2017/11/15

Orahovac poem

The man from Glasgow, surprisingly dull
and quick, like a sunshine of partial cloud,
stops near us and asks “These people, Serbs —”
We say they are Croats. It's not the same
to them. Take care. Think Scotland and England.
“Bugger that,” he says. “Do they have liquor?
Good stuff. Liqueurs and that?”. And we say Yes.
We are drinking Orahovac. Walnut.
We've had two litres in the last ten days.
We were surprised when we counted it. It is
delicious. He practices the name with us
and smiles: “Right then,” he says, walking off,
leaving his wife to speak apologies
and say that she prefers a glass of wine.
He returns with a brown bag: “Is this the one?”.
We say it is. “Right then.” He pulls the cork
and swigs a large mouthful; holds it; grimaces;
turns sideways to us and spits everything
on to the piazza. “Jesus Christ! That's bad.
What's that?” We say it's walnuts. “Is it now?
Nuts? I hate the bloody things. You have it.”
He pushes me bottle and top; and strides
towards the hotel bar, his wife following.


Lawrence Upton (UK)


2017/11/01

Trust

I went to another dead end town
just to be somewhere else.
It was quiet
a few women in shops smiled at me
and i even got adventurous in Nando's
ordered something different.

There was a table in front of mine
about 10 young men on it
and time after time the girl came up with food and shouted it out
but they couldn't remember what they ordered
and some took other people's food.
Eventually they got it all.

As i was about to get up for a drink
one of the men got up
He was carrying his plate of chips
but as i got up behind him
he went for a drink
I thought he was going to put some sauce on his chips
but he didn't he just went back to the table
with his drink and plate of chips
I guess he didn't trust the blokes at his table
I can't blame him
sometimes it is hard to trust


Marc Carver (UK)

2017/10/11

Sentiment

It’s your bad handwriting
I like to look at,
your giant hands,
sharp stubble,
the grey in your hair,
the lines on your face,
jagged finger nails,
you picking food from your teeth.

I don’t want you to catch me
there
looking. I’m too afraid I’ll annoy you
by saying the wrong thing.

But I'll always be right there.
Unless the cat walks in.


Gayle Richardson (UK)


Hoarder

When I asked my brain to stop playing games with me
it made my eyes roll so far back
I could see flashes of where all the self-punishment began.

I felt so stupid the moment I realised —
It wasn’t my brain on a mission to destroy me.
It was just all that junk I chose to hoard up there.


Gayle Richardson (UK)


2017/09/14

before dawn

he wants her in the
morning
before the bird chorus
and the idea of daily news
breath like silk
cheeks flushed
body warm from the river of
dreams running through
her

he wants her in the
river
hair spooling out in rings
wild bracken water
nuzzling her skin
mossed wet rocks she climbs
to dry off

he wants her on the
rock
flesh open to the sun
skin turning in the
golden light
eyes closed and flickering
remembering her dreams


Kathryn Lyster (Australia)

2017/09/06

Utensil

They forgot to make me a boy. I was born and everything. Smelted in the forge. I’ve got a good bowl. Weighty handle. But they made me a not-boy. I know I’m a boy. I can feel my cock. Or perhaps it is the stirring of power tools. How can I prove my boyness to you? Or should I proclaim to be a man by now? I do not count age by years but soups. I know I am a man because I do not want to be a woman. Must find a beard. Waiter there’s a hair in my soup. I want to fuck things. I’m always hard as stainless steel. Maker’s mark stamped on my spine. I want to fuck things up.

Monica Carroll (Australian Capital Territory)

Isolator by Monica Carroll book cover
Monica's new book from Recent Work Press



2017/08/31

I knew

I knew the woman who
walked into the river that winter
it took three days to find her
bundled like a sleeping swan
in the frost-sharpened reeds
I was a child in those days
even mud-heavy emptiness
was something to make into a song
practised silently over tea
before going out to play
the new game of Drop Down Dead.


Andrew Turner (UK)

Whatever Happened to Infinity

They call me Nowhere; a non-place
known, at least, to non-people —
They think. But a where cannot
not exist and be a non-position.
Thus logic wins its arm-wrestle
with the Theys and the question.

And I might have a brother nowhere.
Let’s not stop at two. Everywhere
that isn’t somewhere’s nowhere, Brother:
on my right — nowheres in the noughts,
on my other — legion. Simple addition.
Cheers for Nowhere the mathematician.

I’m in love with Anywhere, leader of vague;
queen of can’t-pin-me-down-ness, blipped
into the gap between somewhere and yonder;
my lover, lost wanderer — Anywhere;
unseen but known to be somewhere;
alluring in her wherever.

Then omnipotent Everywhere, god of where-ness
king of location, in every corner
of planets and space. E.W. — slang for Universe.
But he’s only position and place-ness. Our cousins,
Thing-ness and When-ness, each harbour
their deities — Everything, All and Eternity.


E A M Harris (England)