‘The Unbelievable’ by Victoria Adukwei Bulley

after Martin Carter They enjoy talking in the dark.           They are just voices. With the power cut his voice is air, warm, passing           over her ear – the ear is catching it. They have no obvious bodies,           nor histories to set alight. They are, both of them, black as the breath           of the universe, blank as the space between stars. They are a part           of … Continue reading ‘The Unbelievable’ by Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Two poems by Leonardo Boix

Manger After The Adoration of the Magi This ramshackle hut I was born had neither thatch, roof nor ceiling A hovel with a hundred o holes, having no walls nor windows, not even an exit. Cows, horses, flies slept all within, barely room for a time, Father built chimneys and Mother had sweetbread and kidneys a boiling. Winters were harsh. Hailing, piss-snow over us while … Continue reading Two poems by Leonardo Boix

Two poems by Will Harris

  Eyewitness Travel In Shepherds Bush library, now an annex of Westfield, a man in a corner seat leans over two Dorling Kindersley books —Eyewitness Travel—and with near-complete, near-sighted reverence (the kind you’d give to something rare or precious) turns and scans each glossy page. I’m trying to believe it’s for a trip he’s planning, but the stains on his ripped jumper give me the … Continue reading Two poems by Will Harris

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

‘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