellite for each square mile would need three hundred
and fifty feet of 250,000 patients in the international
health service rodeo.
I touch you, and you become

“The figure is flame
retardant, the limb figure favourably tumescent
genitals on t-shirts that a part of you is not final, I
think, bent fluid causing sex to spring up regardless
              that claim is data’s security blanket fabulous in
murdered acrimony able to detect the enemy
in precision bookwove as lunchmeat re-vamps
the anthill life takes on a life all by its own.
in general get nothing done.
Gaps in the sun-kissed
inbox you say memory is a proper term for
lining undiscovered pockets with a bullish list,”

“I said to you, I think I know exactly what you mean:
how do we address the living specificity of total
strangers milking bad compassion into endless
cod refusal?
An open swarm begging to continue
the line you got sent out to nurture, where organs
sound like favours doled on out or for each line
half in sunny shadow?
You would encounter
objects, small plants go from short to universal,
              giving speech a bad name for saying everything
in dying breaths but subjectively was like a bag
of wasps, fumbling the aorta, fucking livid,
must change this world from the inside out or die
trying, exchange on principle the principles of
murderous and bestial and cowardly exchange.
A travel ban on sickness.
Stop blood being lame.”

“It is very late in the evening and each beginner as
she quickens can self-undercoat your object horizon
slant, as primrose over the waves bounce gladfully
for no song but the idea of key lime pie keeps
on insisting is in order – food itself becomes
harmful, starlight Nespresso clones an ambush,
flags and all, one sharp finger in the sternum.
Children screaming curses at the sea; definitely
              no-one else is hiding.
Lasagne is the saddest
food, they trespass with the sound of binding
as we start over one by one into the cut he
soon would learn to think like me, into vore
and St. Ides heaven, carefully alluding to the
finish only acolytes can listen to: the pony tithe,
whose emergent direct looks die out
before you do,
in the perfect middle of where England is say
thank you.”

“A small red toy accordion, a blackened grate with
a pillow stuffed inside it, some plastic copper green
Soviet seahorses on the castle battlements remember
amphibrachs, flesh out the ligatures that boil
revulsion into pity for the loose-knit diorama
mourning brigades who must love everybody now,
made to figure that reaction out of compromise
with oil seed rape and sunshine.
What is your
              effect on being tone, how do you suffer it to live
as tulips in a shit cosmogony?
I remain yours
too, the helpless foolproof inveterate rejoicing
things to look at dolefully from the velvet window.
Are you going to stand there, dancing like a brilliant
crocodile, and tell me otherwise?
Muscles go
electric in the dead cert catalogue of you on file,
bulldozing credentials.
Reluctant to achieve scheming on the possible
world beside the hippodrome in Paris, Bratislava,
you make sure thought gets back to basics,”

love you for this,
heroes put thumbscrews on the sill,
proving race a dumb show maize snack oubliette
washed down with burglary compensation pasta
              manifestos; you make detention absolute.
that hurt loads,
but I escaped, I sustained, I engaged, I persisted: egg
shells break even in the starry sky, sparks begin to floor
fat sonnets, political class try screening with
impunity envisioned underworld franchise or
gone shop floor balcony, are being questioned to the effect of
what does a hairline fracture sound like?
And you
cannot answer with his blindfold in your mouth.”

“Extreme of other limp residual bionic caliphate
makes negative edges of you, rust to puny artificial
heart, the only kind of death you dream of daily.
In Outworld, things look grim.
I found the saddest
music easy, made him come in carceral formicophilia
plummy fucker style, made one voice bullishly
accountable forthwith by removing exile dust from
plasma canons fold, or in other words, removed
the fact of life from that cavity entirely, put
him off.
              All the other different kinds of triage
hold their own, just consisting, the inset on moral
lockdown a hand-held sky-blue radical account
of me; I measured it
from side to side, I didn’t really,
the lattice victim full of grace proffers you a life turned
over publicly before the countryside invades
the hospital and terrors cease.”

“Do put your mark down, sweetness.”

“How can I ever repay you?”

Southern Gothic

I am walking towards home around dusk. The dusty street parallel to my university is populated by other slow-walking students, professors, long-faced men and women in fast food uniforms. A grey truck passing. I only see the right side of the boy’s face--  his skin pale, a cheek stung red-- but his words hang out after him, “Your vagina smells bad.” I stop walking. The truck is blowing past the greenlight -- I don’t see the truck anymore.   

Daoism promulgates the principle of wu-wei, most simply it translates, do nothing. The dogma of inaction. But, standing, stagnant, the sidewalk-- is inaction  not a certain kind of action, in my case, an invitation for further action? A resistance to act is symbolic of a particular guilt, individual refusal is witnessed as personal surrender, acceptance, though calming, is not requital for the caveats of justice, of order, of social transposition.    

Does my vagina, actually, smell horrific? The boy-- I’ve never seen him before, or the truck. It is most or more likely the comment was of a rather arbitrary-- vernacularly “random”-- nature. Of course, not completely random, for I am a young woman walking alone at dusk. I have a vagina, therein.   

Daoist suggests that instead of hurling a rock at the truck, I, ever-simply, melt back into the oak trees spiraling obliquely over head, the indefinite mirage of the sky, such sweet dust. This is the state for which I must strive: to be one with the dirt. 

Slowly, at the empty street,  I raise my torpid middle finger.