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ISSN 2053-6119 (Print) ISSN 2053-6127 (Online)

Featuring the works of Peter O’Neill, Felino Soriano, Nichola Burkhill, Orla McAlinden, Patrick Dorrian, Michael Mc Aloran, Patrick Toland, Jax Leck and John Jack Byrne. Hard copies can be purchased from our website.

Issue No 17 February 2013


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A New Ulster On the Wall Website

Editor: Amos Greig Editor: Arizahn Editor: Adam Rudden Contents

Cover Image “Eldritch” by Editorial

Amos Greig page 6

Peter O’Neill; Sea Urchin Barbagia 35 Degrees Celsius Siliqua Nazionali Porto Palma Men-hir Paolo Fressu/ Rosa dei venti

page 8 page 9 pages10-11 pages 12-13 page 14 pages 15-16 page 17 page 18

Felino Soriano; Echo of this necessary partition Of distance of reinterpreting malleable foundations Toward Language in the figuration of silence measurable behavior garden

page 20 page 21 page 22 page 23 page 24 page 25

Nichola Burkhill; Pointy Teeth Nightmare in a Do..

pages 27-28 pages 29-31

Orla McAlinden; Bye Now

pages 33-36

Patrick Dorrian Necropolis

pages 38-39

Michael Mc Aloran; Untitled

pages 41-46

Patrick Toland;

Making Love to the Poet The Position

page 48 page 49 page 50

Jax Leck; Don’t feed the trolls Sylvia

page 52 pages 53-55

The Recreationists

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John (Jack) Byrne; Fate Just One Day Sparkling Eyes

page 57 page 58 page 59

On The Wall Message from the Alleycats

page 61

John (Jack) Byrne; John’s work can be found

pages 63-64 Round the Back

Round the back

page 66

Manuscripts, art work and letters to be sent to: Submissions Editor A New Ulster 24 Tyndale Green, Belfast BT14 8HH Alternatively e-mail: g.greig3@gmail.com See page 52 for further details and guidelines regarding submissions. Hard copy distribution is available c/o Lapwing Publications, 1 Ballysillan Drive, Belfast BT14 8HQ Digital distribution is via links on our website: https://sites.google.com/site/anewulster/

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Published in Baskerville Produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland. All rights reserved The artists have reserved their right under Section 7 Of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 To be identified as the authors of their work.

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Editorial Everyone here at A New Ulster greeted the Chinese New Year with much anticipation. This is the year of the Horse, horses have been an inspiration for poetry, painting and sculpture throughout the ages. Annoyingly the argument of whether poetry is relevant has reared its head again ironically I addressed this question in issue five it seems that this question is brought up around January/ February. Here at A New Ulster we still believe that poetry is as ever about the individual, the artist and their place in society. It is a celebration of their work and a window into their techniques. A New Ulster is open to experimental and traditional poetry styles and approaches. A reporter for the Washington Post claims that poetry is obsolete. I disagree. Poetry is not obsolete. It is still a relevant tool; a delivery for social criticism and nature. Poetry gives voice to our inner demons and brightest inspiration. It is true though that poetry books are scarce in many bookshops, however that is not because of a lack of demand. Rather the paucity of poetry in book stores is due to larger issues. This issue features a strong example of experimental and local poetry from many voices and styles as well as a range of short stories. Every piece has been chosen by the writers and by the editor I feel that this is a very strong issue and hope you enjoy reading it.

Enough pre-amble! Onto the creativity! Amos Greig

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Biographical Note: Peter O’Neill

Peter O’ Neill was born in Cork in 1967. He has been a regular contributor to The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Danse Macabre and The Scum Gentry. His debut collection Antiope (Stonesthrow Poetry) appeared in 2013, and to critical acclaim. ‘Certainly a voice to the reckoned with.’ Wrote Dr Brigitte Le JueZ (DCU). His second collection The Elm Tree is to be published by Lapwing shortly.

http://peterseanoneill.blogspot.ie/

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Sea Urchin Per Alessia, sempre! (Peter O’Neill)

Inside this moon dust which you brush from The silt cartilage of your palm, Beneath the tropic of your individual sun; That great lozenge which dissolves into the sea’s glass.

Its effervescence is blinding, but I See also the lantern on Ugolino’s hill, Its lunar counterpart which illuminates The Tailor’s Shop, whose suits outshone the galaxy.

Your savage Republic heraldsBy his scissors above the skies of Barbagia, Where my Mourne of mountains comes to meet,

Somewhere between De Chirico’s apartment, When we can distinguish the metaphysics of all trains; The clouds completely dissolving, as dusk breaks.

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Barbagia For Gigi (Peter O’Neill)

A bullion of immeasurably incalculable light, Each untouchable ingot lodged in a permanent Shift of unending flight, settles momentarily Upon the peaks high above the valley.

Each reads into it as he or she may. For bankers Mayans, perhaps, are borne upon the wind, While for their aides the golden light might prefigure A whole storm of crime ranging from child rape to matricide.

We pass beneath the phenomenon in silence, While Virgilian shadows move about in the undergrowth Like pieces of burning coal lodged in the aorta.

The whole inexplicable journey is etched out before us. Yet, some things we can be sure of: 1, all dreams are married To nightmare. 2, death is inexplicable. And 3, we were never here.

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35 Degrees Celsius In memory of Angelina Vargiu and Italo Cadeddu (Peter O’Neill)

from the balcony the plain spread out like a table and upon which has been lain a thirteenth century castle perched high on a hill a candlelabra illuminating the surrounding pasture on which peacefully graze both horse and cattle while in parallel a more hermetic duo manifest themselves amid a domestic geography of wild boar dried fruit and nuts where mother and son chew over the remains of Sunday lunch as they have done for decades the silence broken only by their respective comments which reverberate about the kitchen walls the soundings of crickets still sing as a testament to the endurance

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apathy however natural it may seem must always acknowledge in due time its evil twin indomitable endurance

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Siliqua For Sara Ghia (Peter O’Neill)

We sat in the town square Under the monument of eternal cruelty And discussed the origin of the winds, While about us first loves and second cousins passed. The authenticity of the guide Is always revealed in the quality of the information receivedMine did not speak to me just about buildings And if she did it was only in relation to the living. A lunatic sat down next to us. Though not blind, his eyes were deprived of the faculty of sight. I had seen his kind hundreds of times before, The ones who refuse to grow up. Or, who have never left home, And if they have always come home too soon Only to gather in the town square under the moon. Through the maze of streets she recited to me A whole litany of causes and effects, Like some Passover Angel, holding out Invisible bouquets of enormous significance. While, in the salons of antiquity centenarians Dreamt of roasted fish, the stomach being the only reliable organ Left , all the rest having proved themselves to be traitors With the passing years. There, high above the office of incomprehensible public works, She gesticulated with such a savage nobility, While Luxor appeared on televised wings.

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Although these streets were all new to me, I felt somehow that I had been there countless times before. As the well-seasoned traveller knows; It is always the same place, at the very same time! She was the bride of ingenuity, And I was the groom in quite repose, Just a couple of common nouns Governed by the absolute verb.

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NaZionali For Giulia Ruggiu (Peter O’Neill)

When smokers take a brief respite The most antique region of their Arabian night, Once again, goes up in smoke. And from every cigarette packet, The government tax stamps fly over the rooftops In legions of magic carpets, flying in formations. The heart surgeons are kept busy While the non-smokers dispute the facts, Both completely ignoring the unique poetry of ash.

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Porto Palma For Andrea (Peter O’Neill)

birds shitting gently from vertiginous heights upon the skeletal roofs which frame the mountains whose crossbeams are like old dried wood collected from the beaches where the surf rolls an aZure prairie of white horses and the little index of coast a complex of rock promontories awaiting the soft tramp of naked feet while out from the bamboo high overhead the bee circle for pollen these windows offer alternative perspectives like paintings you can open them and enter other worlds the world of a hundred thousand images among these frames of memory their glasses cracked and dusted mixed with the bitterness of yesteryears andiamo vieni qui! just like hornets nests witnessing the world through other perspectives like down upon the sands with the 100 000 voices whispering to one the little fork like tongues rustling in your ear puberty shifts holding herself awkwardly by sea she understands instinctively the precise geometry of the cutting words each space between so carefully measured to such exact purpose even in wrongdoing which completely astonishes her awakening then as if from some trance she shifts nervously upon the stones seeing in a single vision the whole legacy of flight all of the anguish of her adolescence borne also so heavily by her brother who merely seeks to contemplate alone such is his particular simplicity his growing anatomy both drowning as they are within a whole world of new sensation unaware of the all too prying eyes upon them at a time when they are most vulnerable 15


they both walk alone playing out the war of voices within their heads in such an environment violence is inevitable sport then being a good way to harness their energy and thus possibly avoid the mortal tedium of gangs till eventually they spin a bottle or truth or dare their way into their first sexual misadventure cunts and cocks literally holding them to ransom till they realise coming in their blue jeans what suddenly everything means so that every second now passing scares and secretly thrills them

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Men-hir After Sciola (Peter O’Neill)

Such stones being a locus for the sterile, Their vigorous potency singing outward Upon the winds, their vowels coloured By the fire trees on the hill of the head.

These Nuraghi, defensive structures, Mineral wells, sacred spaces and Geo-critical mazes, where in the Tomb of the Giants resurface

The myth of Aristophanes, On Ephialtes and Otus who Rebelled against the heavens

Only to be split in two by scissiparity. ‘Us’ then their confused offspring hurled by the ancients, To be recycled into the food chain of the common house fly.

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Paolo Fressu / Rosa dei venti Per Franco (Peter O’Neill)

Mouth of the Levant opening Bearing with it the scent of eucalyptus Burning on a spring afternoon, fed with The flames of filu ‘e ferru, Cannonau

E pecorino. Tenores choir Deep in the hearth laments the cruel winter Parting. Mistrale, Libeccio and warm Sirocco, Blowing the senses into compasslessness.

A golden returning into a deeper origin Whose archaeological trace remains, Centred in this pathway of the winds.

Humming long after within the ear, The fugelhorn blows plaintively Making everything clear.

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Biographical Note: Felino A. Soriano Felino A. Soriano is a member of The Southern Collective Experience. He is the founding editor of the online endeavorsCounterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His writing finds foundation in created coรถccurrences, predicated on his strong connection to various idioms of jazz music. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology, and appears in various online and print publications, with recent poetry collections includingwatching what invents perception (WISH Publications, 2013), Of these voices (whitesky ebooks, 2013) Pathos|particular invocation (Fowlpox Press, 2013), Extolment in the praising exhalation of jazz (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2013), andHinge Trio (La Alameda Press, 2012). He lives in California with his wife and family and is the director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities. Links to his published and forthcoming poems, books, interviews, images, etc. can be found atwww.felinoasoriano.info.

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echo of this necessary partition (Felino A. Soriano)

laughter finds its harmony circulating the serenade of wind’s softest finger fingering the cultural contour of residue from the ballet-soft landing of moisture’s modulating breathing, the appearing of globular renditions of a wet welcoming: spring or the modular fluctuation of the year’s pastel environs, —finding what rests, this invisible speck of eventual dissipation, the enjoyment of becoming an unnoticed existence, the ability to bend into pose sans misinterpreting eyes rewriting meaning into limited spectral blends of personal intuition

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Of distance of reinterpreting malleable foundations (Felino A. Soriano)

orange connecting dusk among/ into a wholeness of tributary tonal aggregations, these spirits of evaporations twirl— prior highlighting excess in the pivoting of remarkable fragmented infatuations

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toward (Felino A. Soriano)

noon—I like its message of mirage relocating space among a facet of tribute alive in the facet fulcrum of reciprocating rhythms

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language in the figuration of silence (Felino A. Soriano)

with grasp

:

alive ness

watches space contain syllabic devotion to out lining origami faculties, the shorthand spectrum of truncation, carrying worded hands and sustenance whole in the rejuvenated persona of youth’s mirage of sedentary sound

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measurable behavior (Felino A. Soriano)

with devotion— similes arrange gregarious notions, mimesis structure rain-angle aggregations propose as with love-function functionality— range and improvised movements, the corporeal encircling acts as call and the required listening writes its prose into listening functions of needed freedoms, the bond of bending inward-first following desire’s protocol of pulse, causational pause toward inclination of the body’s philosophies . . . braided hankers holding, holding or in the painting of memory within a hand’s improvised departure

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garden (Felino A. Soriano)

why:? clarity in the calmest formation of morning’s earliest blinking, ? such— eyes comfort space in the timeline of spectral ambulation, each of when moments concentrate(aggregate) volume of tone: green of canvas architects immersion, such the eye vocalizes varied astronomies, tiny drum beating rhythms rise seen yet unknown of rate the bodies become from seed into blended bends within a softened hand of wind’s 2:00 p.m. formation

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Biographical Note: Nichola Burkhill

Nicola lives in a beautiful Scottish conservation village with her husband and two sons. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Lit/Creative Writing and writes poetry and short stories. Her work has featured in The Stony Thursday Book, Open Mouse Poetry Website, Glasgow Women’s Library’s Website and Wild Women Writing Website. She attends a weekly writing group, blogs and dedicates as many hours as possible to her writing

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Pointy Teeth (Nichola Burkhill)

She was returning from church It was the night they made Christingles She smelled of oranges, cloves, cinnamon The air was cold, crisp She ran to the shelter of her car Started the engine Heaters on full pelt She called, told them she’d be home soon They watched her like hawks after her indiscretion with the vicar The diocese shipped him off to England when they found out they were doing it in the vestry Her mother said, Come straight home Lock the doors She was expected back in fifteen minutes

Rattled She pulled away Wipers waving furiously against the rain She stopped swiftly The brakes screeched A voice came from the back Head for the park 27


Don’t look in the mirror The jagged edge of the knife caught her throat

His teeth all she saw White, pointy

The entrance to the park The only light Stop here He gripped her ponytail A swift jerk exposed her milky neck A sharp slice Scrape Her eyes closed

The sudden draught caught her neck hair fanned her face Blowing wildly around her She saw him before he dipped into the trees The glint of her red ponytail A shimmer in the headlights

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Nightmare in a Dolls House (Nichola Burkhill)

Mummy Doll and Baby Doll turn out all the lights and wait.

Single beds pushed together Their bodies cling to each other as darkness turns to night.

A dog sits on the end of the bed, ears pricked Alert.

Mummy Doll gets ready For his pounce, her ear Tuned to his step On the path.

He is shouting, as usual Voice echoing round the Cold, dark walls of the close.

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Mummy Doll’s hand flies to the terrier’s muzzle, clamping it shut before his first bark escapes.

Baby Doll throws herself Round Mummy’s legs, begs Don’t let him in! Shh! Baby, she says as she smooths baby’s tear-stained curls from her face.

He kicks and screams. Shouts through the letter-box Fists hammering the door. Obscenities flying from his mouth

Eventually, he leaves.

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Baby doll falls into a fitful sleep. Mummy releases her grip, Whispers to the dog, Good Boy. Good Boy.

She slips out of bed, Terrier at her side. Inspects the damage to her door. Not much this time – Maiden name ripped off Floor covered in paint chips. Are you alright, hen? Millie asks, Across the landing.

Mummy Doll nods her head, returns inside. Chain on, double locked and bolted.

She makes the tea, sits by the fire. How she wishes she was made of wood.

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Biographical Note: Orla McAlinden Orla McAlinden is a new writer, whose award-winning memoirs and short-stories are deeply rooted in her Northern Irish childhood— with all the complications and contradictions that entails. Her work has been published in The Chatahoochee Review, The Fish Anthology, A New Ulster, Roadside Fiction and Wordlegs. She has lost count of her rejections! She is actively seeking publishers for The

accidental wife and other stories, from which Bye now has been abridged, and for her full-length memoir Union Jacks and Rosary

Beads. Orla blogs at http://orlamcalindenwrites.wordpress.com and rarely tweets @orlamcawrites

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Bye now. (Orla McAlinden)

The doorbell rings, one long, one short, three long. Not my signal. This new man has come for Bianca, sent here by our friend Julia. Julia is leaving town to spend three weeks at home with her children and her parents. I envy her. My children are at my flat five miles away, with a baby-sitter. I am tired, so very, very tired. Maybe I should send my own children back home, back to Wroclow, but my mother is old now, and weary. I should just go home to my kids, but the unpaid bills on the tea-stained table in the flat in Stranmillis make me stay; my client will come in another thirty minutes or so. It is too quiet here today, a waste of my time. It is a chance to file my nails, to glue on the pretty, new, silver stars I had sent over from home, but I would rather be earning. Or pounding down the promenade in Bangor, with my new special friend, sweat pouring from us as we get closer and closer to her big house on the seafront. A rattle on the doorhandle. Bianca’s client opens my door—I have forgotten to lock it—and I jump from the low stool with my metal nail file gripped tightly in my hand. If I need to, I know what to do. A firm grip, a short stab, plant the metal blade right through his eye, into his brain. No, officer, I did not intend to hurt him, it was an instinct. It was self-defence. Who could imagine a nail file could do such damage?

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The new client has pushed past Bianca; no manners at all in this country, I see them every day ignoring bent, old men and pregnant women on the buses and trains. Do these Irish men think I don’t see the way they look at me, like butchers about to wield their cleavers, calculating the best way to carve up the carcass? I have just a few seconds to assess him as the door swings open. I prefer the expensive post-codes in which I work now; the high fees I charge keep out the riffraff. The sweat-and-beer-stinking, unshaved Irish men I meet in Centra cannot afford my rates. This man is okay. Short, bald, expensively dressed and full of his own importance, but that’s okay. Not violent. I know violence. This man kills by registered letter, by final demand, by twisting the financial screw. He will not hit me, or mark me so I miss tomorrow and the next day from work. This man is a piece of cake. They all come here, these little men. They pay generously for what they could get in any bar in town, for the price of a few drinks. I have a regular, Matthew, I like him. Why you come here, Mattchik? I asked him once. Handsome man like you? Why not find little friend in nightclub? His round belly wobbled, like a pale pink ham that has been lain on by a loose-haired black cat. His chins trembled as he laughed in my arms. What? An Irish girl? I don’t want some fat, half-dressed Irish chick, stinking of cheese-and-onion crisps and falling off her platforms in the middle of the street. Feck that. I deserve better. Yes, Mattchik. I stroked his arm. You deserve a woman like me.

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This new man has stopped in my doorway. He looks sick. He looks like he will vomit on the white, woollen carpet. The landlord has charged us for cleaning the carpet several times already. That is why I use no oils now, no wax, nothing these clumsy Irish oafs can spill or tip over as they flop around. I look at him properly and I know him. I flip through the filing cabinet of fools’ faces in my mind, to find a context. I have never seen that face from below, or from above, or groaning, or twisting, but I have seen it. It is Frank. Alice’s husband. He has found me. Life is either ending or just starting, in a few minutes I will know which. “So you know? You know. About Alice and me? Well is true, she doesn’t love you. Is me she wants.” What joy. My heart sings. The worst thing that can happen has happened and I am full of joy. I did not do this. I did not bring this man here. I think Alice has told him…she is leaving him. Bliss. “So you know about Alice? You know she’s bi now?” “What? Buy now? Buy now? Alice has always been buy-now! It’s practically her religion.” What are you talking about, crazy man? He is speaking again. He has found me, he has tracked me down. Alice does not know that he knows. Alice must not know. He does not care about our love, as long as it is a secret, a little shameful secret. He will arrest me and deport

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me if I tell. The fool. The fool to threaten me. He is a lawyer. Well, there is no law against two young ladies entertaining men at home. He lopes off, smirking. He thinks he has won, screw him, I will not let him win. I will tell Alice myself. “Alice, Aletta, my love, my Irish swan—” “Olga, what the hell do you think you’re doing? I told you never to phone here after three pm. The house is full of kids. I’m doing the bloody homework.” “But Alice,” my face cracks, my voice is a whisper. “But, Alice, he knows. Frank knows. He was here and he knows and he doesn’t care. He says we can stay together, as long as it’s a secret. That’s how much he loves you. He doesn’t love you, Alice. Now you’re free. Free to be yourself, with me, together.” “Christ’s sake, Olga, get off the phone. Have you gone completely mental? Leave Frank? For crying-out-loud, catch yourself on, woman. Leave Frank and spend the rest of my life scrimping, and saving, and telling the kids no pony-riding today, no holiday to France? We can’t all make a living on our backs. Get a grip, Olga. I’ll call you tomorrow.” The phone is dead in my hand and I think he won. A tear disturbs my mascara and I think I have lost. A silver star falls to the floor and I think I am alone again in this dark, strange country. I should have pushed the nail file into his brain. Or hers. Or mine.

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Biographical Note: Patrick Joseph Dorrian

Patrick is Belfast born bred and buttered as McDowell would say. He retired from teaching in 2007 after 30 years struggling in west Belfast. Patrick is married to Frances and they have 3 offspring all adults now. He has dabbled with poetry for several decades as a means of escape and last year he had a poem about Palestine published in a magazine in Europe as well as previous issues of A New Ulster.

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Necropolis (Patrick Joseph Dorrian)

Perched there, on the Hill of Storms, the Whited Sepulchre squats. One hundred years of being filled and yet it never seems sated. Always, there is the demand for more souls. It is claimed, by some who have seen, from outside observation, that so vile is the corruption, that honest persons sent there are defiled. The leprous virous of politicking, once inhaled, from the fetid vapours of the infested, corrupts in seconds.

From their vantage point, they look past; seeking not the present, eschewing the future; seeing not the living, just rehearsing the lives of heroes past, rapt in the vision of flags, flapping; bands marching. History, re-written to suit a blinkered vision.

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The Pope was not involved unless burnt; discrimination was against loyalists; fenians made us stupid.

We need a fence, a wall, call it PEACE; surround this 6 countied island of war; either side of the wall build a moat; there is enough violence planet wide. Our isolation must be self led. Let the infection take it's course, let it burn itself out. Pyroxia may kill or cure.

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Biographical Note: Michael Mc Aloran Michael Mc Aloran was Belfast born, (1976). His work has appeared in various zines and magazines, including ditch, Gobbet Magazine, Ygdrasil, Establishment, Unlikely Stories, Stride Magazine, Underground Books, etc. He has authored a number of chapbooks, including 'The Gathered Bones', (Calliope Nerve Media), 'Final Fragments', (Calliope Nerve Media) & 'Unto Naught', (Erbacce-Press). A full length collection of poems, 'Attributes', was published by 'Desperanto' in 2011. Lapwing Publications, (Ireland), released a collection of his poems, 'The Non Herein' in 2012. The Knives, Forks & Spoons Press, (U.K), also released an ekphrastic book of text/ art, 'Machinations' this year & Oneiors Books has also released 'In Damage Seasons' & 'All Stepped/ Undone' in 2013. A further collection 'Of Dead Silences', was also published this year by Lapwing Publications. Further projects are forthcoming this year from Wurm Press & Oneiros Books. He was also editor/ creator of Bone Orchard Poetry & also edits for Oneiros Books...

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(Michael McAloran) ‌Blade-shock-ice till follow on from Dense meat of the given shadow or the blend of steel till rupture

Blind what of the mock the spurious devout Spitting grasp of purposeless designs the machinations of

The bleed of tears Nothing next to follow on from given the irreducible silence

Walls taut the circumnavigation of breathe Breathing else from out of wound of the redressed lack

The denude of what has or has not Through the skin taut no edge merely the edge to follow on from

Some distance yet to trace these nowhere zones/ calling yet Never answering/ as if to say what/ cannot

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(Michael McAloran) ‌The echoes vibrate from out of nowhere All collected through the toothen wrench in the spinal crack

Bone snap and the marrow’s emptily appeal The taste/ blood-drenched the caked leaves in the gutter are Covered with snow

Not a trace of anything except the distant echoes The reverberations/ the hollowness of walking alone through The sediment of final

The words whispered unto self what self the words whispered Unto till nothing else Not hand to trace the flesh the cool calmness

Of intent crawls the interior walls of the skull The machinations of ever-searching It has followed it will not claim nor reclamation be

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(Michael McAloran) …The breaking of un-flame grafted To the eye’s secret division after the fall came man

Blind exigency’s route cleft the bereft light Echo of non-breathe a vacuous shell

As brutal as axe to bared throat Given that it was taken from the cupboard where Nothing ever began swept of the blood’s relax

-hard gash of the sun’s approximate

Absolved obscenity no nothing left of the warped Flesh the churn of fabrication simulation

Lapse of once of the motion lacking grace Not once less than the eye un-knew known as before

Clasped vulva excreta of teeth here blind the In-breathe the silence never having

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(Michael McAloran) ‌Fly in ointment fly of Nothing Turning in the ointment

Colours espoused from the depth of some abortive longing

I spun-lapse Breathless here or there as if having given/ castrative

Culling the dead wind fly in lampshade Rattle of terse stones in mouth clack teeth teeth-clacking

Never swallowing

As if tomorrow held what whispers of some sanguine promise Prerogativistic sun held high above wasted-wasted

Nocturne a blind man’s cane playing the translucent skeleton As of xylophone

X.d shadow Musical sky of nothing give or take a -nil

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(Michael McAloran) ‌One damaged season here another there another and Once again Having flown the light once again shed winds stripping the Membrane of the eye’s black disclosure Forever less or more than less Nothing forever changing hands A shattered glass light bending with the cerebrum text spit it out The I is of no use it Regulated as if to fall from less or else Where speech devours the haven once of having been other Than Desire And the locked shadow Interchangeable hands grasp through vapour prayers Yet ever the un-respite of (Slaps emasculated tongue upon ivory slab bereft of tears Shit and ashes This razor harvest)

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(Michael McAloran) ‌The pared eye of ocean abandon sea cleft delivered The ox heart of rage Dense matter’s occult dragoons of speech subtle bone Echo snap bone Arbitrary as of the commence as of the ending Bitten/ held to the heaving breast of orgasm Aches yet the eye in tamarind traces Bleeds less than before but for an instance Some great giant final black wing Insectoid cold breach misery deflowered headless Pared down the buttress skull eye-blind Mocks the trawling for carcass memories As if to feel it that it is I that is one no more Settled blindly once more Authentically//////non-existent

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Biographical Note: Patrick Toland PATRICK TOLAND is a graduate of the new Masters of Creative Writing in Oxford University. His most recent publications have been in Harlequin, Crannog, Skylight 47, Poetry 24, The Chattahoochee Review, The Irish Independent, Iota, Swamp Magazine, Fortnight Magazine, and Prairie Schooner, which nominated one of his poems for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets selection, with the full selection of poems winning the Edward Stanley Award.Recently, he was shortlisted for the Lightship Poetry Prize 2011 and was a winner of the Bodleian Science Library PoetryCompetition 2011. He was selected as an emerging writer by Windows Publications in 2010 and for the 2012 PoetryIreland Introductions Series. In 2013 he was nominated as an emerging poet in the Hennessy Literary Awards.

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Making Love to the Poet (Patrick Toland) He wants so much. Not just to possess you But all touch translated Into rough language. And never once yourself. You are hillock, dale, As if your fealty to the land Was all that commended you. You are stoat or weasel, As if the bed was field And you are game. Draining to be named Both the ocean and the fountain. To be petal and also stem. Puzzling to be light falling And dawn beckoning. Then there is your skin Skin, he’ll plead, like a journey’s end. That one is most befuddling. For if love is destination, It is not through dene or glen or vale, But you beside us, balancing the map, Certain of arrival.

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The Recreationists (Patrick Toland) To think one day I’ll Toddle into town and join The queue for bricks and bottles. Or maybe climb the hill, Pick up a speech or just One line to heckle furiously. Then, a break for lunch To swap the grub we think is tasteless, Admire the costume cut Of antique jeans, well-holed Below the knee, or sporty tops That cackle with their static. We’ve been at this game For centuries, we’ll say, and all that varies Is how we quench our thirst. And peace? The chance to travel Safe upon the bus, trusting all to know You wear the uniform of your enemy.

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The Position (Patrick Toland) And after the interview, They turn to ask – and you, Do you have any questions? I scan my thoughts for charts, Sheets, quarterly projections, But all I come up with is How do I get them to let My heart climb inside their hearts Like a pearl to a clam, Like a doll back to its mother doll? How do I ask the man in the red braces This morning, did you make your Child laugh, laugh so deliriously, That they wept, had to be held Again until they remembered the laughter? I feel, already, I have known Him for fifty years. Finally, I ask a question (Something about floor space/ office dimensions) And the man says, yes, and sensing a sameness Tells me, ‘but there are many windows’.

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Biographical Note: Jax Leck Jax Leck is relatively new to poetry but is not new to writing, Jax has had one science fantasy book published and another on the way.

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don’t feed the trolls (Jax Leck) arguing with a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon there you are having a serious conversation when it shits on the table knocks over the pieces and flies off.

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SYLVIA’S MOTHER (Jax Leck) ‘Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's busy, too busy to come to the phone’, The music ran through my head on a loop. I stared ahead at the face looking back from the mirror. Sixty years old and wearing well. I picked up the eyeliner and looked at it. Long lasting and waterproof, that’s was what the dizzy little bint at the Lancôme counter in John Lewis had said. Waterproof don’t make me laugh. Hadn’t I told her that I had dry eye syndrome that makes my eyes run, hadn’t I told her that it was all connected to my arthritis, well hadn’t I. Sixteen pounds down the drain. I put the eyeliner back in my make-up bag and pulled out the mascara, Bare Essentials, they never let me down. When they said waterproof they meant waterproof. If only everything in life was as reliable. ‘Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's trying, to start a new life of her own’ I flicked the comb, lifting my hair to back-comb. Height my mother had told me, height in your hair makes your neck look longer and always try to wear V necks, and always take your make-up off before you go to bed at night. A wise woman my mother, elegant to the last. Not that Sylvia takes her make-up off, even although I buy her the eye makeup removal pads, the toner, the cleanser, the moisturiser. Strange really because in every other way she is a really obedient daughter. It had been a shock for me when Brian left her and the boys. He had seemed such a good catch, I mean a doctor, when she was just a primary school teacher. I remember how proud I had been at their wedding in that suit from Catherine’s of Patrick. Donald had looked almost handsome that day. In fact we almost looked like the newly-weds ourselves. Everyone told me how much they had enjoyed it, and how much effort it must have taken to organise something so lavish. Well as I said, if I wouldn’t push the boat out for Sylvia who could I do it for? I mean she is our only child. ‘Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's happy, so why don't you leave her alone’ 53


I must admit that after the initial shock I was really quite happy when she asked to move back in with Donald and me. It was lovely having Gregor and Steven running round the house, taking them to the park and to the cinema, to football practice, buying them clothes and doing their homework with them. Thinking back those were probably the best ten years of my life. I had my grandsons, my girl and Donald. We did everything together. Well not Donald obviously, he was busy in his shed, anyway he wouldn’t have enjoyed it the way I did. He acted like such an old man. I tried to get him to wear better clothes but I think that must be where Sylvia gets her dress sense. ‘And the operator says Forty pence more, for the next three minutes’ The twins are both at Uni now, in Stirling, clever boys, take after their father. They don’t come home quite as often now, well they’re young men, have their own lives to lead don’t they, anyway I have Sylvia. We sit and watch the soaps together at night and bake at the weekend and she is now my second in command at the Women’s Guild. So where had this mad idea of going to teach in China come from? This VSO nonsense. Who had put this in her head? ‘Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's packing, she's going be leaving today’ And on my birthday, I mean, 60 years old, the big 60, why couldn’t she wait until I had my birthday party. I had invited everyone. I knew the boys weren’t coming, they had some big exam coming up and needed all their time for studying but they had sent me a text. Such kind boys. Why didn’t she discuss it with me, get my advice? I mean I am a reasonable person and I love her dearly, I wouldn’t stand in her way? ‘Sylvia's mother says Please don't say nothing, to make her start crying and stay’ But just to announce at breakfast that she was going, to ask Donald to take her to the airport, to tell me she didn’t want me to come and see her off, 54


what on earth was she thinking? And Donald, some help he had been, Mr Don’t Make Waves, patting me on the head as if I was some cocker spaniel. I just wanted to scream, why did they have to ruin everything. ‘Sylvia's mother says Sylvia's hurrying, she's catching the nine o'clock plane’ Then back he comes, calm as you like, makes me a cup of tea and tells me to sit down, there is something he wants to tell me. And I said to him, for God’s sake Donald, I don’t have time for tea and talking, I have my surprise party to arrange, are you sure you got all those invites delivered. Did you get Betty to help? I watched him shake his head. There would be no party he said. What do you mean no party, I was aware that I was shouting and that wasn’t the sort of behaviour my mother would have approved of, and so I stopped. I am leaving you he had said for Betty Blair. Betty Blair a fat, frumpy, seventy year old woman and neighbour with no neck.

‘And Sylvia's mother says Thank you for calling and sir won't you come back again’ I cast another look at myself in the mirror. Dabbed under my eyes with a white linen hankie. I didn’t need them, any of them. My mother had told me no-one was as good as me and never to forget that and my mother was always right.

Tell her goodbye Please, tell her goodbye Goodbye

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Biographical Note: John Jack Byrne John [Jack] Byrne lives in Co. Wicklow ,Ireland he has been writing for almost 6 years mainly poetry; Traditional and Japanese short form and has had some published success in UK , USA, Ireland in Anthologies, Magazines ,Ezines /Journals his blog can be found here: http://john-isleoftheharp.blogspot.ie/

.

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Fate (John Jack Byrne) Can you see what we’ve done to this world of ours? through wars, pollution, and greed how we’ve squandered our resources? which are vital to sustain our needs Take a look at the vast deserts of Africa great dust bowls devoid of trees an image of what will become of us and bring mankind to its knees The arctic’s a place where glazers flow a great mass that’s receding each year with lessening food for the creatures there but it’s a little too late for tears Notice the honeybee how busy he is his numbers much less than before and most of our rivers as they flow to the sea not as clean as we’d wish any more I’m wondering now can we save our world or have we all just left it too late with continuing wars, pollution and greed we have sentenced mankind to its fate?

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Just One Day (John Jack Byrne) I wish that you could come back again, if only for just one day, to hear your voice and hold your hand, you could smile my sadness away. I want you to see the life that I’ve made, after you left me, so long ago, I would love you to see our boy since you’ve missed seeing him grow. Because of what happened that fateful night we’re a family you never knew, I’m sure you’d love and cherish him for Séan looks very like you. The ache in my heart since you went away and that time left me feeling so low I ask for this wish, and I hope that it’s so, your presence would make the pain go. Now I have you deep in my heart, and can see you in my minds eye, my only hope that you’ll give me the strength, so I can finally say goodbye.

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Sparkling Eyes (John Jack Byrne) How loving the welcomes but sad the goodbyes whenever I gaze on her two sparkling eyes Moonlight across oceans sunshine in the skies these compare with her two sparkling eyes Waves rush ashore to the seabird’s cries telling the world of her two sparkling eyes Across the wild meadow where the skylark flies with a song from his heart of her two sparkling eyes Life is complete now I’ve captured the prize now that I look on her two sparkling eyes How true the cliché true love never dies for I live it each day in her two sparkling eyes

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If you fancy submitting something but haven’t done so yet, or if you would like to send us some further examples of your work, here are our submission guidelines:

SUBMISSIONS NB – All artwork must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Indecent and/or offensive images will not be published, and anyone found to be in breach of this will be reported to the police. Images must be in either BMP or JPEG format. Please include your name, contact details, and a short biography. You are welcome to include a photograph of yourself – this may be in colour or black and white. We cannot be responsible for the loss of or damage to any material that is sent to us, so please send copies as opposed to originals. Images may be resized in order to fit “On the Wall”. This is purely for practicality. E-mail all submissions to: g.greig3@gmail.com and title your message as follows: (Type of work here) submitted to “A New Ulster” (name of writer/artist here); or for younger contributors: “Letters to the Alley Cats” (name of contributor/parent or guardian here). Letters, reviews and other communications such as Tweets will be published in “Round the Back”. Please note that submissions may be edited. All copyright remains with the original author/artist, and no infringement is intended. These guidelines make sorting through all of our submissions a much simpler task, allowing us to spend more of our time working on getting each new edition out!

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FEBRUARY 2014'S MESSAGE FROM THE ALLEYCATS: Happy Chinese New Year...and have a nice spring equinox too. We have heard a rumour about a new Fantasy series to be released later this year. Worlds will end and spiders will talk, and watch out for the giant elves too – The Legend of Graymyrh has been called a marvellous new take on the High Fantasy genre. Watch out for it, and let us know what you think. Well, that’s just about it from us for this edition everyone. Thanks again to all of the artists who submitted their work to be presented “On the Wall”. As ever, if you didn’t make it into this edition, don’t despair! Chances are that your submission arrived just too late to be included this time. Check out future editions of “A New Ulster” to see your work showcased “On the Wall”.

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Biographical Note: John Jack Byrne John [Jack] Byrne lives in Co. Wicklow ,Ireland he has been writing for almost 6 years mainly poetry; Traditional and Japanese short form and has had some published success in UK , USA, Ireland in Anthologies, Magazines ,Ezines /Journals his blog can be found here: http://johnisleoftheharp.blogspot.ie/

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At the edge of dreams by John Byrne

When we are loved by John Byrne

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School days by John Byrne

Puppy Love by John Byrne

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Tidbits Adobe has issued a proclamation that starting in July, the vast majority of e-reader apps and hardware devices will not be able to read purchased eBooks anymore. This announcement stems from a massive upgrade to the encryption system Adobe has implemented in their new Digital Editions 3.0 and will have reverberating effects on ePub books all over the world. Unless thousands of app developers and e-reader companies update their firmware and programming, customers will basically be unable to read books they have legitimately purchased. In effect, Adobe is killing eBooks and e-readers. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------One of Europe's leading ebook distribution sites, XinXii, has quietly been making indie authors' works available in markets that very few e-retailers are reaching, quickly growing to be one of the major forces in self-publishing across a variety of languages and borders. In an effort to continue to make the platform available to authors throughout the EU, the platform unveiled some new features that have previously only been available to authors in the US and other markets served by Amazon.

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LAPWING PUBLICATIONS RECENT and NEW TITLES 978-1-909252-00-4 978-1-909252-01-1 978-1-909252-02-8 978-1-909252-03-5 978-1-909252-04-2 978-1-909252-05-9 978-1-909252-06-6 978-1-909252-07-3 978-1-909252-08-0 978-1-909252-09-7 978-1-909252-10-3 978-1-909252-11-0 978-1-909252-12-7 978-1-909252-13-4 978-1-909252-14-1 978-1-909252-15-8 978-1-909252-16-5 978-1-909252-17-2 978-1-909252-18-9 978-1-909252-19-6 978-1-909252-21-9 978-1-909252-22-6 978-1-909252-23-3 978-1-909252-24-0 978-1-909252-25-7 978-1-909252-26-4 978-1-909252-27-1 978-1-909252-28-8 978-1-909252-29-5 978-1-909252-30-1 978-1-909252-31-8 978-1-909252-32-5 978-1-909252-33-2 978-1-909252-34-9 978-1-909252-35-6 978-1-909252-36-3 978-1-909252-37-0 978-1-909252-38-7 978-1-909252-39-4 978-1-909252-40-0 978-1-909252-41-7 978-1-909252-42-4 978-1-909252-43-1 978-1-909252-44-8 978-1-909252-45-5 978-1-909252-46-2 978-1-909252-47-9 978-1-909252-48-6

Keeper of the Creek x Rosy Wilson ascult? lini?tea vorbind hear silence speaking x PETER SRAGHER Songs of Steelyard Sue x J.S. Watts Paper Patterns x Angela Topping Orion: A Poem Sequence x Rosie Johnston Disclaimer x Tristan Moss Things out of Place x Oliver Mort Human Shores x Byron Beynon The Non Herein - x Michael McAloran Chocolate Spitfires x Sharon Jane Lansbury Will Your Spirit Fly? X Richard Brooks Out of Kilter x George Beddow intro x Jeremy Reed Eruptions x Jefferson Holdridge In the Consciousness of Earth x Rosalin Blue The Wave Rider x Eva Lindroos Martin Incidentally x Gerry McDonnell Streets of Belfast x Alistair Graham Some Light Reading & A Song x John Liddy Threnody: for Four Voices x J.C. Ireson Howl:The Silent Movie x Peter Pegnall Ieper x Martin Burke Occupational Hazard x Aidan Hayes Last Feast x Mira Borghs "Make it Last" x Davide Trame Words Take Me x Ian Harrow Between Time x Jean Folan Maore & England Suite x Walter Ruhlmann Wind Horses x Judy Russell Witness x Seán Body Ice Flowers over Rock x Patrick Early Shouldering Back the Day x Seán Body Rosin-Dust Under The Bridge x Laurence James Call of Nature x Christopher Rice Plaything of the Great God Kafka x Roger Hudson London A Poem in Ten Parts Daniel C. Bristow Clay x Niall McGrath Red Hill x Peter Branson Throats Full of Graves x Gillian Prew Entwined Waters x Jude Mukoro A Long Way to Fall x Andy Humphrey words to a peace lily at the gates of morning x Martin J. Byrne Red Roots - Orange Sky At Last: No More Christmas in London x Bart Sonck Shreds of Pink Lace x Eliza Dear Valentines for Barbara 1943 - 2011 x J.C.Ireson The New Accord x Paul Laughlin Carrigoona Burns x Rosy Wilson The Beginnings of Trees x Geraldine Paine

All titles £10.00 per paper copy or in PDF format £5.00 for 4 titles.

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Anu issue 17 / A New Ulster  

Featuring the works of Peter O’Neill, Felino Soriano, Nichola Burkhill, Orla McAlinden, Patrick Dorrian, Michael Mc Aloran, Patrick Toland,...

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