Elephant & Castle Underground Station
ELEPHANT & CASTLE
A voice from somewhere
Accelerates away around
Screeching at the crossing
Shouting running home
Siren round the corner
The Eastenders theme
This particular flightpath
Today’s rat run
A baby cries spasms
A conversation ends in laughter
In a deep voice
Door slams deeply
Hiss from somewhere
Not so loud reply
Shunt to a halt
Something muffled dragged
Sort of rustling
A machine spins
Asking so quietly
Blares and booms
Coughing in a waistcoat
Red anorak revs
Sighing on a car bonnet
Splattering onto concrete
Throbbing in time
TOWARDS THE RIVER
different dots – fixed directions
floating rubber – grey positions
lines at angle – random dark
row of arcs – see-through metal
some thin – some thick
striped horizontals – elastic brown
thicker emerging – woollen sphere
angled table – floating ochre
camouflage cover – concentric slots
cracked hill – edible stop
lost root – mirrored y
mystery box – resting bricks
splitting wall – yellow island
upturned purple – criss-crossed flaking
corrugated shop – leaning diamonds
mesh wall – hanging hedge
weeping slats – tangled brick
wooden rust – lonely white
Tony Rickaby has produced hypertext animations for Drunken Boat, Locus Novus and Toad; visual poems for Altered Scale, Counterexample Poetics, Cricket, InStereo Press, 20×20, Otoliths and Suss; prose for Anderbo, Athregeum, Aspidistra, Dark Sky, Litro, The Whistling Fire, and Word Riot; poetry for Camel Saloon, Ditch, Message in a Bottle and Sugar Mule. He lives in London. Tony Rickaby
Age of Discovery
Now is seeing where you’ve been and done or not
While all about encroaches resolution
And conclusion. So much reprise. Using
Hands for climbing stairs once more, as long ago,
Grown near again, bestows a shape on all
That’s been, and everything you noticed once
Within the cast of being takes its bow.
FOR BUKOWSKI WITH THE GRATITUDE OF THE CENTURIES
for the words
for the life lived
that still engulfs us
the flames of the fire
for the mistakes
for the courage to
where others fear
the blood in the vein
for the ease of the blackbird
so easily mistaken
for the imitators
especially those that grow
their own voice
after failing to be Bukowski
for giving a voice
to the mute
for the words
IN YR MIDNIGHT HEAVEN
blue-eyed snow &
deserts of dusk –
neon talk silenced
in all languages
minds w/out speech
by dark rumours
we/re far from
Adrian Manning lives and writes in Leicester, England. He is a pushcart nominated poet and author of numerous chapbooks, the most recent being “13 Poems From The Edge Of Extinction” published by Crisis Chronicles Press. He is also the editor of Concrete Meat Press. CONCRETE MEAT PRESS
Spring night—almost asleep:
a crane fly flutters its transparent wings
against my cheek like a ghost flower,
like a memory visiting
and gone, a dream immediately
without buzz, without sting.
Number and Weight
The number of stars in the universe may be 300 sextillion. Or perhaps only 100 sextillion. Subtract 200 incalculables. The mind yaws. Closes off. This is not like clinking change from the vending machine—sturdy quarters, slim dimes, chunky nickels. The multiplication table collapses, befuddled by zeros, spilling whatever was on it. O.K. Let’s say the number of stars is equal to the number of cells in all the bodies on earth, as we’ve read somewhere or other. Is that more comfortable? Not really? Naturalized, but still uncanny. And on a small planet circling an average star in a middleweight galaxy only 100,000 light-years across, a group of blinded Kurds poisoned by Saddam’s sarin lash themselves together and move into the wind. Merely a light year’s worth of pain? Who’s counting? Is anyone counting? The Hutus arrive singing and whistling for the day’s killing in the marshes where the Tutsis hide among the papyrus, drinking the muddy water tinged with blood when they can’t stand their thirst. A Brazilian rubber company finishes off the Indian “parasites” in an Amazonian village by dropping dynamite from a plane; they return for the survivors, shoot off the head of a nursing baby, hang her upside down. The perfect children asphyxiated by Assad’s chemical weapons lie neatly on the ground in their white shrouds, the foam wiped from their lips, their hair beautifully trimmed. Try to encompass history’s pain in your mind for the mathematical challenge, or like some old god counting up suffering points for heaven. It boggles like the stars. Flood, cyclone, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sung, Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook. Though a woman in a fitting-room falls on her knees, Thank you Jesus for this dress. Hitler, Mao, earthquake, tsunami, Hiroshima, Vietnam, Mount Sinjar, the Bataclan. Though those Alzheimer’s patients break out in song. The Crusades, plague, smallpox, Armenia, Biafra, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, Syria, the displaced and slain to come… The incandescently unimaginable sum? When one destroyed weightless soul is an entire world of lost light?
Judy Kronenfeld’s fourth full-length collection of poetry, Bird Flying through the Banquet, was published by FutureCycle Press in March, 2017. Her most recent prior books of poetry are Shimmer (WordTech Editions, 2012) and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, 2nd edition, (Antrim House, 2012), winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Avatar, American Poetry Journal, Calyx, Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, DMQ Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, The Pedestal, Portland Review, Sequestrum, Spoon River Poetry Review, Stirring, Valparaiso Poetry Review and other print and online journals, and in twenty anthologies. She is Lecturer Emerita, Creative Writing Department, University of California, Riverside, and an Associate Editor of the online poetry journal, Poemeleon. For more information, please see her website, Judy Kronenfeld
If I had to choose the circumstances of my birth,
the mother of all do-overs
it would be alone, slick and silent
the mother of all do-overs
it would be alone, slick and silent
and I would shine on an empty stage
numinous like livestock:
But of which variety?
Which animal is without sin?
Meat on the hoof
or at the breast,
horns as vestigial anatomy
like the human pineal gland
or an appendix.
Which species denies pleasure
to its executioners
before the profits come rolling in?
After the capillaries are broken,
the rest is choice
about sentience and organs.
I would like to be more than my body
more than the limitations of my skin ;
and certain angles, slopes, ratios
of costume medals: never the good stuff
the markets trade in.
They say touch is nothing to us,
nothing to me
and yet I rub my hide
along a fence collapsing
from a surfeit of rain
and too little maintenance
until the follicles are breached,
ripped free of their burden
and I am another layer,
fresh and naked.
In the moonlight I will bray
at other possibilities,
and wait as patiently as I might
for my next set of parents.
Jane Rosenberg LaForge’s poetry collections are With Apologies to Mick Jagger, Other Gods, and All Women (Aldrich Press 2012); the forthcoming Daphne and Her Discontents (Ravenna Press); and four chapbooks. Her forthcoming novel is The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War (Amberjack Publishing) and her memoir is An Unsuitable Princess: A True Fantasy, A Fantastical Memoir (Jaded Ibis Press 2014).
Fauna is absent from the wood of late,
I cannot see her from my treestump—
She has lit to trees and burrowed underground
Escaping the face of four-legged Helios.
Cynthia came to me in my tower—
She wore a diadem and sheer short robe
And while I lay naked on my carpet
She straddled me with her sandaled calves.
Rosemary outside my matera window
Scents the sough of Delphi’s cloud
Buzzed northerly by the bumblebee
Brandishing his long red clover tongue.
Diana was once a lover of mine
That flew with me to California
And shotgunned in my rusty Volkswagen
But did not vacate my New York studio.
After four long years of living with Helen
And never touching barefoot Delos
Artemis leaned over fresh cut grass
With sunburnt face and parchment lips.
Stephen Page is the Author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. He holds two AA’s from Palomar College, a BA from Columbia University, and an MFA from Bennington College. He also attended Broward College. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. He loves his wife, reading, travel, family, and friends. Stephen Page
La Coiffure 1896 Degas (Brushing Her Hair)
It is all in the act of caring.
You are needing me as I you.
Your strong arms yield softness while
I yield to the strokes that burnish me.
There was another time when we
paired our talents, cherishing memories
at the seas’ shore, when I depended on you
to disentangle threads of my being
weighing heavily on my shoulders.
Maria Keane served as adjunct Professor of Fine Arts at Wilmington University, New Castle Delaware from 1984-2009. She received her M.A. from the University of Delaware (Phi Kappa Phi.) Maria, a visual artist and a published poet, is an Arts and Letters member of the National League of American Pen Women, and an artist member of the Howard Pyle Studio of Wilmington and the National Association of Women Artists. The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and the National League of American Pen Women have awarded her distinctions for poetry. Maria has contributed ekphrastic poems to the Biggs Museum of American Art from 2005-2011. She was awarded a Professional Fellowship jointly from the NEA and the Delaware Division of the Arts in 1997. )