Two poems by Dan Stathers

    Coconut John I recognise the worn teeth of his rattle-clacker against the Waltzer’s siren. No name in lights or thumping decibels, a row of ugly numbskulls sitting cockeyed on sawdust pedestals. The years have whistled him by, the same shock of silver hair, the puckish smile still spoiling for a dirty joke. Looks like we’ve got a contender he announces, slipping my pound … Continue reading Two poems by Dan Stathers

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

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

‘The Tale of Wilbur’s Victorian Sewage Pumps’ by Anita Pati

The Tale of Wilbur’s Victorian Sewage Pumps The two-barrelled Prince Consort engine designed by a colonel named St John, was fantasised fondly in Hitchin. Colonel St John had pondered how sewage, to fuel one onward, like money, should never be squandered. Conceived over parlour-time Horlicks, cream-splashed Imperial promise twirled ostrich eggs, rare hot-house relics. And if he was right in his thesis, Lloyds would fund … Continue reading ‘The Tale of Wilbur’s Victorian Sewage Pumps’ by Anita Pati

Three poems by Geraldine Clarkson

  The Dancers on Graves gather at dawn, 21st June, by the large yew; limber up, leaning on the back ends of monuments and tombs; adjust bandeaux and legwarmers; yodel a little, do scales to loosen the chi. The relevant areas are corralled with ribbon, beginning with John Henry Frayn, father of three, down to Dawn Mary Highgate, a friend to all. The usual routines, … Continue reading Three poems by Geraldine Clarkson