Monday, 15 March 2010

Issue two// Njaim

Oh Poetrease

Njaim - Oh Poetrease by disingenuoustwaddle

© Robert Louis Henry 2010
Njaim (aka Robert Louis Henry) lives in Tennessee, where he's studying music production. His personal blog can be found at He's an editor at Leaf Garden Press. He looks sickly, and birds often make nests in his hair.

Issue two// Max Cambridge


I've never had such blissful sleep as I did whilst having these ridiculous pink pieces of expanding rubber pushed deep into my ears. When you've blocked out the sound of unnoticeable, invisible things it becomes clear how loud they really are. Water running through a pipe. A red fox's pawsteps in the loud air, along the creaking, crumbling earth. The bricks your house is built from, rubbing against the cement, against each other. At the same time, the growling hum of the fridge, the clunk/fucking/clunk/fucking/zrrrm of the washing machine, pipes stretching themselves, stretching their metal arms to ensure they are useful when the sun rises. The handles of cupboards, loudly aching to be pulled or twisted, like the audible desire of downtrodden housewives, opressed by the jealous patriarch. Convulsing electronics, unsure when to keep quiet. The cause of an unpredictable life. Lightbulbs dancing to the loud, evening music of the breeze and sleeping birds. An unbearable cacophony of silence ripping my conscience apart.



once my ears are filled. I become aware of my breathing, the hard beating of my heart that seems like it's resonating from miles off, a pounding of Thor's Semtex hammer against the bare scorched earth, when my breath increases and I'm aware of the images inside my mind. Images of skin, turned around in dizzy circles and covered in sweat, hot gasps as we slither in the dark, a uh-tutu-ara, Polonius fucking wishes he was here. Afterwards, while turning over, a wheezing sound tells me the air has been pushed out of my lungs. So liberating. I become aware of the blood inside my veins. Each individual cell. They are bustling like the women of my past life at the market place, queuing for meat and vegetables, queuing to feed their families. Pushing against each other, anxious to get something decent, worn down from the early rises and the late nights and brave face that is eating into their real one. Worn down to acceptance. Worn like rags. My bones creak. It runs in the family. I imagine a road and it's completely silent: so beautiful. Away from the crumbling blocks of cells in Zhitomir, away from the market full of rotting animal meat. This place I'm in right now, it's the best place in the world. Complete solitude, complete tranquillity. No worry, no chemical reactions filtering my reactions and thoughts. Darkness and silence. I can finally think clearly, devoid of the shouts from girls and boys interested in "culture". Devoid from gasping fathers and zealous mothers and their complete opposites. Marquez was onto something. Sleep envelops me and I melt into a thousand yellow puddles.

© Max Cambridge 2010

Max Cambridge was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine and grew up all over England and western Europe. He writes for Grizzly and John McClure's (of Reverend and the Makers) Ark magazine. His personal blogs are Gavrilo Princip's Tales and prizedoberman. He also has a Flickr. Recently, he has been obsessively making prints and getting better at taking pictures. His Grandfather died in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Issue two// Colin James


The room is expecting me to sing.
Why are these ugly, angry people
dragging me to a back table
amid threats of strong drink?
My real audience should be distraught
and not un-cat-like.
Perhaps an admirer will phone the law
causing a preview to the stampede.
Then through the dust there appears
a caravan of taxis,
foreigners circling holding their ears.
Respect these surprised attackers
shocked at their own dawn raid.
Incredulous, needy and most vapid of warriors
dangerous when not cornered,
the next village
absolutely, is not yours.

© Colin James 2010

Colin James lives in Massachusetts but was born in England. He works in Energy Conservation. He has been published in a variety of journals and ezines including The American Drivel Review, The Ottawa Review, The Haz Mat Review and 88. He is a huge fan of the Scottish landscape painter, John Mackenzie.

Issue two// Howie Good


Our textbook compared
the heart to a furnace.

Or maybe it was the brain.
Blood provided the fuel

as you were falling asleep
or just walking along.

We would get stoned
before class. The teacher’s

wife and baby daughter
had died in a car wreck.

I think of it sometimes
when I see the Nazis

invading Poland again.

© Howie Good 2010
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 15 print and digital poetry chapbooks and the full-length collection of poetry, Lovesick (2009). His second full-length collection, Heart With a Dirty Windshield, will be published by BeWrite Books.

Issue two// Joseph Reich

Time Life

in the fifties sixties somewhere in the seventies hands ended up smelling like sweet sticky pine cone after spending a full day picking them up strewn and scattered all over your lawn

while a stray jet plane sputtered off to dusk slipping into the shadows of your basement

door to forget it all in blissful oblivion rummaging for the tonic water to add to the gin to make gin and tonics

in casual crystal cocktail glasses actual crystal glass stirrers displayed on top your half-built time life

bar just for the right moment just for the right occasion the mets always happening to be muted

on television always managing to find a way of losing (sometimes if you got lucky one of those streakers in high tops and big white boy

afros would suddenly show up running across to break it all up followed by the out-of-shape over-

weight security flush-faced, fish-faced, breathing heavily having heart attacks and them as well having

to be helped off feeling a little something like some sort of silly flamboyant out of control apocalypse)

with remaining lingering smells of smouldering barbecues going off like some sentimental sacrifice and slaughter in plush backyards of all the salesmen and ex-sailors and dentists and wheeler and dealers

and embezzlers everything kept in and not talked about while all developing some absurd dysfunctional

mythology unto itself (this became the real hush-hush not of the nice kind but secretive and sleazy

and sadistic and sublime) as you started to hear mosquitoes begin to get zapped electrocuted to death

in the flashing florescence of last breath dusk the ghost postmen and ice cream men already having

taken off as you'd come back out in your backyard in your pajamas after taking insane baths with mad brothers and feel the first dew of nightfall on your toes before you somehow found a way of drifting off to nightbirds in a flood of tears in the pitch-black dark of all your fears (of a holy and hysterical and hollow brooding of an unimaginable unfathomable being and reality) concept of mortality equalling a mourning

and murder and missing beyond belief of mother and father's eternal tragic and untimely passing...

© Joseph Reich 2010

Joseph Reich is a social worker from Massachusetts. He has a wife and handsome little son with a nice mop of dirty-blonde hair, and when they all get a bit older, he hopes to take them back to play, to pray, to contemplate in the parks and playgrounds of New York City.

Issue two// Lee Minh Sloca

The Sea In Me Never Ceases

© Lee Minh Sloca 2010
Lee Minh Sloca was born in Vietnam, from which he escaped two weeks prior to its collapse. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Psychology. After college, he worked for fourteen years with special needs children in a variety of mental health and educational facilities. Seeking to expand his horizons, he shifted his focus to poetry and painting. After campaigning for Obama in the ’08 election, he is currently seeking work that is compatible with the President's philosophy of community. Lee lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Issue one// Fiona Allison

Mill Post

© Fiona Allison 2010

Issue one// Lena Drake

we have jagged edges left

you. you. I
explanation. this explanation. is not it is not a good explanation.
not explanation. really it hopes
if good good this hope this explanation. is it if
sure i'm enough
explanation. this
not More
girl, loved a girl, More you but
and You I you, girl, a point. fifteen. and that's--
I was, see, fifteen.
loved I, you You my but You story. You were fifteen. this I
You see,
a this story.
and that's originally my "I" is the my this
before I nausea, petite was it before dizzy, before then. kissed then.
I would nausea, would you
you I. I.
cuts. cuts. I-- language, nausea-- saw But feel cuts.
soft. lips lips Your
Your lips were Your
was and stomach red. was and
stomach stomach was stomach red stomach

© Lena Drake 2010

Issue one// Harry Brooks

© Harry Brooks 2010

Issue one// Seb Wheeler


The pope's head has exploded.

Light gold

(You are plunged into darkness)
Shop soiled mannequins enter stage left,
Appear beneath a single spotlight
And dance covered in fake finery on a perfect half moon.
They start to sweat yellow grey pearls,
Melt collapse into a pool
On cracked wooden beams.

(Would you like to dance?)
I’d rather hang
From the rafters throwing confetti.
One hundred reflections after every rotation,
Torn cut ripped glimmering gloss.
They are there again,
Until the dark wears off,
Swapping cheap plastic jewellery
Playing Chinese whispers in the shadows
Picking constellations from the mess on the floor.

Bright white
Pale pink

They put dynamite behind his ears.

© Seb Wheeler 2010

Issue one// Clare Jones


You are my present continuous tense, temporal

unsure if this is it at all.

I dread the third conditional because the past

is inside it, already pooling into mind.

And if you look and look to find

the tightened mouth on two

three and trois are still aligned,

but not blue and bleu and you.

I don’t hear Spanish but I know

a few words

the ones I needed.

Nous sommes nu together, a part of my heart

but when he is there we say ils.

He watches the doll dress

sees mine to eye to eye

in the back, a pocket mirror

lipstick smudge on thigh.

The leopard to the lamb on land

to lie down with the asp

his young his waters full his hand

and sounds of gentled glass.

Give me a neutraled opened key

and words from yours by you to me.

© Clare Jones 2010

Issue one// Kayleigh Dray

House of Cards

To live in card houses
y’all gotta get used to the strong taste
of pepper
and powder


…and that strange smell ya get
when ya squeeze a big amber drop
o’pine dew ‘tween your fingers
‘til it bleeds a sunset over the prints.
All sticky and lookin’
like a sigh…

It / reeks of / Why.

Oh, the sound? That’s the bees,
livin’ and workin’
sometimes dyin’ for the honey
pot on the breakfast bar
- all made of clubs and spades.
They ain’t got nowhere else to go,


when they comes knockin’ for sugar,
don’t give ‘em the
brush off with
old sweet’n’lows.

Y’all can sit and stare at these -
these paper walls,
all bendin’ with the elements,
some yellered with years
of fondlin’ in backhand poker
games and such.

Ya stare and see hearts.
See clubs.
See the dull dots of marks ‘gainst
the shine of the diamonds
as they glint-shine off the rich folks‘
rings and earrings and
and tie-pins!

\ \ But / /
all the faces and the aces

are turned out and away

and they sure as hell don’t…

they sure as hell don’t look

at You

as You’re tryin’ make out

ya don’t see them.
[Make out yew don’t give a damn.
It’d be a pretty lie, if ya could
make it stick]

To let live in card houses
y’all gotta stop sittin’ by
while that strong taste of
and powder
and rags soaked in
lit by shakin’ gloved hands
from a world without bees,

comes in at ya.

All that… all that not-knowin’ folks

and not-knowin’ when to keep

that big bazoo shut and trapped

and Kept Quiet.

“Hell boy, you’s just a Spade,

so you ain’t got no right to go

makin’ eyes at your new


They’ll soon learn.

Leads to bell-fights.

Or silence.

Or unwanted

flickerin’ lights.

And when you is livin’ in a house of cards,

You don’t need no extra buzzin’.

Those card walls are steady held,

no swayin’,

no need to be prayin’ for God

to suck back in that wicked breeze.

But The Smoke seeps through

and it calms.

It calms them,

It – the smoke- it calms the bees and

the bees are calmed by the smoke and…

And they’re all crawlin’, not flyin’,

Big mass of black and yeller.

They’re all crawlin’ as they – as they start dyin’,

Big Mess of black and yeller bodies,

heaped in smoke and ash and flames.

It reeks of \\Why ///

The white painted faces are starin’ outwards

And lookin’ away

Lookin’ away from all that death…

the death of

All those poor, poor blackened

bodies and…

© Kayleigh Dray 2010