ISSUE 2 HOWLING PRESS
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ELECTROCUTING A DEAD FROG -MEGAN O'NEIL
POEMS FOR EVERYBODY BUT NOT FOR YOU -RICK PIETO ANOMIE -JESSE DEKE
DEER AND REBELFLAG -BEN DAVID ROBINSON
MARKET -TOMMY HODGSON
CITY MUSINGS (LIFE IN THE RED ZONE) -ASHLEY FISH ROBERTSON
듣거라 , 나의 목소리 (LISTEN TO MY VOICE) -LAYLA FELDER
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A SINGLE LINE -NATALIE ROGERS
GRAIN DISTORTION -PÁDRAIG Ó GRÍOFA
OKINAWA FISH -JAKE TRELEASE
HOMEBOUND WITH MY PARENTS -ENDA BURKE
I AIN’T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE-CHERYL MCGREGOR
THAT’S WILD, SIS -AIMEE KUIPER
SHIT SOUP -HANNAH EINHORN
HIDE AND SEEK -APRIL WINTER FEB 2020
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A HISTORY OF MADNESS -MEGAN O'NEIL
BLUE AND RED -MAROOF KIBREA
THE HOUSE OF KNOCK -ANNABELLE BRAND
NOTES ON THE CAMPSITE SHOWER -THOMAS STOCKLEY
HEROIN HAIKU -JASON MORGAN
G7 -JP SEABRIGHT
TIMELESS WINE -AISHVARYA VARMA
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THINGS YOU CAN'T EAT FOR BREAKFAST -ROSE
BEING -KIRSTIE TEBBS
WASHED IN -ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL
Postmodern art intends to transcend the limitations that are imposed upon the psyche by language. This issue is one such attempt in clothing the hole left behind by language. Issue 2 features experimental and conventional art pieces. In addition to poetry, this issue will feature digital art and photographs. We have received over 2500 submissions from 20 different countries. This issue will offer the best of these artists from across the world
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ELECTROCUTING A DEAD FROG WRITTEN BY MEGAN O'NEIL Raise me from the wine-dark murk at the bottom of a pond— Sunk, shadowed, algae-clung, A dredging ship hauling up the green ocean peaks on wire. The divine spark gone dark, Cadaver in a jar. In the anatomy theatre, an audience waits for the clanking of machines, looks down At the dead frog on the slab laying fish-flat, This cross-creature, strange hybrid attached to strange machines. Poised to conduct strings in many seats the professor readies his instrument, hair pushed back from temples. And the wheels turn. All eyes are on the specimen. It twitches. Limp limbs sparked to convulse for a moment move, Might dance, could sing, eyes wide in shock— a flash so lifelike, Uncanny, the real thing. And visions come— Of two great ceilings, one surface of water other surface of sky both prepared to break, to split, great atriums echoing. Planes shimmering into towers. Whales groaning from the sea. Wiping sweat from his brow, the professor makes his adjustments, as the students murmur to each other in the stands. And then— Eppur si muove, Mass dispersal of light, sudden firing of the synapse— Oh— OH! It’s all still there. All the wires still there! Circuit to circuit, not wilted into cobweb— still there, still firing. Oh miracle of miracles, the wires are all still there. The heart beats uncontrollably. The aching attic storing tragic relics no longer sits dark and unvisited. The frog sits up and clears its throat and blinks its new-seeing eyes. The surgeons amassed in circles stand aghast, open-mouthed.
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[That’s love.] *A portrait of the artist as a young man As a dead frog on a slab in an anatomy theatre.
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POEMS FOR EVERYBODY BUT NOT FOR YOU WRITTEN BY RICK PIETO
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ANOMIE WRITTEN BY JESSE DEKEL I am wired. At 5pm I took concerta and now I feel like a fucking maladroit superhero. Kind of like when Valea from Bro’Town got hit in the head and started quoting literary classics and beating Robert Fisher at chess. I guess I should say that I also started taking my reduced dose of Zoloft and started PrEP again today too. This is all pretty great considering the apartment heat pump broke and it’s -12 celsius outside. My landlords a dumb, galoot cunt and I am obvoiusly very cold so I’m borrowing a blanket from my neighbor.I took the bus to Raven’s stripper party at NDG, and ended up spending the entire night ducking in and out of bathroom smalls like a yo-yo doing coke off phone screens belonging to various girls with bright hair and hot French names (and likely latent BPD) cramped in there with me. I bought a .5 gram from a dealer for $50 and he looked at me like I was a freak about to pour molten formica into the acephalous cavity of Haftvad’s worm. I should have promised him I wasn’t going to. I sat at a table across from this one girl who talked at me for 20 minutes about the story behind her tattoo, and I was enjoying the performance. One of the other girls (who was very hot) brought her sub with her. His name was ‘Bitch’ and he called her ‘My lady’ and he was also wearing a leash. It was interesting and clearly kind of perverted, and it made me feel uncomfortable. Zizek said something about this. There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, and Montreal, but this ain’t it baby. At 3 am the party died down, so I left NDG high and pissed off the cheapest vodka that I could convince these sotadists to buy me. My hands were cold so I breathed on them and rubbed them together while I sat on a curb waiting for my bus to come and stare down the street - I squinted and the cars started to look like little pustules with bright lights shining on them over God’s Urban Sprawl. While I sat there, this short girl with black hair came up to me and asked “Do you want to go to an after party?” so I said, “Yeah, okay, sure.” and then she immediately pulled out her phone and bought us an Uber. We hop in, and during the ride she told me that we were heading to her gay Spanish friend Henry’s condo in Hochelaga. He’s married to an Olympic figure skater, and is ‘loads of fun!’ (in her words). I think about how obviously high I look, and why this bird picked me up like that. I try not to question it too hard though. A society in the condition of anomie, I guess. Rock and roll, and all that kind of buzz.We pull up at this neat, clean apartment complex, and rush in an elevator to his boujee apartment full of expensive and minimalist shit. It reminds me of Bateman style home deco, although most yuppie things look the same to my uncultured sybarite eye.
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Chrstina introduced me to Henry, who is a little surprised to see that she brought a friend, and who is cold to me, but I think he's a nice guy or at least being polite, and so we sat on his couch and did lines of cocaine off a platter and drank wine while watching TV footage of his husband (currently away) competing in various big time competitions. He was really into showing us, I think.Henry told us that he wanted to go to bed soon, so I quickly used his bathroom before we left and saw a fucktonne of expensive moisturizers that I keenly asked him about to seem interested but he doesn’t reciprocate. Christina (the girl who took me here), bought us another Uber and the two of us left for her other friend’s house.We’re both very yaked, and I guess the makeup I was wearing was pretty smudged and my thinning hairline didn’t do much to compliment the hair that hadn’t been shampooed in 3 years, because when this guy opens his front door for us he immediately says that I look like Joker. This guy really sucks. We walked in and it was this weird place full of antique furniture and accoutrements like cigarette cases and lighters from 1920. It was very strange. The dude was really shitty and belied being an intellectual on God’s Forsaken Land, and kept making fun of me. I wanted to say something clever and mean back but couldn’t think of anything. At one point he made a weird comment about Asian people cooking food that smells bad, and got super self conscious about seeming racist and wouldn’t shut up about the supposed discrepancy between an observation and a remark or some such shit. He also didn’t believe that I was a Jew, and said that I wasn’t being honest about something. It was very harsh and accusing.At 8 am he kicks us out so Chrstina buys yet another Uber for us to get to her parents house, and apologizes for her bizarre dickhead friend. We arrived at her parents house, which was this big renovated Church on St Laurent, and while we’re walking in the former house of worship, gentrified, she tells me that she’s a ‘sexsomniac’ meaning she has sex in her sleep the same way as others sleepwalk, which I guess might have been her way of telling me she didn’t want to fuck. Or maybe she was trying to share, and I shouldn’t judge. Either way, I missed the point and wouldn’t stop asking her about it once she opened Pandora's Box. Clepatera once dissolved pearls in her drink in an attempt to swallow a fortune. I was done, so I gave her the rest of my cocaine baggie, and she rips it apart and licks offals from the corners of the plastic. I crashed in her bed with all my clothes on, and she kicked me out at 2pm..
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DEER AND REBELFLAG BY BEN DAVID ROBINSON
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MARKET WRITTEN BY TOMMY HODGSON I want it like sour yoghurt and over-ripe melon I want it like Camden market spread me over tat grab my hair by the horse statue, caress his metallic behind take me below the pricey cheese shop, I want to smell the churn make the red bus magnets wobble and fall lick me by the green canal, the Wetherspoon’s side drink me like infused gin and drained tenners slap me, I want to feel like a worn DM on the oldest punk’s foot treat me to all you can eat for 8.49 trap me like a tourist, string me up with keychains I need it like a breath of crisp pollution or the last Malteser and half a pork pie I crave it like shit rollies and dead eyes give me the whole hill to die on. take me quick then bury me deep under the never-ending sprawl
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CITY MUSINGS (LIFE IN THE RED ZONE) BY ASHLEY FISH-ROBERTSON
듣거라 , 나의 목소리
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(LISTEN TO MY VOICE)
BY LAYLA FELDER
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A SINGLE LINE WRITTEN BY NATALIE ROGERS Why did I ever believe him when he said, ‘pulling out’ is fool-proof?” she asked herself for the millionth time that day. About a half-dozen shriveled spider carcasses were scattered along the wall behind the toilet, and she figured they were better company than being completely alone. “Sorry, guys,” she apologized to the arachnids. “But honestly, you’re better off dead. Everything sucks.” In a minute, she knew the egg timer would go off. The one she used just last night to time her science presentation on The Formation of Igneous Rocks that was due that day at third period. The timer that her dad used the other week when he made his famous made-from-scratch dough and they ate broccoli and brussels sprout pizza for dinner. The very one she remembers her mom setting every morning and evening, when she was still using a stepstool to reach the sink, to make sure she brushed her teeth for the full recommend three minutes. Now, the very timer that counted down the seconds towards an unknown fate. There was no window in the bathroom, nor were there any windows in the basement at all. The splintered tiles were deprived of sunlight, so they cooled her underside through the thin black fabric of her leggings as she sat scrunched between the wall and a hard place, staring blankly at leftover pushpin-holes while the timer slowly spun to zero. At that moment, she felt the weight of all her mistakes squeezing her breathless until she gasped and inhaled a mouthful of stale air. Memories of her mom infiltrated her head, and she clenched her teeth together until her molars squeaked and tightened her fists in unexpected anger. Anger at her dad and how quickly he moved on. Rage towards all the doctors who promised that the chemo would work, and that people beat lymphoma all the time. Mad at her mother, who said everything would be alright, and never prepared for a situation like this.
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The egg rang out its familiar shriek and Marla relaxed her jaw and tilted her head back, finally focusing on the white stick poking out over the counter’s edge. She blindly reached up behind her, careful to only grab it by the dry end, and brought it down to read the results in the narrow window. What she saw was a single faint blue line and felt flooded with relief that it was all alone.
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GRAIN DISTORTION BY PÁDRAIG Ó GRÍOF
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OKINAWA FISH WRITTEN BY JAKE TRELEASE I first discovered the Okinawa fish on a Tuesday afternoon as I waited for my food to digest. The discovery came shortly after a colleague caught me looking at them from across the office. I looked away and proceeded to drop the Google Maps man onto various locations around the world map, zooming all the way out so I could see both hemispheres then lashing him aimlessly into the sea. This act of escapism gets me through the afternoons, transporting me to Norwegian oil refineries and the Guatemalan countryside. Sometimes I end up on the A19 and I follow the road home. The Okinawa fish does not understand the concepts and aesthetics behind contemporary photography. He is a fish from Okinawa, captured by the lens of a global corporation worth billions. A victim of marine voyeurism. Someone somewhere will be wanking over these images. Humanity’s over exposure to pornographic material has saturated our brains and inverted our pleasure systems. Wanking is now a non-sexual act. That’s what makes it so pleasurable. Okinawa seems quite peaceful given its history as a key theatre of the second world war. Since the Battle, the island has operated as a strategic military base for the US Armed Forces. Lots of men died on this island, roughly 123,000 of them, that’s not including the 150,000 citizens of Okinawa who also lost their lives. Some men returned to America where they became butchers or got jobs in the Ford factory. A small percentage would develop views against communism and others would retreat back to their parochial lives. A cross-section of these men would become paedophiles and wage war against black America. Imagine trekking through Okinawa’s dense jungles with lads you went to school with. Lads who’d force you to prove you had pubes and punch you for no reason. Think of the lads who spent five years of secondary school being ridiculed and imagine going to war with them. Remember the lad who was pinned down so people could take turns spitting in his mouth. Remember sitting in the trenches, smoking cigarettes, separating your differences over shared stories of family. The remains of these lads are scattered across Okinawa and their names appear on war memorials. ~ fish porn ~ I opened Instagram and watched an industrial crushing device compress a can of deodorant. I watched a gloved hand inserting a block of cheese into a frozen chicken. I watched a fish shooting eggs into a yellow bag on a trawler somewhere in the mid-Atlantic. The eggs collided with the yellow synthetics and made the sound of heavy rains on tarpaulin. .
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The sheer velocity of the eggs exiting the fish caused me to fall into a catatonic state of depression for a period of 13 days. I concluded that the images I had witnessed were in fact the early stages of the caviar production process, a Russian delicacy that only exists in films. According to Wikipedia, certain types of caviar are more sort after than others. This has led to certain breeds of Sturgeon deemed more valuable than others. While researching caviar, you’re only ever a few clicks away from the Crimean War or the chain of events that led to the dissolution of the Prussian state. I’m reading about the military strategies of Napoleonic Generals. I am deaf and it feels like I’m wearing a hat. It’s uncertain whether the psychological effects of fish porn are breaking my resilience or if my brain chemistry has altered with age but I feel as close to living life as an honest man as I ever will. In this metropolis mindsets change while crossing roads and you’re only ever two windows away from an aggressive thought spiral initiated by the reflection of your trouser leg. The hem of your trouser evokes more about your person than any conversation could. Praise people for having depth. Stare at yourself in a bus shelter advertisement for razors featuring multi-blade action and cooling technologies. Allow the reflection to distort your head and convince yourself that this is the shape of your head. In years to come technology will allow us to look through the history of our brains and analyse the thoughts we had when we were young. Cut and dry insights into the motives behind the things we do and feel. Psychological speculation eliminated, our thought histories commodified and used to inform foreign policy. Allow your thoughts and past experiences to form a video montage as you microdose on NHS-approved Ketamine. Watch live footage of chemicals entering your bloodstream via a camera inside your vein while a secondary camera zooms in on your terror-filled eyes. Relax into a chair with pastel leather in a hospital ward illuminated by the blood pressure figures of another man’s heart monitor. Question your social standing and your relationships with the opposite sex. In 400 years, this footage will be found in medical archives and restored by humans that look exactly like you but share no frame of reference to the era in which you lived. They understand your humanity and empathise with your pained gestures of emotion but are unable to gauge the sincerity of your final wishes and the cinematic performance art that was your death. They will never know how it feels to watch a fish blast eggs from its genitals into a plastic bag. It’s a level of dissonance that I'm confident the human brain will never experience again. Your death montage won the academy-award for best supporting actor and your mam is proud
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HOMEBOUND WITH MY PARENTS BY ENDA BURKE
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I AIN’T GOT NO HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE WRITTEN BY CHERYL MCGREGOR Neurons, you're fired. We’ve reviewed your progress over the last quarter and we’re disappointed. You’re flawed, like your bathroom floor. As in, we know where the hole is. It’s easily navigated and therefore Not necessary to fix. All these poets trying so hard to be orphans: Snails shaking off their shells just coz they don't feel at home in them. Well, grab a drink with Woody Guthrie and raise a glass for me. Genes express themselves however they please and shared DNA means nothing: You’re not a daffodil or a chimp or a banana or an orphan. Heraclitus said that nature loves to hide.
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THAT’S WILD, SIS BY AIMEE KUIPER
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SHITSOUP WRITTEN BY HANNAH EINHORN feeding horses out of my bare hands on benefactor’s farm- shelterers fire prickly green way with dead feet electric shock “what did you do?” he said nothing he chose shock over sharp personal vendetta now but then it was blind go along with it one horse we couldn’t ride but she mounted anyway and it became tame
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HIDE AND SEEK BY APRIL WINTER
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A HISTORY OF MADNESS WRITTEN BY MEGAN O'NEIL Sometimes I cut the ropes away so I can swing, branch to branch, amongst the wild jungle of my madness— Stand myself once again Beneath amorphous trees occulting skylight and which burn in frenzy unless I look I breathe in the smoking perfume and, lustful, sway into the sea of catatonia, gripping onto my vessel like a trapeze artist, And let my toes slip over the top silk of its ocean, Watching the hulking avian bodies of terrible angels swim below, and god knows what else Drowned down there Before it freezes over. I climb back inside the basket of my balloon before I have seen too much, before I am shipwrecked there forever, marooned— A statue in the ever-thickening garden, mossed-over, turned relic— And float high above it Seething like a bed of snakes, glimmering an old lover, a portrait which at once turns awful. I am told I cannot remain in this glowing Eden. I have put down my pitchfork, Climbed down from the hill I set to die on, and woefully agree. But it does not mourn my going, It knows That when it winters it will see My footprints in The snow.
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BLUE AND RED BY MAROOF KIBREA
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HOUSE OF KNOCK WRITTEN BY ANNABELLE BRAND Struggling under child’s medicine, The drowsy sweetness, clinging damp blankets A thirst for salt that comes in waves of great grey-blue lungs That burst along the shore. Choking up neon fish lines and bleached fragments Tideline belly swells as I swallow pill after pill Timed swallowing, and then at the tide times The slated waves stutter. Iron nails, plucked from gravel with weeds Gluttonous groundhog embraces the narrow beach-path Strains its edges, and the roof strains Missing its missing nails. They wrote on the beach for you Sluggish sand protesting shovel’s edge Parting of the grains, preparing to be pulled back in the coming swell Get Well Soon! Globed hydrangeas, too blue, too red, clot the drive Soaking up (now acid, now milky alkaline). Feeding on lost nails fallen from the slated roof Grabbed, perhaps, and held in fists of roots.
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NOTES ON THE CAMPSITE SHOWER WRITTEN BY THOMAS STOCKLEY despite well managed expectations, the overall experience was less satisfying than i had hoped for; i was met with a lack of enthusiasm and questionable changes in temperature, a half-developed metaphor that ceased when i turned you off and on again. a solution that causes a fair amount of drama when i apply it to myself. steam rose from pale limbs, proof of life or at least the capacity to stand up. i share this space with the run-off from another man's sacred routine, scents of half terms spent in a wilderness of modern convenience. i tell myself that i will leave when you are weak again, meet manifest destiny of wet socks and panic. as usual, a fleeting purity fades all too soon as i take stock of soap-embalmed surroundings someone else's pubic hairs congregating in the drain, a meccah for the strands that someone had to spare. i exit the cubicle with a disappointing poem and their likeness on my mind.
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HEROIN HAIKU WRITTEN BY JASON MORGANY El-Deen: stab, flow. "It's from 'Nam. O man! 'Morf'" S.T.I., WOLF! BATS! Needle.
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G7 WRITTEN BY JP SEABRIGHT I watched you tear your body apart to free yourself from this overgrown embryo this monstrous animal within this creature which devoured you broke you and now you are devoted to whilst she sucks you dry and reaches the parts of you that were once mine she has stolen your sex monopolised your breasts her umbilical cord is an unbiblical chord a diminished G7
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TIMELESS WINE WRITTEN BY AISHVARYA VARMA I froze in time The mime inside me trying to find A kind face that speaks my lines Shit, I'm blind I can't find the right sign Saw the signs that said that this was mine To touch, to feel, to bind But I'm sighing in the spotlight of a dark room With eyes on me like it's my Rhine That'll shine light on this demise We drank wine As you chimed in with your mind Distracting us all for long enough To touch, to feel, to bind I can't walk another mile My legs limp from my mind being defiled Spotless skin but ghosts in my eyes I try to find a path that makes you smile but isn't a lie I try, I try, I try I was pickled without brine Timeless but dry I'm fine This is just a sign
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THINGS YOU CAN'T EAT FOR BREAKFAST WRITTEN BY ROSE My skeleton—pale ochre patched walls swallow light; While eating breakfast throat scum pepper—black coarse sand, box nail pedantic stitch of wooden frames to eyes; my childhood image—last leaf on an autumn tree wilt from its branch, clouds burst between my parents; bolts carried heavy metals bulge overheads. Pyrrho was Skeptic, so am I, my birth: An aftermath of renaissance art by two creature or waves fury which left shell on womb-shore—most prevalent scenarios of Indian marriages. An egg crackle over pan only to moulder white edges—cluttering of angel's wing. fireable bullets of male gaze pistol grazing women's various body parts. my wet inner wear open drying in air bothers few; as if like the meat-loaf; it will stir saliva of wolves delectation for curves. To curb dogs bark on street ladies enshrine impeccable checklist; hide chest treasure-casket in satin buttoned till throat, shield yourself in clothes; sit in a position to suffocate free birds in ribs, hold perennial patience for obscure glare & words, hush...don't speak off your wish on the bed; you are only supposed to be entered.
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In the land of elephants, horses, hibiscus, marigold and no moon-night dark secrets; my ancestors: females wear the garland of upper caste people shit and male wear belts, pliant lash and shoes on their backs, breast were served on silver tray. we were moss, so deeply rooted to black soil whenever we grew grass-top, heads were preen by the hands of those who claimed to be the descendants of gods and goddesses. if
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BEING BY -KIRSTIE TEBBS
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WASHED IN WRITTEN BY ALASTAIR VERE NICOLL You stride the beach bucketing old shells new, soft-bodied creatures that have died inside but still catch the eye, that once were coins or homes caddied by hermit crabs. Scrub to sill their lustre and spice a drab interior or anoint with oil to shine a whorl of grooved tresses tightly mapped to the shell’s skull. The corner of the street I used to live, where my parents do still, and my grandparents did, seems comfortingly the same, its bland changes as subtle as a day’s aging. Until one day, after an absence, it feels strange, home’s a place you hold within. These words read like prose with line breaks, like waves shouldering from the sea, to comfort you in the tradition of the form you make your own, washing in steadily, until you catch a sentence, a larger wave in the middle of a sequence otherwise grouped in bundles, lapping a tongue of land, lolling the thirsty brine. My hair was never combed with ghee, just salt. I never missed a day of school, ticked off ‘Church of England’ and ‘Caucasian’ on each blank form, although I was never sure where the Caucasus were.
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And I don’t believe in anything other than myself because that’s what I’ve been taught – And a caucus of warped delegates Wefting their whiteness into the fabric, the whiteness of the Black Sea. Are the shells alive? Walking empty. Put them to your ear and you can hear the sea. Immigrant words, I treasure. A strange language that collectors’ bead into new uses. Moving on is preferable to being walled up in your own room. An erratic at the brim of a strand ballasts a line, like a charm in a tress. I wish I stood out, except when I want to fade away, blank myself out like the God I ticked, tucked inside my shell, sucked in or out by the tide, but you can only write from the outside. I spin my reel spooled with quality line to cast strong, beyond the breakers, to where the fish are. Waves have chaotic origins in the moil of a squall, wind-blown, engulfing each other until they generate a compromise, then swell beyond the wind that caused them, wavelengths gathering in a caravan, growing even, eager to lap a bucket of by-catch, rough-tongue-clean a dead shell.
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Is it accepted that I’m from a spit of mountains by a foreign sea? Please tell me where you think I’m from? What’s your standing? How solid is the sand? Do you carry your shell with you? Do you feel as a coin on a bed, bright, among so many dull pebbles but your head rubbing away, until just the faint contours of a face on the disc remain or what edges could you depict? You will always palm the border of your welcome, worry the single thread, work loose the slight in any small accommodation, peer for the tiny tell of difference in indifference, a tremor on the face of a sail. Is it a comfort that your strange words resonate? I’m just any pebble you might find but still an alien among my own kind.