Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Red Ceilings Press e series ~ Plus-que-Parfait

We are delighted to announce the latest offering from The Red Ceiling Press, an e series of online and downloadable booklets.

the title goes here by Emily Howard, Mark Cobley & Simon Howard

The first part of Plus-que-Parfait an open ended text collaboration with contributions by Sarah Ahmad, Richard Barrett, Stephen Emmerson and Harry Godwin

If you are interested in submitting work for publication please email the red ceilings at

To download the booklet go here

poem ~ Steve Roggenbuck


i dont care about reading a poem

who do you think i am, robert frost?

i have never been in the woods and i hate walking

Steve Roggenbuck has recently published poems at elimae, Moria, and Word For/ Word. His blog is 'I DONT CARE ABOUT DAVID HUME.' He is a founding member of Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation
(LOVE), an anti-oppression, vegan collective. He lives in Michigan.

poem ~ Steve Roggenbuck


it is midnight in ruth michigan, there is a single car honk

poem ~ Steve Roggenbuck


rain fall im eating a slice of white cake

a bird sings by my window

the son of a bitch

poem ~ Steve Roggenbuck


to my nephew on his birthday

i will choke your dad

then i will open the pantry and take your pears

i dont care

im not afraid

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mizagi’s aria from Ugetsu ~ Emily Howard

Mizagi: It is not so difficult to wait. Once forgiveness transforms the mind, then waiting is sweet. And with every sorrow comes something both bitter and sweet to contemplate. You are hungry and upon you comes a story of rice and salty plums. Absence tells the story of fullness. And fullness tells of absence too. Because you have known both then both are sweet to contemplate. You will see this in time. Story inside story...every story holds another. Story inside story. I had a story of pain and heavy fire blood inside. And inside this story was the story of a star. Because I was unworthy of this star inside me, the blood poured out of me at once. And once I lost the gift and burden of my blood, I understood the story of the star and how it came to be inside me. Then I fell away into the night where I could hear star stories everywhere.

I think I am disturbing your sleep. My love, I won’t pretend that this knowledge doesn’t feel strange. And I need to tell you something else about stories. Sometimes they are spider webs, intricate and delicate, with beautiful, glistening filaments. But when the filament is made of discontent it will trap anyone who happens by. It will never reveal another story than its own. My love, I know that you came upon such a spider web. Still, I always knew that you would come back to me and so you are here.
Genjuro, work hard for your son. he came here as a piece of star tapping my insides like a little flame and I fell away burning bright with love. Akira, the little star came looking for his father. And I knew you would come back! Genjuro, work hard. Teach him your stories. Tell him how joy was inside sorrow and sorrow was inside joy.

Emily's libretto Ugetsu is forthcoming on The Red Ceilings Press e series.

It is currently being set to music by composer Michael Rose and the opera will be produced by American Opera Projects in Brooklyn, New York.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

de sade ~ Simon Howard

drived out with night
dressedly lipstick &
mist glue stars a
long flower of ne
on fizzy pool im
mature allergies

call captain josephine at mid
noon o
f martyrs noone liptongue
. lunguage

abandoned. garages up
on a distance.

captain josephine ~ Simon Howard

“the favourites in thunder”
Peter Jaeger, ‘Sitting’ from Eckhart Cars

unremovedly it
selves marquis de sade
cap of boiling paper

decoder medicines. sleak flank
pointilliste. armour plateau’d
mistook spinney. jeweller
in their chimney
& swordfish belt

harm calmer then.
buzzer of melodic interference
sugary beds
one&ahalf immortal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Letters to Verlaine ~ Stephen Emmerson


You let that little turd manipulate you again
didn’t you Paul? Well without him you wouldn’t
have amounted to much would you? Even taking
into account that time you smashed a jar with
your stillborn brother pickled inside. The stench
must have been a weapon. Think of your poor mother
staring at that foetus, wishing it was you.

Pigs trotters. That’s what you thought it looked like,
didn’t you Paul? And your wife, did you make her
take it up the arse, or was it a strictly missionary

I can see you now, holier than thou preaching
scripture to her in the midst’s of one of your
catholic breakdowns. You fucking grunt. Coward.
At least we have that in common.

So what’s next for you? More of that vague impressionistic
stuff, or will you let them ride their luck on the back of
that bladed morning air?

I know you might liken me to the gut of a hung dog,
but I’m here for you Paul. I’m waiting for your reply.
And you know the funniest thing happened to me today.
I started drinking again. I knew you’d be pleased.

I was thinking of you sat in The Maggot sucking on absinthe.
I was green with it Paul.
Green with it.


I’ve done it again Paul. I threw the door off its
hinges and she ran outside screaming into the copper
evening under the spat word sky that is a shivering
alphabet. How do you live with yourself when you lose
all sense of reason?

Kim took off and wouldn’t answer her phone
but she replied to my text saying that she couldn’t
be around me if I acted like that. I don’t blame her,
but its no reason to over react. Is it?

I was going to kill myself to teach her a lesson,
a sticky bloody heart pumping lesson of plasma and
white cells, but we’re going to my dads tomorrow
and I cant really get out of it.

Is there anything you need Paul? I can send you some
more books if you’ll just tell me what you want.

You don’t send your poems anymore and I need them.

I need some more of that soft sunset song or bright sin

Some vast symphonic store of vivid dreams

An evil plume of moon silhouettes

An evening star throbbing on pale water

An old park frozen and alone

A white sun poking through trees

The blurred summit of a yellowed hill

A blind intoxication

A bashful dawn drunk on scuds

Please write back

I helped you -



I’m not surprised your having hallucinations again.
I mean your brain is run through with those flat
white worms that made the skyline seem like old fogies
frowns to you all those years ago.

I hear your teaching in Stickney Marshes. Is that true?
You cant get a drink for love nor money there can you.
Neither of which you ever have anyway, but it’s the
thought that counts Paul. The thought that counts.

Lincolnshire’s as flat as a Frank I hear. That’s a lot
of sky for god to see you with. Are you really willing
to lay yourself open to that level of scrutiny?

And on that note, should you really be around all
those young boys? Because pulling yourself off discreetly
under the table probably isn’t your forte.

Your more likely to stand up and shout -





Paul, I cant believe you haven’t come back.
I waited at Calais for days and there was no
sign of you. Did I miss you? Maybe your already
back in Paris and you’re looking for me and
wondering where I am and thinking that I don’t
care for you anymore, but it isn’t true.

You know I’m here for you Paul and I can help you,
I really can. When you feel like your about to
break down and suck that sugary green treacle into
your gob, just drop me a line.

I understand its not pretty Paul, but nothing beautiful is.

You know the other day I was thinking about that
time when you me and Arthur were playing that game.
When we were running around with those little knives
in Camden, stabbing each other an inch into the guts.
Not ‘those’ little knives you filthy old pervert.
Those daggers who’s blades we wrapped in rags.

I’ve still got scars on my tum tum from that.
One looks like a star cluster and one looks like
a wolf fighting a squashed fly.

Why don’t you ever ask about my girlfriend?
Its only fair that you take an interest in my affairs.

We’ve managed to find a decent supplier now, so no more cold
water extraction in the kitchen till 3am wondering if its worked
properly or whether we’ll die in 3 days time from the glut of
paracetamol that’s washed through the coffee filter and into the

60,000 mgs would do me over for certain the state
my livers in. You know someone got shot the other night
around the back of my house. That’s a good way to go
if its done right.

Alcohols too slow Paul

Grow up and die.

Stephen has recently appeared in Great Works, nthposition, Jacket, and SPINE.
He also run a monthly poetry night in Leeds called LETTERBOMB.

Publications include the broadsides: Villains from Silent Films, Cocaine/Codeine, Mad Songs & Ayers, and the Cleaves anthology.

He also has collections/chapbooks - 'X' The Arthur Shilling Press 2009,
'Chimera' Erbacce Press 2010 and 'Attack of the Gas Powered Angels' KnivesForksandSpoonsPress

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bells from the Cathedral ~ Donal Mahoney

How do you tell
a wife you love
there are Spring days
in raw Chicago
bright with sun
and the boom
of bells
from the Cathedral
how do you tell
a wife like that
there are Spring days
you wish you had a girl

Donal Mahoney, reared in Chicago, Illinois, now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor, The National Catholic Reporter, Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Pirene's Fountain (Australia), Opium Poetry 2.0 and other publications.

Cops and Robbers ~ Donal Mahoney

Climbing up the dirt hill out
behind the house they’re putting up
in Krupka’s lot, Tom found two pellets

in the iris changed things more
than doctors at the time forecast.
Today Tom blinks a lot

and fears big crows
may swoop at any time
and supper on the other eye.

Brisk Man from Jaipur ~ Donal Mahoney

Two men tall,
one from here
and one from there,

in raincoats
at a bus stop,
pace and stare.

One of them
is soaked in tea,
brisk man from Jaipur

who semaphores
an anthracitic glare.
To barter for a smile

an alien’s obeisance
he, no fawn,

The other man,
white cane and dog,
doesn’t seem to care.