Issue 3 Part 1

48 label disclaimer 237adjustsmall

Artwork by Jane Burn

Edited by Julia Webb

Air bubble

Imagine at first it’s gentle, a squeezing of walls pushing in;
all about flex and resistance, a tightening ’til tension is obvious.
It’s not a question of pain, it’s much more complex than that.
In the end release is a pin-sized hole expanding exponentially
and we have no way to control it. When the air-lock folds
there is nothing, just air that needs to find new spaces to kiss,
to grasp. We want to hold it but wouldn’t recognise its touch.

If we could believe this was all about numbers it would help.
Someone said quantity and regulation could be key. I tell
consequence is not something to be quantified, that desert drag
makes us heated and fraught, friction-burnt, blind. The voice
of grief is deafening for those afflicted. There are no numbers
no codes for the longing of skin and hair, no scale to measure
the ways we wonder or the depth and volume of our cries.

By Zelda Chappel

Harvest


Above us, Vulcan bomber vapour
is feather chasing star
………….where a red moon rises
…………..twin to a giant poppy sun
kindling in power station ashes.

Combines throb till darkness,
dew and still
……………then Stow bells ring
……………as Stow bells rang
a scythe of sound
swinging away
…………through life to death
…………through death to life.

By Susan Taylor

Kampa

….  Kampa’s quiet dramas play out against a sound-track of water gushing
over the weir in the Vltava. Dogs face-off while their owners exchange
pleasantries. Accidentally, Kampa is a park of statues and sculptures. One
statue is a nude girl carrying a bunch of grapes, head too large for the body, arms
foreshortened in an odd contortion of what might be modesty. Another is a woman
walking, incongruously, into the generous green embrace of a tree.
Statue
by unacknowledged sculptor
receives compliments
A young woman with a camera asks me if I could photo her please with the statue of
harmony which stands in Namaste pose by the water. I do, having difficulty with the bright
sunlight. The woman is Brazilian. Next year, she says, her trip will be to London.

By Sheila Hamilton

I Guess I’ll Go On. Why Not?

I can tell the future from the lines
on Samuel Beckett’s face. They say:
joy wears on the soul the same
as sorrow; who cares which you choose?
Dust will gather between their folds,
so at least you’ll be insulated
against the weather. But let me admit
something right now: I’ve never read a word
he wrote. I can’t even read. But I can damn
sure listen to a book on tape. But I haven’t
done that either. What I have done is fold
this paper over and over, then open it out
and smooth the creases. Exactly the same
as Samuel Beckett, it’s a Misfortune Teller.
This horizontal line is called Krapp’s Last Tweet,
and indicates the bottom of the cardboard
mailing tube where I live. It’s warm in here
and smells like woodlice. Like mama’s skirts.

By CL Bledsoe and Michael Gushue

Laser

She sounds like Sidse Knudsen
telling Chiara D’Anna she’s late.
She tells me to climb on the couch,
compliments me on my boots,
wears a magnifying lens to better see
the Orion’s Belt of follicles
still clinging to my lip.
Admires my work with the razor.
If she sees my tattoo, it’s not mentioned.

I close my eyes.
I hear her breathe.
She puts the wand against my skin.
The warm pain comes in waves.

By AJ McKenna

Selfie

…………………………………………..so what
if the kids are squalling
…………………………………………..so what
if the world’s awash
…………………………………………..so what
if your baking’s beeping
…………………………………………..so what
if you’ve got to dash
…………………………………………..you must
…………………………………………..worship me
before all things

…………………………………………..so what
if she’s going to jump it
…………………………………………..so what
if he’s feeling rough
……………………………………….….so what
is so called happening
……………………………………….….is not
without my touch

…………………………………………..you must
……………………………………..…..worship me
me, meme me
before all things

By Liz Breslin

Lost to JPEG

A film would be purchased
from all good chemists and,
ideally prior to departure,
it would be ceremoniously
loaded into one’s Instamatic.

There followed a rationing,
a simple division of 24 or 36,
of the daily snaps permitted
to capture as under a pin
one’s bright adventures.

A dumb chunk of right angles,
the thin rectangular shutter,
some frosted Magicubes,
the toothy plastic winder,
a myopic dusty viewfinder.

Weeks later one would inspect
with growing dismay the square,
yellowed, fuzzy confirmations
of the analogue era and solemnly
paste them into one’s story.

By Ben Banyard

Removal

………………………is the wrong word for it
it’s surgery …………………a severance
a replacement of insides with mercury
it takes time …..to get it out of your system
it’s the debris
of us lying naked in the street
in silence ………………..waiting
for a wind to make it
a tambourine
…………………….of tin can discord
…………………….rattling
…………………….clattering
puncturing the sleep-dead night suburbia
as if to say we are still living
…………………………………………alive
……………….in the sea of could-have-beens.

By Zelda Chappel

 

 

One thought on “Issue 3 Part 1

  1. Pingback: “Lost to JPEG” in The Fat Damsel | Ben Banyard

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