Archive for March 2013

Downtown Newspapers - Jason Freure

Newspapers, flocking through alleys and financial district afternoons,
dirty and old, in steam and storm drain fumes,
catching on cable-car cables and short-turn loops
over empty Adelaide and its smoking concierges,
idle streetcars, whirring, watches ticking, short-cutting cabbies,
and then a squall of briefcases and deli sandwiches.

Untitled

and we will reach an age when we erase everything incriminating
those pictures we've out-grown
whatever our ex-lovers think of us now

- - -


Jason Freure lives in Toronto, Canada. He was the host of Argo Bookshop's open mic and reading series in Montreal until 2011. He has also had poems published in Vallum, The Maynard, and other print and online publications.

The Chair


Hey!
talking-loudly-girl,
shut up.

You’re
not in New
York now.

Get
your feet off
that chair,

can’t
you see it’s
busy today?

That
child, there, wants
a seat

and
you’re denying him
one, bitch.

- - -

Also, got an email through from an L.A. artist Loren Kantor, check out her woodcuts here >> http://woodcuttingfool.blogspot.co.uk/.

Jack Kerouac woodcut - Loren Kantor

Charles de Gaulle Airport & Children


If you take away the ticker-tape barriers
and the scattered signs for luggage,
vending machines and airport
senior leadership teams,
all you’ll have is a hall of
travel.


Some seats remain
for the elderly to reside in,
they’re checking holiday books
and pamphlet guides.


Floor space has curdled
into a mess of white-deodorant-
stained teens who want a 
good night’s sleep like
the marines across the way.


They, the marines, joke about
the weather, the women, the
watered down beverages from broken
vending machines and shit-cafe-
expensive-coffee down the strip.


De Gaulle is but a roof now:
drains and curving stretches of 
eyebrow iron,
not the general France
once relied upon. 

Pockets Full of Preconceptions


Open the door with pockets full
of preconceptions,
only to be led out the back
with words of commiserations
stitched together by the man,
second-door-on-the-left:
public relations.

Because the PR man
will always paint a prettier picture
because they brush by number and
read from the holy business scripture;
that one no-one knows about- it’s a fable -
the paper that’s propping up the corporations table.
  

The Grave Robber And The Crow - Andrew Bower


I walked along through fields of blood
To harvest conflict’s crops.
For bread and wine are just too fine;
I must steal from its corpse.

But swiftly through the darkened clouds
A crow set down to feast.
With caw of delight, it ceased its flight
And fed on dead men’s meat.

I screamed and flailed, to no avail:
“These men were brave and strong!
And yet you feast upon their eyes.
Can you not see that is wrong?”

It turned its orbs to rest on mine
And opened beaked jaws
“How am I so wrong, my friend,
When your hands clutch their swords?
Your skin is pale, my feathers black
But our souls are much the same.
So ‘fore you judge my feast, my friend,
To thine self judgements aim.”

And with a sneer and final caw,
The crow took to the sky.
And left me in that field of blood
To steal from death, or die.

- - -

Andrew Bower was born and raised in the town of Hull, England. He occasionally writes poetry when the mood hits him and is not very good at writing bios about himself. He usually writes haiku, but tries his hand at free verse poetry every so often.

Dutch Courage Lovers


He shot himself in June
and his blood fell like
early-summer’s rain
against a background
of tortured skies filled
with precipitation pain.

She drowned under a
veil of water in a ceremony
of let’s-end-my-life-today,
not a marriage, nor commitment
or a party of Dutch courage.

They kissed each other before
they went their separate ways;
into to the summer
or into the bathroom, for her;
‘cos those are the places that are locked away.

Apartment Advert


A red border box
asked for a lover.

The paper was folded,
creased down its spine.

A lover moved in
downstairs from me, below mine.

The apartment stood tall,
bricks to-attention, bricks in line.

A noise of unpacked
boxes filled the vents.

The removal men left,
now she’s alone to be content.

A knock at the
door, thud for attention.

The lock unlocked and
she entered, introduction over.

A late return that
night, date finished,
dive under cover.

Wake to see her,
next to you in the light.


One For March's Snow


It’s winter
and the radiators make for hot summer bedrooms,
fake heat for a false season,
high humid air in the canopy,
a western, British, Tunisian bazaar.

But outside the window frame into
the rooftop mouth
of chimney teeth and foggy breath,
a pair of speckled starlings,
with deep coffee eyes and rings
of white for plumage decoration,
nest in the wound of this building.

Surely if they migrate,
to warmer climates, past
the Spanish-African gate, they’d
be able to bask in the dawn desert
sun that’ll drift slowly overhead,
raise their young their instead.
I’d like to migrate too,
leave this town for
somewhere new.

Adultery - The Pain - Shanon Jacobs


Is life fair?
It seems like no-one care

How far would you go?
For the things you love so?

We had love for each other
 I became a mother

We said till death do us part
Did I misunderstood, am I not smart?

You said she was nothing to you
But when she enters the room, we became two

What went wrong?
Weren’t our love strong?

I blame her for everything, especially the sorrow
Because of her there is no tomorrow

God must forgive me for what I’m gonna do
But if I cannot have you, she will never have you too

- - -

Poem written by Shanon Jacobs. She is part of the 49Million initiative.  

Fathers & Sons & A Dictionary


Last night I danced like my dad
with a girl who resembled a dictionary definition
I read not long back-
charming.

Graceful eyes that could
stop traffic with a blink,
and engaging lips that
would smile to sooth the pain of
the midday, gotta-get-back-home-now,
commuters whom step
on pedals with haste.

I lied. My dad can’t dance, so last
night I made a fool of myself
in front of a girl who resembled
a dictionary definition I read not
long back.

Malaria


Children are walking in flour again,
though these grains are the symptoms
and the symptom is pain.
Resting upon donated metal table,
this child is lifeless with only a label
around his ankle for identification.
Part time doctors and full time others
walk and pace and cry and panic around the mother,
lifeless, with a document for identification.

This is malaria.
This is infant death.
This is an epidemic of hysteria.  

Female Chess Players; You May Take My Pawn


I did not kiss anybody last night,
yet my body-
from the lips down-
thinks I did.

Clad in a cotton armour,
like a pitch again tent
in a miserable northern monsoon;
the chest is protected from the disappointment,
the ribs are protected from the disappointment,
as for the heart, that’s the one that gets drenched
in drops of distress-
for it is the one organ that gets played
by the hand of the female chess player;
knowing and knowledgeable, out to get
your king for only profitable stings
and club-night-pictures-check-the-website-for-more-details,
kisses.

A Few Pamphlets Remain

There are a few limited edition, handmade, editions of my  'Homeland & Borderland' poetry pamphlet still on sale. The mere price of £2 (yes, 200 pence) will see it purchased and packaged and in your hands within 5 days. 

Homeland & Borderlnad

Cambridgeshire poet, Leanne Moden, gave it a lovely review  here at Cambs24.

If you so wish to purchase it, look to the right and click 'Buy Now' to be transported through the magical world of Paypal.

Here's the opening poem:

- - -

Starbucks

--

Starbucks for the beach sleeper,
cigarettes for the cruise ship worker,
around the world a further three times more
with a six-a-day job, one on shore.

She smiled with Gatsby glare.
She smiled with fair, tied back hair.
She smiled.

And how her love for Poe and Wilde
found its way to my ear a mere three year veer
around time itself.
Turkish delight is not a food nor a sweet,
but a lady who gives a discreet smile to those she meets.
My cafe in my street has you across from me
and the books I read have you printed in an uppercase key,
black on the white and bound by the spine
for you are the cruise ship lady, the lover of mine.

New Mattress Because Of The Cat


And we carried that mattress
as if it was coffin;
high above our heads
so the stench of cat piss
would travel down to another
Sunday-night northern family,
probably watching some shit.

Don't think there's a lot of this
going on regularly,
but when your cat has bladder problems
it's best to get on with it.

- - -

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Haunted Girl


Which do you prefer, Haunted Girl-
the city street sidewalk churned
up by heel and brogue
or,
the sweet-talk waves of home?

Settle in the sand while fingers
meld and touch the palms of hands,
let the hour glass beach pass
time between our toes,
have an appetite for shallow
dives amongst wave-tip whites;
whipped up by swell’s whisk,
stare until we sing for the dead men,
fire flares of affection in the form of kisses!
use a tool to sketch our future floor plan,
comment upon the Moroccan oil hair tan,
watch that man trace the coast of France upon his wife’s thigh;
hear her cry as he reaches Cherbourg,
talk of Vienna flagship stores:
forerunner fashion you make look lace,
mention the trees and the shipwrecks,
past relationship breakups and upcoming commitments,
describe, in detail, what you hope to happen
and what happens to that hope.

Fly back home.

The Coldest January - Tess Walsh


You were sixteen years,

eleven months

and twenty-

One days old

When you ran away

Into the coldest night on record,

With nothing more than your

Acoustic guitar,

Six jars of peanut butter,

And a new name.

When I slept, I dreamed of you,

Incased in ice,

With blue-tinted skin

And frosted eyelashes

And blood so frozen

Your heart gave up,

Just exactly the same way you gave up on everything else.

I woke up screaming your name—

My mother sat down

And didn’t say a word

Until dawn,

When she told me

You would be

Okay

And I threw a copy of

Walden at her head and told her

She was wrong.

She still made my breakfast

And kissed me goodbye

And I hated you for making me

A bitch.

I didn’t cry until I got a call

At ten twenty-two,

Saying that you were safe and

I was wrong.

I sat down, shaking, feeling everything that doesn’t have a name.

I saw you later,

After work,

And my misery came in salt and swears,

Ruining your best sweatshirt.

I counted your heartbeats and

Bathed in your body temperature,

Reveling in each breath

I never thought I’d hear you take.

- - -

Tess Walsh

Behind The Walls And What You Don't See


Take any apartment block and stare into its empty eyes;

behind the curtains,

past the stud wall kitchen and into
the bedroom,
they’ll be a couple copulating in
the afternoon sun,


below on the sidewalk

strip, no-one knows of the
grip they’re in-
a vice tight hold of
infatuation:
in-fat-u-ation,


beyond this,

after the sex,
the lovers will sit and read,
bleed out to Benzedrine;
puncture parecetemol to avoid headaches;
mess with the myriad marijuana;
raise the stakes and place everything they have
on a red seventeen and hope
they’ll come out sane in the morning haze.


Take any apartment block and stare into its empty eyes.

- - -

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

Desert Wasteland


Desert wasteland duvet cover expanse,
light filled from the open curtain above.

Desert wasteland bedroom floor dunes,
filled with clothes from the night before.

Desert wasteland wardrobe cave,
emptied in an attempt to look good.

Desert wasteland kitchen cupboard,
void of food and healthy sustenance.

Desert wasteland cup of tea,
reminding me of home, not of my degree.

Desert wasteland life,
make a to-do list and get on with it.

Sea? - Alethea Westlund


Whispering to me,
The rocks call out my name,
As they shift their location,
With each passing tide.
The white foam outlining
The waves that seem to be
In an endless cycle.
Gravity pushes and pulls
The giant basin of water
Can we really see what's in the sea?
Or is it just a bowl of water
That we cannot drink
But supports so much life
That is vital to our ways of living.
Can we really see?


- - -

Alethea Westlund grew up in Port Townsend, Washington. Alethea writes poems for a hobby and usually write one's when feeling sad. The poems are her creative way to describe the world around her or a particular event that has happened. 

The Convict - Matthew A Toll


Jean-Claude,
his wife,
two small children
lived across the hall.
Kicked out today—
landlady discovered old
Jean-Claude has been to prison
a few times, didn’t inform her
on the rental application.
I talked long and strong
with him before they left,
good old buddies,
they don’t have anywhere,
anyplace to go, and
he talked about Jesus.
He’s losing it.
It’s okay,
we all do sometimes.

- - -

Matthew was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where he lived until moving to Burlington, Vermont to study creative writing at Champlain College. Currently, he's living and working in Los Angeles, CA after having moved here in June 2012. Always on the run.