The Adriatic Issue Two, 'Home'

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The Adriatic Magazine

Issue Two: ‘Home’

CONTENTS A Note from the Editors………………………………………………………………2 Featured Poets…………….……………………………………..……….……………3 Steven J Burke- ‘Summer Fades’…………………………………………………………7 Giles Goodland- ‘Night Cycle’…………………………………………………………..8 James Barnett- ‘Relocation’……………………………………………………………....9 Boloere Seibidor- ‘our home on wellington street’…………………………………………...10 Amber Rollinson- ‘Because’……………………………………………………………..11 Scott Redmond- ‘Lingering’……………………………………………………………..12 Tara Wheeler- ‘Leak’…………………………………………………………………...13 Alyssa Asaro- ‘Under Construction’……………………………………………………….15 Caroline Hammond- ‘Okay, So, Narnia’………………………………………………...16 Kaozara Oyalowo- ‘15. English Comprehension: Where are you from?’………………………17 Lucy Ashe- ‘Rapunzel’s Sisters’…………………………………………………………..19 Simon Alderwick- ‘cute tornado’…………………………………………………………20 Gillian Craig- ‘The Flower Sellers’………………………………………………………..22 Damien Donnelly- ‘Other Ways to Dance’……………………………………………….23 Penny Sharman- ‘When land becomes water’………………………………………………24 Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………25


A NOTE FROM THE EDITORS Hello! Welcome to the second issue of The Adriatic! We can’t wait to share fifteen stunning poems with you! Once again, we’d like to thank everyone for submitting to us- it’s such an honour to know that you trust us with your work whilst we find our feet and develop our vision. Since our first issue, we have also launched our blog with Ellie Thompson’s phenomenal piece discussing her changing use of space, followed shortly after by Isobel Carnegie’s brilliant essay exploring gender, performativity, and desire. We currently have more fabulous creatives working on pieces for the new year, and we’re really looking forward to sharing them with you! For this issue, we asked for work on the theme of ‘home’, a place that many of us have found ourselves redefining and reconnecting with this year. We were blown away by the variety of interpretations of the idea of ‘home’, and we’ve included some work that experiments with the boundaries of poetic form. The idea of home is an enduring one, even without a global pandemic, and in this sometimes unfamiliar world, home can be a real comfort. We hope that this issue is one you can read again and again, and that it brings you a moment of peace in our rapidly changing reality. Whether it’s a physical building, a warm feeling, an aspiration, a person or a place, the hope of finding a home will always be there to guide us. We hope that our magazine will be always be there for you too. As always, we recommend listening to our Issue Two playlist on Spotify while you read, accompanied by a steaming mug of something warm, and a big cosy blanket…

-Ella, Kelsee, Mel, & Rhi


FEATURED POETS Simon Alderwick Simon Alderwick is a poet from Surrey. His work has been published in Eye Flash, Re-Side, Seiren, The Daily Drunk, Dust, Quince and Near Window, amongst others. Twitter: @SimonAlderwick

Alyssa Asaro Alyssa Asaro is an aspiring writer and editor based in Chicago, IL. Her poem “Windowpane” is featured in Neuro Logical Literary Magazine and "Molting" is featured in Unlimited Literature. Twitter: @rambleshewrote Instagram: @leavemypoemsalone

Lucy Ashe Lucy Ashe is an English teacher. Her poetry and prose are published in Truffle Literary Magazine, 192 Poets’ Directory, One Hand Clapping, and Ink Sweat and Tears. She was a semi-finalist in the London Independent Short Story Prize. She writes reviews for and is currently writing a feminist dystopian novel called ‘The Fall’. Twitter: @LSAshe1

James Barnett James Barnett is a poet and research support librarian based in Birmingham, UK. His writing explores such themes as fertility, parenthood and mental health, and he has a weakness for loose leaf tea and custard creams. Twitter: @jameswbarnett

Steven J Burke Steven J Burke is a historian, Lecturer and Doctoral Researcher. He is from a little town that sits on a hill on the border of Durham and Tyneside. He is ambivalent about this place. When not drowning in PhD thesis, or teaching, or eating in online meetings, he runs (away), wanders (aimlessly), takes photos and writes poems. His first published work appears in Black Bough's ‘Deep Time’ Anthology, vols. 1&2, and is forthcoming in Re-Side. Twitter: @Steven_J_Burke Instagram: @steven_j_burke 3

Gillian Craig Gillian Craig is originally from Scotland, and has spent the past twenty years living and teaching in East Asia and the Middle East. She has had poetry published in a range of journals and anthologies, including New Writing Scotland, New Writing Dundee, Orbis and Far Off Places. She is also a published children’s author and poet, writing under the name Gillian Spiller. Twitter: @gillian_spiller

Damien Donnelly Damien, 45, Dublin born, returned to Ireland in 2019 after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam. His daily interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get back up. His work has been featured in A Page from My Life/Harper Collins, The Runt, Black Bough, Coffin Bell, Scribe Base, Barren Magazine, Impspired, Fahmidan Journal and Neurological Magazine. His debut poetry collection ‘Eat the Storms’ was published by The Hedgehog Press. Twitter: @deuxiemepeau Instagram: @damiboy Podcast: Eat The Storms

Giles Goodland Giles Goodland has had books published by Shearsman and Salt. He lives in London where he teaches, edits, and researches.

Caroline Hammond Caroline Hammond lives in London and is a founding member of LetterPress Poets. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including Ink Sweat and Tears, Finished Creatures and The Emma Press Anthology of Contemporary Gothic Poems. Twitter: @carolinehpoet1

Kaozara Oyalowo Kaozara is a writer and poet from Leicester. She is a Roundhouse Poetry Slam and Unislam finalist 2019. She has performed internationally including USA and China. She is also a CUPSI Award recipient and a member of BBC New Creatives. Kaozara explores themes such as femininity, race, religion, diaspora and immigration in her work. Kaozara has been commissioned by the 2FunkyArts, the BBC, Derbyshire County Council and Junction Arts. Twitter: @KaozaraO Instagram: @diasporamagic 4

Scott Redmond Scott Redmond is a Romani poet and comedian based in Scotland, who has performed in six countries over three continents, and has his work printed in a number of publications including Laldy magazine and Inkwell. He likes deep conversations, long walks on the beach, and esoteric knock knock jokes. Facebook: @RedmanRulez Instagram: @ya.boii.redman

Amber Rollinson Amber Rollinson writes fiction and poetry and has been featured in Epoque Press’s e-zine, Channel Magazine (forthcoming), and The Common Breath (forthcoming). She also makes cyanotypes and has had artwork featured by Epoque Press, Streetcake, Neon (forthcoming) and Aeonion Magazine. Instagram: @wild_log

Boloere Seibidor Boloere Seibidor is a Nigerian poet & writer, with works on numerous magazines/journals. She emerged winner of the Glassdoor Poetically Written Prose Contest 2020. She is greatly inspired by true life experiences, music; especially of Ed Sheeran & James Bay. Twitter: @boloere_sod

Penny Sharman Penny Sharman is a published poet, photographer, artist and therapist. She is inspired by wild landscapes and the relationships between the seen and the unseen. Penny has an MA in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University. She has had over 100 poems published in magazines such as The Interpreter’s House, Strix, The North, Obsessed with Pipework, Finished Creatures, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Orbis. Her pamphlet ‘Fair Ground’ (Yaffle Press) and her first collection ‘Swim With Me In Deep Water’ (Cerasus Poetry) are available to buy from her website: Penny’s second collection is to be published in 2020 by Knives Forks and Spoons Press. Twitter: @penycharm Instagram: @pennysharman

Tara Wheeler Tara Wheeler lives in Cambridge, UK. Her poems have appeared in Perhappened and The Mum Poem Press. She is the editor of Dust Poetry Magazine. Twitter: @WheelerTara



Summer Fades Steven J Burke

The brambles in our garden are giving Forth bulging blackberries abundantly, The fair fruits of calculated neglect. An August crop of reiterating Fruitfulness, of swelling succulence. The coppiced damson was the one to bring forth harvest-time so satisfyingly Last year. Every day we went to collect The tart-sweet drupes, the powdered purpling Prizes of our horticultural somnolence. Those fruits became crumbles, jams, fresh singing Mouthfuls of juice, fibre, skin. Subtly, A yeast-taste of life was there to detect On the tongue. Harvest hints of brewer’s spring. We steeped some in gin, stealing their essence.


Night Cycle Giles Goodland The train stops at an unscheduled station. We wander out and look at the boards. Each train Is coupled with the word ‘cancelled’. I tell no one there, but I have my bike. I’d rather not wait here with these other selves. Along the canal, the spired factories are youth’s book-covers, tall misted chimneys flashing, steam caught in industrial lights. The path is a slightly paler line, the water bears no reflection, head brushed by wet bushes, and for miles I put my feet on mud to secure my balance. Some spots of rain, the eyes particularize different greys, grades. I’m wheel-feeling, probing left then right, nudging towards a junction. A road swings past, in the distance are police lights. It is the time when car-lights expose the trees’ ivy-shapes, nerve-diagrams, inner natures more spiritual than skeletal, truncated but shapely, half-sketched. As I cycle, the train passes, moving slowly. I can almost see my self there, the I who waited. The bridge rattles and the train above me carries him, I, inside it, not looking down at me. My lamp points feebly into the night’s tide pulled back only by the stars’ fossil light until the path is paved and I can cycle fast; the new housing-developments dazzle me and the white swans, seven or eight of them, then more, and a parallel moon in the water. I am nearly home, I am fifty, my shirt is wet with sweat. I hate waiting, while the other I, the one already home, waits for me. He won’t open my door. 8

Relocation James Barnett

On heavy days I get a desire to move somewhere remote, a small dwelling with enough land to work for sustenance, but off grid – a way away from the draining contours of metropolitan life. I would be somewhere surprising for ramblers to stumble upon, a pit-stop for tea and sandwiches in the middle of a hard day’s hiking, a supply of camp beds ready to go for parties of people who encounter me late in the day grateful simply for shelter, supper, a nip of brandy before turning in. I wouldn’t mind the elements and on clear nights would light a fire to heat water for washing, or for barbecuing bits of meat and fish, the smoke it plumes skyward catching the eye of some sorry soul looking longingly from the right side of a window in a nearby village or town, a signal or beacon confirming I see you, it’s going to be alright, but also, Don’t look for me, I am already found.


our home on wellington street Boloere Seibidor

i remember the first time we welcomed silence into our home on wellington street. my mother pranced about in a nightdress so dark that it resembled death / everything that was dead or was dying. the wind returned my father as a refugee in his own home an hour later, incensed in the sweat of another woman’s thighs, pitching side to side, mumbling words handpicked from garbage. the quietude that accompanied dinner was enough to ridicule a graveyard / enough to swallow up a tide / to give music to the rackety footfall of rats on the cracked roof & my father fell asleep as everyone else struggled to unearth an appetite from a mound of deadened want. months later, my father still swears that the only times he ever cheated were in rounds of chess with my brother, where he manipulates the rules in his stead & in return, mother tenders him her deaf ear, counting the days left till her depart. today, she puts the leftovers of her ogbono soup on the cooker & forgets. five minutes later, the house smells of smoke & ashes. father has put off the cooker but he howls out her name in a voice turbulent enough to sustain a thunderstorm to remind her, here, where death is also a metaphor for a rebirth, that anyone is capable of making a mistake.


Because Amber Rollinson

Because it’s dangerous out there you barricade the door hollow-ribbed dogs scratch, draw white grooves as you break all the vases. Because of the wind, hedges become figures undergrowth crawls over the surface of things. You build lopsided pyres, the furniture burns slowly at first. Dinner is baked beans over a flame of books, words you wrote or spoke aloud that will not leave this house.


Lingering Scott Redmond

‘It’s hingin it doon, aw ower the backo beyond, ee’ll be drechit if ee gan oot the noo.’ It takes ten minutes of being back home for it to spill out again, An overflow of memories so inextricably linked to the land I grew up on, Dialect changing with the geography, town boundaries tricking my tongue, Until my thoughts follow, dragging me back to who I was. ‘Awright, whit’s the fettle the day, boab?’ I walk the hills I did every day as a wean; they may be rolling but never roll away. And suddenly I am that seven year old again. The one who hadn’t yet taught himself The trick of being accepted: push yourself down, sound like everyone else, Pretend the language you learned in size threes doesn’t apply outside the valley. You are two men. One who exists on the other side of the wormhole, and the one Whose face they no longer recognise, but who words never wander. ‘Ir ye cimin or ir ye gaun, eer in or eer oot.’ I stay for long enough for it to wash over me, nourish me, Quell the thirst for home, the culture that dries in the arid wastes beyond the walls, And then I’m gone, back to being a stranger in the foreign land, Two days speaking a language no-one can follow, Until I’m back to my curated self, longing for the acceptance I leave behind. ‘A dae oot o Hawick is a dae waistit.’


Leak Tara Wheeler

The rain runs a rivulet right down the wall, then another & another. In chords it rills & neptune-pools under the floorboards, welcomed by woodlice, who use it to water their mould-garden.



Under Construction Alyssa Asaro

I had an interview at a construction company once. They asked why I, an English major, wanted to work there Me, with no background in construction but applying for an editorial job at a place that outlined structures not found in novels Knowing that fiction has never met the inside of a retirement home While reality prides itself on the tales told in office buildings I replied with a quip about skylines and wonderment I wish I could tell you that me using the word wonderment in an interview was a poetic distortion of the truth But I really said it, and I meant it even more Because I grew up in a city on the ground Drawn in ink that was flat The lines blurring where hand met paper Smudges marking where I called home The locals calling it abstract When I’d go on vacations with my family I’d think about eternity stretched out before me on a metal canvas Carved with a sharp edge Etched in redemption and war cries Skyscrapers are heard for miles While paper is silent. I wish this could end by me getting the job or impressing them with the existential implication of buildings being rockets travelling to heights beyond our scope To stars in a much bigger galaxy And suns in mine Instead they scrunched up their faces in disbelief And gave the job to someone who didn’t know they’d be working with pens filled with stardust and filing cabinets made of moon rocks



Okay, So Narnia Caroline Hammond

In those cold years I’d often stand a whole child’s reckoning of an hour letting the world grow up without me and wait for solid wood to disappear. The thing is, I already lived in a place where animals scurried home under lamplit snow, in some coniferous wasteland ruled by an easily-triggered witch with great hair. That made no difference to the practice of hope that unlatched wardrobe doors: the gap between my hand and the pine slats became a place in its own right. Okay, so, Narnia– I wasn’t going there, hard as I tried to ignore this truth– but like stolen lumps of sugar, I could make each page melt sweetly into me. Sometimes, even now, when we’re ice-bound but there’s still no sign of Christmas and I’m grabbing my heaviest coat, I think I should try to reach further into a world where no one is forced to be ordinary and there are many ways for lions to speak.


15. English Comprehension: Where are you from? Kaozara Oyalowo EXERCISE 1: Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words. Then circle the appropriate punctuation.


place place


place place


place place



1. I house 4 ______s in my body (?/.) 2. Stitching the fabrics of these ________s together has always been difficult (?/.) 3. I have never known how to take from each ________ equally. I was born in this _____ but people tell me I am from the other _____ (?/.) 4. In fact, when I speak, people try to decipher which ______ my accent is from, rather than listen to what I have to say (? /.) 5. People tell me although I speak the language, I don't belong to this ______ (? /.) 6. My name is written with the alphabets of this ________ but people still choose to pronounce it wrong (? /.) 7. If I am to integrate, then it is necessary to sever my connection to the other ———s (? /.) 8. That other ______ makes me feel insubordinate, as if there was a clause I should have read before claiming it (? /.) 9. I try to take the small relics of each _______ and turn it into something. 10. In this _____ the milk never rots (? /.) 11. The Atlantic Ocean holds 264.17 billion gallons of water, that is the distance between this ______ and that ______ (? /.)


EXERCISE 2: A sentence is asking a question or making a statement when it contains why, what, when, where, how, are, will, is, can, do, or would. Write a paragraph using the highlighted words. How can I begin to answer when I don’t know where to start? Why should I pause every time someone asks where I’m from. I rub out the full stop in their tone and cough out a question mark. The houses are navigating a bleeding compass. The stitches are snapping on blunt fingers. What does it mean to erode in a roofless palace? Will I ever be gentle with myself? Can I call myself a … more importantly would I call myself a… this is what it’s like to harbour places inside of you long enough for water wells to appear- I can never decide what to do: whether to call here home or just another place.


Rapunzel’s Sisters Lucy Ashe

When our father visits, he clears our hair From the plug hole. His nose wrinkles at old Soap, toothpaste, foam, long strands tied in knots. We are all three there: hers thick and brown, wool Unravelled, my blonde locks torn to cotton, Her red ringlets winding, together, tangled. Do you ever sweep? he asks us frowning, Our socks collecting the fleece of our hair. We toss our heads, shake our hair, fibres Falling in a feathered cloud of red, golden, Brown, the colours from our window above The trees. Our tower, our home, we lower Ourselves with a ladder woven bright, bold. At dawn we return, three sisters, hand in hand.


cute tornado Simon Alderwick / my daughter's got one heck of an imagination you wouldn't believe it she's got this pet cloud (don't ask) that she carries around on a piece of string but get this— she pretends it's a dinosaur called Bronco one time she let go of the string I had to chase that cloud all around the neighbourhood I was jumping from roof to roof to catch that cloud one hell of a palaver I can tell you // my daughter's got these purple boots they're magic she walks up the wall and across the ceiling and she sits there in a green umbrella 20

she’s pulled the showerhead downstairs from the bathroom placed it on the floor in the sitting room and she turns the tap on and it rains up to the ceiling and she sits in her umbrella and the water starts to fill up down from the ceiling and she floats in her umbrella /// one time I came home from work tired like— door knocked back a surge of noise swept up in umbrella my daughter’s laugh: daddy, let’s go we were swept down garden path river into ocean drifted under tealight skies to the edge of the Earth just as we were almost lost like car keys down the sofa my daughter whistled and we were saved by a dinosaur called Bronco


The Flower Sellers Gillian Craig

In the sultriness of late Hanoi evenings, the flower sellers push their bicycles, unwanted bunches lying prone, resigned to their lonely baskets. In this flip-flopped promenade, without pedals and broken brakes , the flowers are trudged to their fate, hopes of reprieve wilting. At the roundabout grind and groan the rank steel-toothed behemoths. Dutiful dumpsters form a line to offer a barely-blossomed sacrifice. As the nightly procession draws toward its darkening end, I try to believe that the homes of flower sellers smell like summer.


Other Ways to Dance Damien Donnelly

I weigh flour and sieve it, like snow fallinga few select seconds of harmless dust to decorate these stopped streets with isolated sirens that stir more in body than the contents of this bowl. I reach for those tiny flakes that offer rise before pouring over the honeya smooth sweetness to cut the bitterness of all that cannot be held in isolation. Oil comes next, with the water, once called incompatible but when all else is distanced other things find ways to dance. While it boosts by the window in a bowl of sunshine, we take a slow stroll along small paths that meander through muck and memory. Mum points to a rickety door she once knocked on to buy milk, only a jug left now in an upper window holding moments that will evaporate. We pass fields and wonder what is leek and what is weed and in our minds make lists of all that still grows in open pasture while aisles look empty indoors. Back home we sit, after bread is baked, finding comfort in its crisp corners as butter melts over this uncertain heat and we remember yesterday, when life was as simple as a slice of bread with butter running.


When land becomes water Penny Sharman Port Meadow From Jericho to Wolvercote It’s still common land with grazing rights, and everyone local expects it to flood: tears of a generation. Everyone local knows it will freeze, become ice, that sheep and mallards will walk on water. Everyone local remembers skating in a past life across that vast landscape where sky and river are one. Everyone local has walked for miles alongside this water’s transformation, even as far as Carfax, Christchurch or Magdalen bridge, the heart of Oxford, city of learning something or other. Years ago, dad phoned me, said he could see where he had been born, where his parents were buried, all from his office window. He sounded quite philosophical.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The team would like to thank a few fabulous individuals, without whom this magazine would not have been possible: Kelsee Porter, our amazing illustrator, who created all of the phenomenal artwork in this issue. Ellie Thompson, a brilliant artist & friend of the mag, who submitted her wonderful piece to launch our blog with. Isobel Carnegie, who sent us a beautiful meditation on gender performance and queer desire. Our fellow poetry and lit mags, who have encouraged and supported us from the start.