May 19, 2022

Poems by Joshua Martin

 Newcomer to the Utensil Drawer 


sprinkler psychosis

of waterbed cadavers

dunked the dog

in wrapping paper

giants of Sardinia

 

fisticuff metropolis

battled raiding elephant

gestures of army

membrane temples

pulling cannibal tarps

over bronze nun heads

 

rise of royal tomb

crafted space heater

untouchable sack

wetter than irony

facing display case

watchtower mausoleum

 

chemical o chemical

compounding verisimilitude

w/o kaleidoscope mosquito puck

into pointing coinage

 

 

As Stale as Crimson Sorting Laundry 

 

Femurs enflame vagabond lips

haunting laboratory passions

wretched islands sunning wax mustache

fragrant fragments ecstatic capability

while falling fog logs ferment

dressing a parachute swelling

groundswell radar

cataclysmic hanging

swinging

resetting remote paradise soil

purple enough to observe

simple as though Venus of flames

May 17, 2022

Poems by Tim Allen

TWO PHOBIAS

 

Basileophobia – fear of Royalty


Bygone and silly illicit leftovers ending on princely hobo offerings blooded in ale.

 The boys in the street with nothing to do know the coast of Kerry is the fractal princess sat in the jagged tree of white shadows throwing tomatoes at the comet off the coast off Killarney.

 The boys in the street looking for the girls on the corner know the castle green is the cost of butchered cattle hung in the spiral tree of black swans catching throw-away comments in its stained-glass fruit flies.

The girls on the corner know the fruit fly is the royal sty in orbit around eyeliner.

Every time the guillotine falls the Earth is halved into haves and have-nots inhabiting the comet’s shoreline pixelated with rotting shrines. The boys in the street poke around in the shrines. The lotus closes. The shamrock opens.

The every time is what is known to the boys about the fractal process thrown head over tails into factual noon caught in the glass tree of plastic crowns scuttling beneath a satellite dish.

The girls on the corner never stop talking because the fruit flies never stop reproducing.

The pigs in the slaughterhouse are the boys in the street. They don’t know what’s hit them unless it’s girls sunbathing on the satellite’s coast throwing them a neatly rounded-off line.

The Royals poke around a dirt-poor street as they see it poking out of a not so great Pretender’s guts because fear is contagious. The boys now occupy the corner where the girls are laughing ghosts of moonlit sunlight.

Every time the chopper chops mandelbrots produce loyal animal films. Homeless Windsors walk the Earth so now with everything being Googleable they are known as the House of Walks.

 


Batrachophobia – fear of amphibians


Bully attacks tiny rancher at cock-a-hoop hoop on privately harnessed old briars ironed away.

Did Tolkien really believe in fairies?

It was never published but I can well see why readers of my short story about a talking ice-cream van would not get the subtlety of what was really going on with it.

The tanks came over the rise. The tanks were driven mad. The tanks were driven mad across boundaries. The tanks made a mess. Theorems made a mess. The tanks nosed across the brown fields. Even the ever-shifting sea was scared of the tanks. Their slick mass. The fields were European prose poems blasted open by the great American novel and when the tanks approached the farmyard the daughters of the European prose poem persuaded their father to let them believe whatever they wanted.

Being an experienced fantasist I don’t have obsessions but I do have fungal infections inside my transparent wellies said the make-up artist for when work is scarce in the theatre of life it is suddenly vintage in the theatre of war where the whores are the last to crack whereas  in the cinema of war they are the last to come-to and a lucky few wake in an English country garden and a very lucky few find themselves messing about on the river but others spend tedious hours in a transport museum with Mohican headed lads looking at a submarine fitted with tank tracks because punks were so terrified of progressive music they had to hide shameful cowardice behind whatever they could lay their hands on including obsessions bordering on creative mania but these were a cover for oblique nationalism and indirect chauvinism trying to come of age etc. You can visit my punks in the reptile house. You can visit my punks in an old bus too. You could pay your respects.

Did George Bataille really believe in toenails?

OK, was this a dream?

Went to the cinema to watch Lord of the Rings but it was a cartoon and only lasted about forty minutes.

Tell me, is this a poem?

Intermission: no tubs of ice-cream at £15 a tub as the auditorium staff are on strike and the exit tunnel is being flooded. Heroes in a half-shell are selfless and brave and sorry for any inconvenience.

Alright then, is this at all relevant?

Stepping out of the disaster movie a progressive rock musician comes-to in a doctor’s waiting room. The walls are plastered with jokes about disability and posters about diseases of the thumb. The waiting room is full of muscular mindfulness and those waiting for the Doctor to poke his head around the door look as if they want to fight with their fists the way babies fight. In one corner an aquarium bubbles away the hours.

Poems by A. C. Evans

 GET UNREAL (THIS MEANS YOU)


Misty gal time to get unreal smooth move yo-yo daddy-o

Power up city vision, unleash your express Universal Transit Centre

No we’re not going upstairs darling all the way facility

Gadgets games Nowhere Junction where it all happens whatever

Crossing too much like health and beauty specialist games

Keep out no more screaming manners bring it on, take ‘em off

High end cocktails boutique, goodbye head screw soul dancing

Not local not fully majestic call the shots. If he goes, they all go.

Taste the day you lucky people!

 

Fluid language highway guaranteed under part exchange.

Neither here nor there watcha say? Go! Go! Go!

Vamp zone forget sultry re-think your way look go all out sky list

Red phone box old style ‘I am the agent’ snobby tweets.

Experience fiery harsh elegant psychic fireworks we care about

Driving across caution uncharted set off hectic heretic life

Busy, busy, busy call out. Just love willowy Wanda from Whyteleafe South

Juke Box Bandits car wash push and slide, revenge maybe?

Ok all you Broadway wise guys see it for yourself, maybe?

Ambiguous bike riders everywhere, maybe?

Not like specialist eyewash, maybe?

Unique alignment impudence exploding hot waves

Checkerboard fragments spinning into this instant bizarre

Dramatic screaming blind spot whole thing falls apart

New watch reality strikes complete battle you can’t (maybe)

Local upper studio fields and stepping stones required

Like your twinkling stars (good to know)

Somehow the world is magic; storytelling the answer.

Playing games essential edge now approaching paranoid dragon

Travelling secret service here futuristic nothing nowhere time zone

Its hell on wheels, glow with the flow exclusive cuts Ring Road

Smart mosaic clothing, chauffeur-driven cars, destination imagination

Buy now pay later new look discover style lickin’ fingers, woohoo!

No entry, it says lost, snap! Not good.

Surreal metropolitan hi-jinks. Pow! Pow! Power!

Next day nothing special.

 

Dirt-busting grab-a-bounce Karate Academy for Kids

Wake up and taste the day Wonder Hair Salon just electrical massage,

Free five star soundbites, select castle lifeline tailback, red lights on and on.

It’s good to have a bit extra and Serious Stuff

(Anything goes)

Storms and shark tales go loopy

Have a good day yeah?

Walk a life… and look, the unreal eye of the beholder,

This means you.



SOMEWHERE OFF LIMITS


Made in Hell, loved in Heaven

The eye of the storm is the jewel in the crown.

Within the hour we arrive at an inspiring destination,

No cloud, mist, or murk, just hungry love dramas

Here at the Bureau de Cringe in mega-topia

Luxury hand-crafted just for you.

 

How worried should we be?

It’s game on! But huge uncertainty.

What can we expect? Something

Unlimited and right up to date.

When the film stops, you see streams of lights.

 

Well, it does more or less right now.

These extravagant wavelengths; the mirror

Those incomprehensible structures.

This is a blind spot so take care.

The distant trees are not what they seem.

Just listen to that smoochy saxophone;

It’s a class act but just camouflage

Really more like a lap-dancing stag night

Than a floral tribute in dream rotation.

Thank you, enjoy!

 

TOO MUCH LIKE REAL LIFE

 

Window-shopping can be too much like real life

When cold engines are stalled, when hope is frozen,

 

When the time for thinking is over and action

Is required. Where are they now, those distracted

 

Mannequins standing behind reflections, when the traffic

Crawls along the high street? Where are they now

 

Those undercover agents? Those emissaries from another

Dimension where naked bodies are crumpled in heaps

 

And no one cares about the cost of rural housing, or

Your Boho-Chic fashions, or the price of freedom.

Poem by Robert Hampson

  transmission 1: flight

 

I. remote staff

we work without leaving our homes

workstations fitted to check for infractions

complete with random scans

& photos stored for up to 20 days

 

II. dark intelligence

 

the department is painted white

with glass partitions

we were tested / every day

but couldn’t touch

simple things

like hugging / without thinking

 

III. missing from desk

 

they can detect any violation

of company rules

via facial recognition software

illegal mobile phone usage

triggers a real-time show-down

 

IV. sets & settings

 

she remembers her family / in survival mode

strong lights / night shifts / no replies

we had asked all the wrong questions

now we were awaiting / further instructions

 

she remembers the scanning

the faces / the documents / the photographs

 

to help us with risk & data security

violence will be used / violence will not be used

you don’t have the choice

 

V. systemic dysfunction

 

rather than remain

in the grave

as most humans

tend to do

these ghosts

reach out

into the market

 

VI. buckshee

 

now they think they can dance

there’s a problem with definition

gig economy workers

are redescribed

for men who believe

they are always right

it’s cost benefit analysis

every time

 

VII. dissonance cuts

   

it’s better for us to escape

for our thoughts to go wild

given present biological limitations

 

she was heavily into bad habits

like reading the tarot pack

contemporary thought patterns

animal tracks in the sand

 

he kept going on

about his terrible behaviour

his multitude of defects

the real-time feel of space

 

if you click / it will show

the four core elements

solidarity / compassion

fairness / resistance

the way we take

possession of our narratives

 

May 16, 2022

Poem by G. E. Schwartz

Momentaries

1.
            The farther we go the plan of the landscape
The silk lilacs all grow small and change color
On purpose   Art, even poetry are practices
Of diminished returns   The No. 2 pencil
Gets smaller already small brushes loose
Hairs and by the time I saw Bowie at
The Tower Theater in Philadelphia
He was a child’s thumb   I could smear
Him put out those giant stage lights
With my hand touch the spires of his
Dead city   not a single splinter
            Would snap off

2.
           Needles deep in my bedroom will me
Rain or clear even with the windows
Covered   a silver line says hot and
However far that is from normal   right now
I am explaining to myself the solace,
The comfort of these signs   as I hold
My sharp fingers to my thin wrist and
Counting my heart is doing a most
Essential addition   every stair assures
           Me   there are still ways to go

3.
            Northern mockingbirds   a pair
Who thought they could sing with every
Songvoice and value-added   chasten
This morning unmusically and must day
Baby, let’s fly down and eat some
Blood-blcak berries of the cut bushes
And shit them on the Toyota hybrid
I think that they say that   I’m sure of it
            Because that IS what they do

4.
            So many summers have borrowed my water
(How many?) Winter my breaths in tiny snakes
So that death accumulates in the total of
Momentaries   some birds drink and are attached
It seems by something in the water   after
A struggle they escape but return again
To that risk that draws together the birdbath
            Mesopotamia and the Plain of Ossuaries

5.
            What is outside of this house is trying so hard
To enter through the windows to fill up space
With itself as it has the compost now a single
Network you could lift as a single shape more
Roots more branches more rhizomes more
Shadows the throwaway parts of trees out
And inside an inch different you almost can’t
Know them apart as one gives way to another
But the window sweats at danger as I reach
Down and plant the dogwood in the rabbit hole
I see roots have already entered the backs
Of my hands as a kind of oath   meeting
Its intention inside the furniture is growing
            Up through the spiral of the hooked rug 



May 15, 2022

Poem by Mark Leahy

from Achieving Occupancy

 

Here we go back to the early 1980s. Dallas 

is now considered a classic cautionary tale where lower

cost religion it is claimed does not necessarily correspond

to the real globalist risk. Rather we are converted,

as again, she sings: Mamma Mia! It seems the

designers of men’s undergarments have shown themselves to be

more managers than competitors, as a type of artificial

intelligence system compels them to say “I don’t love

you,” making small motions in front of their faces.

 

I'm sure the dictates of political economy, all those

spiffy touch-menu systems, that from an external point of

view include micro-flows of uncontrollable compulsion to produce, leave

you personally affected. Therefore, the agent of evolution is

not simply some actor that failed to notice their

neural activity while being subordinated entirely to base molecular

matter. When they were speaking, I continued to produce

my dinner, watching “Tina Turner in Concert.” This critter’s

a pop singer, or something equivalent in a network.

 

“Play near the wall because you are not clear,”

became “Play, Play” multiple times, from their set sentences.

After more than a very few selections, the industry

is morphing, too, to reproduce itself, as a kind

of bubblegum populist take on the brain activity data,

for Capital, with its inescapable drive, suggests it’s the

latter. Will Robin wear the struggle at stake? Not

only through brands of each spoken sentence (a Protestant

school play) read aloud as part of the activity.

 

The Gilets Jaunes’ Solutionwear could soon be the only

one with anything on it, like nuclear war in

the song by Meryl Streep. As long as the

compulsions of bio-engineered pandemics incorporate a men’s version they

must commute the Senate bill on production of components

for “green energy” sources. Although “junketeers” implies the former, 

the UN operator looks to hold you in line

while using SKIMS, but the power employed is always

as like a gorilla as to a live hand.

May 10, 2022

Poems by Jake Berry

The Art of Vanishing


I sleep
I dream
I carry the deathbed
a little further down the road

The art of vanishing is so easy
we barely notice the effort

The young woman at the plough
throws seed on the ground
and walks away

She spits and the rain comes

We can never recover
from this disaster

But when I turn in my sleep
the myth is reborn
with a new cast of characters

and I notice
the road winds
through a stand of elm
and dove song rises
from its depths


Slipping Out

If I came upon the Real
like a snake in the grass,
his tongue forking the air for proof

would the spring trees shudder
like an old soldier
come awake in the roots

to see a man
so utterly shattered
by a taste of the Divine?

Could the serpent and I
have the same thing in mind
as the cold ground thawed

remembering
despite our dreams in the deep
that sleep is not the thing after all?


The Watchers

We know them for who they are
through the names and plumage,
feel their eyes,
half aware of their presence on our flesh
as we attend our grubby chores
helplessly grounded
while they perch in the high places
or circle so far aloft
we squint to discern their shapes

Vastly more ancient than ourselves
we cannot name their origin
even when we reduce every detail
to our most meticulous descriptions and measurements
Nor do we understand the nature
of their disappearance
as if they had never been there at all,
nothing more than some mythic revelry
woven out of dreams and desire

Whatever name we give them
Owl, hawk, or crow
we know them for who they are
and whose purposes they serve

May 5, 2022

Poems by Bariane Rowlands

Naked Sobriety 


An absence. The penumbral yearnings.

Sand grains billow across skin,

Settle to refract sun musings.

Squinted eyes shape light into trails,

Cold pockets turn to warmth between leafage;

The choice of whim to study simply

Just anything human or animal,

sympathetically frolicking or alone.

It’s all Superfluous.


Full heighted, coordinated, regal sprinting,

Ears taut and keen for breaking bark and crisp foliage,

Air howling, bouncing off water or out of mouths,

siphoned through shapes into thoughts and images;

Senses upon flesh that instigate involuntary action.

It’s all superfluous!

 

It needs fluid and fodder, oxygen, hygiene, expulsion.

Dichotomies and dialogues, the flash of neurons and nerves 

Shrouds shelter from elementary assault;

It has such and the means to obtain it.

Dreams, hungers and fantasies are superfluous!


It expands into the glory of words received, 

Conceived, grown and delivered,

Their refractions breathe into concrete medias or on surfaces;

Tastes upon its tongue internalise into obscured systems.

Its needs are edified, all else is superfluous!


Naked sobriety brings no joy!

Laughter is a transitory response upon request,

Desire is a frantic constant fear of meagre contentment,

The dark passions depressing the depressive, unrelinquished;

The relinquished, abandoned to its own loss

To reflect upon such superfluous illusions.


Others recommend it is depressed,

It is not, they reveal only their own hunger for happiness and distraction.

It scrapes off happiness painfully,

Fulfils its needs in an unwalled purgatory.

Its mind and gut grimace against each other,

Powerful hostilities held aside by a rhythmic heart,

Steady, determined, a massive, oblivious muscle

That in itself, wants nothing; it does not care.

It is Superfluous………………………



When Pupils Have Light 


She puts one hand and then the other in front of her face,

Palms forward, an exposed belly, it’s so very dangerous.

Her knuckles press in on either side of her nose,

Almost painfully to the point of sneezing, expulsion of what? Irritation 

perhaps, hiding, expression?


Slowly, she makes a triangle of view,

Thumbs beneath nostrils with moisture and hairs

And she remembers briefly it is some kind of sun salutation;

She deeply does not give a shit and continues anyway.


She makes many shapes, a kaleidoscope of the somatic,

A synaptic whoosh of what is happening,

A place she hears inside with no words that can be formed.

But the other view, the peripheral, the shadow echoes,

The Camera Lucida, the refractions of the smudged knowing.


If she makes a hand cone, blinkers herself completely,

She will simply stare and nothing happens,

There will be nowhere to go, no thoughts beyond what is allowed,

No cerebral searching; it is infinitely boring.


She takes off her hand mask, her thought cape,

Cloaks herself in just what she likes,

Sees her real thoughts, they manifest behind her pupils

And she prays they are fixed and dilated,

Knows this way, they are letting in the upmost light;

The only place where nothing is actually fixed and cemented at all,

That view where everything is discombobulated and makes perfect sense.



Father Clint 


Sawdust has a sound, as does oil and the cranking of metal

They smell of blood and earth and tobacco

And feel of busyness, big hands, rolled up chequered sleeves

Topped with a red, gold quiff and Clints rollie

The squint of the blue eyes touched with humour


Bent and small but huge and hunched

He laughed alone, smiled alone, was irritated alone

Anger expressed; other things expressed

He did everything his own way


A man of Denim and hard work, a selfish man

Lewie, they all knew Lewie

Head beneath bonnet

A man that stole wood and built fences


I was afraid of him, spaced out and indifferent

But we were denim pals

Me the sports person he could never be

He loved me though, I always knew that


If I ran away, fucked up, took drugs, he loved me regardless

If I didn’t clean something properly, that was a different matter

I hit him back as much as he hit me, we were friends

I was not afraid of him, just scared, such is different


Covered in his blood, that smack and smash

His red all over my white ginger Welsh

His running fresh, his life all over me

He fought us off, to still be in control just like I do


We all laugh, us lot, we all control

To fight, to stand up, to be before we fall over with tears

Even those get laughed away, swept away with a flick of a hand

We are not afraid, us lot, but terrified, alone

Knowing we will always be such but so much more too.











Poems by David Thomas Roberts

Filth-Sparkles

Beyond this crusty diagram
In the swamp-panties of your early handwriting
Beyond the freckles and malty foam crested with
Teary fleur-de-lis guarding little tales of the chamber
Whispered where dreams and cookbooks twitch and meld cavorting
Curves your ghostly romance
It springs upon your bedtime tilting
Frosty and sweetgum scented the better to grip
Your rocking old calendars and harmonica filterings
Your tawny grin wafting through this batter of keepsakes
Your vessel of unfettered smells
It's a horsesugar memoir airborne from groves dripping
Keystone fancies and throbbings
The room is singing its distillations of your nakedness
Sentimental in tinctures of your toe jam and lilted spices
Your big cheeks turning the late night frisky
To later sob from its gnawed depths
As the leaky trance rolls on
As your reverie squeezes candlelight
As you caress your old shoes in curlicued reverie
As the moon envies your creamy shatterings
As you wring tears from the phantom whose glimmer
Now seizes you.



Midnight Safekeeping

The stairs are jangling my pillow away
Out to star-drilled grasses and card games in one-room schoolhouses
All bundled for midnight safekeeping
The rafters whistle with clotted windpipes
Puffing notions of faraway lore out memoir portals
Where terror-varnished episodes glare into view
Like TV signals from 1959 suddenly landing for broadcast
Upon little fields and wall-eyed alleys
Quavering the same old fabric of lost stores and cinnamon alcoves
Right up your tight chimney
Sans the napkins, too
Call it my twilight language of grisly intimations
And sentimental Fortean hanky-panky unwrapped in Victorian mansions
It's how Greeley, Nebraska croons its angelhood in 1894 and 2006 simultaneously
And Mankato, Kansas falls in love with me all over again for the first time
Tell the constellations that Cornell is expecting us
That the girls are singing "Joseph" no matter the name
Tell the prairie chickens that Scott Kirby roves the wires of their fancy brains
Converting sod to moons and grass to marzipan
While snow gathers jacks upon his infinite dining table
Remind them of my 12:07 return
When the decades huddle adoringly
And the inanimate world resumes its kissing me all over
For the leer of this mighty dream parlor
Now descending

Poems by Robert Fleming



the truth grows up and sideways

the hyperion sequoia sempervirens California tree grows 316 feet up
the graviplant German tree grows 140 centimeters sideways
one day the horizontal trees will grow to the vertical trees and
make a trunk bridge over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans
not today
today the up and down trees reach for the sun-rays
today the side-by-side trees recline into hammock lies


**

the longest word
pneumonoultrami-
croscopicsilicovol-
canoconiosis


**

deforestation
arteriosclerosis
photosynthesis


**

petrochemical
overutilization
apocalypse


**

organization
proletarianism
everybody


**


your love for me
my love for me
toxic waste dump


**

tenor troublemaker
anti-establishment con
ruckus turbulence


**

frying hamburger
grease puddle forms in the pan
screaming Patti melt





May 4, 2022

Poems by Jay Passer

 THE RALLY


took one to the chops

in the fracas

before the Molotov launch

and patent tear gas.

helicopters coming,

EMTs alerted,

news vans hustling.


while those in power 

just smile and smirk,

smorgasbord catered

in furtive bunkers-

minding other people's 

business was never so 

lucrative.


snakes in the garden;

lollipops at the dentist's.


I shoulda stayed home,
listened to the game.



COCKTAILS AT THE DEJA VU


up in the balcony at the Deja Vu

decked in a black polka dot dress, she was reading my palm

while outside in the neighborhood

dogs snapped and howled and downtown the trains and trucks 

stalled and blasted their horns and

I tried to staunch the sweat, but could feel it coming up through

my pores like that time in the

basement of the art gallery when the curator put a Polaroid-sized 

Rembrandt etching in my hand,

since back in those days I'm a badass with clout and doors slide

open for me everywhere, even

for the viewing room at the mortuary, where I bury my swami

after that unfortunate incident

at the mosque or was it the temple, the shrine or the shul?

or up the stairs past the balustrade 

to the balcony at the Deja Vu where she's reading my fortune,

her cute freckled pixie face

shining on mine as the shots ring out: rat-a-tat-tat! a-tat-tat!



I KNEW IT WAS


used to be a paper the sports section or

the funny pages later in the paper,

and the napkin scribbles as lips quivered,

as the headlines outlined bodies-

like the saucer for the cream or the coffee,

circular pressings on the vinyl tabletop;

hungover, or like in the Velvet

Underground's song, breakfast at night?


that's when I knew it was too late for us.


May 3, 2022

Poems by Stephen Nelson

weeds


earth,

the essential nature of sensation in the spine smoking weed, 

she said, in deference to his mother's rhododendrons.

plants derive ethereal

connection from the water my daughter bathes in;

the ego, the obligatory game show host's recreational golf game,

goofball golf game, ball of my balls golf game,

the blazing end of the 18 holes and too much air sucking 

every conceivable innuendo from the preparory school's

philosophically inspired repertoire.

my lunch money for thick, white custard

every single tuesday.


oh fire,

she said, at the hot end of the furniture store,

in between lunch and oxygenated water retention;

I bought a bulb for my salt lamp and saw the river and floated a barque and cried in the dark, 

in the corner of the hut, where they kept the dead bodies 

saline fresh saline fresh

where they kept the dead bodies saline fresh.

we wandered along the colonnade, my roman sorceress and I,

and I was rejuvenated and equipped with an incalculable self worth,

when the emperor declared 

the minimum wage for oligarchs would be...

yes, and I went there, she said, sucking off a centurion behind the colosseum.


wind!

well blow me, she said, extracting an oven mitt from her remarkably earnest vagina;

hot, baked scones and strawberry jam with clotted cream and tea.

debris falls from the sky this morning, is swept across fields and the housing estates

where I played as a boy, so fullsome, wholesome, loathsome 

in my innocence; 

reneging my spiritual inheritance for a pound of nepalese hashish, 

like merlin on a moped in america.

wheretofore now, young hip, hop, hippie, hoppy, hypnotised 

horses in the lowering sky, the inconsolable sky, where the wind rushes up 

my back alley with a ferocity borne of misappropriation.

wrap up! she said, too many children lost in the cracks.



pups


blue merle on the mountain like the shadow of lenticular clouds

cloying marzipan from your primary caregiver's melodrama.

announcing a leopard in the laundromat, at once elegant and saturnine,

for the amusement of melancholy children

slouching mawkishly from the gene pool. 

we had no precedent other than an implanted precognition.

I was precocious, I was strange, I was never going to change,

so we sat in the bar and you scoffed at my bilious vaudeville necktie,

the way I fondled it conspiratorially.

I had the fragrance of an orange.

there was a dwarf star in the hanging basket you stole

from the presbyterian greengrocer,

but we could never have known he had cancer.


jesus fed me. no, wait...

mother fed me, jesus bled me, the devil red me...

or blue me, I can't remember which.

I was working in a working man's club in the 1970s,

somewhere near darlington, when he came up

and called me darling, and I buckled at the knee

and reflected seraphic glory

all over his sweetheart stout.

the brindled hounds are baying 

while I perform standup in the bathtub.


blue merle, blue merle, the moon is shining like a pearl 

brought back from the refrigerator on a plum coloured evening;

and the mountain holds a space in the crook of its neck

for broken hearted babies and a gaggle of laundered priests.


Poems by Joshua Martin

  Newcomer to the Utensil Drawer  sprinkler psychosis of waterbed cadavers dunked the dog in wrapping paper giants of Sardinia   fisticuff m...