Issue 5 Part 2


Photograph by Jane Burn (taken at the Concrete Menagerie, Branxton)

Edited by Julie Hogg


It takes someone
who has never tried it
to say being a mistress
is just a matter
of putting up
with another woman.

It is not about an extra body
at all,
but the absence of one.

It is having no currency
in conversations about
boyfriends and husbands

it is a photo in a cupboard

it is the ear that waits
for tyres on gravel

it is one wine glass

it is the smell of aftershave
in an empty room

it is the space beside you while you sleep

it is a blank wall
to throw a shoe at.

By Dawn Gorman

How to Love a Fat Girl

She’s beautiful,
and everything I never could have imagined.

She’s 23 and drinking whiskey
before bedtime.
She said her dreams tasted better
when she drank.

Her waistline was not large enough
to hold her heart,
but it was too large
to fit in a rectangular mirror.

She did not care about fitting
into mirrors or boxes or bra sizes.

She did not turn off the light
to get undressed.

Tattoos were strewn across her body
like the Sistine Chapel.
I’d never seen art look so holy.

She’s the most beautiful woman
I have ever met and yet she swore
that I did not love her.

She swore that
I did not see her face turn pale
when she stepped onto a scale
or in front of a mirror.

I told her that I know
I did not see her pain and
I did not see her past.
I just saw a beautiful woman.

I told her
that’s all I needed to see
to know how to love her.

By Jocelyn Mosman


She dreaded his homecoming, fumbling key
Drunkenly shouting, demanding his tea
The children awaken, cowering in bed
Another night’s violence, a childhood of dread.
Demanding drink money, night after night
She feared to refuse him, avoiding a fight,
She tried to appease him, pleading in vain
Trapped in an ongoing cycle of pain.

Face smashed, place smashed, life on the line
She escaped next door and rang 999
Control is over, no more nights of hell but she’s
Scarred on the outside and inside as well
Years of violence still take their toll but
Time is a healer and faith soothes the soul.

By Margaret O’Driscol


At least he left her something.
Not a kiss, nor a ring,
but a tingle to remember him
when life gets too sunny.

A rosy red blush
to remind her not to swallow
warm soft words
from cold hard lips.

Leaving and returning,
regular as a cracked clock.
Singing, you belong to me;
wire wool in sheep’s clothing.

By Harry Gallagher

The Fiend Shim

I walked
Passage wrecked
Dusted with asbestos
Wall of planks
Croonal for
Ghost cats
I slowed
heen viewing
Heaven demotions
Unutterable opposites.
I bend on knee
Consult the godpiece
Bowl engraved with
Food renderings
Final fragments
I straightened
Blues and greys
The fiend shim had
Terminated a life
Burrowed it
Under the soil
I fashion noises
Stare outward
Wind arrangements
Of my hair
Gold’s of the earliest night

By Kate Gillespie

Instructions on Breaking Up

Bury whatever you have to
so it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Make it so you can’t remember the
good, only the numerous fights.

I threw away the roses
and burned the love letters

Gave your jacket to goodwill and
destroyed the teddy bear from our first date

Washed away all the memories of you
with a bottle of tequila

Made a fire pit out of all the
drawings you made of me

Do the same with the love poems
I wrote for you, this one too

Get that tattoo of my name removed,
I’ll send you the cash if you want

Give my best friend your house key
and don’t contact her anymore

Kiss your mom on the forehead and
tell her I’m sorry I couldn’t love you right.

I’ll send your iPod back to your brother
and include your sneakers too

I’ll send the engagement ring back to your grandma
and cancel the date cards too

I’ll replace the calendar with only 50 days left
til I wore that dress in front of you

I’ll burn the picture of what we made 13 weeks ago
that no longer lives inside me, growing patiently

Throw away all my things in your bathroom;
I’ll buy more

Turn the dial every time
you hear our song in the car.

Learn to hate the smell of vanilla
and while you’re at it, lemon too

Don’t again by red wine for your fridge
and subscribe to a meal cooking service

I won’t remember the good anymore,
only how bad this hurt.

I’ll turn off all the lights and sit in the dark
and never again fall in love

I’ll be selfish and stingy with my time
and only care about my needs

You can just sit back and wait for another girl to
come along so you can do to her what you did to me.

By Angel Powell

Divorce Papers

In the mailbox, cramped amongst the flyers,
the two for one pizzas, cheap insurance offers
your flat roof repaired, a postcard or two,
Sits the stark white envelope from Court.

One sheet, a neat summary, factual,
Date and place of marriage.
Date and place of dissolution.

Nothing of the fun or misery.
I file the papers under F for Failure
But F is also for Freedom and Future.

I lay out three cards, unsigned
flat on the table top.
One says ‘why?’
One says ‘sorry’
One says ‘go to hell’.

It would not matter which I send
All are valid, all irrelevant
I send none.

It is just someone I used to know.

By Linda Menzies


I am used to boys calling me beautiful. When I turned eighteen I knew if there was
one thing they want more than my fingers curved and locked at one place, it is
my Yes’s to Friday night-outs and pornographic magazines, and dancing, until my
shoes dissolve with my feet and they carry me home. I just wonder why I can’t be

Why I can’t be half naked in my knee socks watching marathons because they want
me in their beds. It was never really a question whether they loved me or needed me. It’s all the same when we eat dinner and the kettle is boiling with the words unsaid. The dishes will eventually dry on their own and my hands won’t be held until I ask them if my fingers looked lonely between commercial breaks.

For once I wanted to be seen through and not looked at. Unlike the hoarded beauty magazines under my bed I want their hands to remove the cobwebs on my skin so that they can read me. So that even in silence, my words buried under the sheets, my body, will be heard and held until the sun rises.

By Kharla Brillo

Wrap dresses

Wrap dresses for a pregnant mother,
an excellent design option, never have an end
because everywoman is different to the other.

Whenever a female sleeps to recover
on her back, she feels the beat of a friend.
Wrap dresses for a pregnant mother.

The entire weight of the placenta will smother,
the unborn infant starts to blend
because everywoman is different to the other.

Lay right on her inferior vena cava, another
way to stop turning or overextend.
Wrap dresses for a pregnant mother.

An unexpected girl who can cry over a brother
and play the games only the way they pretend,
because everywoman is different to the other.

The movement and twists of a nine month cover,
gives minds and fabric time to descend.
Wrap dresses for a pregnant mother,
because everywoman is different to the other.

By Stephen Daniels

A Letter from the Soul to the Body

Dear body,

You spoke today into being.
That’s half the battle won.

You are tempestuous, afro in a rain storm,
lightning bolt cutters.

You are heard.

You are feeling EVERYTHING.
You are taking up space, and better for it.
You are the ant that makes its presence known
the elephant that sees life on a flower
you are universal.


Demand life from yourself.

You are broken arm rainbows,
eight shades of chipped beauty–the profit of life’s nonsense,
you are not going gentle into that good night, you burn white-hot, you are light,
you are not a child.
You are the art of never running
on empty,
you are all the days that led up to today, the hot, the cold:
you are a place beyond infinity—a place beyond words.

Dearest body,
Dearest love of my life,
Dear only one I have,

You are not on your own.

By Irene Vazquez

All is New

Crimson skies, roaring tides;
Patchwork fields and little hills.
Oh the wonder of nature!
Golden sunsets, shimmering their glory,
Puffy pale clouds, rolling along as the birds
catch their throng and sing a new song
to a new season crocus blossom.
Daffodils sing their golden song;
little lambs frolic on dew splashed grass.
All is new, changing fast as the old has gone.
Fresh focus, new vision like the thread
of a ribbon; time to dream again.
The new has come. Embrace it into your heart.

By Lisa Arnold

Make It Count

There is always one more
until there isn’t.
One more second.
One more minute.
One more moment.
One more kiss.
One more laugh.
One more hour.
One more day.
One more trip.
One more conversation.
One more week.
One more meal.
One more moon.
One more month.
One more dawn.
One more sunrise.
One more year.
One more smile.
One more gentle touch.
One more pillow talk.
One more family reunion.
One more good-bye.
One more hello.
One more century.
One more precession.
One more Big Bang.
One more evolution.
One more extinction.
There is always one more
until there isn’t.

By Scott Thomas Outlar












1 thought on “Issue 5 Part 2

  1. Pingback: A few crazy months of Poetry events and experiences | Stephen Kirk Daniels

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s