The best new writing
Free to all UEA Students and Visitors Published each semester
ÂŠ 2010 Angry Penguin Design Sincere thanks to all contributors. Unsolicited poetry and prose welcomed - please send all submissions in the body of an email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org Anon. Magazine does not claim any ownership rights to any published content. All submissions and published works remain the sole copyright of the authors. All artwork ÂŠ 2010 Curtis Goodes
Contents: No Mother and No Child / A. Homewood Something Appears / J. Homme Pasodoble / L. Eaves The White Cat / C. Taffy Oâ€™Jones K / R. Holden Coming Back / M. Eidsvag A Stretch Between Seasons / R. Comfort Fethiye / J. Ariaudo And Then / J. Grey The Snow Drive / T.J. Ogden A Space Left / L. Henriksen Nightpoem / C.Goodes
No Mother and No Child Alice Homewood
Morphemes and orphans from the third world Because the fourth world is a little too far. Stepping out into the crazy sun Where my irises bloom to the truth. One fast blink and its gone. BacktoLackofTruth. Pop the hood and take a look. S’ok? OK we drive and drove till I couldn’t see anymore. I mean, I literally couldn’t see. I suppose that’s what old feels like. Typing verbs into a lightbox I have a beautiful thought. Its wings stretch the room, feathers relax to the floor And I am held in the eye of the storm. The beauty melts into gold flecks that I pocket. I walk out into the street. A friend waits for me at the corner. Taken by the hand, doubletaken by a suit, and I am told to dressquicklywe’regoing. This is no mother and I am no child. She leaves a trail of popped pills behind her. I open my mouth to exclaim and wonder but I am shushed and hoiked. We step over Europe.
Something Happens Jorgen Homme
Itâ€™s morning when I open the window and air flows in and a host of sparrows take off but I have risen too quickly and I black out for a minute, my eyes retreat back into their sockets and I blink twice and I stand still till I stop swaying. A single bead of water drops from the rusty scaffolding across the street and I feel like I missed it again.
Do you remember the rolling stacks dear? Do you remember the stacks? Where we delved through the shelves to discover ourselves To exhume the tombs of those ancient volumes Under dust collected by year, With the cardbacks and the hardbacks and the scarred-charredand-gnarled-backs That somehow all found their way here. Do you remember the rolling stacks dear? Do you remember the stacks? With the cardbacks and the hardbacks and the scarred-charredand-gnarled-backs? They lived on through the ages Embalmed in the pages Exempt from the cages Of time. To carry on fighting In writing Elightening the next life in rhythm and rhyme. “What a world,” so you said, “Not dead, but read, Not mortal but instead A portal to becoming the sublime just Not mine. Could your words help me disappear Into the grave of the rolling stacks dear? Into the grave of the stacks?” So I did my dear, so I did, I wrote you in this poem where you hid, As they know you stayed through decades You’re laid no more down to rest upon your dying day. As they will look back, And read you in the rolling stacks.
The White Cat
‘Cannonball’ Taffy O’Jones
The white cat, skittish stark against morning heavy steel parked on Arlington Lane I walk in circles, twice see the gardener trimming branches with long handles sleekest alabaster, purring the rot of old iron, the gateway closed. Nearby, a man wars against the invisible through a fugue of violence, says nothing in passing dark eyes but not a sable hair leaves dropping like the fire-and-die of neurons click-tick, click-tick watching the white cat.
I woke to find the room was chocked with light, though sleep exude still from every pore. I watched you dozing peacefully, a sight Iâ€™d seen a hundred times but still adored. A dream was playing slyly on your face, a daring plot of cabbages and kings whose heroic movements only I could trace, down rabbit holes with bread and butter wings. A lovely place to be so trapped, my dear so far away from disinfected halls, where rotten fruit and paralyzing fear have slowly bred inside these captive walls. But here, drink me and run away, Iâ€™ll come, Fight your monster, wake, and youâ€™ll have won.
Coming back Marta Eidsvag
Retrace it, gravel and guilt in the driveway – away, away – now you’re older than them. The crisp, cut faces of school friends are gone, and the snow fort and heroes melted and slain. Same sea, same mist, new mugs in the kitchen, you open the window and listen for rain.
A Stretch Between Seasons Robyn Comfort
I often stare at the hospital ceiling and wonder how I came to be here, in this city of whitewashed walls with forget-me-nots like the fixed blue faces of the frozen, preserved in ceramic vases, and painted flamenco dancers shaking to their castanets from imprisoning metal frames. The glare of overhead lights stutters as the stratosphere blinks for a long second, and I hear beds rattle like old fairground rides past fireproof doors because the bumping soothes and the noise reminds you of tapping feet – and you are in Spain, in thronging festival crowds, watching flamenco dancers, not watching days trickle through a drip. I can see a lake from here – Mother swan rushes to the rushes, trailing behind her the rattles and tiny splashes of her grey-downed children, and in my own frozen lake, eclectic six-year-olds scurry with bottles and clipboards and little plastic stethoscopes. It’s a rush back to the reeds and my grey downing streams behind me, like flotsam – I am a gnarled line between the seasons, and I sprawl both in the crowding reeds and between mock-placid scratchy sheets, my head a castanet clipping in agitation with the cygnets at the leering of too-red flamenco dancers.
Dinner was served at eight and everything on the menu cost ten lira. Sarah and Millie selected the fish, I had the lamb, and Kate, as ever, went for the vegetarian option – which, as ever, was half the size of ours. I gave her some of my salad; just enough to feel good about myself but not so much that I had to go hungry myself. We were in Fethiye, a little town on the southern coast of Turkey, and we were pleasantly bored. Bottles of beer were only three lira and I was happily helping myself. We’d arrived in the morning and done nothing all afternoon. I remember it as a single moment, an oversaturated photograph: the four of us in deckchairs and the fluorescent blue of the pool bleeding out all around us like it was filled to the brink with light, not water. It was cooler on the terrace after dinner. A blonde girl came over to our table and invited us out to the local bar. We said we might be there later but truthfully we were tired, and felt quietly and privately united, as if all four of us were in on the same happy secret. We piled our empty plates in a corner of the table and played cards. Sarah and Millie went to get themselves ice creams from the shop down the street. I was left with Kate, who put her hand on my arm and made inconsequential remarks when all I really wanted was a moment of silence. They came back with a Cornetto each. I got impatient with Cheat and went to get one for myself. When you left the terrace, you went down a short set of stairs, shielded from the world by a swamp of dark green leaves. Then you were thrust out into the street and you could see , beyond the guard rail, the black water overlaid with glowing, softly morphing trails of gold and white cast from the lights of the boats. I dawdled, rolling a cigarette, and remembered that my supply of filters was running low. They don’t seem to use them in Turkey. If
you’re smoking a roll-up, they assume that it’s got hash inside, and for that purpose they use a crude roach or nothing at all. I handed the packet to the old man in the shop and said, ‘Do you have any of these?’ with a tourist’s irritating slowness, as if clear enunciation alone would breach the language barrier. He took it, handling it with the gentleness and precision of a jeweller. Bemused, he offered it to a young woman in the back of the shop, who shook her head nervously, watching me as if I might go for her throat at any moment. Halfway up the steps back to the terrace, I parted the leaves and took another look out. Across the water, mounds of rolling, prehistoric earth were discernable only where the moon made the clouds behind them faintly luminous. I was automatically tuning out the sound of voices above me, but a familiar laugh caught my attention. It was my friends, and they were talking about me. I can’t remember what they were saying – I don’t think it was bad – but I remember that it startled me. It’s easy to forget that people have an image of you in their heads, just like the ones you have of them. I assume that, when I leave a room, as far as everyone else is concerned I’ve folded myself up into a point and winked out of existence. But there it was: an image of me which resembled me, I thought, only slightly. It was funny, anyway, and after a minute or two, I went back up and bought myself another beer. Ten minutes later the four of us were arguing ferociously. Looking back, I remember heavy sarcasm, snapped out in precisely calibrated bursts. I remember angry, incredulous eyes. I remember snarling some awful thing which I’m sure I didn’t mean. I don’t remember what the argument was about.
and then I watch the clouds churn down blind channels transform into a crowd of dark hands holding up candles and then the rain writes letters on the pane to the moth who circles up the light folds in and dies a tiny black eye and then i stand outside to see me pale and then
The Snow Drive Topher J. Ogden
Snow started light, I groan, as the coach driver wipes the windscreen, crawling us a little further nowhere under increasing weight. So often, we turn to ice in this traffic, sharp and snapping from the fright of being frail, prone to weather we can’t control. I sit here on hold, glaring at misty scenes, all white, spiteful like a reused Christmas card... But in sight come two bleary black spots: a pair of ravens clutch defiantly to a fence. Hefty, their feathers ruffled up like bouncers’ collars, they look accustomed to fights, and today is one of those. ‘What a load of wind!’ they laugh, until traffic moves and they are left behind. Soon, the coach stops again. Running out to the side of the road, smiling, soaking wet, I am one who dares to piss against a bush. I accept today as cold, greeting that unkindness with a respectful touch and braving the wind... It isn’t mine to mind.
A Space Left
Laura Henriksen The meal is set, the seats are all in place, the children calmed, the adults pour the wine, a glass for sons, and cousins, a father, a gap is left in an unobserved space, the wine is poured, the meal is nearly cooked, the laughter rings but the talk will avoid. The talk moves in circles but will avoid the mountainous all-consuming place, the meat brought forth, slightly over-cooked, a bottle opened, a toast of bitter wine, the Uncle stands, looks anywhere but the space, and raises a glass, â€œTo the children of our father.â€? The children quiet, thoughts of the father are drowned out, the parents all avoid a glance round at faces, they stare into space, no glances at faces, no looking at the place, the toast is done, downing glasses of wine, and the talk takes over, the meal is cooked. The comments on potatoes, slightly over-cooked, the chef retreats, checks the recipe of the father, the laughter grows forced, someone spills the wine, a pool of red is growing but somehow will avoid half of the table, the others fight for place, they fight for some time, to be heard, for some space. The voices rise, but never leave the space of the family time, the meal is over-cooked, now no escape, they are tied to the place, tied together by the absence which a father tries to fill whilst trying to avoid the solution too painful, so opens more wine. Now a night without hope, the wine has been spilled, souring the space, souring the thought that they all will avoid, by eating, without laughter, the over-cooked food, based on the recipe of the father, and avert their eyes from the accidentally left place. The wine is gone and the dessert too cooked to fill the space, thoughts must turn to the father, no longer to avoid the echoing deserted space.
Lights off in the houses, t.v. sets blink Silence; the secret song of the universe: doors closing - feet tapping on pavement, finding their way home - crashing bottles in bins - susurrus of rustling newspapers, and October leaves - young lovers whispering in the middle of the oldtime night, rolling with the shape of each other a humming; a dirge of heavy breathing a chorus of aged dreamers. Cloud covers moon like myxomatosis over a rabbitâ€™s eye Stars, stoic buddhas (glowing, awake, alone) branches ache: autumnal geriatric and naked, leaning their byzantine bones toward night sky. Street lamps echo light, add shape to shade. Vaudevillian shadows dance in few suburban gardens, amongst sallow waxbells; nicotine yellow, little ghosts, dribbling raindrops. I wandered through back alleys of a tiny town; I traipsed through the churchyard, muttering,
I looked through Whitmans rheumy Old dreamful eyes â€œThe beautiful uncut hair of gravesâ€? same grass grows on these graves too I lit a cigarette full of rococo nightpoems / /I walked streets Breathing: Ah Smoke, O ghost.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Published on Dec 15, 2010