The phones are on the basement landing near the lifts and wearing hoods like hairdryers. They feed on cash but are essential. They sleep on hooks like babies put to rest face down. They all trail cords twisted as messages. Among evidence of crisps and gum, the phones are dreaming grubby dreams graffitied on the […]
You might call it God; might witness the weather’s disjointed volition, and figure it biblical payback for all your long decades of self-defeating industry: the gases in the atmosphere, the poison in the water. And you might stand on your lawn in your shorts, running a scream up a flagpole; sniffing catastrophe’s rank surfeit on […]
But here we are, here where the page ends, hidebound, hand-held and welled with sleep. Morning. Little left to say, so sing or let cling words like late leaves, like children. Always, eventually, the last time; all fathers someday set their daughters on their feet to never again pick them up. They flock your skin, […]
After Yves Klein In the street, I am warm past my summer skin, the pavement is burning the soles of my feet. My shadow copies me as I open my arms. When I jump, it jumps, but it doesn’t leave the ground. The light through my closed eyes tells me a secret, that I am […]
“I want a poem I can grow old in.” – Eavan Boland Maybe it was there all the time, in the room with the high ceiling and the fireplace and the mirror rimmed in gold above it, and if I went back to that house in Ireland where she took us in out of the […]
there are holes in the sky and we name them we name them after things that matter after things that matter […]
My mother said she’d never known such rage within a child, she told me later, after the doctor, and after the pastor. I don’t recall the nights within the cage. I’d raise my two-foot frame against the bars and fill the little room, my mother said, with screaming, screaming that could wake the dead, my […]
i. Affidavit A pertains a gherkin. I was cross-legged on the carpet, bordering on five-years-old, back when death was just a thing that grown-ups did, like holidays, or weddings. We ate dinner in Sudoku silence, indulging in the council- housed delight of fish and chips wrapped in the Metro, and the contents of my father’s […]
The radicals sprung the locks that night, hurrah! and their lovely collarbones were almost moonly. Rhinos shrieked and bellowed, elephants tromboned and the animals nosed into town. Sunrise to sunrise and sunrise we kept indoors. If you can’t count your onions, what can you count my grandfather used to say. He said a lot of […]
Claire wants to know what it means when everyone leaves her and what am I supposed to tell her? Even when the fuzzy-haired cello kid packs all of his posters into sleek, cardboard tubes and neatly sequesters all the grinning pictures of him and Claire into the corner of an Easy-Bake Oven box and then […]
The man with the old Leica had just one subject: left eyes – not right eyes, not whole faces; left eyes blinking, left eyes winking left eyes glaring, left eyes staring left eyes squinting and peering, laughing and crying. He photographed people eyes dog eyes, cat eyes, cow eyes, sheep eyes crow eyes. He bought […]
This word needs to be seen in order to be understood. In the Chinese language, it’s not enough to work out the meaning by speaking and listening. Most likely, there will be some misunderstanding. By comparison, it’s harder to misread a text. In modern Chinese, she has revealed appropriately her fate, as if it were […]
but for the askance in her but for the biding in abeyance of her but for the clairvoyance that came to her like a grandmother but for the expanse of love in her the lark in the clear air but for the auld acquaintedness with violence in her
that she had scurvy as a child that I don’t understand hunger until I can describe what a drop of oil tastes like that Mao wrote beautiful Chinese calligraphy that she finds democracy to be the opiate of the masses that I am a descendant of the Yellow Emperor that […]
As she held me once, when my body was smaller than hers, so we hold the green figures to our chests, set them down in the backseat of the car. Her apartment turns blank again, forgets her quicker than she forgets herself. We tape up cracks on the flowerpots, make sure the stems don’t bend […]
Admit it, you were playing hide and seek with me. Thinking it’s a great place to hide six feet deep under the ground. How long were you planning to stay there? You found me before I could find you. It’s not fair. You were cheating, you can’t just hide somewhere and never come back. At […]
is empty. It doesn’t remember how it got here To the imaginary cliff of star growth valley And the way the ground roils beneath. It sees everything but small and far away Like the inverse telescope or collapsible spoon. The galaxy is hollow and reflective shivering Sometimes with great shudders of time. A hum expands […]
When the blue planet snagged its atmosphere On a passing meteor, all manner of life Came leaking out. Clouds. Couches. Conversation. Computers, Camels and Countries Spreading outward across the black like the Remnants of a rubbish cluster across the sea. A diverse array of religious relics are floating now, In another God’s strange centre.
When my teacher marques my book. Eye get told two have another look. She says she finds lots of miss takes. Miss takes at ate, eye should not make. Eye got told to use the school pea sea. May bee hoping that it wood teach me. It has a grate spell chequer on it. Witch […]
had pink cheeks; a blue mind flew to LA, pompously dressed; returned with a chest filled with silicon and plump dreams. in LA, She’s essential to the fashion scene; here at home, He’s promiscuous and obscene. She was by the alley —last seen hanging here genderless, purple, and dead.
Gossip, torchlight, sun – shades, stories; Different colours – red, white, blue; What goes in my big fat backpack? Books and books of hidden clues! Chocolates, chips and mangoes, juicy; To infinity and beyond! And what I love the most in that is: Everything! It’s like a bond!
He fumbled in empty tea boxes one autumn evening. Snake-like, swamped in his mother’s rasping. After she lost speech, she rolled words in her fingers. Pressed finely crumbled jasmine flakes into his sopping hands, congealed chevrons of red ebbing out towards fleshy shore. Doubt bloomed from her lips, branded, into the roots of his wrists. […]
1. My mother sashayed into my room last night, dress swirling, golden wheat humming on her lips. 2. Ghostly pit pattering behind my eyelids, are there monsters hiding in the oil slick? 3. My heart is congealed milk jelly, hear it wobble!
there was a centaur on the road this morning, yelling iceman in beer-froth syllables. bare chested like a promise outside a betting shop, a woman with plastic bag skin is singing of her lost velvet platforms (lost days, lost nights) she scoops up silvered minutes.
Every eye in the forest has slipped into the gutter of the face. The world is changing hands: waking and falling swap rings. Morien’s body speaks to the thin high black he sleeps in. For many years this black has sat and spoken with badger stripes, caves, prehistoric cockatoos, but never a Morien. Black hands, […]
I’m starting to regret having signed up to these online pregnancy updates – one email every week since week eight telling us what stage of development the baby should be at; telling me what to eat, how to look ‘chic’ whilst pregnant, and on and on. Today, the baby should be the size of […]
Years passed and I received no letter with the word “trombone”. The distant cousins wrote, offered their shriller sympathies. “What’s wrong with us?” Nothing I knew. Plugboard and isinglass, grimoire and cwm, friends all. Still I felt horribly alone. Until one day it dropped through roundel-light onto the mat. I was […]
I used to wear pinstripes, with parrot-coloured love-beads. I had no idea what I was trying to say or do. Now clothes hang no better on me at thirty, my hips being as ample as beach coves in holiday season. In my wedding dress I had good breasts. I had tight skin like the hide […]
Gerry Wells has published his poetry, fiction and non-fiction in a wide range of periodicals, and has also broadcast on BBC radio programmes. In 2009 he published a memoir via The History Press. His latest work is Kicking the Hornet’s Nest, a book of short stories published in 2012.