‘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

‘Scratched Light’ by Raymond Antrobus

for Phoebe Boswell The heart is circled by sorrows and bitter devotion – Derek Walcott Southbank’s Security guards wake anyone sleeping as if they don’t want us to miss who we might bump into like how I bumped into Phoebe today, sat at the tall window, drawing a man called Anwaar. I pull an extra chair and sit next to them and talk about maybe moving … Continue reading ‘Scratched Light’ by Raymond Antrobus

Introducing the poets of The Complete Works III

…though having written that headline I’m suddenly stuck by the notion that the word ‘introducing’ is redundant, so much noise are this latest cohort of The Complete Works making, both in the UK and on shores farther away. But on the off-chance that you are unfamiliar with their work, I’m delighted that we’ll be sharing some of their poems with you on Fridays over the … Continue reading Introducing the poets of The Complete Works III