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Index: Poetry & Fiction

‘Noise’ and three other poems.

Maria de Araujo: ‘poetry is useless when carved into skin —
A quick glance all it can take,
the indulgent caress after the flood.’

Mauritius.

Emma Park: ‘This is my European disease, to wake up at night, tormented by the fear that I have not done enough, have not spent my time wisely — that the places where I have lived have remained and will always remain indifferent to me. I cannot bear the thought that my existence will have left no more of an impression on the path of history than a moth’s wing. Even though, if I had proper humility, I should remember how many people there are in the world, even on this distant island, and accept that there is little enough reason why I of all of them should be remembered.’

Seven.

Tom Lowenstein: ‘Is it that you have gone back to your tower,
your precinct, the territory you value as your own
and in which I remain a stranger?

‘I’ve arrived in the faltering dialect
of my own solitude.’

Empyrean Suite.

Anthony Howell: ‘James Kirkup said that “decidedly, Fawzi Karim is a poet for our times, with his strong yet beautiful voice, his indignation…and the haunting memories of certain lines that seem intended for all of us, but that few can hear in the endless tumult of what is called life.”’

The Champions.

Peter Jerome: ‘It began with the hooked blade and another gesture of appreciation to the crowd. The contestant shrugged the gown he had been wearing from his shoulders, and surrendered his naked form to us all. He appeared unafraid and bold in his nudity, not at all as if he was preparing for bed or passing waste in the commode. This was a gallant nudity as seen in beasts of the wild.’

A Nocturnalle upon St Agatha’s Day, travelling East.

Colin Honnor: ‘…strange night, naked blue eloquent mystery / in the Venusian seventh house of Mars / the pure aspect of Scorpio inclines / asseverate charts table the mapped heavens…’

Heard in Tintoretto.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘At San Marcuola the / table is static / as a refectory plank / on a fresco in Milan…

What they are discussing, and two more poems.

. By JESSE GLASS . What They Are Discussing.               Toothless Or teeth filed flat Slathered with cinnabar                Or powdered slate Eclipses gnawed away Sun                     Moon as Warrior ants a leaf All circling emptiness Jaguar-centuries Dragged bird men from their cries Or disemboweled Quetzel-feathered shadows Rippling down sunlit Temple steps When Xipe Totec […]

Two new poems.

Laura Potts: ‘Bottle and Bible. Now this is pleasurable. Somewhere/on the other side of the night I am hearing you say…’

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.’