Thursday, 27 April 2017

A poem by Pat Edwards

On becoming vintage

You'll find it there on your neck,
your lid or somewhere,
your backside maybe -
your sell-by date
or more accurately,

your use by date.

God help you if you go over that by even one day.
Why, your innards will surely rot untimely,
entrails, very self, deteriorate to toxic waste.
You'll see visions of war cabinet in urgent huddle,
ladies wearing pencil skirts, belligerent buns tightly tied
on their pointy little heads,
pushing wooden boats and submarines
around a cardboard cut-out you.

It might just be alright
if you throw up a couple of times,
clear the system out before it's too late.
There's just a chance you will be declared


or even vintage,
worthy of a bit of rubbing down,
a lick of chalk paint and a darn good waxing,
before you wane.

I am Pat Edwards, writer, teacher and performer from Mid Wales. I run Verbatim poetry open mic nights locally and am curating this year’s Welshpool Poetry Festival. I have had work published in on line magazines including Picaroon, Rat’s Ass and The Fat Damsel, and in some anthologies including Wenlock Poetry Anthology 2016.

Monday, 24 April 2017

A poem by Frances Klein


I’ve never seen sex walk like that.
All duality, denim and dark curls-

pheromones oozing out to permeate
the air like maybe they came packaged special-

and suddenly my skin is opening its pores,
parched earth for the slake of rain,

taking in all that sex before I even know I want it.
I want it.

It’s not for a few days that I realize there is a man
wrapped in all that sex; behind the wheel

and under it, beneath the cedars,
in the ocean, in the front seat and the back

alley, one foot in a tide pool,
one hand in my hair, eyes closed. Eyes closed.

He’s still there when I open them,
tentative and temporary, self-effacing

and self-occupied and strongly self
in ways both sub and super human.

The residue he leaves behind is tenuous,
filming every scientific name

of every native plant, every thrift-store record,
every drop of light that falls through the redwoods

to surround me like a rainstorm,
like a rainstorm, like a storm.

Frances Klein is a high school English teacher. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, and taught in Bolivia and California before settling in Indianapolis with her husband Kris. She has been published in GFT Press, Molotov Cocktail, and the Tipton Poetry Journal among others.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A poem by Brett Evans

Sloth and the Snake

Sloth farts himself awake,
groans indescribably - deprived
of sleep as he already is; bickering
neighbours, yelps and yawps have stolen
Sloth’s beloved canopy of lullabies.
And Sloth knows he’s too simple
but this morning, even he picks
up on disturbances. Sloth’s shoulders
stiffen momentarily as strength
is mustered to reflect on the beauty
of all he can see, tune into the protest songs,
drown out water cannons, rubber bullets.
But the black snake is about to slide
across the wide Missouri – far away,
that rolling river - and it’s not
the ever mournful leaves
that spill onto Sloth’s once carefree cheeks.        
Energy enough to chide Too simple
for this world, battling his eyelids
knowing dreamcatchers grasp
less than he does, Sloth feels fresh;
snatches the closest branch
as if it were a lance.

Brett Evans lives, writes, and drinks in his native north Wales. He is co-editor of poetry and prose journal Prole.
Dog walks are preferable to phone calls.

Monday, 17 April 2017

A poem by Finola Scott

long-distance love

tonight your voice is loaded
     -  exams   rent    girlfriend -
too far away   in miles
  and years
to kiss to make better

I knit a cat’s cradle
                         of words
to hold    you     soothe you
but  meaning cracks
  even  the
   is break  ing

Finola Scott's poems and short stories are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, Dactyl ,The Lake, Poets' Republic.

She is pleased to be mentored this year on the Clydebuilt Scheme by Liz Lochead. A performance poet, she is proud to be a slam-winning granny.

Her roles as daughter, teacher, wife, mother and grandmother are important sources for her writing. She is involved in the political , with especial reference to women's place in society.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

A poem by Lucy Corbett

Lucy Corbett is a writer, performer and filmmaker living and working in Cardiff. She is inspired by anything funny, heartbreaking, noir-ish, melancholic and magical. Luckily that covers lots of things. She recently wrote and performed a solo theatre/poetry show Stories About My Weird Friends, is writing a story in instalments on her website, and had a film poem long listed at the Rabbit Heart Film Festival in America. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

A poem by Geoff Anderson


At night, I was held together,
another’s arm across my chest

—one who learned in school
to bind like and unlike things

using a little glue and math—
lace to Valentine’s Day cards,

formula to shapes. Our lessons
were not so different; I fashioned

father from mountain
on ruled loose-leaf in English,

muscled the rock,
the balding summit.

Education is more about
seeing the relationship

than accepting it as true.
Waking up alone, I left

my hand on the outline
of a body until I could not

find her warmth anymore,
before I knew it love.

Geoff Anderson crosses the tracks, the floodwall, the bridge in Columbus, OH. His work appears or is forthcoming in places like Outlook Springs, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Lunch Ticket.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

A poem by Natalie Crick


See how
The moon hangs in utter darkness,
A smouldering black,

A crack of light
Disappearing almost,
The world paused outside.

See how
Blood’s blue shadow
Barely runs beneath her skin.

See how her eyes glitter
Like fire, wisps of inked
Paper that one day will curl and smoke

Rising into the abysmal fields of
Some star-haunted place, some
Suddenly interrupted, fathomless sky.

Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. She graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature and plan to pursue an MA at Newcastle this year. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including The Lake, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Pacific, Interpreters House and Jet Fuel Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, 'Sunday School' was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A poem by Jerrod Schwarz


I don't know why Dad bought a stilt house—
unpainted columns at each corner, the steep grade
of the staircase, a small porch
overlooking our fallow orange grove.

His new wife crouches in the kitchen; her fingers
are the size of dough-rollers, her fingers pinch plates
out of the dishwasher.

I gather Legos and clothes and my toothbrush
into a backpack in the living room. Dad's already ground-level,
Dad's already waiting in the car.

Stepbrother sidesteps her tree-trunk hips to get a soda,
and I ask her Have you seen my shoes?
She looks at me, grabs a toothpick of a pencil,
and draws the silhouette of a man on a paper towel.

She eats the drawing and starts to cry—hands over her face,
elbows jutting into the dining room, knocking over chairs,
shattering flatware.

I see my shoes hidden behind dad's work boots.
Now I'm at the front door, on the stairs, getting into the car.
I look up at the bay window—she's standing at the sink,
she's picking pieces of a gravy boat
out of her arm, her salad bowl eyes
squinting down at the broken family heirloom.

Jerrod Schwarz is an MFA student at the University of Tampa. He is also the co-founder of Driftwood Press. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Maudlin House, HOOT, The Fem, Inklette, and many others. His first small collection is due out from Rinky Dink Press in December 2016.