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Showing posts from November, 2010

3 poems by Matthew Stewart

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Extranjero Ten years on and perfection’s lost its distant lustre. My accent seeps away. Every few minutes I let some vowels tug me back home, back towards the cadence of who I am or was or was or am. Dad On The M25 After Midnight Even before the front door’s shut, I’m in first gear – up past Tesco, third exit from the roundabout and onto the slip road at last. I overtake a Polish truck; it wobbles as the driver shaves. Tarmac reassuringly growls. This is where the housework and kids recede, junction after junction. I could head west, then north, then east - all with a millimetric nudge of the wheel - but I hold a lane, perfecting this nightly circle. It closes back in on my name. San Fairy Ann Wit amid blood and Belgian mud, Nan invoked you daily. Your time on our tongues and in dictionaries might be running out, but I’ve passed your syllables on to my son in return fo

5 poems by Todd Swift

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Paddington Recreation Grounds Boys on their field lit like an aquarium sad to not be alight, like them, with goals that a foot or hand can win; poetry’s rules no less old than theirs, but poets are not only players on green grass, night and day, also the old-eyed others edged in the park, who nod at each leap in air, each attained yelp and elbowed throw, the muscular panoply of bodied action folded into hours with an end; slow to leave, friendless, they once stood on the line, or blew as referee, their bones now cold and all trophies pawned. So poems both play and hold, gravely, as if a mourner stood, one self under the hood of the ground, the other, above, head bowed, to pray. We stand and lie, this way, to make the words hit home. So ball and word fly untrue until a hand undoes the flight by taking it down from abstract to real motion, feeling out the meaning of its gut, impacted with the lob’s sorrow-start, the needing thrower’s heart, which is to gain the art’s accolades, not

2 poems by Michelle McGrane

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Lunar Postcards I. Moondust Two hours ago, we docked at Crater Plaskett's northern rim. Plumes of spent gunpowder eructed from the landing strip spinning into galaxies and starfields. It clings to our helmet visors, sifts into our spacesuits, fine jagged particles infiltrating hinges and joints, scratching equipment, shrouding instrument dials with an electrostatic film. II. Hadley Rille I am writing from a lava tube at Hadley Rille, near the Sea of Rains. We spent the day gathering silica-rich soil, shattered rocks, glassy fist-sized specimens sampled from the basalt crust. The Lunar Roving Vehicle has exceeded all expectations. Jack and his crew will be pleased. I look forward to your news. III. Space Gourmet We season freeze-dried macaroni with liquid salt and pepper. Water is distilled, recycled from our breath and sweat. After a week of granola bars, nuts and bitter orange juice, the Commander's arm begins to look tasty. IV. Counting Clusters At night, the lunar

4 poems from Helen Ivory's 'The Breakfast Machine'

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The Dolls House The trees that grow from the nursery walls do not rustle in the breeze of an open window. The jaws of the wardrobe do not snap shut when a crane-fly bumbles into their waiting smile. But there is a shifting of furniture in the dolls house tonight, a slow dragging of objects across candle-lit rooms. The kitchen windows steam up and the unmistakable smell of melting plastic drifts from the chimney. You will notice tomorrow your new doll is gone. You will find her blonde hair lines a mouse nest in spring. The Reckless Sleeper All night he has been inventing a vocabulary – a mythology of cities built like a circuit board; a skeletal picture of where he’d like to belong. He is wrapped in a blanket of grey paint, and sometimes an apple will roll to the surface, sometimes a mirror, or an apple in the mirror. Sometimes a lion will lift a lazy paw and pull the blanket from the other side of the bed; leaving him exposed to the dark of the room. He walks on the

3 poems by Maureen Jivani

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Open Heart I had a heart in my hands once. It shivered like an injured bird. I had to stop those fibrillations to steady that pale heart, cooled, in its cage of bone. Such an enormous task, it took all the long afternoon. But we had opera, laughter and a tunnel of light in that dungeon-cold room. And sometimes it leapt, that insensible heart, like a flying fish or one left behind when the tide goes out. Poor heart to be stranded like this, a fist of blubber, in my small hands. Going Under Here, waiters are tall and carry silver salvers: the dead on a plate, cabinet doors open and close of their own accord. Venetian crystal sparkles like a new love. The hostess grins while flaming Sambucas. Faces float masks accumulating dust. A woman breezes past wearing gold shoes and a décolletage to die for. In the mirror, an elderly man removes his gloves; one slips in silence to the floor. The grandfather clock chimes the hour. I sigh in an effort of remembrance. An upstairs