from DREAM THEORIES, by Iain Britton

II

reflections spill
a mix of painted mangoes
mothers are plaiting      their daughters’ hair
the lagoon      ripples with still-life
a carved marsupial      stiffens up
on wooden haunches      claws
permanently scratched
into the bright pink earth

a flute player      on his stone pad
plays to birds      which flock & silently spiral
children      paddle the green slushing
slime of the lagoon      we go
between the plastic palms
advertising this year’s      special rates
for sleeping under the stars
a church choir      opens the collective self
& harmonies spin & bounce off
outcrops of stellar hardware

we emerge      on the other side
cloaked in grass      eating berries
& a stream      stutters past
as if choking on messages

III

someone      hits
the midnight bell

a translocated forest
gouges out      large
clearings for people      like us
to congregate      we pretend
music heals      poetry heals
we listen to sunflowers
stretching their sinews      hills
swapping contours for blue colouring

women      in white hats
wait all day for sunsets to sign off      & a goat
stares at the pock-marked characteristics
of a world      dodging failed promises

myself & the village
meet for one more folk story

we live      by a lake
amongst unwrapped ancestors

early morning life forms
of foetal-tucked beginnings      our eyes
search for islands      floating in bottles

 

VII

persons of no fixed abode
paddle the green     slushing murk
of the lagoon        sunlight
pushes beyond office blocks
sunlight invades       the scaffolding
of winter trees
the lagoon edges the city      the homeless
wear dreadlocks of dreams
the lagoon       ingests
the sky’s capriciousness        it takes
whatever splashes down
whoever stoops too close

an amoebic mind        has created
its own alphabet
its own numbers system
it has written       its own
Rosetta lingo        a child

fails to recognise       the maternal touch
its tribal significance      this moon’s
disrupted monologue

 

XI

only acclaimed for an instant
a person’s eloquence
a person rolling a stone
across a renaissance canvas
of a warped crucifix      torso-clad
in a prayer shawl

a blackened house      sadly reveals
last week’s frivolity
the orgiastic wear      & tear
of this street’s inferno
a ladder      offers a rare climb
to some marbled Taj Mahal
with flags flying      banners
unfolding indigenous proverbs     shrines
open for lovers

gift-wrapped      this family
emerges      from broken shells
the hatched remnants
of a solar theory      which
has worked for some      for others
a Florentine garden
has been spoken for

 

XII

Does the old alchemist
speak in metaphor … Robert Duncan

the best phase       comes later
the companionship     of horse & man
man & horse       the influence
of a green face from amongst the hills
is rugged     in folklore      the horse
stares at me        the man licks
his white lips         they quiver & smile
the animal stares        a rattling machine
is haymaking       bundling up the grass
the goats are being milked
the sheep are being milked
each morning      the village
is cut neatly     into slices       of bread
& buttered        each evening
the magpies      pluck at luminous grubs
the best phase       comes later
inside my house        local heroes
run freely        take up vantage points
a gold tree grows voluptuously
in the front room         the man
with the green face        & the horse
are at the window        wondering if

..

Since 2008, Iain has had five collections of poems published, mainly in the UK. Recently poems have been published or are forthcoming in Cordite, Harvard Review, Poetry, Stand, Agenda, The Fortnightly Review, Long Poem Magazine, Poetry Wales, The Reader, Blackbox Manifold, Molly Bloom, Poetry Salzburg Review and the Journal of Poetics Research. A new collection of poetry THE INTAGLIO POEMS was published by Hesterglock Press (UK), 2017.
https://www.facebook.com/iainbrittonpoet/

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there nothing there, by Michael Mc Aloran

…absent of…as if to say that…false start begin again… begins again as if to say absent as if to say echo of…where there nothing there no not ever…arbitrary response of neither broken nor resolved…nothing voiced no not in distance known…colors of which erased merely as if to bail out momentarily were to illuminate…it transpires…rot or no no lapse voiced jaded passage through nowhere of…removal of…dismissal lapse unto follows after as if what once in splendor…no there where nothing there but passage emptily through empty dark…cold eye-limb it cannot otherwise of there what vocal of demonstrate of nothing ever-clad what dim as if to…yet still yet absent…false start begin again…as if to say as if to echo of…never once broken splendor of demise cold colours claim of all…the matter what the…whereof…lapse… forget it forgotten of…merely as if to bail out stifled by way of extraction…rot or no not…never there of nothing there…absent as if to say it all fall down…passage through nowhere once more the turn of blade in brutal meat…sudden white flash of light…a wall glimpsed… suddenly as if to find it having forgotten whereof the trace taken from nor given balance…demise of splendor broken…absent traces of what forgotten as if it never once had ever been…of…there no not never…eye-limb useless recognition…wall resists traces in the dark a dim sense a tear of some feel extraction of blood some surface tension lack…forgets it forgotten of…begin again yet lacking vigor as before…traces surface…adrift in the dark as if once having disappears from it till colourless all but recollect of white flash of surface tension…light source unknown it cannot truly discern…yet still yet nothing there nothing there…as was before…absent as if to say that all fallen in sunderance is merely a reflect without origin or…eye-limb cannot adjust yet what of when in what lack a river of shadow flows throughout what matter…steps forth to surface tension of…what steps…what surface tension… what light when the eye cannot adjust the eyes cannot adjust…motion unto waste…motion unto…there nothing there…reaches for the surface…echo…echo of the nothing forth…yet breath as before…the rise and fall of the breath that…nothing in that…conveys much the same as the pulse bulb in the breast beating in time to…yet absent of…begins again with vigor lack…as if to echo…utter dark yet utters no…traces surface…begins again…there nothing there… never other…never other than should once was as…another never of…no not once whereof shut down to…an other than a lapse…breakage point where broken stolen from some other silhouette…it follows afterward…once not no of in or with or of whereof…stillness to touch grace how of it graven…tidal as…nothing of the matter being nothing of the being non-other if…to touch once…all of in din reflect shadowy devoured…whispers of the none throughout where faculty of something never held…subtle flow of blood entity of silhouette silently throughout…stings just a little here or there…blind razor to taste it-speak solace of demise where cast dice blossom into obsidian flowers an outstretched palm…bones to warp as of before when of the before nor less…dead echo…stun grip of vertiginous…of the matter being of non other than collapse taken from commence a frozen as if to no not viable…lapse then of as was before as it were before…were once where it long shadow fall upon where of the intrinsic stings just a little as…in dim reflect…subtle flow…to touch grace a withering hand traces throughout from outset of…final reek emanates from…not a trace of other than as if to whisper beneath the breath…as once was should…as once were never other…it follows afterward…a little here or there…here or there of the commence no matter…stun as if in lack abort cold echo stylus of lapse closes the wound a cracked skyline torn from whereof throughout emptily to travail as if to say it on what from as if collision breath/ with what no surface ever of the silent meat as if to echo from out of…yet pissing in the latrine of breathing all the while…stings just a little the acrid reek of final as…shadowy devour until…as was once should…as should…it follows afterward…a dead blind weight as if there ever were any other than…graven flow of funereal bone bite snare of…a taste never yet known…cannot be known…cannot ever have been… knuckles to crack crack stun of exhale abortive lapse…no not once whereof collision breakage point stolen from some silhouette…cracked static laughter pierces the…nothing to begin from nothing to follow in as if to…never other than should once was as was once should…forgotten the exist smeared across as of blood as of as of…stings just a little a silhouette echoing silently throughout…it follows afterward…sees eye see end now of throughout it sees…of the no way how nor of for the ending sightless …upon as was before redundant to trace…breathless throughout cold speech listless eye ever…closes reveals nothing…opens to dark chasm of none…eye to bend as if  to lock a frozen shadowing…trace as no as if all falls asunderance collapse eye will in foreign taint…what as if to…eye does not…sees end broken fragments of nowhere from to trace…it dense as…eye sees end in retribute asking of till given nothing of throughout…cannot…redundant lights to trace…reveals nothing of…cold closure listless shadow no…end now of throughout where static bleeds…see eye end…closes eye once more reveals nothing of either other than…speech listless ever eye…never the of or if what am shall breathe when see end eye what yes an end…yet eye does not…cannot…now or of throughout…redundant to trace…closure cold listless reveals nothing more…bleeds static of the end till now…ever eye in foreign taint…closes eye…subtle fragment subtle taste…cold speech listless eye ever…given nothing of…reveals nothing of…eye as ever was before…cannot…for the ending sightless…it wishes for the dream…till for the dream of for the end of an ending of which when all of once at once still never yet once aware in glimmer…of shadow-light breaking throughout obsolete closure as if to having of the meat that once sufficed/ now turned to maggot feed of the depth of all align…rat bores their pathway of absentee knowledge of penetrate into where sunlight cannot…pierce where lessened the abort of night cast before the superseded sky a…a forage for in of what which terse wind…echo through the membrane’s colourless obsolete…appeal…where sunlit tint shadow of final orchids bleed out…taken from what of…what of till taken from given unto as if to utter once were not enough of it let it forget it…till end till none of none…till end remark upon but once listless collapse into whereof in it…of which all sudden as if to having in nor other forgotten lapse cull of…loses the bite of which cleft diameter in which a circulate of animal teeth bared to a sun long forgotte…breakage of bone solace collision drift itches to be done it…strips away the skin of breathing nothing of whereof cold speech a dead hand the restless unto follow…as none till end repeats itself over & over from out of passage nothing breakage of light a faculty of abortive cold shadow shimmering beneath the lapse of skin fragratory…it held from what matter…utter distance of in the cold weight of distance nothing of none till end…it sayeth nothing of passage from where animal shale breaks throughout…depth end reckless dissolve in razor meat a spinal affluence in taint closure zero eye zero point…echo of what will of null stun closure none till end in vicious derision collapse of lungs fragratory desire fragment …from what of taken given from revision till end whereof all sudden nor other cull passage from diameter of which in circulate skinned the hyenic frenzy of subtle tears that vaporize upon contact with the other of the restless unto follow as none till end is the forgotten chamber of long shadow dissolve in taint closure…echo trace what if alone…upon where what what was…taint what stun collect…ever-breathe of tilt…final in the aisles of speech…din recollect transport till nothing ever…eye lie…the dim light cuts extracts the fingernails of…what in all as whereof broken nothing of fragmented froze flesh devoured…random…obsolete…as if to trace echo of where tint is glint of blade alone what if…lapse here a once more…till nothing ever…ever of…bleeds in the swim of nocturnes frozen matter dead teeth scattered as of seed before whereafter where light once no not ever was…as was found…adrift in…mirage taste dim ice blood of the recollect…burns all the way down to the centre spit it out spinal lock it…remnant of fossil tears whereof still shatter it sees no dawning/ dawning…adrift in yes yet of collision taste of nothing ever was unspoken call it…dressage of final exigent cold wind a-breathe where sudden as wrought the ever-less of bone reduced to shrapnel colours the like of which of never once echoed from…as of the dance what…to the centre from out of where than other if in in closes the door ever as if to shadow upon where subtle charge is a broken as was before it came…till see-saw shadows deprivation of…skulled all to once then of as if to motion unto speech forgotten tryst of…as was found…fossil tears a tearing of meat whereby the bone’s tragedy is revealed…to the centre…doused by butcher’s wand a glint of cold steel a sudden as if to nothing ever to claim…never once echoed from…dance where what of…what of what if what sung what of it what final ash till taste abandon collect of all distances to trace beyond yet buried in…in the null & void…epi-centre forgot it forgotten as of ever neither left nor other…have of sought where other than…descends into no other placement/ desires the other breath of which till escapade eye…ruptures upon the bone of tangential abort where some if till cleft eye waste & wanton blessed the papyrus taste burned of in reclusion…peers out of the window of all vertigo flames to catch where light breaks bone stone mercury…entrails will suffice yet of in sickness fallen blade upon to impart fallen upon the blade of it unsung ever…black underwater skull relapse…vision impaired by the uncertainty of a future where the ribs once separated to reveal a salvo of tears that never flow other than inwardly upon a candle slowly extinguished…

..

Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). He is the author of a number of collections of poetry, prose poetry, poetic aphorisms and prose, including ‘Attributes’, (Desperanto, NY, 2011), ‘The Non Herein’ & ‘Of Dead Silences’ (Lapwing Publications, 2011/ 2013), ‘Of the Nothing Of’, ‘The Zero Eye’, ‘The Bled Sun’, ‘In Damage Seasons’, (Oneiros Books (U.K)–2013/ 14); ‘Code #4 Texts’, a collaboration with Aad de Gids, was also published in 2014 by Oneiros. Two further collections, ‘Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.)’ & ‘The Banality of Else’ were both published by gnOme books (2014). ‘EchoNone’ was also released 2015 by Oneiros Books. Black Editions Press also released ‘Untitled #2’ & ‘[unspoken]’ in 2016, and ‘longshadowfall’ was published by Editions du Cygne (FR) in 2017. ‘Catascope’, was also published by Editions du Cygne early in 2018, and two further projects, ‘the black vault’ & ‘all null having’, are now published by VoidFront Press, who will also publish “nowhereon” in the coming months…

what of, by Michael Mc Aloran

…there no…no not of there…no not of here…no not of the…of the all of all stepped…till…gazes upon…fingers upon cold glass…gazes in or out am…breath upon cold glass…of… traceless…a trace of this…what this am…no echo no not of…forgotten…yet echo of…as was before…so it was before having unremembered…yet no not of there…given…taking from or else of…of the all not a…white sound of…of static abounding yes or no…in the reek of it…sudden as if to falter yet no…no not of here…yet what of this or of…the…here…what am…not a chance…either way as if to…no given yes or no… arrival…departure from…gazes in or out am…yet this…what is this of which…claimed by this…lessening or having gained…what this…this…this meat of wracked by the…of some clear distance…yet not a trace out there…or was there…last calling for…aching as if on or off the light extinguished…or never was…unremembered no…yes…it can be seen… fingers upon cold glass…breath upon cold glass…as if to falter of yet no…yet echo of yet no…there no…not a trace of sound but for the breath’s align…listens…as if to say that it…any difference what matter…blind or no it matters little…gazes upon yes…or no…gazes upon the absence of…upon the return of…in which there is only this…exigency long forgotten…in the all undone of it…less or more than…no not of the… traceless the…darkness yes or no…the bind of this mocked by the trace of this or…something no…it has long been forgotten…as if it could…passage into naught…lessened yes yet having gained…no not a…what am…this or that perhaps it…such subtlety in the give or the…so it was…no…blank space…the light extinguished or never was…this meat of…this what…this meat of wracked by the…fingers upon cold glass…or is it…am…none or…give or take a…no echo no not of it…silent all…gazes in or out am…arrival…departure from…yes or no…last calling for…it cannot be seen…yet claimed by…or…breath upon cold glass…echo echo no not a…blank space…there no/no not of there…no not of no not of the…till what…what am…what this…what where…what of in or other than…what as if to if of what in what or of another cannot…what as if unto…what word what spoken of what said…what echoes of…what of in what as if to say…what undone…what of none what reclamation…what as if to murmur given to dissolve what as if to ever-having…what never having…what breathless instantly…what of where bestowed upon…what as in for it now…what of…what yet usurp where nothing all…what as was once never having…what of where if had been some vapour trace…what this or what of in as if to…what yes this of what then in what untold…what meat in this…what matter it…what fleshed capacity…what sung from foreign dissolute…what collapse of…gazes into no…what non-further in of all unto…what keloid to replenish…what shit to bask of in listless shadow…what am if…what where if…what as if to…what drag from kick & scream…what if silent…what once was now…now nothing less…no nothing more…what as of…what to founder of where null abounds it not…what whisper unto…what fleshed as it escapes…what cannot frenzy lack…what unquantify where as before it occur…what of the dead parameters …what of the foreign dead roads…what of the skyline bleak nor black nor sunlit black nor bleak as…what of the fingers to touch bone where bone & flesh are absent…what of the crippled song…what of the inflect of echoing verandas…what of the word…what of the words that do not ever…what of the nullity biting upon in stagnant of…what of the candle pissed upon…try trace no sentences other than what given…what then of the fallen shadow upon where lifelong colours sketch throughout a wastage breath…what of the sharpened…what gazes upon…what of the blade to bite where nothing of is ever final…what of the failure of where tone casts its corpse across another hour…what of disclosure…what of the benign love cast wreaths where the absent lay & know not of…what of the bile where wastage climbs…what of where sucks upon the marrow of all purposeless…what of where of it is it what am…what of the hour that will not…what of the what that questions nothing & confirms less…what of the…what of…what…breath upon cold glass…what of the defeated leap into beyond where circus animals lay bloodily strewn…what of the slaughterhouse this…what as…what of the longing of where spectral flow where sanguine the blood of it…what of the as of if it too…what gazes into…what in or which whereof…what too the emptily abounding…what of the following…what of the forgotten pathway tread…what tread…what where nothing of where nothing in or of to be…what of the what am repeated sense of the unto whereof…what of the profoundly lapsed/ unspoken/ unspeaking…what of the song of long-spoken long dead…what of the walls where what in…what what taken from…what as having…what struck from premise outset nothing gained…what of the never returning unto…what of the in of naught as the subtle trace of famine eats it away…what of the intrinsic lie…what of whereof in foreign’s clime…what distance of eye sprung from fever indent…what of the collapse that blackened all…what as if in the were as if to having in null vacant a deserted theatre wherein nothing was performed by any other than…what of the observation of it…what of the discord lacking end…what of the rising up of future-lack a trace of desire that cannot…what of some intone gravitate of sunk dry bones snared in an opulent smiling…what is the…what of the…what is not the…what is never the…what or other than what cleft stillness to breach closure of opening up into the disgust of…gazes upon cold glass…what of the long shadow of unspoken…what silence sought where of the lung what as if to say that gravitate as if to…what fingers to trace across vibrant flesh…what silhouettes…what eye abandon seeing nothing…what is not…no longer…what is not the word…what is not the…what of it if till abandon other of…what is a another silence…what bask in frenzy light of…what of shadow’s indent into where plumes of dry smoke dissolve into…what of the sickness to dwell wherein where all dissolves…what of the death of final eye and the lips that searched for…what spoken from where all illusory is forgotten in an instanced breath…what of…what neither nor blindness otherwise…what once said…what the in this it says nothing more or lessened than…what of the sunlight bending in the mind where to reveal is to having whispered fallen further than shadowing…what of the tidal asked of…what it breathes aches just a little more with ever-dawning eye revealed in a denude of crimson flash…what of the in what in of am…what once spoken never having…what again unspeaking…what to…what as if to other than nor of…what merely to fail as if to echo…what final tense…what as what other of the…what from where or what…what from whereof or what…what of till glimpse that cannot…what of in blind light a circumference of drought…what having have what done…what final no…what asked of…what subtle as having begged for…what stun lapse…what tongue …what of as to forget all as if to…what of…what of the catacomb of seclusion a bitter taste of reek cancel out of it unknown before yet ever present…fingers upon cold glass…what from…what of some shadowplay of tears till trace bedimmed…what of the ocular breath of it long sung in an abort of echo…what whereof…what as if to know other than in final lapse merely a…of the drag out thy corpse and walk…what then or of it can…what then in absenteeism forgotten clime of where once breath was nothing snared…what of…where in that transpired…what of the extraction from silence’s coating of sound reduced to silent whispers…what of the wall’s enshroud cold venom tide of blood…what from…what am as if was once…what yes in this it…what headlong stasis in the birth of where to trace the disappearance of…what till yes of final alone in abandon of speech recollect…what in or of whereof subtle as a death knell nothing of…no…trace…what of in this…what then what… whereof what then where what clog of the benign veins that drag until…what of the sky’s abort…what of the…what then for the…what of…what as if to…what for the in or of in tint of blood spill traceless shadow long ache of…what of the no longer…what of the dead speech the cascade of it into…nothing of in what as if to say erase it/counter…gazes no…what of that…what of the waste the hemorrhage of wither pageantries…of the here what of till foreign/lapsed unto…what of till of in some foreign distance the mirror cracked across…bled weight of bulk…what of the wherein some stasis ever…what in the herein a vacancy….nothing of through which to strips the bones of the meat of words…the bones translucent…what in the hand that grasps in the of of seek merely to/to recoil…what of the nohow then…what of the silence’s recreation in no…what am eye in this…of this in no way other than…what frozen shell what this…in-dreamt of no…what of…absent traces/ cold glass shatters in a..

..

Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). He is the author of a number of collections of poetry, prose poetry, poetic aphorisms and prose, including ‘Attributes’, (Desperanto, NY, 2011), ‘The Non Herein’ & ‘Of Dead Silences’ (Lapwing Publications, 2011/ 2013), ‘Of the Nothing Of’, ‘The Zero Eye’, ‘The Bled Sun’, ‘In Damage Seasons’, (Oneiros Books (U.K)–2013/ 14); ‘Code #4 Texts’, a collaboration with Aad de Gids, was also published in 2014 by Oneiros. Two further collections, ‘Un-Sight/ Un-Sound (delirium X.)’ & ‘The Banality of Else’ were both published by gnOme books (2014). ‘EchoNone’ was also released 2015 by Oneiros Books. Black Editions Press also released ‘Untitled #2’ & ‘[unspoken]’ in 2016, and ‘longshadowfall’ was published by Editions du Cygne (FR) in 2017. ‘Catascope’, was also published by Editions du Cygne early in 2018, and two further projects, ‘the black vault’ & ‘all null having’, are now published by VoidFront Press, who will also publish “nowhereon” in the coming months…

 

A Long Weekend In The Woods Can’t Solve Every Problem¹, by Clara B, Jones

for Lucie Brock-Broido (d. 2018)

Lucie needed to get away./a state of awakened consciousness/Her silver Honda owned the dirt road./a tradition of powerful females/animals with beaks hopping, hoping for fat grasshoppers grey in morning light./every outer atrocity is an inner one/A picnic basket domestic as her platinum ring, hand heavy with meaning changing day by day,/the language of the oppressor/no doubts as she traveled far from Route 40,/how we dread what we desire/topographic map displayed latitude,/an altered symbolism/Appalachia never looked so green in morning, or birds so hungry,/language is revisionist/feathered forms startled insects from grass, chased others back into the forest where she was going./a woman with “a man’s mind”/This was her Jurassic Park,/a nightmare/her green time gone, declension of love’s fault lines beyond repair,/her deepest self/like their shed at home, broken shelter facing West in her direction, climbing unfamiliar terrain./memory/.

 

¹Italics found in Ostriker A (1983) Writing like a woman. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

..

Clara B. Jones practices poetry in Silver Spring, MD (USA). She, also, conducts research on experimental poetry and radical publishing. Clara is author of four chapbooks and one volume (/feminine nature/, 2017, Gauss PDF), and her poetry, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in various venues.

The Sadness of Things, by Rupert M. Loydell

The sarcasm of birds:
two crows bickering on the empty bird table.

The disappointment of biscuits:
too sweet and crumbly for middle-age.

The distraction of other things:
screens flickering, new music demanding attention.

The disintegration of light:
darkness reflected in a discoloured mirror.

The enigma of memory:
what I remember, what I choose to forget.

The destruction of history:
ancient monuments deliberately reduced to dust.

The seduction of the unknown
rather than what we should care for and love.

The impossibility of calm
and quiet and order, of making a perfect home.

The absence of speech:
words unrecognisable, books left out in the rain.

The elusiveness of meaning:
playful disjunction is not the same as synchronicity.

The sarcasm of birds,
their caws and cries waking me up too soon.

The drawn-out day:
silences, pauses, worry and dismay.

The fickleness of language,
refusing to mean what I want to say.