translated by Jae Kim They say a house too old becomes human, but the old woman goes down to the basement sometimes. The place is packed with rained-on barrels; pork meat she started slicing but stopped rolls around. Is that why. The legend of a rich and bountiful basement world is sometimes like reality. The […]
extract from My Life as Robert Gabriel Mugabe by Comrade Diogenes Junk The Settlers can give you your old life back, it is what they deal in – the past. They are experts in subverting all other action to this single cause. They are witches trading in the spells of the past. A past where […]
translated by Jae Kim Where does the desert come blowing from Everyone’s lying down. Only Tobi and Cogi, they’re walking Tobi and Cogi throw up at the desert’s end Pretty but nuts. Holding Tobi and Cogi’s wrists those young ladies of sleep followed. In the hospital room and in the hallway, they make a small […]
For me, it begins with a grandfather consciousness of Russia and a difficulty of surnames, smiles in a local kitchen from my alien gold neighbours and the gladness of their horses For me, it begins in the dark regions of vodka and childhood where the staircase birds share the flight of the child and a […]
translated by Thoraya El-Rayyes The musicians finished playing the symphony. They stood up and bowed before the eagerly clapping audience, then started collecting their instruments. Only the conductor was still troubled. Still agitated. Still tapping his baton against his hand nervously. I am not yet finished, he said to himself. I am not yet finished, […]
He thinks he’s sharp enough to slice the earth in two when he wields the weapon of his body to the wind: all sword and spine, he makes a swipe at the sunlight but misses – the soil spatters out a laugh as it tugs this restless flame back into its place. Answer: […]
supermarket treasure. find me beneath fluorescent lights. i melt orange, glow incandescent. i could be the 5pm sun, horizon-swallowed, kitchen witchcraft rolling off the dim-lit countertop. i hit the ground and carry on—i don’t know where to stop. it is easy to get under my skin, to examine my earth— space station sights of city […]
I bind my catch in heavy folds like a shroud. Use soiled sheets to blind and gag, then dress each scaled and feathered frame with coils of silk; basted black. Answer: an oil spill
I’m the icing on the cake I carry the footsteps of penguins. My name is like a chocolate bar. I’ve got a thing about falling. You draw me in maths class. There’s many words for me. I have a bad relationship with the sun. You leave me with the angels. Bring out the dark glasses.
She prophesies the new spring, her white dress, her bent head in shame of the bland beauty she has. Her veined hands point to the sky, she is growing in bundles, she’s showing us spring.
Under cover of night, slowly, slightly, line by line, from the very tips of our little fingers, we begin to carve into the skin, line by line, from the very tips, we draw in red cracks. We begin to carve into the skin across the lower back, the hips, we draw in red cracks under […]
As the morning unfolds I hide away Until I am less than A gloomy puddle But as I get closer to Identifying the stars I unfurl Stretching into the night
Across the North Sea, in ages past, rode longships lit with fire-sprites. The wooden gift they send us now’s this Christmas tree of fairy-lights. From forest-dark to bright-lit square this tree has sailed across the sea – a present sent for friendship’s sake, from them to us, for you and me. Sailing the friendship ship […]
Today she stopped fasting, ripped off the old grey track suit and white t-shirt, gave up her prayers, had a warm bath; bubbles floated around her shoulders, tickled her back. In the dawn, buzzing of planes in the air, rattling of guns in the valley. Men. She stood, drops slid around her waist and hips, […]
I think of her dresses: cream sateen with beige flower print, wide-collared, three-quarter cuffed sleeves, full skirt – rainbow-striped silk, straight and sleeveless, thin belted. As a girl, she told me, she stood still while her grandmother wielded the scissors to cut neckline and armholes freely. Her mother, more the designer, added hand-crocheted trimmings, buttons […]
From Nîmes it came through the valleys, up the single-track road. Two gendarmes and the mayor, our neighbour Bernard too, watched as thirty tons of iron and steel unfolded, an origami limb dropping the line – straps in place, it hoisted the car twenty, forty feet, the river pouring from it, half a […]
In those days, the grandmasters wore suits, hired, borrowed or family heirlooms. Waiters patrolled the lines of tables, bearing espresso, hock, small packs of Camels. Spectators sat in velvet armchairs, some making notes, some waiting for the orchestra. Army cadets manned the demonstration boards, watching for the signs that a move would soon be born: […]
We need to retrieve some scent from a luminous rose that glows in our garden in the small hours. Plant-light softens the darkness. A flourish of pink elegance above the summer border gone to seed.
1930s. Childhood holiday snaps, Llandudno, Filey. I can see it there already – the consciousness of her limbs as a series of compositions, an attenuation of parts that will become the official portrait. Around her, the aura of invisible mitres as the glue sets on the frame that will turn the art of being into […]
John Lyons was born in born in 1933 in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1987 he won a clutch of poetry prizes: second prize in the Cultureword Poetry Competition; the Peterloo Poets Afro-Caribbean and Asian prize; a commendation in the National Poetry Competition, and in the Peterloo Poetry Competition. His latest collections are Cook-Up in a […]