Archive for February 2014

Long Distance Phone Call

Because when I see it
I wanna view it all in 720p;
a 360 window to the world around me.

No grit, grain, or scratch-sand photographs,
no bullet-pointed drafts of what there is around,
but instead something clear cut and defined,
like the cut throat lines of the rail track heading north,
the tarmac black railings decorating the edge of the port,
telegraph poles and fly fish line linking
your telephone call to my telephone call; and
if you're ringing from a mobile there are still
lines connecting the call, it's just you can't see them
as they're kept within a box somewhere above us
waiting to be decommissioned, waiting to fall back to Earth.

Without Fiction: How To Tell Them

Spring upon the one that least expects it

because that pounce might start a reaction
not known in this lifetime, let alone in those books,
science papers, and coffee-table-I'll-read-it-later
catalogues. Those outlets, paper thin and tidy,

Without fiction, and it's faux-character diction,
minds wouldn't wander, instead they'd be stuck to
statistics, tables, and those graphs awkwardly labelled.

Without fiction, we'd be thrown out of the poet-halls and reading clubs
with NOTICE OF EVICTION printed notes around our neck,
when all we had done was read what we thought.

Without fiction, there would be a fraction of me and you and us and those
missing, lost to somewhere not known here or mapped correctly, hidden underneath
the dirt, frozen water, the crust and snow.

Without fiction, we'd all be alone. Because that figment narrative
can either hide us when hunted or surprise us when confronted
with the one we wish to be with.

Crimson Lamp - Narsimham

Feminine flesh
Sold in hours
When the city sleeps
When the darkness embraces the sky.

The crimson lamp
Scatters its light,
For more men
With some smiles and flowers patched on face,
Scented tears in eyes,
Altering her suffering as seduction.

In the prostituting prison
The feminine flesh is prepared for sale.
Each moment,
Killing many crimson lamps
Who die in the fire
From the very own light.

- - -

Narsimham hails from Nellore, a city in Andhra Pradesh, India. He lost his vision at the age of 23. Mostly he writes in his mother tongue Telugu, sometimes in English. He has written 4 novels, 10 collections of poetry in Telugu.


the silk won't stop you
it'll only 
act as a soft-to-touch glaze for a scar yet to form
by all means fall over into pretty positions
but don't blame the alcohol.
That breezer-pint-shot-and-gill in your limp right hand
is a mask: a tied at the back ribbon to cover up your desired task of falling into the arms
of him,
or him,
or him,
or him,
or him over there.

just because drama school and it's endless auditions
didn't let you in, doesn't mean this Wetherspoons should either:
take a knee
have a breather

Andrea Stern - Inheritance

Waterstones Recommendation

You're a hardback book:
the coffee table photography type that
sits awaiting the agreeable eyes 
of someone who likes what is inside.

Can I fall through into your black and white world
and stay there warm until the history books
catch up with me?

Because if I don't I fear I'll forget your face
and if you're ever on a shelf, with a Waterstones
recommendation below, and I fail to notice you
how can I ever learn again?

Late Valentine Recipe

Put in the effort;
mix in the ingredients
and wait for the cake to rise-
keep the oven door shut.

If need be turn on the light
to watch the wait occur, concur with yourself
time and again and repeat the thought and its implications
and complications and re-study the information already gathered.

Recipes only go right if you

don't follow the measurements,
so pour a little more than need be,
knead a little longer,
forget everything learnt
and be yourself around her.

This Love - Deborah Wong

will cause barrenness if I
continue to amplify the Do-Wop

Jacobean stimulates
the errand of mercy. Tactless words
garrulously by the oceanfront Empire
Hotel. Behind your mother’s retinas

seated a moccasin boots. Put them on,
where the overhead projector brings us
down the memory path of ballistic raindrops.


Deborah Wong is going 32, lives in Kuala Lumpur, where her poems appeared in ditch, Poetry Quarterly, Anak Sastra and other journals. A University of London law graduate, she attended the summer creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Her novel and full-length poetry book are currently seeking publication. More of her work, do visit

Body In A Bag

Worker out the window
staring straight down the street with
idle eyes on white wild lines
coming up quick in their peripherals.

They are now reduced to a body in a bag
and several bits of paper;
bills have been cancelled,
a mother's wails cut down to quiet lulls,
and the office floor from where they leapt from
has returned normal.

Surprise, Surprise - Donal Mahoney

The mother's dead.
Thirty years later
you meet the daughter
and realize the daughter
is the mother again,
poking her finger
in your chest half an hour
after her plane lands.
The same laugh knocks
folks in the elevator
back a bit.

Every time the daughter
grabs your arm
to emphasize a point
the way the mother did,
you want a ticket
to the Maldives
or maybe Bulgaria.
Sofia in the summer
might be nice.

This time, however,
you stay put.
She found you
on the Internet.
You must admit
the freckles
across her nose
scream she's right:
You are her father.
Surprise, Surprise.
Her mother never said.

- - -
Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, was outsourced to St. Louis, Missouri, some years ago due to employment. Some of his earliest work can be found at

Daily Mail Snow

It's too cold to sweat
and I'm only cycling for a reason to be tired,
to be warm later on by the radiator fire,
to escape mad house choirs
that sing no song of comfort.

Time away from time
is how the modern stay young,
ski run routes that lead around towns
and back again through the Daily Mail nowhere-snow
that never came nor will ever come.

When You See This

The rain makes your
veins look like
dark black bra straps
underneath a veil of Topshop sale items-
the bangles were bought elsewhere.
Though it's not their size that worry me,
it's what look lives within your eyes
every time you run a finger up your arm
and back down your arm again;
the charm in your slightly curling autumn leafed smile
curls a little more, turning smooth lakeside skin
into Nile-esturay wrinkles that say save me Tim.

Your red delta cheeks pulsate
in the late afternoon sun coming in on
a diagonal through the newly installed,
doesn't quite close properly, velux window;
you ran through fields only
to end up teary eyed in the kitchen
doorway threshold.

But here, here is where your river 
meets my sea, and turbulent tides
swell up to ferry us away to new coastline
forget we ever swimmed and swam,
poured sand from our shoes,
held hands and ran, and
forget we held hips on train station steps,
shared lips, left and then hid.

When you see this you'll know it's an apology.

Doncaster Speed Dating

World traveller.
Suit wearer.
Likes The Shawshank Redemption.

He's off to a singles party
somewhere in Doncaster,
it’s Christmas themed
and fancy dress
though it’s
planned for October the 23rd
during Christmas's only rest.

And I know that in Donny
you find love where you can,
and I know he spent hours
revising his master plan fancy dress idea,
but a raw turkey outfit, coloured
like shit semolina once bought
for a Jamie recipe that didn’t quite work,
won’t cut it on the dance floor.