Two poems by Jennifer Lee Tsai

  Breathing after Song Dong Tiananmen Square, New Year’s Eve, sub-zero temperatures; he lies face-down, breathing gently for forty minutes while from a distance, Mao observes a few policemen on night watch and the lamp-posts fitted with video cameras. This is the gate of Heavenly Peace. Soon, a patch of frost thaws, just to freeze over again when he rises. In the morning, by the … Continue reading Two poems by Jennifer Lee Tsai

‘Praise Be to Unexpected Ways’ by Chaucer Cameron

Praise Be to Unexpected Ways after Sepideh Jodeyri I have breasts, which I love, I can speak the word breast, I can write the word breast, I can associate the breast with a robin on a branch. I love birds, I love the way they sing, and how they capture territory in unexpected ways. Praise the breast. I have lips, which I love, I can … Continue reading ‘Praise Be to Unexpected Ways’ by Chaucer Cameron

‘High Society’ by Ian Humphreys

  Inside the camphorwood chest – forgotten treasure: a pair of leather cowboy boots with metal toe caps. How they shone. As loud, proud and polished as the men                         they sparked a trail through. Three decades of dust can’t hide the cracks. A genie-rub conjures up swirls of dry ice, the wink of the glitter ball, and the Night Fever dance floor, a chequerboard                            where … Continue reading ‘High Society’ by Ian Humphreys

Two poems by Degna Stone

  Blackface Live Theatre, Newcastle. 3 December 2016 It’s the sucker punch of an actor walking onstage wearing blackface; the roar from the audience as they piss themselves laughing. The vocabulary has shifted but the old problems remain. I was a fool to think that we’d been moving forward when we were only ever standing still.   Weighing of the Heart When John Dark held … Continue reading Two poems by Degna Stone

Two poems by Jacqueline Saphra

All My Mad Mothers My mother gathered every yellow object she could find: daffodils and gorgeous shawls, little pots of bile and piles of lemons. Once we caught her with a pair of fishnet stockings on a stick, trying to catch the sun. My mother never travelled anywhere without her flippers, goggles and a snorkel. She’d strip at any opportunity: The Thames, The Serpentine, the … Continue reading Two poems by Jacqueline Saphra