Issue 24 of one of my favourite magazines is available here:
Prole is a print magazine crammed with poetry and prose. If you are a submitter, submit; but check out an issue for an idea of which of your work might fit. As a tiny taster, this is my contribution to issue 24:
In the wrought iron chair, oblivious to watchful eyes,
she’ll be waiting under a nervous moon for her dealer.
Her answers come foil –wrapped, sealed and shiny,
hard to get into without a steady hand.
My flaming wings were grounded by the threat:
‘Each time you chew your hair, angels fall from the sky.’
Hunger, the desire for sucking barley sugar to a point
that could blind with a jab, loosened my gloved fist,
had me running from the Trailer and her pipe-smoke, to
follow the direction of rain, edges of clouds, slush of gravel.
Shame is broken-glass shaped, fists through windows, bottles
smashed on grim pavements, my whistle killed by drifting teeth,
the sudden appearance of gaps on the bottom row, an inability
to exactly shape air to summon dogs racing over the horizon.
My poem 13 ways of Looking at Beetles was in the first volume of Lockjaw Magazine a couple of years ago. It’s an online magazine, one I really like, and it’s still happening (though not open to submissions at this precise moment in time). They have an archive of interesting editions. Here is that inaugural one:
Kindle is a strange beast; the instant access to endless books for those of us with the technology. It makes me think of those restaurants with an ‘eat as much as you want’ counter. We’re invited to be gluttons, pile our plates high, return to the counter and refill our plates. We invest so little into the experience, shovel everything down, leave as much as we want on our plates. We’re not required to leave a tip for good service, and it’s easy to complain. We expect the same satisfaction as if we’d carefully chosen from a menu that might meet our expectations, where the food was just what we fancied and might hit the spot.
Sitting on her doorstep, the neighbour is forming traps out of rusty wire and baiting them with something that appears to be potato peelings, but could be a more tempting lure. I see the twisting, the pliars busily snapping. I imagine the blood reddening her fingers, the tetanus jab she didn’t have; her shying away from contact with anyone ‘in authority’ makes that inevitable. Her dog, a Golden Labrador, bred to respond, is quietened by a slap of her hands. My dogs are noisy and neurotic, silenced by the promise of treats. I keep coercion close at hand, in a jar.
For days at a time they’re the only living creatures I talk to; they’re easy to understand, uncomplicated, ready to forgive without bearing grudges. The neighbour isn’t so transparent. Whatever it was that turned her against me after the first couple of months, she isn’t letting on.