Thursday, 28 April 2016

A poem by Louise King

The catch

the fish lay
beating red

the children watched its bleed
and stain, strained to see
the sun on silver
slapping tail and fighting fin

does it know how it looks
they asked, its mouth ripped
its bloat so urgent
large against our little feet

does it know
we cannot help but watch
then run to tell how sorry
and glad a thing it is
to kill

After a lifetime of writing, and having two children, Louise King is now submitting work to be published. Her poetry has appeared in I am not a Silent Poet and she performs her work in venues across South East London where she lives. Her short story The Crossing was longlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2015.

Monday, 25 April 2016

A poem by Antony Owen

Valentines Day for Invisible People

   (I)  Soldier

Sometimes you drift back there -
when people pluck up the courage
to ask you what it was like out there;
and you think of job centre smiles
when they mean out there, in war zones
and you think of that party at Kev’s gaff
when people fought over Miley Cyrus and if she’d gone too far.

   (II)  Refugee

Sometimes you drift back there
when Facebook Ken posts fuck off home
and meanwhile you fondle Aldi Pomegranates
knowing they are rotten inside yet people take them.
Yesterday you covered your whole body except your eyes
and everyone in the world seemed blindfolded except for children.

   (III)  Widower

Sometimes she returns to you
when Harry introduces you as Joan’s husband,
this is how you always stayed until March eighth
when Harry found you in May as a blue ship sailed
donning your medals you must have returned to Agrigento
silently thinking “fuck you Harry and your beige army of Naysayers”.

   (IV)  Poet

Some of us never returned to poetry
except the time when all of us were poets,
raising hell, or a child, or a cheap glass of plonk
and all of this was a life you wrote without words.
I have seen a thousand poets hide in the eyes of people,
extraordinary people who thought they were clichés, alas you were not.

Antony Owen was born in Coventry and raised by working class parents which has inspired some of his poetry collections by Pighog Press and Hesterglock Press. Other inspirations lay in war poetry and in 2015 Owen visited Hiroshima to interview A-bomb survivors. As a result of this trip he has been offered a full collection scheduled for publication and translation in Japan for circa Autumn 2016.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A poem by Matt Dennison

Latvia, 1861

A cord of blood sausage wrapped
within his throat, he spat a suet pile
and slipped into the sod-house, unseen
by his wife. Never having tried to fire
the crockeries of their time, he squinted
through the mud-slots as she lumbered
about, finally settling beside a sickly
calf to study its urine pool for signs.
They worked for different sovereigns:
hers a cauldron of entrailed darkness
imbued with bleak idiocy—that biblical
humbug hung fast about their necks—
his a vodka panacea for the pigsties of
their lives, never raised upon the same pike
as the other's. Nearby, the boy stood
stupid in the sunflowers as an eel-slide
of curses welled his loins to burst upon
them from the sod-house. Fury spent,
he stopped counting and swam into
the sun. Remembering he once had dined
on lobster while his fishwife, frightened
by the cutlery, keened for chum, the sight
of old lemons on the sod-shelf roused him,
crouched behind the serving girl, tonguing
her fresh mustards: delicious, faint, ripe.

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison finished his
degree at Mississippi State University where he won the National Sigma Tau Delta essay
competition (judged by X.J. Kennedy). His work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine,
Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among

Monday, 18 April 2016

A poem by Ag Synclair

Taking Stock

these notes remind me of hands
of rivers that became mountains

of mountains that became birds
these notes remind me of every orange night

fractured by hard love
and the ticking hands of a thousand clocks

these notes remind me of nothing
of every blue word that fell from crooked fingers

and followed the fence line back home
these notes remind me of pretty bones

that once we were both alive
that there must be a quicker way to die
than this

I received very sad news that Ag Synclair, passed away on April 1st after a brief but brutal battle with cancer. His partner Heather was kind enough to inform me of this and share a link to his gofundme page for his memorial

Please give anything you may have to help.

Below is the bio he submitted.

Ag Synclair publishes The Montucky Review and edits poetry for The Bookends Review. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is widely published around the globe, yet flies under the radar. Deftly.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

A poem by Tom Montag

Coyotes Tonight

Coyotes tonight under a sickle moon.
The long song of mid-winter tells of hunger,
asks where food might be found.

The calls hang like loneliness around us.
Only the loons' calls would be sadder,
could we hear loons tonight. We can't.

Instead, we hear distance in the distance
howling into the darkness, the coyotes
working their way away.

Tom Montag is most recently the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. He is a contributing editor at Verse-Virtual. In 2015 he was the featured poet at Atticus Review (April) and Contemporary American Voices (August) and at year's end received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review and Blue Heron Review. Other poems will be found at Hamilton Stone Review, The Homestead Review, Little Patuxent Review, Mud Season Review, Poetry Quarterly, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. He can be found blogging at The Middlewesterner -

Monday, 11 April 2016

A poem by Paul Point

The Saying Of It

When I want to say it, the
moment implodes like a
thin cloud of chalk, webs
when I want to say it, the
mood refuses to strike like
a sterile match stick, limp
when I want to say it, the
blanks shrink with traces of
already said lines, dead
when I want to say it, we
go unsaid, cup empty of
the words it thirsts for, dry
when I want to say it, these
tempers fly with flints and
moods thrash high, flames
when I want to say it, you
wane with day, a late taxi
receding with traffic, gone 
when I want to say it, I
learn from the saying of it
for my benefit, mine. Alone
the words of gratitude are
sown, letting go, it's almost
as though you heard me.

Paul is a writer, reader and chocolate eater; the host and founder of The Chocolate Poetry Club. His work has been published in I am not a silent poet, Curly Mind and Angry Manifesto Magazine (forthcoming). He is a workshop facilitator, member of The Circle of Freeway Poets, hosts shows in Dorset, London and Peterborough. Insightful yet fierce, passionate yet measured with intimate and accessible stories; listed in Poetry Rivals 2015 top 100 UK poets.

Paul has an assured, clear and engaging voice. One to watch! - Vanessa Kisuule.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A poem by Anne Britting Oleson


All day, alone, she keeps busy:
kneading bread, she makes a fist and pounds,
turns the dough and pounds again.
She dusts, caressing the spines
of books with the touch of feathers.
Her fingers slip under the flap of a bill,
grip a pen to pay it.
She makes breakfast, lunch, dinner.
She washes her hair, washes her clothes.
She grubs in the garden
for new potatoes, ties up
tomato plants with their heavy fruit.
In the evening, she turns the pages
of a magazine, tracing lines of words.
In the heart of the cold night, she wakes
and finds herself holding her own hand.

Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely on four continents. She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM. She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). A third chapbook, Counting the Days, is forthcoming from Pink Girl Ink, and a novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, is forthcoming from B Ink Publishing--both in spring 2016.

Monday, 4 April 2016

A poem by Howie Good

Three Muses

One says, “The whole point of flowers is that they die.” Another says, “If you wish to study the disease, you must live in the swamp,” and I don’t need that. Another, a creepy older man with a greasy comb-over, says, “Everything is art, everything is rubbish,” as he viciously kicks a violin along the gutter. The street is lined two deep with the sort of spotty people who charge a fee to read your poems. But by the time he has passed out of sight, only the lost or confused remain and the unpronounceable names of hidden things and a few million green leaves that are almost too green.

Howie Good’s latest poetry collections are Bad for the Heart (Prolific Press) and Dark Specks in a Blue Sky (Another New Calligraphy). He is recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his forthcoming collection Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements.