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Index: Poetry & Fiction

A woman’s best friend.

Michael Buckingham Gray: ‘The wind carries a whine. She cups her ear and follows the sound. Stops. Smiles. And shakes her head at her dog, pacing up and down the opposite side of the river.’

Four prose pieces.

Simon Collings: ‘The doctor turned out to be an ex-lover who I hadn’t seen for some time. She asked me if I was free for dinner, and suggested we continue the consultation at her apartment, to which I readily agreed. The building where she lived was close by. ‘

La petite gloire.

Augustus Young: ‘He requested copies [of his own books] and in less than an hour the library assistant brought three tracts black with dust. The pages were uncut. His joy fell to earth. He remembered their creation: burning the midnight oil, inspired by moments of genius, the rage for expression, the ardor of enthusiasm, oblivious to the outside world. Then the pride of publication, and afterwards the deadly silence, not a word from anyone. And now the one record of their external life confirmed the worst. Nobody had troubled to read them.’

Anne Frank: A polyptych.

Vanessa Waltz: ‘those lucky ones, the ones with special needs
crouched by the slats, lolling tongues already lusting for water
the ride would be over soonest for them…’

Three poems by Karl O’Hanlon.

Karl O’Hanlon: ‘An image leaps out of nature:
a buzzard, its despot bosom
dripping eel guts, vexed by gulls.’

Three récits by Georges Limbour.

Georges Limbour: ‘However, as soon as the first white-painted houses appeared, as though sensing it would have been dangerous to go further, they stopped and scattered amid the cacti and fig trees. I entered the village. A woman rooted to the spot by the pitcher she carried on her head raised the edge of her cloak to her eyes. ‘

Birds of the Sherborne Missal.

Elisabeth Bletsoe: ‘Slipping between pleated histories at the lake’s surface, brilliant or dazzling, the coup de foudre. Fortunately falling folded amongst these structures of unmaking, these collusions in perceptual paradox. Stunned by the flashover irrupting capillary walls in arborescent erythema…’

Three poems by Sam James.

. Anaphora. What should I lament, losses of forests, hope, or even direction? No, only time poorly spent. How has it been used, to lay out the preface of a concept’s surface? Time has been abused. Shall we bring to fruit the flowers of the tree, shall we, from the root, rise tall enough to […]

Seven poems: Peter Robinson.

Peter Robinson: ‘Deposited at Castletroy and come
like an old man to this country,
I may stroll at ease
above the Shannon’s dark mutinous waves
into County Clare, then back again…’

Three poems by David Cooke.

. MILESIANS. They were matter-of-fact and mercantile, their deities stockpiled in lumber rooms, containers, or the air-conditioned acres of a state-of-the-art clockwork hangar. Too good to clear away, they laid them up, just in case, alongside incense and charms, the stacks of cheap libationary bowls. It didn’t take that much – distant thunder, a tremor, […]

The Picture in Ireland.

Laura Potts: ‘You warned the living of the dead.
And said that prayer you’d never said, but it was lost instead.
And in those gobbet-drops of flesh wept Our Lady overhead.’

The Gauloises Blonde and four more poems.

Lana Bella: ‘ike a girl lost,
like the first crescent in a kind
of teardrop, I was never born to feel
night from your hair, backlit with
smooth shine dirt giving yards
to fire and smoke.’

Essay on Spam.

Alistair Noon: ‘Come, O Ostrich Chuckle Ball.
Come, exoplanets. Come, dark matter I could call
out at the superfluity, Hi, here I am!
For where there’s intelligent life, there’s spam.’

Five new poems by Emily Critchley.

Emily Critchley: ‘Remembering to remember. Remember to pass beyond you into the us
In the winged shadow, the space you will never know.
Taking me from myself, in the path
Which the blind birth of the day has consigned me to.’

Two new poems by Carol Rumens.

Carol Rumens: ‘From Mametz Wood and Loos,/mouths blaze with rhyme, but when/Demos sifts the chaos,/we watch how class writes men,/in every stripe of pen.’