Saturday, October 27, 2012

Department Poetry - November - Manchester

Poetry /// from Department Press 
Please join Department Press at Kraak, Manchester on Tuesday 27 November from 7.30 pm to hear readings from Sarah Crewe, Andy Spragg, Gareth Twose and Rhys Trimble. 
Entry is free. 
Sarah Crewe has recently co-edited Catechism: Poems For Pussy Riot. Her chapbook Aqua Rosa was released by erbacce earlier this year. She has a forthcoming chapbook, flick invicta, with Oystercatcher in 2013. She co-edits M58, an ezine for visual poetry, with Andrew Taylor. She has had work in Department, Otoliths, the Red Ceilings blog, erbacce and has work forthcoming in Tears In The Fence.  
Andrew Spragg is a poet, performer and critic. His books include The Fleetingest (Red Ceiling Press), Notes for Fatty Cakes (Anything Anymore Anywhere) and cut out (Department Press). He edits Infinite Editions, a blog that publishes free poetry postcards for download and distribution. 
Gareth Twose is currently organiser of Writers' Forum North.  Co-organiser of recent Manchester Poets for Pussy Riot event.  Has recently had poems published in Sunfish, Depart, Assent, Litter web zine and 3 am (forthcoming).  Formerly a newspaper journalist. 
Rhys Trimble: welsh poet of degrees & cutter & perforce performer DEARHWCH, PRY-LLWYD BLAIDD-BLOEDDIWR rascal...Bilingual poet based in Bethesda, North Wales . Improvisor interested in medieval welsh DEAD language & bilingual poetry, music/poetry, collaborations, digital-art and avant POST garde writing practices. Editor of Ctrl+Alt+Del Ezine and studying for a ‘psychomythogeographical’ PhD in creative writing. Stick banger, SHOUTYMAN. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Amstel Station. Last Minute. Autumn 2012 ~ Richard Barrett

The level of information was –
And the delivery of information was –
Please tick one box only
Then list, in descending order
Your top three presentations of the weekend
This three day weekend
In Amsterdam
Just concluding

I’m scared by disconnect

Feeling my legs and my head now
As separate from me, yes, I’m walking, yes
And aware that I’m walking, or at least
Aware that someone’s walking
In a way that I might once have

Come on, shall we look for a cab?

Cheese is round
We think

We think

Of work colleagues also

They think of us

Crossing the divide between subjects
Was thought by Sartre to be
Something that couldn’t be done but . . .

I’m ready for any questions

Together, here, in Amsterdam
In the big old church hall here
In Amsterdam

I think greatly increased empathy occasioned by

A use, though

Could render Sartre’s impossibility
A considerable amount more possible

Any questions?

If someone presents
At a conference in Amsterdam
When Richard Barrett
Is elsewhere in Amsterdam
Does the person presenting
Make a sound?

It’s been said
Amsterdam is hell
After Dante
Arranged in circles

And though, yes
We end-up always
When out walking
Right back where we began

If this is hell
Well, I like it
Very much


The fear and paranoia, however
I don’t like


Wondering: the cab driver – does he know something I’d prefer him not to know?
The check-in clerk – does she know something I’d prefer her not to know?
Passport control – do they know something I’d prefer them not to know?
And my fellow passengers – do they – as well – know more than they’re letting on?

I guess there are known knowns
Unknown knowns
Known unknowns
And other permutations of those words
I’m too tired to bother with at the moment


Our present eco-crisis
Is due to writing
Separating man from nature  
According to the bloke there
At the front of the room

I ask later – 

What did he mean?

You suggest something about representations
Leaving the direct thing
No longer experienced

Which sounded persuasive

What sounded less persuasive though
Was the idea
That the solution
Lay just in getting high

Still . . .

When was it then?
When did posse get misheard?


Shit, something seems to have changed here . . . 

Though clarification came, and
With it


So I said, yes, that does sound like a plan

So plans were made. . .

Though remember

A little does go a long way
Educate yourself by asking the staff about the effects and just ease yourself in slowly
Selections in Amsterdam are quite strong
The results can be overwhelming

If you don’t know what you’re in for


I don’t present with ease
Snatched breaths, snatched
In the middle of, and between
Words, rather than more logically
As the sentence ends, yes
I find presentations hard
So I sympathise with you Teri
Up there, before this crowd
Yes, I do






We ask directions –  We ask, excuse me
Sorry to bother you –
But do you know the way to Central Station
Reasoning that from there we should find more easily
Our flat
                And, yes, we
Do get pointed on our way
We find the place
And it’s gorgeous
The rain forgotten

And while you’re showering

I get my head down

For half an hour or so

Then we’re out again.

Ha ha ha ha ha
The fella laughs
That’s your Lamborghini
That’s your Porsche –
The flash goes off
And it startles –
Or I’m anyway startled
By something else
As I
Want to say something, but
I don’t know what –

It’s a photo
It’s good

Look, pay him please
When we get there
Put your hand in our pockets
Give the guy the cash
That is owed by us
This journey
This journey
This journey from
Point A to Point B
This journey across the city
Leaving tonight at 10
Panicking –
But –

Everything will work out okay in the end


The steps to the smoking bit
Those steps are steep
Um – do you want to go down before me?
Someone says
And someone says
Ladies first
Reminding us –
On the coach trip out here
Someone said, then, as well
Ladies first
We laughed at his chivalry  

Um – do you want to go down before me ?

But, you know, I could
Well, just fucking live here

Breath coming
In gasps
Short now
Making it hard to talk
But easy for you to laugh
Though I’m not arsed
I’m laughing too
Whilst trying not to cough
a) that wouldn’t be cool; and
b) it’d disturb the guys behind

Those steps –
How’ll we get up them
I don’t know –
Failing in
Trying not to cough –

Ack Ack Ack . . . cough . . .

You write
Richard says –
Prompting my response –
LOLs have more fun –
Now I’m laughing
And you’re laughing, though –
What at, we wonder?    


We need to off-load the dope
Shall we give it to him?
Ok, then, lets . . .

Chichaya, the guy says
Is kinder to women
Than men, men, unless
They specifically request
The goddess offers protection
Will be
Vomiting for days

Someone asks
So could this drug then offer
Ways of reconnecting with the earth mother?

The guy doesn’t know
Saying: there’s more research to do


In this consciousness of skin

Seeing no windmills in Amsterdam
Actually, is that wrong? Is the lyric
Tulips? I don’t know. I know just that
It’s a shit song
Anyway, however you want to put it
There were neither windmills
Nor tulips

Just arms

At the bottom of which were hands
Thrust resolutely in pockets
Arms still
Though feeling very like they were moving
Though they weren’t moving
Those arms

Not windmilling

I feel, I feel I could drown in
Skin, and be happy to
I want this feeling always

This, capital city of skin
This, two day conference of skin
This, plan to travel of skin
This, good/bad weather of skin
This, groovy accommodation of skin
This, asking directions of skin
This, recognising accents of skin
This, canal of skin
This, misunderstanding the menu of skin
This, text from Hans of skin
This, half litre of beer of skin
This, chance of skin
This, friendship of skin
This, coach seat back of skin
This, not being able to sleep of skin
This, having known each other years of skin
This, public exercise park of skin
This, humorous shop name of skin
This, walk of skin
This, light in the morning of skin
This, coolness of skin
This, preoccupation with the centre of skin
This –


You get me, right

Big Meeting at the Corporate Office ~ Donal Mahoney

When a young woman like that
sails into the conference room,
all masts billowing,
there's nothing the men
around the table can do
except take a breath

and wait for her
to settle in her chair,
open her laptop
and fuss for a moment
with some errant hair

before she fixes her stare
on the podium to wait
for the chairman to arrive
and take it from there

if he possibly can.
The chairman won't know
the young woman has said
everything his men
will remember tomorrow
without saying a word.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Feeding Time ~ Simon Howard

"The arms of the first are parallel, the other's arms converge." Meyer Schapiro, Cezanne (on 'The Card Players').

some things exist somewhere
meadows in memories a train gliding through its tunnel
then there are specific animals
who stalk the alphabet as it describes itself
until sleepiness turns them into bassoons

the best day i ever had
was at an execution
there were bibles and a food that made me sad
but i was happy, like my non-existent sister on her birthday
or soldiers or stamp collectors

ever since i’ve walked around with a vulture claw-fixed to my scalp
i tried being dead but the vulture just died too
all the while eating my brain
is this an unusual circumstance
or will it have happened before

älg ~ Simon Howard

soundlessnesses of a city through photographs of rain
wearing a solitary sleeve
plus drum-like structure


and a button / oblivion
the understudy’s names zigzagged
that was cheerful of it


a cold sun
adorations. floating, abyssal
o no


in the zoo we had this happen
none of the animals smiled
neither did we cry


everything signifies
everything signifies everything
signifying. skidding


yes it is a marching song
yes these are technical lexicons
no i am here

Narratology ~ Simon Howard

are the living more beautiful than when they were dead
locked in an all night supermarket
just say what you intend saying

a thin ribbon of incalculable light
between rainy ground and the rain
landscape with dark clouds and fishing boat

western michigan university libraries

michigan 49008

anxiously listening
for a listening voice
within this system it is both possible and impossible to deny reason

the metaphors refer to a consequent truth
journeying through night and day
break listening to animals stamp their hooves

a most ingenious toy
to view moon and stars
giggling in the icy sky

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

PINK FIRE ~ Howie Good

Here's a small but tasty one.

PINK FIRE by Howie Good

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

When the Room Loses its Double o ~ Ali Znaidi

No room
for the double o
in this room.
You can call it
anything but not
a room.
This room shares
nothing w/ other rooms,
except by bricks
The  renunciation
of the double o
is not just a typo.
It is a catastrophe.
When a room loses
its double o
& sinks into
the abyss of
grammar deteriorates       
the way the apostrophe

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. His work has appeared in The Bamboo Forest, The Camel Saloon, phantom kangaroo, BoySlut,, Otoliths, Dead Snakes, Speech Therapy Poetry Zine, streetcake magazine, The Rusty Nail, Yes,Poetry, The South Townsville micro poetry journal, Shot Glass Journal, the fib review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Mad Swirl, and other ezines. He also writes flash fiction for the Six Sentence Social Network—