Archive for September 2013

Why Try

You’ve paid for somewhere pretty to smoke
yet not realised that your decorated,
thin cold icing and sweet to taste, lips
will be ruined from every second cigarette butt.

But I forgive you
because your eyes are olive,
tried and tested and true. 

Kate or Collette & Kevin

Five children, a sixth on the way,
the eldest around 7,
the others barely walking.

The Dad looks like a Kevin,
heavy arms bringing his shoulders down
to the top of his daughter’s head,
he feeds and is fed on
nothing but steak, pan fried and
for succulent juices to run down his shirt
uncoiling and picking up the pace
from face to stomach, a slight overhang
so his belt never sees the light.

The Mum stays quiet,
a Kate or Collette,
but she says nothing,
just stands there carrying his sixth baby
keeping it away from the narrow traffic to the side of her.

Five children, a sixth on the way,
the eldest around 7,
all waiting to start another academic year. 

A Note To Bukowski

Feeling fairly good tonight,
a note to Bukowski to drink again.

I lost the hours of nine,
ten and one to the wine, bought
but days before in a rush out the door;
it was wet and I was late
to a meeting with myself in a basement
where windows wait upstairs, the casement
a see-through hole to everything outside,
to everything I want to be-

- it's a silent show when these days happen,
usually conjured up from empty pockets
and the need to be nowhere important,
safety curtains fall in front of shops:
they are not libraries for browsing
they are establishments for purchasing-in-

nine and ten came back to me,
one still escapes though, lost
to the palm of a waitress taking the money.

ESTATE SALE - Clinton Van Inman

Sunday’s best looked untouched
As if saved for a day that
Never did come
Those fine china dishes
Piled under some obscure
Painting of a farmhouse
And piles of old photos
All unrecognizable
Next to miscellaneous items
That must have once been treasured
But today only marked down
An additional twenty percent.

- - -

Clinton Van Inman was born in Walton-on-Thames, England in 1945, grew up in North Carolina, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977, and he's a high school teacher in Tampa Bay. Clinton lives in Sun City Center, Florida with his wife, Elba.

When Building Stops

Shadow coat, buttoned up to the neck,
disappears and reappears under the
sky and lamplight hanging up high, loose,
hurrying around with nothing to do; it does
not notice the suspicion walking around beneath it,
lost but going home, reaching that destination
before limbs give up, fail on the floor, found the next day
twisted in a combination no locksmith
can undo.

Up, Over & Around

Look up,
they'll be fights going on
in the deepest hours of the night,
all behind pretty-born neon lights.

Look over,
she'll be mid argument with him
using uncouth words that appear blunt,
all behind a red brick front.

Peak 'round,
he'll be throwing clothes into suitcases
clearing out the wardrobe, not leaving traces,
all behind walls of places

you know.


At The Carnival - Pearl Boltman

Candy floss and carousels
Bumper cars and clowns on stilts
The evening sparkles with stars bright
You and me, the perfect couple, a perfect night

You hold my hand as we walk between stalls
You win me a gigantic teddy bear by throwing balls
You scoop me up and spin me around
Just like that your love takes me off the ground

You put me down gently and kiss me on my forehead
I can hear the kiss comes with an “I love you” but nothing was said
You take a moment and just stare down at me
If only you knew my future in your eyes I see

On the Ferris wheel we hold hands and kiss
That’s the moment we both make a wish
The carnival music plays in the background
The chemistry between us has me spellbound

You take my hand and place it on your heart
You promise me that we will never part
You tell me you see your future in my eyes too

Right there you propose and I answer “I do”.

- - -

Pearl Boltman is a student living in Cape Town, South Africa. She enjoys writing, blogging and cloud watching.

Forget The Carpet

Feed the fire with ambition
and eventually the black metal
will crack, contort into all sorts
and not be recognisable the next time
you sit at your winter, dining-room table.

Hot ash will rumble through the chimney stack,
plundering it of brick skin atop mortar
pointed veins, running parallel and perpendicular,
gray-painted-black chains linking flue to fire- heart
of the house- to bedrooms of your daughters next to
the bathroom's water, coming from newly cleaned taps.

The carpet's not down yet,
but forget that whilst you rest,
stay stubborn asleep until your
fire heart is refreshed.

Bronx & Broadway

We all want someone to hold whilst the music plays
but this is a delayed reaction to teenage hormones,

you're clutching to not-a-lot-of-nothings,
smart jeans and smart cologne, a stolen ring

from your step-father's collection tidied away,
deep, in a box under bed sheets in that drawer.

Your mum says the right one will come 'round
soon enough, but so far the results

of dressing differently have resulted in
women speaking like spray from under a van:

rainwater white noise and not a lot else;
though you're still searching, if not for you,

for your mother instead, elderly and re-married:
some else's burden, another husband to carry.

Carry out of the bottom of drunken wine glasses
and into clear meadows on weekly walks
where discussions take place, peace treaty
talks about holidays in the Mediterranean,

upon balcony ledges they'll embrace, learn
about fading stars, the history behind buildings

visit local bars to drink sober cocktails
conjured up in off-the-web smoothie makers

bought with the ambition to make a living
and help the community out.

If not now then when, your cock shouts
hiding beneath moneyed material

cut in sweat shops, washed in sweat heaps,
delivered by the sweaty mail man of the Bronx,

will women love me you'll say,
will women want a house with me, stay the night

under reclaimed, bought from thrift shop,
lights and kiss until mornings turn into weeks,

those weeks into new jobs
and before you know it, retirement plots

in allotments off Broadway?

Submersion - Kira Duff

I feel like I'm sinking
I'm going down, to who knows where
And all it is, is beneath me
To say I know it would be remiss
Below, Under, Deeper In
I'll not be able to escape this life.
Because I'm going down
Submerging more--an inch a day
It's a quicksand pit
It's a sea cave and the tide's on the rise
I am Strapped to the wall in the back of the cave
I am falling through quicksand with no hope of a rope
Can't pull myself out
All the kids do it these days
They love Submersion
I guess I've just never gone with the flow
Why start now?

- - -

Kira is a student. She writes when ideas float past her. Kira enjoys feeling, reading, and drinking tea.

Waitress - Billy Herklots

Blood diseased like crazied dogs
Snarling like voyeurs in Bangkok
Too mad for a one night stand 
And this?
Stare into her back
Wait for her to turn
Like leaving a cinema
Crippled by an actress
Begging fate to drag me where the cameras roll.
She only looked at me and filled my glass.
The fucking house wine
And she’s paid to smile
To every son of a bitch who walks through that door
She could be on screen. 
There’s the whole goddam crazy fucking world
And me
Mad for this one waitress.
Someone just throw me some comic books and some cigarettes and put on some 80’s sci fi films,
My veins will carry blood,
My retinas will project colour. 
She’ll leave.

- - -

Billy Herklots is a nineteen year old with an affliction for women cigarettes and all the usual teenage stuff. His inspirations are mainly Beat in nature; Bukowski Ginsberg Kerouac Dylan, but you can count in Hughes, Keats and loads of other names too.

Sleeping Still; Still Sleeping

Beyond the mountains, the mountains,
beyond over their bumps and hills and small pocket
paths tucked into the seam,
you're sleeping still,
still sleeping;
glass of water on the desk sat upright and uptight
next to a gathering of white sugar, they-will-work pills
that you've taken one of.

Before you woke the window watched
the street below, I joined in and saw
smoke and busses, taxi cab film rushes
uncut and newly coloured for the silver screen
that's too expensive to see.

That morning I tided your clothes in
neat piles and mountain tops
where the summit was socks ready
for you to wear again until you leave me lonely and go home.

First Person Poem: The Worst Kind of Poem

I regularly ask myself what have I achieved in a year
and no thoughts come near
to the ones I should tell myself,
like where did my grace go?
how did I get here?
was that house right to rent?
wasted money that got spent on what?

Existence is tiring,
though it's all we've got and nothing more,
ideas yet to be printed, screenplays
yet to be tested,
theory's waiting to be put to the test and laid to rest in a textbook
in a classroom, in a school.

We'll end up in creases and creaks in
the chair at ten to 2 with misty eyes,
tired though they’ve seen shadows turn
to nights, streets to lamplight,
socks to feet at the bottom of bed sheets.

I'm from red bricks and Hulme backstreet corners; Manchester born and Wakefield bound, stuck somewhere in between.


It was with the sun
that they drove eighteen miles to every quarter of an hour
to the port
where they put down the car and started like petals from every dead flower they saw together.

Up the steps,
he tried to steal her waist for his own,
willing his arms to stretch around widths they weren't made for,
only to cement the idea that they weren't alone.

In the cabin they fell asleep to familiar films
and woke up to see the sea out of a round window
and the guarantee they won't hit land nor port
until the captain's say so on the inbuilt radio.

They came back from a grand meal
that was of Titanic proportions, tidy suits and surreal women in waistcoats,
they made love in a bed that wasn't theirs,
and he witnessed it and saw
her new print dress that caught and tore and was reduced to shreds upon the floor.

Drops On Your Lips

You said save the Damsel,
but she's in no distress

I'm selfishly half dressed and less
awake than my clothes expect me to be

You said woo her with poetry,
but I'm out of back-of-receipts and torn off edges

I'm tired, and the shiraz has got to me
it started tunnelling through hollowed veins hours back

You said she'll be gone with the dew
leaving nothing but drops on your lips

Email System Crash

Make the shelter yourself,
source firewood from feet away
and filter the water the way you want it filtered.

Take nothing from the word of mouth
or 'I've got a tip mate' people,
cos they'll be the wake that tips the boat.

Fuck email systems that connect us,
the metro transport subway buses,
the happy involved, affair ridden couples,
forget them, leave those suppressed thoughts in
and carry on your day the way you began.

i'm watching you slowly fall apart - Lily H

she walks like she has diamonds
in her veins, slicing through her arteries
with heartbreaking precision. she
has glass shards and frostbite stinging
the bottoms of her feet as she
dances through trick-mirrored halls.
when she was six years old
she told me that she had magic powers
and i didn’t believe her until now as
i watch her twirl again and again
on those eggshell toes, so close to shattering
and yet always managing
to make just one more turn.

- Lily H

Amazon Package #1

same day delivery opened with
a rip and a tight grip around the box
to ensure a firm pull of the tape

it's 4pm, late in these parts;
your clouds are coming in
across the field tumbling low close to the wheat

inspect, check, run a hand up to make sure you'll
keep the product, not send it back
and cause an admin fuck up at the other side

confide in the instructions,
the click-again-
part-Y-to-the-number-3-port manual that
is your bible for the next week

come a month, maybe 2, without open eyes, not even a peak,
you'll be able to handle this present to yourself
with ease and calm, it'll become weightless
in your gentle smooth, hand holding, palm.

For The Post Office

Post Office:
Telegrams and Telephones

Tell me how the snow is where you are.

Traffic cones outside, must-be-done road works completed by no one nowhere men,
patched up walls clad in grit painted cream
shutters the same, shutting out the screams.

Graffiti bridges, restaurants on ridges-
river's rising fast, finish your entrée
let's leave.

Walk linking arms looking upon                                    
glimpses of brick, of an old home,
lived in years ago by someone unknown.

Pauses For Beauty

squeeze you to read you,
the pores that pour out hidden punctuation
that defines and makes and creates pauses for
you to look beautiful in.

there are two velux windows somewhere
in the world that look out onto chimney pots
and rooftops and birds next to each other looking
out over a flight plan that they'll fly together.

in pub seats we'll slide into and across,
placing coats on empty chairs so not to be stolen
and you pause. And out comes a list from behind a breath and a
colon: everything you wish to achieve in a year.