Skip to content

Index: Poetry & Fiction

Six very short stories.

Simon Collings: ‘I had no choice but to follow the general advance as I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by trying to force a way through. I could see up ahead a neon sign with the name of my hotel on it, though I didn’t remember the hotel being on this street. Perhaps there were two hotels with the same name, I thought. I was sure mine had been on a side street. I had no means of checking of course, and in fact I was no longer sure what the name of my hotel was.’

More Than She Bargained For.

Michael Buckingham Gray: ‘No, I’ve lost my son.’

Apollo 17 and The Cartoon Moon.

By JAMES BULLION. . The Cartoon Moon IT BECAME SO hard to write. As if the night without you left no light in which a cartoon bulb could spring to life with the pull of a cord a white orb from above a spider-like craft descends on a black line of thought gingerly with a […]

Pickle-fingered truffle-snouter.

bob Fern: ‘The sex was amazing. He was used to beach-ready, gym-toned models and night-club, bed-notch bunnies with skin like cling-film and suspiciously firm breasts. He was unprepared for the soft yielding skin that felt so much better than it looked, the honest genuine arousal, unselfconscious release and abandon. Nothing was performed for show or for moral advantage. The driving primordial thrust was all, the gluing and annealing of flesh to flesh, the final dilation into perfect tingling exhaustion.’

April Is the Cruellest Month.

Georgie Carroll: ‘She walked down to Embankment, along to Temple, where the gardens bloomed with lilacs and on the brown water rusted containers propped up white cranes and flourescent orange men stood on them. Black opened-mouthed fish were twisted around the bases of the street lamps with big lips all along the wall and sighing strangers flooded towards her in suits and on Bluetooth and none of them smiled as they passed, or saw the man crumpled on the pavement sitting on cardboard holding out a blackened hand. They looked down at their phones, not up. ‘

Everything in This Room Is Edible.

Kathy Stevens: ‘The meat had been thawing since the morning. It was dark, dark pink, and so delicately enlaced with fat it looked as if it had been wrapped in a Chantilly veil. When she pushed the flat edge of a knife against it, it gave, just a little. Nearly time to cook. She filled two glasses and re-joined the stranger at her table.’


By TIM DOOLEY. . HIS subject is the sea and he is subject to the sea there is no subtext his subject is the sea and he reflects the way it varies even as it seems so still it seems so still there is no subtext but it is not still it varies there is movement here that he reflects on […]

Even more new translations from ‘The Dice Cup’.

Max Jacob (Ian Seed’s translation): ‘He had come down…but how? Then couples larger than life descended too. They came from the air in cases, inside Easter eggs. They were laughing, and the balcony of my parents’ house was tangled in threads dark as gunpowder. It was terrifying. The couples settled in my childhood home and we watched them through the window. For they were wicked.’

Ravishing Europa.

Peter Robinson (from ‘Ravishing Europa’): ‘Still now you haver round our bedroom;/me, I’m undecided whether/it had been an act of loveor violence provided/the very idea, to try the patience/of Europa, send her home …’

The Cavalcantine Lure.

And Six More Poems. By TIM DOOLEY. . The Cavalcantine Lure. A PRETTY FACE, the very heart of reason, the expert’s dry indifference to rank, the song of birds and lovers’ reasoning and boats lit all along the southern bank. Purest air; dawn’s first whitest hour and white snow falling where there is no wind, […]

Poetry written in Britain’s ‘long moment’.

Peter Robinson: ‘The crisis our country is still in as we speak, the withdrawal agreement from the EU not likely to be got ‘over the line’, never mind the treaties that are to establish our future relationship with continental Europe, brought back, as we’ve already touched on, a lifetime of personal and public vicissitudes, and the poems in “Ravishing Europa” came relatively quickly under the pressure of public events as felt on my barometric pulses.’

Remembering Ovid.

Alan Wall: ‘Ovid’s long gone, breathing the salt wind of the blackest sea/Exiled to his outpost where the priests/All recommend a sacramentum of barbarity./Write (if you must) with old coals on the dungeon walls.’

I Am Not a Clock.

Luke Emmett: ‘o, maybe the “noise” (loss of meaningfulness not sense of sound alone) of conceptual poetry
leaves something out..
How does poetry decompose the world of things (separation) into language?’

What I did and how I did it.

Martin Stannard: ‘Soon after I moved in here I put my name down for the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme because I have no desire to be burgled by burglars or otherwise invaded. Long story short, on my first tour of duty I was taken in for questioning by the police as a result of the lady at number 48 phoning in to report a Peeping Tom.’

Half of a Black Moon.

Seth Canner (from ‘Footnotes on Suffering’): ‘Obscure (a) isn’t a word that I’d usually circle back to, but I’m going to do it. In a recherché sort of way, we all know exactly what ‘obscure’ means without having to define it. This is interesting as it suggests we know exactly how to define a thing ‘not expressed or easily understood.’ William Blake writes, “What is grand is necessarily obscure to weak men. That which can be made explicit to the idiot is not worth my care.”’