‘Teaching Tabitha to Knit’ by Carole Bromley

  See, I haven’t done this for years. Take one knitting needle in each hand. No, hold it nearer the end, that’s it. Now wind the yarn round that one. Hang on, I’ll give you a hand. OK, now kind of make a loop, see? Try tucking one needle under your arm. In over through off. It’s like a poem! A really messy one with … Continue reading ‘Teaching Tabitha to Knit’ by Carole Bromley

‘Finn MacCool offers his thumb’ by Laura McKee

  to my salmon lips to see if I’m ready and when I drip when I spit it burns tells him all he needs to know and he wants to suck the knowing out of me     Author’s note: The Salmon of Knowledge is one of many stories surrounding the legend of Finn MacCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill)   A recording of Laura McKee reading … Continue reading ‘Finn MacCool offers his thumb’ by Laura McKee

‘The Data Quality Analyst’s Lot’ by Hilaire

  For every if, an else, a then. For every cursor, a loop that ends. Each open bracket must be closed; so single quotes must come in pairs and double quotes—ditto. Her joy is found in datasets, in structured queries and parsed syntax. Wild cards flourish within her fields, while table by table she builds her joins on left or right, eschewing Cartesian product for … Continue reading ‘The Data Quality Analyst’s Lot’ by Hilaire

‘Willard Wigan’ by Mat Riches

Willard Wigan His miniature sculptures are like “passing a pin through a bubble without bursting it.” – Willard Wigan & “Ant-eye level art” – Maev Kennedy – Guardian 13.04.00   It can be like balancing an ocean liner on a granule of sugar. It’s like passing a pin through a bubble without bursting it. Well yes, and, then again, no. I want to get to … Continue reading ‘Willard Wigan’ by Mat Riches

‘The Dark Smoothness of an Old Revolver’ by Catherine Edmunds

  Oh, those Audrey Hepburn sunglasses! A man should get drunk now and then out of principle, like those of us here, defeated by life, scorned by the Trouville set. I’m sorry, I seem to have momentarily mislaid my muse, and am therefore inclined towards a certain delicious depravity. It is a little dear here, but the climate is impeccable.   (previously unpublished)   Click … Continue reading ‘The Dark Smoothness of an Old Revolver’ by Catherine Edmunds

‘My Life as a Film’ by William Thirsk-Gaskill

  It is shot in black and white, with subtitles and set aboard a German U-boat in World War Two, called U-214, nicknamed “The Berlin Bear”. The Captain downs shots of schnapps in every scene except when the boat is pursuing or being pursued. His exterior of brutality is a pretence and he secretly hates the First Mate, who is a card-carrying Nazi. He has … Continue reading ‘My Life as a Film’ by William Thirsk-Gaskill

‘Crates’ by Jo Bell

  Observe that when I speak of crates your mind provides one straight away. Likely you are thinking of the fruiterer’s crate: a shallow slatted box of rain-matted pine, the archetype of apples stencilled on the side, a cartouche slot above it for a grocer’s hand. Your crate may be the sturdy plastic tub of the eco-minded council, waiting at the gate with all its … Continue reading ‘Crates’ by Jo Bell

‘Honeymoon’ by Josephine Corcoran

  I wouldn’t call it a honeymoon, those muffled nights in mothballed rooms. With cake in the boot we pilgrimmed north, taking a young marriage to old widows, my father’s brothers dead, their crucifixes still hanging. In each house we were given the double bed, my aunties inviting us to fornicate on concave mattresses containing dead men’s seed. Had we come one week before, you … Continue reading ‘Honeymoon’ by Josephine Corcoran