Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2021

Steve Spence - Five Poems

Steve Spence Speaking to the Regulators Even unfounded rumours are dangerous but there will be sunny spells this afternoon and this is the way things will need to stay. Could these signals  have been made from a boat? “Intelligence is supposed to be what you’re good at,” she said. Although these nocturnal cries are low-key they carry a long way but once you’ve heard something you can’t un-hear it and we are all on the payroll now. Have you ever come across a black-tailed godwit?  The Smoke of Bonfires Every now and then a miracle happens or so it’s said but we’re going to find a way to do it soon and next up it’s the call of the  greenshank. Are we all a security risk now? “What are you staring at?” she said. Swift certification may be necessary as a strange shape is emerging from the pit. “This is all filler,” she said, “but everything else has been taken away  with the exception of the piano.” There is a before and an after but If you can’t fight a duel you will need to run away. An

Mark Goodwin - cycle of five poems (from "In Twigs Nor Sky"):

Mark Goodwin cycle of five poems (from In Twigs Nor Sky ): each each pick a long grass each repeat each bring grass strands each believe grasses vibrate as speech’s  breeze rubs and registers on  green edges  now only six twigs away from enough to build a hut fit for a fat furry bumble bee but no hope of keeping such a vibrating wandering being  thirty-one long dried yellow grasses for cordage six sun-faded crisp packets will do for flags three orange plastic shopping bags to catch some day’s last breath the hull a half rotted log of willow and the crew well the crew are neon pale projections from a device   to elaborate gratitude’s berry-laden wreath begin in spring autumn’s total & intricate last ritual   each each pick  up a twig  repeat then each bring twigs each make a twig’s snap/crack ( but do yet do n’t believe it’s twigs that speak ) each each make a twig tripod for an acorn  cauldron each  build a twig frame for a hut and each make each twig a covenant Copyright  ©  Mark

Adrian Buckner - Four Poems (from SeeSaw)

Adrian Buckner Four Poems (from SeeSaw ) Giotto The Entry into Jerusalem, c.1305 I am a smiling donkey I am practically giggling With the Good News When the golden age arrives For children’s illustrated books I will trot from this fresco Onto those pages And wreathe the unlettered In smiles again Vermeer Study of a Young Woman, 1665-7 When I come to the party in New York Be honest about what you see Be clear about your feelings Two hundred years of disregard Must count for something I come with nothing behind me I waited for you to know The harmony of my discretion The splendour of his slowness Chardin (to Warhol) Basket of wild strawberries, 1761 Andy May I offer Something for your private collection? A glass of water As you say Cool And strawberry strawberry Strawberry strawberry Or would you prefer some more apricots In a jar with no label? Duchamp Fountain, 1917 My name is Rachel Mutt I work from four to eight three times a day Nine days a week fifteen months of the year Cleaning

Review - "Disappearances" by Kathleen Bell

Alan Baker “Disappearances” by Kathleen Bell, pub. Shoestring. 88pp. £10.00 Kathleen Bell speaks in the voices of others; multiple voices, often from the past and often of people who have not been heard, particularly the poor and particularly women. For those of whom it’s true that, as one of her characters puts it:      ...the song entered the world       without my name on it. This book is divided into two sections, and the first section, which makes up the bulk, is entitled ""Balance Sheets for Mediaeval Spinsters". Many of the poems in this section are dramatic monologues and the speaker is often one of the mediaeval spinsters of the title. The poems create a convincing world, not so much historical as imaginative. There's no attempt to draw obvious parallels with the present (she leaves the reader to do that should they so wish), but the act of re-imagining these lost voices is a way of rescuing them for readers of today. The opening poem, "The Child"

Review - "Angels the Size of Houses" by Aaron Kent

Steve Spence "Angels the Size of Houses" by  Aaron Kent, pub.   Shearsman. 71 pp   The last book by Aaron Kent I read – St Day Road – caused me some problems. Clearly there was something  interesting going on but it didn’t really work for me and the small text/typewritten script with its varied versions and crossing-outs annoyed me rather than drew me in. I was missing the point no doubt but I rather lost patience and probably exhibited a degree of bad temper by the end of the review. The experience of encountering the current collection couldn’t have been more different. I was hooked by the end of the first poem, ‘Vanilla’, a contemplation on his young children, I assume, which ends thus: ‘My eyes; a mistake on a post-modern canvas, / two holes in a hot air balloon, watching angels / kiss the back of their necks.’   While there is a strong sense of the domestic in these poems there’s also an exotic element which makes this very much Poetry with a capital P even thou

Rupert Loydell - Three Poems

Rupert Loydell ABANDONED RAILWAYS Whether the rusty tracks lead to an abandoned station or into the mouth of a mine they show that something used to be here and people wanted to visit or travel to elsewhere. This county's full of the past, reminders of how it never moved on, preferred to become derelict and defunct, detached from contemporary meaning. Whether time passes quickly or slowly, it moves on around us, behind us, beyond us, wherever it is that time goes, before we have nothing left, only memories and ideas of what could or might have been, things we should have done or wish we had. We betrayed our own intentions, left ourselves behind with our dreams and settled for what looked like an easy life but turned out to be a branch line with few passengers travelling through. Time passed even quicker having at first seemed slow; we never caught up with ourselves or found out how to get back to where we left or wished to go. There were no connections when we needed them, no-one k

Alistair Noon - Three Poems

Alistair Noon Opportunity Below the Sunlight As junior language clerk to the cannabilistic squid who cruise the non-disclosed dark jabbing at prey that’ve hid on a sunless floor from the shark, inquisition-headed, who skirt each other, polite and alert, brisk in response, who tense as a risk arrives and squirt their pre-emptive defence, your role is not only to hear at their hunting meets the idea that the justice of shoals is mere ideology, or to feel in the cold is to fail to be real, but also to prize your presence, a species deserving its own documentary showing it roam in bioluminescence, deep in the aphotic zone. Airport Lake The water here’s not special: a fuselage deep, half-clear. Where engines embark your ears like cases scraping the tarmac, nature is artificial. One-legged, long-beaked and judicial, the anglers examine what’s near: a movement, a minnow appears. The radar, cupping its palm, keeps whirling its rapid initials at every slow manned missile that targets the tropos