Chris Hemingway /An Interpretation/

An Interpretation

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

It was Tuesday, and maybe wasps

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

flew around a bit ?

All mimsy were the borogoves,

Not sure, possibly Dutch Elm Disease

And the mome raths outgrabe.

To be honest, that doesn’t really help

 

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

They come over here…

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

With basic faculties in order

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

Now this is full-on Daily Express…

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

and this could be a rival newspaper.

 

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

Probably the most effective way to use it

Long time the manxome foe he sought –

An opponent from the Isle of Man,

possibly lacking a tail.

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

Picking somewhere inconspicuous

And stood awhile in thought.

“Did I leave the gas on ? “

 

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

“I must have turned it off on my way out”

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Making an impressive entrance

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

then undermining it somewhat.

And burbled as it came!

Now it’s just embarrassed itself.

 

One, two! One, two! And through and through

Roadie poets set up the mics.

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

You can’t rely on anything can you ?

 

He left it dead, and with its head

How considerate

He went galumphing back.

Hopefully making some arrangements

to get rid of the body

 

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

Be careful how you answer that

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

That’s like Guinness isn’t it ? Or Caffreys ?

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

A little hard to say, but sounds basically positive

He chortled in his joy.

Now, now, show don’t tell.

 

Incorporating “The Jabberwock” by Lewis Carroll

 

Michael Prihoda /Platform/

Platform

Elevation assumes importance. If there is a mountain I will put you on its peak. They say the trail to Mt. Everest is riddled with bodies, hundreds every year perishing at the thought of glory. But who would they see once they reach the summit? Whose glory would they realize, gazing at the arching air currents flooding off them like vapor from a can of liquid nitrogen.
My ninth grade science teacher froze a banana and smashed it against a black desk. He did it with a rose too. He repeated the experiment until the wonder almost wore off.

Natalie Crick /Remains/

Remains

When snow has filled the lungs
It takes time to cover the body.

If God were a season,
He would surely be Winter.

Waiting by the black trees,
Thin as ribs,

I offered God my mind,
But he only wanted your body.

I look for your soul,
Pale and baroque,

But I don’t find it.
Only your mouth like a black hole,
Open and vacant.

 


Natalie Crick, from Newcastle in the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. She graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature and plans to pursue an MA at Newcastle this year. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including Interpreters House, The Chiron Review, Rust and Moth, Ink in Thirds and The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, includingLehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Paul Vaughan /Nigel Farage (Astronaut)/ & /Charles Bukowski Ate My Hamster /

Nigel Farage (Astronaut)

We wondered.
We really fuckin’ wondered.

 

How many helium balloons would it take
to send Nigel Farage to the stars?
He didn’t say much because we had him gagged
and dressed in a clown suit with a note taped to his head saying WANKER.
We tied strings to his legs.
Ten, twenty, thirty. Forty. Fifty. A Hundred.
FLY YOU FAT FUCKER FLY.
The only sound the hiss of the gas.
And some incomprehensible muffled screams.
On three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-seven he slid out of gravity
up up into the black hole from whence he’d come.

 

He flew.

Charles Bukowski Ate My Hamster

Charles Bukowski ate my hamster, Charles Bukowski wore my hat
Charles Bukowski screwed my mistress, Charles Bukowski stole my cat.
Charles Bukowski crossed my gender, Charles Bukowski scanned my rhymes
Charles Bukowski knew the truth and Leonard Cohen told my lies.

 

Conversations with the living, conversations with the dead,
the poets sound the oceans, the echoes in my head,
the future tensed within me, the lines you’ve never read,
so sit with me, break bread, come on and talk to me instead.

Paul Vaughan lives in Yorkshire with a sneezing cat.  His poems have cropped up in Agenda, Bunbury, Seventh Quarry, The Open Mouse and Picaroon Poetry, among others. When not scribbling or trying to pay the bills he moonlights as Editor of Algebra of Owls.

Judith Steele /Homespun/

Homespun

Finding shelter becomes obligations
to floors and furniture, cupboards and walls, plants and cement
Spinning straw into gold.
Hunting and gathering, speedy, at several removes,
via cars, roads, carparks, mega-shopping
Spinning gold of hope into many last straws.
Invention descends to recipes crammed with exotica,
novel necessities for dining and wining
Spinning straw into a golden dream.
Learning is fast-tracked obligations
to a computer: the latest system, newer not better.
Television leisure. Insanity or inanity,
future looks like catastrophe
Spinning gold of hope into straws of defeat.
Earth spins, night falls. Earth spins, day breaks
Do it again. Spin.

 


 

Judith Steele is Australian. Her poetry has appeared in Northern Territory and South Australian publications including Northern Perspective, Northerly, Dymocks Northern Territory Literary Awards, Friendly Street Poets. Poetry or prose has appeared in Gobshite Quarterly, and on websites including The Animist, Four and Twenty, Islet Online (as Dita West), In other Words:Merida, and Merida Review.

Roddy Williams /2 poems/

the telepath practises shorthand

I

it’s hard to choose a name for the baby,
because you never know how it will sound in ten or twenty years time.
both of us might be deaf by then from ipods,
so i need something distinctive
like ikea or taffeta;
maybe metallica;
something i can shout.

II

tablets.
there were side effects
it said can cause nausea,
disjunction
if i eat in front of the telly.
so i don’t eat no more.
dat junction.
then i got the proper affected sides.
on the box it said do bees,
death and loose sides.
disjointed.
me nerves are ok. i have flu.
at first she gave me this pack of chewy kid’s drugs
but me sides are loose
like carrier-bags of biliousness.
diarrhoea. mild melancholy.
i told the social i’m on tablets for me nerves now
because of bird vitamins
and i don’t know any chewy kids.
it said do not
operate heavy machinery
so i had wet dreams with the telly off.
they say there’s a tablet to sort that inadequacy,
but i don’t have them. i don’t have them

III

andrea leaves little balls of tin foil wherever she goes,
like robot droppings or offerings to some higher mechanism.
you can stalk her by the gleaming
snail’s leavings through the shaded streets.
i’ve been following, with a small net,
gathering her jewels.
she went to all the trouble of
assembling these spheres only to discard them
as if it is the process which drives her
on her von neumann bearings.
she could be marking her territory like cats do.
i have squirreled them into a set of cabinets
the sort some people keep ornamental thimbles in
so that if she ever comes round
she will feel at home

 


 

We’ve been giving this some thought

if it’s a boy, Asphalt
if it’s a girl, Raffia
if it’s a boy, Meccano
if it’s a girl, Formica
if it’s a boy, Dexian
if it’s a girl, Coriander
if it’s a boy, Shiraz
if it’s a girl, Macadamia
if it’s a boy, Mace
if it’s a girl, Taffeta
if it’s a boy, Epping
if it’s a girl, Ikea
if it’s a boy, Brogue
if it’s a girl, Bitumen
if it’s a boy, Millet
if it’s a girl, Cabernet
if it’s a boy, Pistachio
if it’s a girl, Draylon
if it’s a boy, Shovel
if it’s a girl, Strepsil
if it’s a boy, Bolt
if it’s a girl, Flake
if it’s a boy, Walkman
if it’s a girl, Magma
if it’s a boy, Chicane
if it’s a girl, Pepsi

 


 

Originally from North Wales, Roddy Williams lives and works in London. His poetry has appeared in ‘Magma’, ‘The North’, ‘The Frogmore Papers’, ‘The Rialto’, ‘Envoi’ and other magazines. He has had two of his plays performed onstage in London and is a keen surrealist photographer, printmaker and painter.

Nod Ghosh /Tongue/

Tongue

This is about a tongue.

It came one night
when I couldn’t sleep.

An independent tongue
that swept the corridors of doubt
picked up dissent and dust on its
fleshy folds.

A tongue that spoke of
slave-labour palm-oil
of banning neonics
to save bees from extinction.

A tongue that argued with
giant corporations, as
they cashed in on the
collapse of entire economies.

A tongue that objected to
discharge of sewage
from the luxury of cruise ships
to cover children in shit.

A tongue, in essence
a muscular hydrostat
that could insult by protrusion,
or act as an agent of love by inclusion.

This tongue
slid away in salivary solitude.

 

 


 

Nod Ghosh lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, and completed a creative writing course at the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2014. Short stories and poems have been accepted for the New Zealand publications, JAAM, Landfall, Takahe, Headland, The Christchurch Press and Flash Frontier.

Work has also been accepted by TheGayUK, The Citron Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Firefly magazine, MiNDFOOD and Penduline Press.

Nod’s work is featured in the anthology Love on the Road 2015 (Liberties Press, Dublin.)