After Caroline Wright

Cygnus (picture side)

I am calligraphy. On salt marsh, on the village pond,
I write my name in arabesques. I speak white
To the cloud and the clouded water.
I am the furthest quarter
Of the starless night
And beyond.

I am breast
And wind and moon
And the sheer distance
Of constellations, the persistence
Of desire, the nebulae of systems soon
To vanish: cry and echo, curvature and rest.


Reverse (message) side

Call now.
The phone is on mute.
There is no speech, no language
Lodged in those empty spaces, no gauge
That can measure a distance so silent and absolute
We cannot address it in words, because we don’t know how.

Listen to the street. The voices in shops, in the bus queue,
On the platform. Something curves back at us,
Some echo, arabesque, a kind of pageant,
Like the rhythms of an imagined
Language: sign, Cygnus,
Me, you.


Read in and ripped from Silkworms Ink’s online chapbook Volume L, an anthology selected from their first 49 online chapbooks. Certainly a mixed set in various forms. For something different, Jen Spyra’s ‘The Groovers Tour Chicago’ had me smiling by the end.


Wounds in wood, where the wind grieves
in slow breves,
——————-or a breeze
hovers and heals; brass,
——————————bold as itself,
alchemical, blowing breath to blared gold;
all strings attached to silver sound.
This the composer found
——————————-in his deaf joy, despair,
and the genius boy; a where for time and space;
a place in endless air for perfect art-
a songbird’s flight
———————-through a great medieval hall
over the dancing dead.


As commemorative poems go, a pleasing one to mark the 200th anniversary of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

[Read in and ripped from The Guardian.]

After following the exceptionally handsome Charlie into a church where he attends his AA meetings, overweight high-school senior Maggie uses her feminine wiles to seduce men – then drugs and robs them blind.

Talk about carrying around emotional baggage!

[Read in online chapbook Basic Cable Couplets, published by Silkworms Ink.]

Certain, by Jack Underwood

8 December 2013

Nothing before had seemed so potent
and self-contained –
surely the onion was beautiful.

Its hung cloud of acid worked
in his nose and throat
as the knife bisected

like a maker of names passing
between twins, calling one half Perfect
the other also Perfect.

[Read in The Salt Book of Younger Poets. Ripped from Glits-e.]

Plate, Martha Sprackland

7 December 2013

You held it to yourself one night
clasped the cold white china
against your breast like a shield
suds stained dark your blue shirt
like the army march of lichen.
Stood still beside the deep sea sink
you curled your hands around the edge
felt the soft ecstatic curve
the rolling drips from the glaze
locked tight like icicles
caught at the thaw.
I heard you in the kitchen
laughing at the hectic tearing
of rubber gloves from your hands
to grasp the cold surface
the joy of tasting something solid,
the absolute sweetness of material.

[Read in The Salt Book of Younger Poets]