Your Index is My Chisel by Grant Tarbard

In the douse of black ballon nights
we all have our itchy familiars,

you are my cholera blanket
scented with Iranian incense.

Just as Vermeer captured
sunlight in a pearl

I have placed the raving eyes
of Samson in my funeral shroud sockets

to souse myself in your pages
in the throes of the day.

Your poems leak cloaks of ravens,
their incense claws at my throat.

I found my tongue in your pocket
grinning like a jackal, see my hands move,

I’ll put on my shoes if it’s to be done in ink,
gnawing on the flicker of a faltering bulb.

Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World

Grant Tarbard is internationally published. His collection As I Was Pulled Under the Earth, published by Lapwing Publications, is available now.

 

 

Advertisements

Counting Sheep by Jane Frank

My son is worried we are eating lamb tonight.
No respect, he says.
It would be forbidden in Madagascar
where sheep are the incarnation of human souls.
Did I know they are like us?
They have best friends and eight percent are gay.
We should be getting them to trim our lawn
like Woodrow Wilson at the Whitehouse:
we would all save on fuel.
It’s the very least we could do, he says.
Sheep would make kind pets.
I mean, the Egyptians mummified sheep
and the Sumerians drew them on cuneiform.
They are mentioned 247 times in the Bible.
They were appreciated then.
We should be careful because sheep
will remember our cruelty:
their memories are almost as good as pigs,
in fact, not far behind crows.

Jane Frank

Jane Frank is a poet and academic based in Brisbane, Australia. She is the author of Milky Way of Words, published by Ginninderra Press, 2016. Her poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, Writ, London Grip, The Frogmore Papers, Nutshells and Nuggets, Northwords Now, Poets Republic, Eunoia Review and Yellow Chair Review, as well as forthcoming in Antipodes, Cordite Review and takehē.

 

City Nights by Seth Jani

Stars, as vertical as Chicago,
Burn in the wide systems
Before dawn.
With love annihilated, the streets
Are a river going downstream
Towards God.
So much a stranger
That the mansion fills
With ghosts.
I miss the moon,
Placid and arcane.
I miss those young winters,
Suicidally bright.

Seth Jani-Author Pic

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has been published widely in such places as The Foundling Review, The Devilfish Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review and Gravel. More about him and his work can be found at http://www.sethjani.com.

South Wales Outlaw by Paul Tristram

You don’t get to ‘Choose Your Masks’
you’re either born this way or not.
I was bottle-fed bedlam.
My first memory
is of hiding under the kitchen table
watching blood run from the tattooed fist
smashing through the glass of our backdoor,
the Old Man was fresh home from prison.
Hiding from the Bailiffs can be fun
but living without a TV set for weeks is not.
My childhood fairy tales were of Dartmoor
and the shit Welsh Prisoners get
in Wormwood Scrubs and other English Jails.
Policemen were the Bogeyman,
if you get lost walk into any pub
and tell them your family name
you’ll be safe until we come find you.
Those Gates on Oystermouth Road were
looming from the moment of my conception.
I was a Ne’er-Do-Well and a Bastard
well before I threw my first punch.
I’m as resilient as a battleship for it
and the wrong side of the tracks is
home sweet home for this South Wales Outlaw.

(Don’t bend down when there’s Copper’s around
or you might get a truncheon up your arse!)

SAMSUNG

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

Autumn Frequinox by Vin Whitman

I knew Autumn when she was a virgin,
A child star with all the lustre of
Of a Disney varmint

Overnight puberty alchemy
Left her soaked in bourbon tones
Tire swing pendulum delirium left her
Beholden to no one

Managers, agents, sponsors spat upon
Omniscient wardrobe consultant denounced
With one wooden finger indicting

Photographers intent to shoot
Winter’s oncoming ivory headlight blaze
In favor of her warp-slow deathspurt
Seedslot rotting into sticky sunless
Infamy

She bares all
“This is power” she says, flaunting nubs and crannies
Distinctive eggless face-nest
Waiting for the clicks of admiration
Brushed with air and graphic spatter

Instead there is Autumn on the rack
Forced through a filter of mouse’s bones
And fraudulent gloss

Vin Whitman

Vin Whitman is a writer, editor and radio programmer living in Sarasota, Florida. He likes needles, spiders and public speaking. His work can be found or is forthcoming at Yellow Chair, Rasputin, Section 8, Peeking Cat, Uut Poetry, and Crow Hollow.

 

Rock Life: 17 Poems from The Welsh Valleys by Gemma June Howell

Gemma June Howell

Gemma June Howell’s gritty and honest poetic voice has challenged literary norms in Wales. Her passion for politically-forthright poetry is firmly rooted in her commitment to the Red Poets Society. In 1999 she won First runner up in the Aber Valley Arts Competition, and with her debut publication ‘Inside the Treacle Well,’ (Hafan Books: 2009) she became recognised as a controversial writer of unconventional Anglo-Welsh literature.  In 2010, she was a Finalist for the John Tripp Award for Spoken Word, and has since had poems appear in anthologies: ‘Hallelujah for 50ft Women’, (Bloodaxe Books 2015) and ‘When the Young Dodo’s Meet the Young Dragon’s’ (2015). Her most recent publication, Rock Life: 17 Poems from the Welsh Valleys is available to buy on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Life-Poems-Welsh-Valleys/dp/1518604358

gemmajunehowell.co.uk

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/134478/desc/howell-gemma-june/

Snapshot by Melanie Branton

My parents’ wedding photo
has been shoved in a cardboard box
in the spare room,
buried under walking aids
and incontinence pads.
It used to stand proud on the sideboard
in the dining room
until the furniture was moved upstairs
to make way for the level access shower
and the single bed with rubber sheets.

My father wrote my mum
a Valentine last year,
but he had to practise on
a separate piece of paper first.
He had forgotten how to spell “love” –
he tried it several ways,
but all seemed unfamiliar
and his peck of stiff “x”s crucified the page

kisses as unbending as algebra.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Melanie Branton is the 2015 Bristol regional Hammer and Tongue slam champion. She has also had poems published in a variety of online and print journals, including Prole, Ink, Sweat & Tears and The Interpreter’s House.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… Adam Tedesco

Why do you write?

There used to be a woman who worked in my office who, when passed a get well card to sign for a coworker, wrote her name across every inch of the card. By the time someone came to ask if she had the card, she had covered every inch of it in ink. I write for the same reason she does.

What books do you read?

Mostly poetry

Bernadette Mayer’s books
Sampson Starkweather’s books
Amiri Baraka’s books
Dara Weir’s books
Dianne Di Prima’s books
Fred Moten’s books
Dan Magers’ books
Hoa Nguyen’s books
Peter Gizzi’s books
Kelly Schirmann’s books
Santiago Vizcaino’s books
John Beer’s books
CAConrad’s books
Kim Hyesoon’s books
Dorothea Lasky’s books
Claudia Rankine’s books
Cesar Vallejo’s books
Sharon Mesmer’s books
Sommer Browning’s books
Heather Christle’s books
Franck Andre Jamme’s books
Bei Dao’s books
Amy Lawless’s books
Aase Berg’s books
Jack Spicer’s Books

I also read a lot of books about dream yoga.

What inspires you?

Living in end stage capitalism. Children laughing. Watching people mutate. Entheogens. Love. Vows of poverty. Having to bury people before they die. Lucid dreaming.Glossolalia. Daymares. Mountains. Being fucked. Mountains being fucked.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

I have never wanted to be a writer. I write. This is not a tortured artist copout. I have an aversion to the idea of collecting identities which are performances, in that writing is an act and beings are not acts. It’s semantics, I know. When I think about calling myself a writer, I start to picture myself wearing  some cafepress tshirt with a picture of Kafka on it or something. The idea of indentifying as a poet is somewhat less frightening. In all honesty, I don’t even want to be a human. Just a thought. I’d be fine with that. And I am fine with that, knowing none of this is real.

How do you deal with rejection?

Depends on the day. Somedays I laugh. Somedays I cry. I’m still learning how to do anything in between. Since I started a journal it’s become a lot easier to take. I now know that when an editor says “this didn’t work for what we’re doing right now” they really mean that, most of the time. This helps.

Who are some writers you admire?

See answer to “What books do you read”.
Also:

I very much admire the writers we work with at REALITY BEACH.
I admire all writers that inspire people to tear down government.
I admire all writers that work to tear down systems of power and oppression.
I admire all writers that inspire people to DROP OUT.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

No. I paint. I make collages. I make music. I stage and take photographs.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Love more. Love your body. Yes, you’re fucked up, but so is everyone, even trees. It’s ok to feel.  Do less hard drugs. Sleep more.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Abandon narrative.
Abandon knowing.
Abandon the idea of anything working out, ever. Then it might.

What is your writing process?

Driving my kids to school. Having a good idea. Trying to write it down while driving. My kids screaming. Someone yelling “Watch the road, Asshole!” Forgetting the idea.\

ADAM TEDESCO by Mary Charlene

Adam Tedesco is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH. He is a contributing editor for the online literary journals Drunk In A Midnight Choir and Moloko House. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Funhouse, Prelude, Nailed, and elsewhere. His new chapbook, The Heart Sutra, will be released in September. He lives in Albany, New York, where he prays to rabbits in the dark.

About the Water by Sally Evans

The water ran on
as though it had not damaged our pathways.
It churned, blind to broken bridges
towards its destination.
The water was not about knowing,
it was about passing through our lives,
leaving the hillside as fast as possible.
Our destiny, to retain our ground,
to stay put, to dip into the water
that had to be there, to keep it sacred.
We might have been the trees.
Our intentions
and those of the water
were incompatible.

smaller sally

Sally Evans lives in Scotland and has Welsh connections. She has had several books of poems published including Poetic Adventures in Scotland (2014) and the Bees (2008).