Issue 1 index
Meet the Editors & Designers
Hopkins & Hallam
Note from Naomi Lebens
Before I go I have to say...
Some Other Where
Weekend Poems: Breakfast
Childhood & Plastic People
A Martian Writes
The Tarot Reading of The Fool
Stop Making Sense & Bla bla bla
When you have hope of life returning, this
A Drop in the Ocean
Pitch of Ghosts
23rd February 2021
Trophies on a Windowsill? & Still (monetizing) Life
Good to know perhaps, but nothing to be done
Ephemerality of the World
The August Elvis Died
Hit Me Gently
When I was about seven, my mum and I discovered
the novelty of biting through rice paper and letting
it snowflake on our tongues. It was our exotic secret,
pasted fish-skin thin onto a pulpy, seed- ridged fruit bar.
My nan joined us once and we formed a street coven to
sample these strange, freshly bought treats. Mum and I
mischievously withheld our knowledge of the miraculous
edible wrapper and nan’s wise, steel-sprung fingers padded
ineffectively at the vacuum-shrunk white
cover. Her face peering at their failure.
My delight at being the bearer of a hidden truth gave way
to the bodily buzz of loss. Those life-coarsened fingers that
seemed to have ripped a place in the world for me, were now
diligent but outfoxed; reduced to the cluelessness of childhood.
Her last days, decades later, seemed a slow erosion back
to the earth from which she was shaped. There was a wildness
beneath her tumbleweed hair and feeding, soothing
and tending became dependant on the hands of others.
A lovebeam of a greeting was late to disappear, but eventually
gave way to a frown of alarm, as my shape in the doorway
became unfamiliar to her. Her fingers, stripped of certainty,
became swollen and her gold wedding band began to bite.
Pliers held with surgical care snipped it in two, in
order to relieve its unsustainable pressure. As I looked
at the waxy white circle of newly uncovered skin where
the ring had been, I felt rice paper sadness once more.
Biography: Damon Young has been published in a variety of journals, is a winner of the Alzheimer’s Society Poetry Prize, has been commended in the Prole Laureate Prize, long-listed for the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year and short-listed for The Robert Graves Poetry Prize, The Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Prize, The Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize, and the Welshpool Poetry Prize. He helps to run the Reading Stanza of the Poetry Society and Reading’s Poets’ Cafe.