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Mantra Mukim        - raipur ambient

Lucy Rose Cunningham - Interval: House, Lover, Slippages (selections)

Rebecca Kane         - Meat Cute

Fintan Calpin          - August 20

                                 - August 24

                                 - September 22

Karólína Rós Ólafsdóttir  - Automatic Speech Recognition

                                          - *

Louis Fabrice Tshimanga - Senza nome 1

River Ellen MacAskill - Crawling out of the hellmouth

Lou Collins                - Clockwork Orange

Ciara Maguire - HAND TO MOUTH

                         - BREAKFAST CLUB

Peter Manson  - the merry wido

                          - an englishman's tongue is his kazoo

Zohra Iqbal       - incised

alex cruse          - from  SOLO FOR WORLD SYSTEM

Poppy Cockburn - Stella McCartney Bra
                              - liquid crystal lovesick demon

                              - I am snaky

nicky melville     - make gates grate again  

                            - [un]thought experiment

Jac Common     - gastrology of fucked-up wetland

                            - wellbeing check-in

F.M. Faccion      - LinkedIn is the Anti-Christ

                           - 4am Reddit quarantine

Sabeen Chaudhry - Sket Life

                               - (No) Life

                               - make her rob a motherfucking bank

                               - cull

                               - my heart’s not true

Oliver Southall  - Vernal Equinox

                           - Free From

Cam Scott         - from SNOWMARE

Dom Hale          - Instead of Sleep

                           - For Mau

Joey Frances      - another friendship poem

 

Sophie Taylor     - and I waah

Kaisa Saarinen   - Seedbird

                            - Mud

Alex Glynne       - @pstoral3
                         

Anne Lesley Selcer - Did Someone Say Sin or Sorrow?

                                 - Morning Poem'

 

BREAKFAST CLUB

Ciara Maguire

in the morning the air / is different / a pink antiseptic quality / everything raw edges / swelling / like a grapefruit / violence happens so much / as to be dreary / trauma repeated / like a bruise / gone soft

 

i hear women screaming / roll my eyes / wish they’d just / be quiet about it / everything that hurt me /

made me worse / at night the sky softens / hollows out / just enough / to hold their lungs / i dream of

24-hour darkness / polar night / your breasts / rising like bodies / under ice

 

i think it’s lovely / how your idols / reply to you on twitter / how you always / heart react / heart react/ i want to hold your plait / in my teeth / like a leash / want to condition / the hair on your legs /

tomorrow my heart / will crack quietly / like a yolk / orange & / unseemly / bursting glossy / ovum

into your / mouth 

HAND TO MOUTH

they say the body keeps the score 
& mine is losing
                 badly
a game of fives i did not sign up for
this work is difficult & hard to do well
get day drunk & dance in lidl frozen aisle
the prawns are indifferent
                 i am no-one anybody wants to be
an endless loop of flesh & weather

 

later i flirt with you through tracked changes
tell your poems you have a great sense of humour
                 i have nowhere to be;
just this day & this word
doc sprawling rough & compelling like
alligator skin
you text me i want to be somewhere pretty
i text back me too

but tomorrow i will be at nisa again
same loaf   same milk same lonely exchange
of coins and i will go home       shuffle
cards & pray           
                 i will
                 live this down

 

the merry wido

Peter Manson

there was a salt fish that absorbed the wolf clyde water

pre-empting glasgow which would have empted anyway

the wind blows mary a contrary identity

her mother was a professional hog-dandler

and preferred to be known as the enemy of lies

ah will you lay me down and love me for no reason

through my uncoordinated irritable hole

or androgynous peripheral attach system

or all of the above and not for want of trying

poetry will be mad eyeball at the doxx and fuck

be sure to dig it out while it still looks like vomit

troll cats looked like balls of yarn in autotelic play

or the testicles in an old sparrow in april

an englishman’s tongue is his kazoo

complex simon met a foreman sunning his despair
i told them when i think i can’t go on i go on
supercritical space-filling self-avoiding walks
against the encroachment of old aberdeen sub-wobs
upon the turf of my new and selected poems
good      occasionally poor later      rolling homeward
to become the father-in-death of my own parents
i had cut off like a weaver my examined life
of imaginary shit with real sweetcorn in it
and had no memory of my life as a jockey
my cyanotic dog licking this off a pizzle
the harmlessness of the laurel and hardy theme tune
or the jimmy shand monument in auchtermuchty

 

Zohra Iqbal

incised

I was incised into a lambent sunbeam 

engraved wholeheartedly into that imperceptible stream of light 

 

open green glass, water bowl

that she dips her hands in. 

 

                                 soft rain falls from them. drip. see the mountain sitting in front of you. she takes us up its

side like ants on that long traverse of 

                                                                                      marble. i dropped ice cream once onto the cream/ egg 

white of the house in cyprus. 

                                            within moments ants had swarmed onto it.
 

                                            ducks in a pond.

                                            ducks swimming round

                                            circles into the water. old woman speaking to ducks;

 

me a child on a swing, 

                                            everything smelling of heat. words elude me. i elide. 

 

 

                                                                                                            incised
 

                                                                                                            lay me onto the soft table

                                                                                                            lay me to rest, let ferns and wild grasses

                                                                                                            circle my legs 

                                                                                                            let me be a cygnet crowned with morning sun:

                                                                                                            engrave me. 

 

i see myself as one of those old stones/ rune stones

carved into with a wolf's tooth blade,

lupine, neck stretched up to gulp 

                                                                          down the sky.

                                                                          fish swim inside me i am all flakes of silvery moon, the 

                                                                                                                                                                                         buoyant rice paper lantern 

 

 

                                                                                                              risen:

                                                                                    aubade in the early hours, such is the life of a rice paper lantern. bending 

                                                                                    reeds, i fashion 

 

a rice paper lantern. 

 

circle the reed like a coronation 

of blood, feel pulpy 

clotted glue and paper mix into your

fingers. it is globby. it brings                                     itself into your mouth 

                                                                                                 like a pudding, trailing 

                                                                                                 effervescent threads, 

 

                                               tentacles, reaching extensions of you, 

                                                                                                                                                                       your tangled root network, 

                                                                                                                                                                       extracting.  

 

i am all extracted now, 

uncarved, 

filled in like subtle dentistry under

the moonlight. feather slope

under the moonlight,

i am all dissolution

 

plush jumper, coloured baby/child pastel blue. 

 

incised 

 

she wakes me up in the early morning with 

                                                                                                  the sound of her fajr and her duas. 

 

                                                                                                                                                             the sound of her prayers: washing me

in the blue waters of her childhood sky, 

                                                            rocking the z buried under soft cream bedcovers. glow-in-the-dark tasbeeh and i open 

up like the long stem of a vase. 

u and i clutching our fluorescent

                                                            pearls in the dark of the bed, the cold side of the pillow

                                                                                                                                                                   made warm 

                     by our hands enclosing small moons. chand.   

years later i call people my moons, 

my line of sight pointed upwards,

seeking moonlight. 

 

split open the goat and rummage around its squelching                                 carcass. 

pull out 

the beaming light, 

return it to her mouth. 

 

spoken onto me are words of protection. my world is decorated with talismans which

                                                                                                                                         dangle 

                                                                                                               from my fingers. flick of the counter against the carrom board 

 

and all moments are victories. past present and future string themselves 

 

along the tasbeeh of my mind,
 

i sit swirling below

light
on clear water. 

alex cruse

 

 from SOLO FOR WORLD SYSTEM

sometime in autumn 2046 

tepals mismanaged room tone

turned ears to a finer instrument

 

the imaginative supplanted by 

associative consciousness 

elegiac motes suckling  atmosphere

robed in paradigmatic blush 

wainscot punch-in unstamps 

the parole, tied up in care line and 

bursting enriched white,

 

unveiled phosphate lyrical fringe and scratchers piled 

torques the mortal hijink

the ladles brimmed with grist, 

executables, blasted another crest 

of ash, its languid zodiac unmoved, heat-sought

architecture's too-full pleat latches

 

‘oft spot, slavic plaiting 

slowly onto reproductive core

in classic cold war arrivant style, sloughed in arcs, 

doxa's creamed unshakeable 

 

core my scythe edge of ilex indelibly decked, 

stock chart just a red gesture, rimmed circle whose center

you want to touch, just to see

 

which side of the mirror matters less, infoliated

 

as true experts disagree

on how best to verify the limbic stain 

as one hikes down

the last lap of our life

my blood in the centrifuge

swish swish swish

Stella McCartney Bra

Poppy Cockburn

 

Iris smiling

Anna whispering

Fleur humming

Sylvia laughing

Juliet basking

Josie painting

Caroline reading

Gertrude gyrating

Suzy smirking

Rachel rolling

Cindy seething

Rhiannon ironing

Amelia moaning

Agnes crawling

Gloria writhing 

Emily smoking

Rose revelling

Ella gargling 

Sophie spluttering

Jemima joking

Rita menstruating

Celia choking

Kate puking

Shannon shrieking

Olivia bucking

Celeste grinding

Gina gagging

Jasmine watching

Theresa floating

Janey sucking

Alison giggling

Sinead retching

Mia glaring

Rosie scheming

Lila spitting

Ruth retreating

Kim sinking

Sandy changing

Eilish blaspheming

Ophelia drowning

Sarah screaming

Cressida hissing

liquid crystal lovesick demon

I slip on a filter

radiate remote pheromones 

& you slide in, follow the protocol

wyd male order 

 

I watch the haze-haloed moon

through the misted window

through the hearts in my eyes

 

your knock on the door 

sounds implausibly loud 

your thereness so actual

 

I unpause the music

ambient harp, lamplight

& we’re safe again, pretending

 

you kiss my synthetic skin

my plumped-up lips

caress the budding horns 

protruding from my forehead

apply a finger to my static nosebleed

 

I wake once in the night

horns retracted, head resting 

on your patterned torso

 

in the morning, I feign sleep

let you stealth away, keep a picture 

of me demonic, cheeks flushed 

unnatural rose

I am snaky

I taste my

own tail

game over

start over

squat & blithe

each bite of

space food

a morsel

for the dowry

of stored love

extending my

tale / optimism

towards

winning

a new game

boy [oops

I have eaten

myself again]

 

make gates grate again

nicky melville

if a scandal developed

involving ingress

through

around

beside

adjacent to

or near

a gate

would it be named

Gategate

by the media?

 

if said scandal

involved a gate

whose ingress

led to a gate

in the archaic

sense of gate

meaning way

or path

would the scandal

be known as

Gategategate?

 

should the scandal

involve a gate

that is actually

called Gate

would the scandal

be referred to as

Gategategategate?

 

further

if the scandal

involved someone

whose surname was Gate

would it then be called

GateGategategategate?

 

similarly

and in parallel

if the scandal

involved someone

whose surname was Gates

would it then be called

GatesGategategategate?

 

if the scandal

involving a person

with the surname Gates or Gate

pertained to Gates’ or Gate’s gait

would the media name the scandal

GategaitGategategategate

or

GatesgaitGategategategate?

 

if Gate’s or Gates’ gait also involved

a door

valve

or other device

for controlling the passage

especially of a fluid

would the scandal be named

GategaitgateGategategategate

(or its equivalent with Gates)?

 

if the gate

or door

valve

or other device

for controlling the passage

especially of a fluid

pertained to a molecule

or part of a molecule

that acts

as by a change in conformation

in response to a stimulus

to permit or block passage

as of ions

through a cell membrane

would the scandal be named

GategaitgategateGategategategate

or

GatesgaitgategateGategategategate?

 

and finally

if some of the above events

involved a number

of paying spectators

as at a sports event

or         indeed

observers

paying to watch

the medical procedures

heretofore mentioned

in an operating theatre environment

beside or near the original gate

and the total admission receipts

of all spectators

were a key factor in the scandal

would it be named

GategaitgategateGategategategategate?

[un]thought experiment

too tier

 to tear

health service, employment, citizenship etc.

 

gastrology of fucked-up wetland

Jac Common

   poem could be compost to nourish windowboxes

gulping fumes of main road grind & clank

 

   poem could be compost to gather up discarded coffee ground

offerings on   padlocked bins for twilight collection & later fed to    

weird rugose spans of rhubarbs & gunnera

 

   poem could be bogland 

acidic past

keeps    dead chilly & warm, energy derived from    steady dissolutions 

 

   poem could be fenland 

alkaline future

considered mainly poisonous but potentially accommodating if    fungal symbionts

are included in    committee

 

   poem could be alder carr, willow carr, tangled deep-wet successional

colder mangroves, brine-pool rooting, reedbeds rotting down

   mush making occasionally nutritious    toothchewed toenail lectureships

 

   poem could be genitals, a flesh folded fractal    

developmental programme of soft enclosures

   disruptive leakings to make biological appear as unfixable fluid

seeping into    cable network thick green tar

 

   poem could be biologic, scratching at doors with a rough barbed tongue

barking in    moonlit ditches

inverting a starfish’s stomach during    open mic that spills steaming gut stuff

metabolises    external spiny surfaces undo hostile architectures

corrodes out space between    pigeon spikes to form a bowl of amnion

crackling power gridded where    opensource gps could build a nest

 

   poem could be a roomba escaping a travelodge in swansea

hoovering feral    shed bolts of old mineworks &    big bridge

 

   poem could be you a digital water body remembering    cellular sea

or    remade wood fibres justabout pulling apart pleasurably

   genderhackathon injection colluding with waiting microbiomes

ears open to    crystallised pickled ginger of pronounciation

   moisturised scars on    chest speak through their puss-mouths

a garbled thank you to communal toilet paper & squat shower head

blending javascript into nail polish

   lungful surface gases taken in through invertebrate ceremony

   complete digesta / excreta of our failing dry swimming pool labours 

revolting into scuffed graffiti

   sensational nervous presence of every possible membrane

 

   poem could be    extruded midnight russets of ichor jellying

from    overripe oranges shoved like bombs into    exhausts of posh cars

 

   poem could be bog-standard

            smashing

wellbeing check-in

on the oily prepackaged salad

    polluted brights of false spring

 

we hope these unremarkable toppings

find you 

well

 

beef tomatoes are regular-sized 

modified off-red drips artificial lodicules

plastichouse flavour, la ley de extranjeria

too-watery bloody sump of the mediterranean

 

at this time the cucumber supply chain 

has coagulated in the black sea

 

fingers pressed in fluorescence 

deep putridity is self-scanned

 

but grapes on pizza is an experience

 

each round bole a sun-berry bloats

heat melts vertical brickwork 

contactless irregularity 

red shift patterns on defrosting tarmac

 

come to the dropout session!

 

yesterday i saw the VC in the blockchain

consuming the crust of a continental plate

 

LinkedIn is the Anti-Christ

F.M. Faccion

Barely fledgling   

Standing catechumens on the precipice of almost   

 

                                                             Out-stretching 

something ant-like 

Trying to articulate anything  

  

Men are funny when they provoke each other

 

They stuff their mouths with time-signatures and anecdotes

They addict themselves to absolutes

  

It’s Morning

The LinkedIn feed is smug and lacks God

In His dearth an article about the right way 

to breathe for happiness 

 

LinkedIn is not only the anti-Christ

But an absence of virtue

 

Clouding over beer-froth and vacant  

bodily encounters   

I’m preening in the mirror and applying liquid make-up for who

 

Tech-bros hurt my eyes 

This year everyone is to move their hands in circular motions when they speak

and inflect the end of sentences 

  

Outside the bar that ghosts frequent   

The frenzied ex-Maoist babbles about ontology and mandates   

Between guzzling the tap and re-calling The Bible 

  

That’s my mother gesticulating towards the sky of my hometown 

Remembering Aquinas

 

                I think  

Through the orifice of smashed stained-glass  

  

His coffin’s incandescent glow devours words

                           In that hymn is silenced by seraphic light

I comforted the Final Rites when tears closed on baroque doors

of hoarded Funeral programmes

  

I’m reminded of them when sifting for inanities   

A contact lens prescription   

Or NHS number   

Paperwork collateral nestled between the life of someone else’s Father  

and a scratch-card  

  

The insipid markings of me    

4am Reddit quarantine

oversharing on a subreddit forum

limbs often go like this (limp)

 

in lieu of my hands’ ashen cradle

I tap into minefields of craniums encased

in U.S. war crimes and content

 

re-calling the first courtship via MSN

with a boy I wed on the playground in my cap of flowers

(*) awaiting marlowe’s madrigals (*)

 

only to discover blowjob briefing through the lyrical croon

of some crass BlackBerry notification        

torso torn amidst nascent exploration

                                                        and antipathy

 

he took you to public places 

expecting porn-acts between sharing beheading videos on Facebook

 

{{sad if not utterly absurd}}

 

 

oh to have curbed the screen strewn with the soft dough

of uncertain bodies

                    the breaking of bread

an Omegle prerequisite despite the intermittent ////////// sweet-talking serenade

 

common interests: 420, harambe, making friends

 

leveraging the transactional nature of relations in tony blair’s britain

I become everyone’s gf on runescape         pimped out for rare items & GP

money squandered on Stardoll memberships      

                      

but Tamagotchi alive to defy the odds                 

                  standing there phallic to fuck time

earl of rochester style 

                             

                                        <3 10 years of immeasurable impact <3

 

on my lunchbreak I watch rats die in heaps

                 digesting baudrillard through cracked tempered glass

my god! look here, above the abandoned 85” TV 

 

there are mothers throwing nappies from derelict windows 

for foxes to pull apart            like sacrificial lambs

bound to altars in the baked half-light.

 

Sabeen Chaudhry

Sket Life

She is getting up on the wrong side / as irradiated coral dust / falling she / (vapourised islands now) / dots the i penumbral / becomes the mo(u)rning breeze and then weightless / skips the rope communal / moving sketlike / leaking the noose. Suspension is her moth-fisted alibi / buoyant labour that clangs the colour / of shadows on the sea. Anticipating gravity’s agenda this time / stretches the legs of her spirit of shade / side-eye with friends they cackle and stride / through storms / floods / atoll craters / eyeshadow fallout / a toxified drop on the end of a leaf. Together they say: ‘fake snow’ / ‘don’t smile’ / ‘every other spiral’ / ‘detonation’ they turn / to one another and mouth ‘miss u when can i see u?’

(No) Life

She is evading / passé so dense it rips the universe a new one / choking on the afterlives through every dusk / desolation / dinnertime / she plays metastable footsie with him under the table / does not let anyone order for her / runs a finger round the rim of- / no, checks her lipstick in the holographic duality of- / no, metallic duplicity of / a spoon. Leaning down, she pats clay on the combed backs of broth kittens / touching her nose to their derelict / wet noses which have been in the milk wine soil / 284 baby hearts full / of metastasis without permission. Beating now she / spills the bisque romantic / sashays the world a turn in good faith saying ‘no’ / (no) (no) (no) (no) / no to their soup / sticks a fork in his arm like she is a law / passing / doesn’t blink / leaves the table.

make her rob a motherfucking bank

abysmal fawn pyroclastic I

 

pretty cry through The Revolution

 

looking like a victimless crime

 

all trending excruciations    petty thefts

 

hot swimming the halocline

 

small_fire_soak

 

abyssal in my salinity

 

anoxic for perfect lines

 

between perfect crimes

cull

in the ached furl of our girlhood

 

the hot-cold of motherly subsidence

 

             diachronous as silt&slide

 

             ride_or_die

 

every suburban street: an opportunity

 

for precocity, a sed(im)entary smirk

 

basking post-megafauna

 

in colonial overkill, resting

 

on their laurels                milk it

 

milk it till it’s blind

my heart’s not true

  infra_swirling

 

           in new inflations of wet microburst

 

               taxonomic soil technics sifting fatal

  

    I want to be perma_

 

frost_footed and free

 

         released from strategy

 

                 and caring too much

 

      unextracted, a wince

 

from an icy heel on a hot thigh

Notes

 

    ‘irradiated coral dust’ is from Kathryn Yusoff’s A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, 2018, p. 45. Here, she also writes of islands being vapourised by the U.S. nuclear tests.

    ‘afterlives’: I borrow from Saidiya Hartman who refers to the ‘afterlife of slavery,’ i.e. its continuities, transmutations and iterative sway, in Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, 2007. I am applying the term more broadly with reference to afterlives of racialisation.

    ‘milk wine soil’ which is originally ‘milk, wine, soil’; ‘284 baby hearts’ and ‘without permission’ are all from Justin McBrien’s chapter, ‘Accumulating Extinction: Planetary Catastrophism in the Necrocene’ in Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism, Ed. Jason Moore, 2016.

    ‘make her rob a motherfucking bank’ is André 3000’s penultimate line in Frank Ocean’s song ‘Pink Matter’.

    ‘my heart’s not true’ is from a Blood Orange song, ‘On the Line’.

 

Vernal Equinox

Oliver Southall

A famous pleasure, watching peas begin to boil.

 

The way they rise and fall. The rightness of their form as matched to a collective motion.


 

This simmering marimba headfeel. A quickened line just jagging to outrun itself.


 

Today a chaffinch does the same song          over and over

 

and collared doves are calling          as though they’ve been here         always.


 

There is a feeling which means something

 

like butterflies 


 

are made of nitrogen and jade. Like something is coming

 

and some things never return. 


 

The birthday sky takes on a lilac haze that looks like warmth

 

like impacts softened and dispersed by water.


 

Floating logos in imaginary light. Like something true and useless whistled from the trees.

 

At the piano, Monk. The voice of Robert Ashley and a muted drone. 

Free From

A muscular pause, conducive to the presence of a sound.

 

A gloss on the somatic aspect.


 

In this case a smooth jazz soundtrack and a goat descending from the boot of a car. 


 

There needn’t be a theory here, or any message buried in events.

 

There’s only the most spacious and amazing shed.


 

There’s only an old fountain somewhere, soft and plashy.

 

And several sounds like fridges, humming.


 

The essence was a single, simple difference.

 

And items have a focal rhythm in the hand.


 

That’s happened.

 

And now this.


 

A meaning flying past like déjà vu.

 

Or parsley on a human tongue.

from SNOWMARE

Cam Scott

 

SNOWMARE. Flash forward to another notebook. Moments are a sheaf of paper, shuffled as the seasons in an age of heavy weather. Met Hayden at the ambient café, born New Year’s Day, and everybody thinks that twenty-twenty is fortuitous. I have an inkling but am less susceptible to symmetry. “The law is my baby.” Many people here have been awake for days. A cluster of beige orbs clutter the ceiling; a lone helium balloon breaks rank with the décor. The continental breakfast has been decimated by the time we move to fill our boots. Amber says congratulations on your union, takes us to her rooftop to admire the unattended feeders. It’s not yet migration season, she explains, when Central Park is a green beacon on the flyway. New year new fare. Over breakfast, Annie visiting from Arizona asks if we believe that anything could really change. Three days without the internet, she prophesies, and people would revolt. Sniff shoes at Dolce, slump to work. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet. What time is it? We’re still at cold feet, hungry dogs, smudged clouds. Day breaks, a bluish bulletin. Skipping stones down an abandoned lane. Pleasure of contemplation in an orange chair, a pianism shimmering like fish. Close listening costs us in metaphor. (Patricia Brennan Quartet, 1/18/20) Pick any element—dried flowers, intermittent kick, a sobbing trumpet, rain-damp beanie, barren guestbook, bathroom tile—and drive a pin through memory’s least feeling tissue, holding the moment in place. The rest will hang there as a garland, or a sentence. And I do mean judgement. Plastic bags went out of style months before they were banned. Everybody’s resolution was to love more, carry less. I guess I am depressed that friends of lovers might dislike me; even in the slight conspiracy of two against society one flirts elliptically, woos by approval. The melody in Morse code spells a key. Red skirt, crimson curtains, a genital pleat. Fat fiddlehead atop the stalk, a crowning curlicue of chordal implication. Leather rustle of uncrossing legs, patient as alligators in an elevator pool. Flu travels by reputation, as onomatopoeia. An instrumental knack starts as a hollows in the arms, an orphic basin brimming. Rhyme without pitch lacks an axis of physical meaning. Missing steve dalachinsky hurts like missing an incredible gig, but every night, at every gig. Ginger candy, ginseng, cat naps. Maybe this is for another project. Diving into history, are objects better? Are we all holes above the ground? Head rush on the whispering snare. Pet sitter to the stars, step ladder to the ceiling. See you in a week, I promised weakly. Safety is returning to the city. Poets are discovering punk rock. A vegan shark fin only looks endangered. But the problem with declared transparency is that it matters which aesthetic one stands limpidly before. Direction and simplicity have changed sides. Tiny paintings, each the size of a matchbox, punctuate the room. This poetry won’t rest until we’re all made politicians, of a sort. The smell of brass, nostalgic sipping from the spit valve. Doing front crawl, gasping for air underarm. It’s hard to say what that would look like—American democracy a make-work project for so many listless statisticians. Society must be defunded. Put your slippers on, we’re going to the store.

Dom Hale

Instead of Sleep

 

where I am no lack 

life overtook me, leap strafe

 

it’s the ginnel of night        stars flute near my shoulder 

 

in whip of a timesheet

I give what I have to the poems        that they’ll move prey mess

      maybe for some listening friends 

                        or others over arc way I don’t know

 

green knife lap

pissed                        to velvet thistle

               here I love how the sky darkens & changes, sound

leading me from irrelevant speech 

                                in slur range

freed up past spite                            I address you

with tattered weeds, whorl pitch

                        I love how the language slaps me

   

too much of our writing

clocked                         or collateral,   

self-laceration

mimics algorithm culture 

       the work society            not what we could throat on

 

                       to turn from this that’s slowly consuming you

I take an arrow from each

 

                winter breaches                     

and go outside of myself                           not lost

                                glamour of the undertow 

 

frost is sword light

For Mau

listen to the falconet        haar-fold

in an overgrown garden 

                hemmed snow grey by blocks

to pulling my shirt off the cord 

 

                        the skull’s a cavity

that proves something

among sharks                              & legal skyline 

so that the world nearly forgets us

 

and polar suicide 

cracks open                         shell of a walnut

is gone

 

      what defence does a poet have?       

redwing slingshot   

                        pings from thought branches

 

I’ve stood in rooms been flanked

by slat numb sunlight

                                useless drunk

 

it’s that things fall away from me   

ambitions for songs  

                until I know less 

than a blowtorch                          confidence 

                                of milling about

saughton walls 

and there are hardly any words to carry us

 

                          how I reach out of the whirlpool

that abyss. with one last job for prometheus

 

what jetty will art have?

 

if suffering bluff-sways, and the administrator

types out a chain

 

but they won’t buy us                    no they won’t. 

gold gale         

                         flash fire

                                                 offices go up 

my name is not my name

another friendship poem

Joey Frances

 

                            for sam


 

                 sappho sixteen:

                 some people love their horses

                 some people love a good boat

                 others say the most beautiful thing

                 in this whole world

                 is a man in uniform

                 (o fascist beauty)

                 but me, i love my baby

 

every thing's about

the same thing

words for things

don't exist in character

same or otherwise

 

the only thing i knew

to burn down

was my own life

gotta start

where you are

 

what i miss is that

i mean all of you

saying it over

one long boring

project of opening

til we dissipate

if we did that

we could all live

in a great big house

a fucking huge one

you lose in owning

what you gain

in decorative rights

 

we're hanging out

straight goofin

there's a baby here

pretty weird right 

she ent my baby

but we're into it

cos all of yous are fuckin family 

don't want nobody to be my baby

& that's not different

that's the same thing

 

the poem itself

is the sociality

it asks for

when we read it

at the memorial

& cry in voices

& elsewhere all

my oldest friends

the love for whom

i'm abuzz with

 

aren't so fussed

about poetry except

& occasionally on

my behalf it's

just the ways

we relate, yes 

& they love me

& our plausibly compatible needs

i'm constantly realising

a co constituting helix

here we are

back on the inward curve

& everyone's finally doing great

actually, haha

and I waah

Sophie Taylor

 

Seedbird

Kaisa Saarinen

 

Recklessly cross-exchanging keys with neither shame nor secrecy 

The metal freezes on my palm like a sparrow I cannot feed 

Far from the cold marsh. Grief twice-removed lingers in exhalations 

 

Only on Tuesday morning I was torn apart strip by strip

The skyward-pointed scissors devoured my outlines 

I shed petals of plastic and black duct tape

 

In the video of myself coming undone I was laughing like a child

I was a child watching myself laughing 

In that small room overcast by concrete forests 

 

I cut my ribcage open and seeds spill out, but

No winter garden to plant them in. I fill my screens 

With timelapses of ugly apples blooming from snowflowers  

Mud

Once I saw the path laid out

In the bend of a spine 

Now I don’t know up from down

My hand burns the hollow

Charred cartographies 

 

Toward the blank spaces of the everyday where

Suddenly something is there, a quiet 

Gravity uncalled - take the earthquake into you 

Bury it deep in the heart-land epicentre

Hold the handle of a worn-out leash 

Stitched with crimson thread of life

Watch everything move but you

A centrifugal slow dance 

 

My stage knife spills thick ink 

Carving murders out of thin air

Shadows move slowly

Bracketed by iron bars 

 

The point of the needle knows where to flesh itself out 

Seeking skin with a higher purpose, a language 

Of wounds opened into secrets 

By the perfect silence of pain  

The fade and throb of memory

 

Is it good to leave no trace on this world 

as i tread on its infinite wounds 

Is it wicked to plant seeds in a lake of blood 

even if the water lilies bloom 

gggirl!

yes this little body is

gravity centre 

black! hole!! 

SO SMALL

desire minus fire 

only have eyes for me

pick me, I’m tight

call me pretty and i’ll cry

blood on cue, just for you

dream of slaughtering 

myth of lovely tears

 

kiss daddy good morning

violate me. elevate me

i take it so well, flying high

chem pearl on my tongue 

read me hagiography 

breed me violent sleep 

 

you don’t have to victimise me daddy

i can do it myself. i’ve got the manual

three hundred pages of crucifixion tips

knuckleduster bulimia acid bath hysteria 

 

my favourite thing in the world is fucking 

a raging misogynist

schizoid soft femicidal 

pillow talk 

 

butcher me harder

i’m less pink inside

glitter-guts 

reform tomorrow 

@pstoral3

Alex Glynne

 

Natas Kaupas pioneered the hydrant spin;

see him gracing the cover of Thrasher

in rose embroidered jeans

as a cumulous is interviewed by Vice magazine

       

                                        from the green and dewy fields

                                        a depop notification pings...

       

Fashion vloggers gather in twos and threes

and at the Rivers’ edge, as Badiou begins to speak, discoursing on the irruptive nature of the event,

each begins to list...before succumbing, reluctantly, to sleep

 

                                                                                 /in crisp 1080p, the cherry blossom sheds its leaves

               

Then the whole scene becomes completely stilled.

 

                                        For what could be hours, even years,

                                        a lone Deutsche Bank ads’ flickering

                                        seems the sole indication that here

                                                                                               life was ever, like,

                                                                                               a thing

(Last autumn’s double edition Frieze

with its easy apophatics and le gout de neant

springs to mind, don’t you think?   

 

this reticulated concrete bit                 the lone elliptical machine                   that tweet

                                                                   )   

                                                                   .... until,

                            at last, our longed for _ does finally arrive: a single, restorative Click

 

                                                                                                                                                  ...           

                                                                                                                                                  ...

‘Amongst the myriad forms, now I see

the silhouette of Margueritte Pourette

drawn in cloud-stuff miles above the lawn...’

                                                                  Vice correspondent Isobel Young

                                                                  chimes in, her gaze

                                                                  directed up toward her interviewee

 

— Who, also revived, but still no less inscrutable, roils violently on           

           

‘...All motives remain unclear;

but, then again, here, motives

barely seem to test the reality of misty fields’    

 

She blinks.

 

                                                      ‘...and perhaps if anything can be taken from this scene

                                                      it’s that.’

 

And perhaps it is   

 

The cumulous begins to weep   

                                                        turning again

                                                      the turbines sing   

 

                                                                                                            but, for now at least,

                                                                                    we have the wood spurges’ incremental creep

 

                        The 3 minute pop songs’ bittersweet gift

 

And the knowledge that

outlasting any seasons’ trend

this little brook will continue to leap on

to burble and to wend   

                                                       and

                                                       further down

                                                       in some deeper recess of the dream

                                                       Natas will always wear those jeans

                                                       and continue

                                                       improbably

                                                       to spin                                 

                                                                                                          (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUl18aWPm-4&t=5s)

Did Someone Say Sin or Sorrow?

Anne Lesley Selcer

 

There are so many men in gay porn

I love it

then I tire of dick

think of the ineffability 

of the female fantasy

the impossibility of woman

the incredulity of gender

I watch a couple

cross the rainy street 

dressed to the nines

to see Fred Halsted films

my heart literally ached for you

when the three guys 

pounced on the blonde sailor

his face so round

body so built

the flame of a man’s nipple.

I sneak into the internet

late at night 

looking to be finished by violence

find a photo of Karla Homolka 

and her girlfriend in jail 

a twin hand upon each criminal hip

Klossowski writes of 

the desire to deindividuate 

to pseudo eternity

your room plastered in flyers 

angel wings in the hallway

salt and water in a vase

the ecstatic gazes in all directions

drops the body of beauty

the work of love

is perilous, expensive

how has the moon not refused?

Throw the bones of your mother behind your back

I will cut the ribbons 

at my wrists

I will pull the knife

return it to the sun.

Morning Poem

I am starry and cold

a crown of ice is melting

down my face

this solitude I requested

has been granted

I pay so much rent.

In the sky tonight

a change

it has nothing to do with the stars

as time has nothing to do with space

it's still cold

it's spring

he texted me again

I lay here composing a response

breathing water.

When I spread my arms out

toward the environment 

like men do

in pictures 

on dating apps

I am in the universe

it is supposed to feel epic 

or sublime

but the word 

is for grade schoolers

or mystics,

“That’s interesting you felt violently disconnected 

can you say more?” he texted.

Three years later

I receive his text

in a gossamer gown

standing upon a globe

lit from below 

barefoot

herbs and flowers 

snaking through my hair

I make a gesture

a very long blink

it sorts the whole visible world

I touch Venus to the left

Jupiter to the right

quietly ruffle 

the surface of this logic

to find holes,

I am not alone

I have a baby

I am a mother here

if I spread out my arms

to the universe 

as men do

in their pictures 

on dating apps

my baby would be gone.

My child is at their father’s

we arrange our lives

underneath the stars

though Our Family Wizard.

It’s seven AM

I text “I miss you 

have a good day at school,”

it shows delivered, 

but not yet read.

raipur ambient

Mantra Mukim

 

twisting the washed 

cloth of sky    over the stilts 

 

egrets return 

having picked locusts 

 

from the backs of buffaloes 

all morning   an amber gap dries out

 

the washed cloth of sky    echoes from a

single note   tricks of skin   see the repetition 

 

of water    as rain    the escarpment in chitrakut

is one thick fold on the earth’s fabric he tells me   built 

 

to hold a tune    breath tickling    the washed cloth 

of sky   when i say ambient   i mean tamarind 

 

ripening in record time     ambient 

hand stroking last night’s dough   under cheap fridge light   

 

wind deep in the belly of the factory   roaring iron ore    

into landscapes     with weak passwords      a lazy eyed man

 

deep in kondagaon    firms up bronze 

armies    with muzzles poking   the washed cloth of sky   

hand is full     wading searching 

the edge of summer    is there a rose

 

beyond the rice fields     a birthmark 

hovers above the neighbourhood    etched 

 

in bauxite dust     boys behind take-aways    

reworking playlists    the braindance rising

 

but my hand is full     of words        

like grass popping through an old lattice     

 

leave your eggs here    in the helix of my ear   

safe    in the ‘world-class banking scheme’

 

raipur is where the earth’s warmth is hatched

 

this hand is full    of other hands    colours    

cracking the dense world    distorting the

 

clearing     when i say clearing i mean maoists    

at the bus stop   i mean saying no to the hill-myna 

 

clearing the thick august morning   pulling out

old samples and hits     as the ‘export-quality’ 

 

teak wood around it shivers    tired &

often leaving    but at least my hand is full

Interval: House, Lover, Slippages (selections)

Lucy Rose Cunningham

 

***

I read phone notes.

 

Collages

memory as collective 

cutting things away, 

offcuts 

beveled edges,

function,

stage-sets  

we are stood on set

together, a shifting movie 

without direction or end. 

 

***

 

Frühjahrsmüdigkeit* 

 

early year,

hoarse throats and sore lung.

Spring fever comes and your mother says 

it’s the new season. The book I’m reading proposes it’s fatigue, and the calendar nods, it’s been a whole year. 

 

*Früh (early) jahrs (year) müdig (tired) keit (ness). 

***

I walk the roads licked with sunset reds to our compost collection point, the smells of earth and damp wood filling each nostril. Listening to the woozy bass of drums and shrill violins in a black midi song, I walk through a swarm of midges. Senses overwhelmed, very pandemonium. Pandemic. Epidemic. Epidermis. The top layer of skin is singing. I feel tingly when I talk to unfamiliar people now and I thank post-punk-maybe-art-pop bands for their conveyance of my whirring synapses. 

 

Entering public spheres again, this/is/is/this/normal. 

 

Meat Cute

Rebecca Kane

 

I’ll set the scene. The lovers next to me whisper about the lion’s language, his vowels and such, while the crop top bagel babes go about their day, I pray, undisturbed. I am right sitting, thinking of our romantic meats all folded into spirals like a big, salami staircase. If I were to bring you here, I’d say you would first notice the soggy, salty smell. A smell that brings you back to holidays under a shared sun. Holidays congealed in the mind due to our loving, quiet mouthings to each other. Holidays of smudging delicatessen fridges with fingers as we carved hearts into the meaty smog <3

August 20

Fintan Calpin

 

When I write 

the perfect poem 

I will drop 

my immediate sandwich

tan-lines of old postcards 

on my cork board

househunting spreadsheet.

 

Sitting in the garden 

with the bluebottles

I guess I am work shy

deadline’s Sunday.
 

Three second rule.

What’s the opposite of labour?

Life / leisure / art / experience / sleep?

A question has no obverse.

August 24

Proposal for poets:
           length of string
           drop it
           shape it lands in
           describes the lyric
           line of flight
           language
           turning in / out.


Repayments begin
épater le bourgeois
I reflect on my loneliness
with Charles Bernstein
coldness is a type of security
picture frame not so wonky
a horseman riding by might notice.


The rain this afternoon
long vertical stripes
smells floral almost
overripe.

September 22

               where poetry 

                              is intelligible

               crops fail, objects relate

                              to this             preponderous   

 

rhetoric in the pejorative sense 

 

desire is sometimes about

what you don’t care about

                                                           I need near things

 

every time I sing god kills a

           

                                                                         bluebirdbluebirdbluebird

 

pick a poesy   from the garden        pick a poesy

Automatic Speech Recognition

Karólína Rós Ólafsdóttir

 

When you can hear the robins through the chimney

from the neighbour's garden, silence crawls from 

under the glass, it lives, there, between stone 

grey couches stretches its arms, its legs, jumps

to grandmother's lap and curls up on the beige corduroy,

happens suddenly, not a certain time of day

silence is one, increasingly challenging, shouting

silence and flat and cold and damp, it is definitely damp, 

not to give in, grandmother rises, silence falls 

on the parquet, grandmother walks to the small black box 

by the radio and whispers Alexa, Alexa, play classical guitar.

The black box starts with a Spanish ballad and

it becomes invisible, silence, grandmother takes off

her slippers and stuffs them in the chimney, just ballads

not robins, has not been barefoot in ages, has not

been alone before, has thousands and thousands of ballads

in the little black box Alexa, Alexa, how is the weather in London?

Alexa how is the weather in Skåne? Alexa, Alexa, whatever 

happened to Monica Lewinsky and how many grams in a cup, please, 

classical guitar please, always polite to Alexa, in case of silence

is a teenager now, increasingly challenging, shouting

silence and flat and cold and moist, it is definitely moist, 

not to give in, grandmother stops wearing slippers, hears

the skin on wood, claps! Alexa, Alexa play Johnny Cash!

and candles that smell nice and silence is so heavy it crawls

up the chest presses the soft pale skin, varicose veins, liver-

spots, printed onto silence’s neck Alexa how many people live 

in the Congo all maps seem to have tripled in size as silence glues

them to the glass table, see all that sea, silence points to

grandmother puts the slippers on, sherry, Alexa, Alexa

how much does a whale weigh there is no measurement 

for silence but humpbacks are thirty thousand kilograms

and it only takes five hundred grams to make rye, flour, 

the house – Alexa what is the history of bread – gets smaller, just in case

of silence is all grown, increasing at night, spreading

silence and round and cold and soaking wet, it is definitely soaking 

her feet in the washtub grandmother, slippers off again, not to give in, moves

the crooked toe, small circle, writes cursive ‘buy marzipan’ grandmother remembers

this is everyone’s washtub, warm and mint green, Alexa, Alexa

play classical guitar and tell me the story of the thieves in the night
and the child and the tree and please whatever happened again to Monica Lewinsky

*

We have discovered a black hole 

on our doorstep.

 

It is starving and that’s what makes it so dark

 

apparently


 

we don’t know what black holes like 

to eat other than stars and interstellar gas

and we are currently on a budget; tuna in cans your step mothers’

lentil soup my bag of dried fish since I last went home. 2kg popcorn for 3.99.

 

It is much easier with dogs and humans

everyone likes buttered toast and pasta with nothing                     on it.




 

You read               How to care for a place where gravity pulls too hard?

             

                  How to keep your matter (that is squeezed into a tiny place) happy and healthy?


 

 

and I arrange shells around its edges like one does

to mark the flowerbed from the weeds.



 

We measure thousand light years

in fly lives and convert that to human

lives through macaroni diagrams to try understand

and see how long we have 

 

to learn how to feed enormous or supermassive

unexpected voids

                                                     

 

 

 

                                                                                                        in space. 

Louis Fabrice Tshimanga

Senza nome 1

 

Prey and predator epicyclic eye movement, swirling and crossing,

I lost a lover.

 

Those complex combinations of simple circles 

that turn smoothly

and approximate sharp edges, adjustable to any close orbit, cut by Occam

rather than Kepler and Copernicus, a choir of faes, 

gods in carillons,

shifting away from pyramids pins

 

Pick a form and make it a wave, by repetitions,

edges, tongue, tooth

there you have a project, onto the fundamental axis 

that silently guides the array

and its companions,

Fourier discovered this machine.

 

I lost a lover due to the shift in tides, mismatch of our spectra,
to the high frequencies of her heat, the bulimic eating of my patience

A woodpecker and a beaver going through my log
And whats cold crystal looks still, dead ordered, coral,

vestigial organ at best
Even the moon shifts away and three-body problems are unsolvable

In close form

 

But I’m a tooth, mineral painfully alive,

art of the clouds, art of the clocks, pond by pond
projected to the astral plane, recovering, growing new tales,

salamander of the passions, Newt of the sexes,
stepped out of my own skin, shed by the stress incarnation of psoriasis

 

I completely lost my predisposition to meditation

the tension is feeble

Platelets and tiles collect in my foggy head, ferns swallow the pupil

and the rays of CGI dreams scan the eye fundus down to the pelvic floor.
A wet snake

pushing me in and out scrolling frenzies, swiping crazes

to cry saliva, or to [redacted], this is the problem solving skill I need.

Brain frog, was it?, long covid effect

Rolling in the reflected clouds, pond by pond,

beside the highways, with no license

per aspera ad lichens

 

I spin with my little pin

Eye spill with my little [redacted]

 

Take omega 3 6 9 feel the oily energy of a bank of herrings shooting out of

your [redacted]

hollering around your brain convolutions,

a head that is a globe, a warning for unprecedented storms

disentanglement and distortion of taste,

this widespread private mess

Crawling out of the hellmouth

River Ellen MacAskill

 

trans crossing over

                   trans one foot on the other side

                          one foot on fire on each side

             burning trans coming out of nowhere

a meteor on blank skies

                 trans through the atmosphere

                         humming, a flying object circling

             late at night  trans  falls into

morning sun  trans  claws on your thighs

            trans exploding between tectonic plates

                       and ectoplasm just everywhere, lava

            it’s hot trans continental shift

to a moorless volcanic rock trans

            predating on everything good and pure in the underworld

                        trans crawling out from the cracks

            in your floorboards, pissing on your bedsheets

fucking on your bedsheets trans

            forever trans for housing trans for

                        shadows in the closet where the mould grows

            trans gnawing their way to the source and

eating it alive trans heating up, that’s hot–

 

                            this  ‘‘‘trans’’’ thing’s come out of nowhere hasn’t it?

 

           trans cumming all over your never ending borescape

Clockwork Orange
after Veronica Forrest-Thomson and Callie Gardner

Lou Collins

 

and it was too hot a day to be sad

which only really means 

it was ten or twenty degrees

which is warm not hot but

what is the difference I 

do not know I was waiting

for the metro I think or

for something else to happen

doesn’t have to be much 

and it wasn’t it never happened

so I smiled and said hello