Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Gift to Indicate Apology ~ Ray Succre

Dolling the rich, red embroider of looting, of theft
near the fiction that calls her good mood its purpose,
apologies are meant, given petal by stem
by a vase of them, and yes is granted or no stanced,
set against their leashes and struck.

He ought not take belief in treasure, yet eager does,
and takes great gulps of life for all the meaning in his
porous pockets.

And so he has stolen flowers from a memorial.

She is in a room and he reciprocates the nudge of his senses.
She undergoes any look of her and the finches in his ribs
alight, tugging the wires from the plugholes of his process.

She ought never have learned to see him, yet crashed
the doors of her cupboard and nuzzled the same pieces
that built a dire walkway over these dreams that now
spill her mood, perchance her romantic striver.

The trust, and the time, contrived or true,
more and more this sense becomes this pivot.

Bells in the ringing red, brambles of gifts, of adoring
near the phantom that calls her smile its idol.

Ray Succre currently lives on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and son. He has had poems published in Aesthetica, BlazeVOX, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novels Tatterdemalion (2008) and Amphisbaena (2009), both through Cauliay, are widely available in print. Other Cruel Things (2009), an online collection of poetry, is available through Differentia Press.

A Request of Springtime ~ Ray Succre

I ought to spring lustrous as your costume,
yet am cankerous to the new bud or breed.
Your virulent pace is not infinite, yet the mosses
of your enervated authors—
I have never understood it.

For once, Spring, time of year casting animations
in flocks and flower bales, be my wife,
be cognizant of me, learn me my slave-star,
or give me one: Euterpe, cigarette, the dead,
I am open, strident, even while cantankerous
and fucked in the gears.

Throw to me scabs of what you give my fellow kind.
I ought. I expect. I may.
Set me to work, be an overseer,
hat me in notions, halt me at ramparts,
be my intake or my parent, deify your droplets to me,
no strong beware, but plain divinity—

get me to life and spangle my very eyes in green,
where red has always predisposed the way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lemonade ~ C. J. Allen

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

Lemonade by C. J Allen

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

to download the booklet go here

The Colour of Earth ~ C. J. Allen

Greenland isn’t green, in fact
it’s mostly brown. Similarly the White Cliffs
of Dover are a stained ash-colour scumbled
with khaki and copper. Red
China is mostly beige and the Ivory Coast
is raw sienna. Siena is lemon
and pink overlaid with pale blue,
its streets full of people like flecks of multi-colour
in tweed. Vienna, which should be cream,
has been re-done in taupe and pale-stone.
The great silver mountains of Peru shine
like patent leather and the gel-like sky
over Ireland is exactly the same colour as the soap
in the bathrooms of the Alexander Hotel
in Dublin. The rest of Dublin is coffee,
except the Liffey, of course, which is bile.
The Nile is never the same colour
from one moment to the next,
while the Thames takes on the untreated-sewage
tones of London, until it gets to Richmond where it begins
to look like it’s made out of melted coins.
Rome was purple once, but cleaned up
has the disappointing lustre of wholemeal bread.
Athens and Las Vegas
share the same vibrant palette, and Paris
is cast-iron until you get really close,
when it starts to scintillate like chips of mica in asphalt.
Reykjavik is the most colourful city on earth
but the people who live there are so accustomed to it
they don’t actually notice
the black sand, the blue hydro-thermal pools
or the tan mud. They paint their roofs
every shade under the sun, and the scuffed, chalky gulls
and rainbow puffins hang above them in air
so pure it’s like a glass of cold water
held up to the light.

C. J. Allen’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of magazines & anthologies in the UK, USA, Ireland & elsewhere. His work has been awarded prizes in a number of competitions, including the Arvon, Ilkely, Yorkshire, Winchester, Ver Poets, Nottingham Open & Kent & Sussex, amongst others. He has published four collections of poetry – The Art of Being Late for Work (Amazing/Colossal Press, 1994), Elfshot (Waldean Press, 1997), How Copenhagen Ended (Leafe Press, 2003), & his most recent, A Strange Arrangement: New & Selected Poems, again from Leafe Press (

Saturday, June 5, 2010

gramophone ~ A J Kaufmann

Full naked brooks
faint in your distance
empty étagère
masts which float on darkness
clattering fools
hovering, passing smoothly
proudly undressed
their open spirals

the brittle few
bold fire thieves
freeze in flight
frail color from tears
with goggle shapes
thru hesitating vengeance
before dry forests
trees like a giant gramophone

A.J. Kaufmann is a young Polish poet, songwriter and traveler, the author of Siva in Rags (KSE, 2008), Pilgrims & Indians (Deadbeat Press, 2008), Broke Nuptial Minds (Virgogray Press, 2009), Vagabond Vacancy (KSE, 2010) and other poetry chapbooks. A.J. blogs at and is currently recording his debut solo CD, Second Hand Man.

great bicycles on river wheels ~ A J Kaufmann

you are the sunshine, in duty town
carts wriggle
dark aureoles bark
at rain-storms in the mine
lips outlast the strip blaze
this is theater-time
sudden in rays
of spattered moths
the wind’s steeple
offers a ceiling
to gloom
harsh deaf pools
in gleaming dullness
great bicycles
on river wheels