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Index: Poetry & Fiction

Two poems.

Ruby Turok-Squire [from ‘Snow’]: ‘see the dots
as unhappened kisses

searching out their mouths
eye-whites

keeping secrets
not even they remember’

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New York Hotel.

Ian Seed: ‘Here I stopped because I could not remember how to conjugate the verb. In any case, I had an excuse not to continue for at that moment a military parade appeared at the end of the street. It was led by a general in a jeep. ‘

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Winétt de Rokha: Three poems.

Winétt de Rokha: ‘The word becomes a butterfly of the night,
bats its wings, stops, opens itself to unforeseen pearls —
catches at an echo that rolls slowly
away, dividing and dividing again, and chases after its own flight
like the mane of a comet as it dissolves.’

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‘Shrinking cities’ and ‘Small station’.

Alan Zhukovski: ‘A village can look so much bigger than cities, whose high-rises loom in each suburb.
A countryside minute can sometimes be longer than days in the shrunken dimension.’

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Six poems.

Lewis Oakwood: ‘Their bones grind together as they walk round and round

the old orchard, where I watch and listen to the dead:

“we lost our tomorrow and in that blackest night we are

afraid that you have forgotten our names.’

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Italian Lessons.

Ian Seed: ‘Yesterday evening when I stopped as usual to say hello and try out a little more of my Italian on Tiziana, I saw, from the corner of my eye, Anna walking down the street hand-in-hand with her fidanzato, her tall, blue-eyed, but (thank God) balding beloved. She was smiling at something he’d said. I tried not to look at her, but when they passed, Anna turned her head vaguely toward me. Her green eyes caught mine for a moment, then turned away.’

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Y.

Pierre Voélin: ‘in the distance the processions move on

and he who is listening
behind the wall of foliage
remembers the promises of your name’

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Two poems.

James Russell: ‘While he fronts his oratory and we voice
the sweet breezes from our belvedere

we are agreed that he is growing fond
of himself, rather as did Jerry Lee Lewis after

his first hit (so we reminisce between sighs).’

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Gold.

Martin Sorrell: ‘The greatest part of Victor’s pleasure was that calico music, which he relished as fully as he could by closing his eyes and letting his ears fill with the engine note, which grew as each machine reaffirmed itself over the round hill, then passed directly overhead, descending to the landing strip, sometimes battling headwinds coming off the sea. He learnt to distinguish between the sound the various planes made. Eyes closed, he arranged them in his head as if he were a composer.’

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‘After Tranströmer’ and four more poems.

Colin Honnor: ‘Glimmer cradled light on the waves of leaves
after the olive light on dusty leaves, after
the grey-green and black rain
into the nets, you he all of them
ritual, half-year’s rite to gather
threshing the filled branches with your canes
the olive rain, the hard bitter stones.’

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Translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and five more poems.

Emily Critchley: ‘I wash the dust from my hands and knees,
the sweat from my eyes –
lie down to peel a potato with my head still spinning –
choose a dress from out the periodic table;
forget about poetry.’

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Four poems.

Christopher Steare: ‘He looks out
from his lantern turret
onto mountains mirrored in water,

one old man of Coniston
reflecting on another.’

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Nine very short stories.

Ian Seed, from ‘Ex-Pat’: ‘I was walking back to my Paris flat from the metro. Someone sprang at me from a doorway and tried to grab my wallet from my pocket. More than frightened, I was ashamed that he’d dared to attack me, for he was only a scrawny youth and, though his eyes were vicious, his lips were pretty and feminine. I grabbed him round the neck and wrestled him to the ground. The smell of his sweat was sweet. I held his trembling body against mine until the police arrived.’

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from ‘Due North’.

Peter Riley: ‘A chorus of 15 bronze heads singing in the museum at night
the music working to its close, “The Philosopher” the brain song,
earth-toned lines, earth-bound demands, this
is all there is going to be, where the sun never shines.’

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Three poems.

Sanjeev Sethi: ‘I run from myself, winded I return, debunking the illusion:
escape is an easy way out. On their own my errors seem
to go away. The breeze whittles cues of camaraderie.
The stoplight blushes in shades of sienna.’

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