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.

Prose Poem for Feral Pigs, by Michael Brockley

The feral pigs of De Grey River bushwhack Aussie campers, camouflaging themselves as kangaroos. As porcine Crocodile Dundees. They slink through the woody cover and crawl commando-style through open ground to steal the campsite’s cache of beer. Old timers mumble between mouthfuls of vegemite sandwiches that swine raiders have absconded again with the goods.  Six-packs of Foster’s, Bluetongue and Pure Blonde saddle-bagged on the backs of the fleeing marauders. A renegade Olde Frothingslosh smuggled into the outback by a Yank with a G.O.P. trust fund kaput. The boars rip through the cans and gnaw off the caps. Guzzle the lager until even the local heifers look like the finest Vietnamese Potbellies in the hop haze. Tourists gather in Land Rovers to watch cows chase the besotted hogs around the campfires and ransacked pup tents. Snockered pigs careen off small children. Squealing off-key porker renditions of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.” “The Death of Ned Kelly.” The passel vanishes into the brush when bush rangers arrive with their hunting rifles. The aborigine guides with their boomerangs. An alpha boar pauses before vanishing into the wilderness, its eyes reddened with the fug of an eighteen-beer hangover. Belching defiance at the last cow standing.

Nighthawks Redux, by Michael Brockley

Hopper, I’m not another Hickok with an obituary of aces and eights. I’ve perched on this Naugahyde stool and read my horoscope in sugar packets since Methuselah undertook his nine centuries of celibacy. In the steam rising from Jake’s sad-sack coffee, I confront the shape-shifting caricatures of my solitude. A Hoosier rebel hell-bent on a “chickee run” fades into a fat buffoon named Homer who airs his butt-crack cleavage as he gorges on jelly donuts. Then Batman sobs through the mounting toll of his losses. If I ask, Jake will shuffle his glossy photos of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and deal a cel from Bull-oney or Monkey Wretches. But when he expounds upon the geography of phrenology, I turn to “Suit” in the corner seat and his red herring orations regarding John Wesley Hardin’s sojourn among the Lost Tribes. Time yawns on the empty boulevard behind us. I sip Jake’s heartbreak brew, feeling the moon of the vacant tenements lowering over my shoulder. “Suit” has no daguerreotypes of a son or daughter. No portrait of his wife. But he caresses a fading photograph of the Dalton gang’s final sleep in Coffeyville. Beside him “Red” waits for a telegram from Ambrose Bierce. Or a coded message from Judge Joe Crater. I offer our group no skeleton key or threshold. No exits. We are cul-de-sac nomads reduced to fluorescence and stale cullers. We ask for one last card and hope the slither of steel and leather behind  us is a .45 clearing its holster.

The Loneliness of Exotic Creatures, by Michael Brockley

Last fall, you picked the low hanging fruits before they ripened so a woman on a sangria diet could read your fortune in the freckles of persimmons. On the asymmetries of pears. Every time you ventured into town you found yourself pacing between the pawnshop, the sex toy parlor and Mad Mama Monique’s Blunderbusses and Other Seasonal Wreathes. You always returned home with empty arms. The money in your pocket replaced with postcards posted by John Dillinger. You wandered into the private lives of paintings. Loitered near telephone conversations from the days of party lines. All the possibilities of love that slipped away while you read the Irish poets. To your credit, you never said, I’ll never be caught dead. Yet you drove the getaway car and ran a pickpocket school on the West Side for thirteen years. Lately, you’ve begun to hoard photographs of Josephine Baker with her cheetah, Chiquita. Of Frida Kahlo with her fawn, Granizo. All around you, the world invigorates itself with small, blue explosions. There are kangaroos falsettoing doo-wop ballads in stairwells while ocelots audition for the lead in a play about Falstaff and Don Quixote. You pawned your grandfather’s war metals to buy a book of pickup lines. If you eavesdrop while your neighbors make love to Bye Bye Blackbird, you can convince yourself you are the  descendant of the anteater that walked Salvadore Dalí


Michael Brockley is a 67-year old school psychologist who works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Flying Island, Zingara Poetry Picks, Panoplyzine, Third Wednesday, Rat’s Ass Review, Poetry Breakfast, Gyroscope Review and i am not a silent poet. Poems are forthcoming in Atticus Review and Gargoyle. 

Lascivious Lucubration by Kevin Reid

Salient tropes gather luminous analogies, while inchoate ink blots the mesh of a year’s coda.Raised from warranted dudgeon, abjured arrogance sprawls in a haemal hole. As moist miasmic nubility weeps, an aching bowl,  rusted with  trepid nectar, is venerated. The venereal ease of seductive lies pelts pricks with silver jism, pastes the flesh with clotted pain.A dripping fissure scented daily with a fist of bruised cadaverous knuckles. The thrill as throbbing solace discharges a simper on  raw lips. A blazing fire burns in the bush of the irrational canal extinguished barely by reason’s soul beater, the poet’s pounding quill, or a fuck fiddle plucking pungent pulses. Permeating the ruptured rotunda with polluted pleasure, eating chunks of copulation dipped in ambrosial crapulence, the nourishing nubile frolics with a flesh poke and howls oral nudity at the diminutive devils  sucking joyously on the nipples of her mind. Celluloid muscles bleed with fresh debauchery, assaulting the psyche with a veil of juiced visions, shooting salty pearls into the gushing estuary of lucid  fantasy.

Fast Times Powdered Rhymes by Kevin Reid

Diluted memories permeate the first dependant loss. Eclipsed by habit casual fun becomes abuse. Through hallucinogenic portals the artist is taunted with a stabbing pleasure, the pen becomes a needle. Constrained by inverted etiquette. Tripping into a razor wind with the desire for an idle conscience. With self disgust shooting up powdered hope with a free base faith. Self charity inebriated in a bottle of accompanied desolation. Hung over on clean ups with a headache from hell, safe speed stimulation maintains a conformed mask. Powdered flakes prescribed with weak pleasure, nasal absorption, another treasure. Positive pill-popping is a timeless upbeat in dizzy delirium. Life is easy with popularity and the uncountable milled pills trance-fixed in altered apparatus. Rising with dismissed amusement, ridiculous recriminations of misuse fool the locum with a masked excuse. Clean happiness, a voluntary conviction, a bloodstream highway with no restrictions. Pull up to the bureau, engage the brain, park the pen and write again.

from new work “exploded / view” by Fran Lock

today / my thoughts are furies / today has moved / in tight circles like a hungering dog / you’ve hovered / a toxic ghost / from the high battlements / of your hairdo / embattled hairdo / keratin crisp / letting down / the rope ladder of your logic / i am afraid but forget / how to speak / you like my smile / you said / my yellow crumbled tooth a crown / and now / and now / let us confront the deforested page / a story is stripped of its princess / and i am / a beautiful despot / a sugar mammy with snakes for hair / six cylinder bitch / you said / how i love nothing now / my thin fingers overthink their critical snap / click! / am i getting through? / d’ yous ken at all? / and i had you / at hello / i believe in nothing / but my own bare feet / stood / in the kitchen / braced for impact / my skin confesses its blemishes / summer’s sweltering depthless real / or rhine wine in a mermaid light / and poems / the bible empties itself of israelites / they schlep / across the page like ants / the red sea parts / the eye decides who will be spared / no one is spared / an eye is an angel of death / dressed / in a waste / of pink silk / wings / from the satiny lap / of clubland / am i getting through? / there were so many versions of me / so many versions of you / you / were making a masque of my inbox / and i should be / flattered / how a sacred hare might / honour a headlight / you frighten me / utmost monarch of radiant terrors / did you stand outside / at the reading? / did you follow me home? / did the torch move over / the darkness / a child’s finger / tracing a name on dirty glass / there’s a holiness that fame confers / you said / a cartoon sanctity / collective grief / these clothes climbed onto my back today / i did not / cannot / dress myself / elect of all expendable things / exceptional things / invisible things / your praise / or your contempt / these are my principal magnets / stars like scattered wits regrouping / heaven remade / in our own / animal / image / oh / to be precious and championed / oh / moth to the smooth hurt of a hot bulb / oh / i see you / stretching your smile / obscene bunting / at a fascist birthday / the world is wearing / obelisks and reliquaries / the world / is wearing thin / we are / peacocking our squalor at passing traffic / poetry / flicking an intimate switch / you said / some pains absolve no one / at the turn / of a stair / in the dark / a soiled glyph / i wrote my name / a girl / you said / sucked you like a snake bite / the pockets of your ugly coat / have bitten your hands / off at the wrist / and this / my most / unprofitable skin / i was charles darwin / dragging a knuckle / i was / carnal and simian / you said /terraformed the surface / of my twin moons / mute and nude / moot and nude / proley girl white / as creamed bleach and canned laugher / wade in a waltz / in sequins and chiffon / pandemic lust / you dynamite me with / again / and again //

#2 father / figure by Fran Lock

safe house / say / fuh / house / an argument climbs / into the plushy cockpit / of my mouth / the received wisdom / of a stiff drink / where the wall is fraught / with slogans / in the out of town / crematoria / an ecstasy of ashes / say / fuh / pair of hands / to tuck you in / to fuck you up / to tighten the bolt / in your neck / little monster / electrically / alive / and we’re falling down / nursing a nursery fate / like london bridge / the way / monotonous bodies in space conform / to the limp math / holding / the universe together / strong force / weak force / the symbols snuggle up / spoon in their shallow / brackets / you are not you / are not / you / drip your canonical honey / i parse my sickle traits / my phobic blood / i love you unto empty / there’s a shame that fits / tight to my body / like the skin / of an apple / you float / in the centre of my headache / in another woman’s belly / a baby / beings / a presumptuous rise / precarious bread / of heaven yet / i discover myself in a doorway / bridges alert with lights / and a light / rain prickles the skin of an apple / the skin of a dark pond / a partial mania / i hold this poem / like a note to the light / watermark / we mark the water / enter here / inter / her //