Baudelaire's Funeral by RJ Dent

BAUDELAIRE'S FUNERAL

The world would not have mourned him had it known;
a select elect who felt the loss were there,
while those trapped in their own time stayed away.

As the black coffin was slowly lowered,
the summer rain fell heavily – all dashed
for shelter beneath the graveyard’s yew trees.

Despite the wrong season, it could have been
a frozen moment from one of his poems.

Around the world, all life moved forward. His
death would mean less than his life; this in turn
would only be of value for his verse.

In a small orange grove five black horses
lazily cropped the grass and swished their tails,
as over the emerald water of a pond,
two prism-winged dragonflies met and kissed.



RJ Dent is a novelist, poet, translator, essayist and short story writer. He has translated Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil (2009), and Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror (illustrated by Salvadore Dali) (2011) to critical acclaim. His poems, short stories, novellas and essays continue to appear in numerous magazines and journals.

Check out RJ Dent's website

GHAZAL FOR THE UGLY GIRL by Lituo Huang

GHAZAL FOR THE UGLY GIRL

This ugly-faced girl doesn’t feel pretty,
so scrub her skin off to reveal pretty.

Lasso the moon’s reflection from the pool.
Even down wells you can still steal pretty.

This man nods off hearing Rachmaninoff,
but between blinks he says it’s “real pretty.”

Titanium oxide, kohl, tartrazine,
ultramarine, mica, cochineal pretty.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Lituo says, “Do it.” Let’s repeal pretty.



Lituo Huang writes fiction and poetry in Los Angeles and has appeared in a variety of journals. Her chapbook of poetry and short stories, This Long Clot of Love, is forthcoming in December 2019. She is currently at work on her first novel.

Check out Lituo's website

The Thing that is not a Thing by Jared Pappas-Kelley

THE THING THAT IS NOT A THING

The Thing that is not a Thing - film on Vimeo

To understand the destroyed art object, or any object, we need to learn what is portended. The art object burns with its own fire, self-immolating—strikes match, held to vestures, negating the action that seeks to make a changing world seem fixed. From inception revealing an architectural flaw: to be fixed and yet change with the moment. We wonder when art is destroyed, as if through some tethering of flux into fixed object—a thing becomes undone … or rather is shown to never be “done.” Thus what we see in the destruction of art is a circumventing of an action that attempts to make fixed. Thereby, the art object houses a negation in striving to be something it is incapable of—to leap outside of time and still inhabit the moment, while unable to sidestep attempting. The compulsion is a human bid to inoculate and make fixed the moment, yet to be outside—but through this it ravages. Here is the legacy of the destroyed art object, to be a thing that is not a thing, to be both house, ruin, and fire. Art makes and undoes, and yet we must wonder at what point the thing becomes destroyed?


Jared Pappas-Kelley is an artist and writer. His newest book Solvent Form: Art and destruction was published by Manchester University Press and his art has exhibited internationally at places such as San Francisco MoMA, Mass MoCA, Five Years in London, Islington Mill, and Glasgow International as part of the National Review of Live Art.

Jared's Solvent Form Art and Destruction book

Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Poetisch-Forensische Studie by Alistair McCartney

PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS: EINE POETISCH-FORENSISCHE STUDIE

When I woke up from my nap, I heard singing. I drowsily tip-toed downstairs and went
outside to find my father had tied my younger brother to the pear tree and was whipping
him senseless; it was clear from the precision of his whipping, father had done this
before. I saw the pear tree was flowering and my father was singing and tearing my
brother's favorite Ben Sherman shirt to shreds, along with his petal-soft skin. Sensing
my presence, my brother looked at me and laughed, and my father paused for a
moment. Son, he sang, there are complexes we still have no names for, then resumed
his whipping. My heart was flooded with envy, like the banks of a river in a derelict but
picturesque town, very much like the town we live in, yet I was not certain who or what I
was envious of: my father, my brother, or the whip.



Alistair McCartney is the author of two novels, The End of the World Book (2008) and The Disintegrations (2017), which won The Publishing Triangle’s Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. He is currently working on his first book of poetry and hybrid texts. Originally from Australia, he lives in Los Angeles.

Check out Alistair's website

Genet's Pen by R J Dent

GENET'S PEN

The worlds you create implode when
you’re free to wander through the streets…
inside a cell you find your voice
for it’s an endless universe
and you have pushed its wall apart
threading the bars with red roses
transforming men with cold, hard eyes
into gentle and loving souls
infused with femininity
with tattered animas restored…

Dipping a strand of rusty barbed
wire into a pot of red ink
you write your missives to yourself
explaining how you are contained
within your imagination
and have become a theatre…
a lily grows out of your pen
and you bite its orange stamen…


R J Dent is a novelist, poet, translator, essayist and short story writer. He has translated Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil (2009), and Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror (illustrated by Salvadore Dali) (2011) to critical acclaim. His poems, short stories, novellas and essays continue to appear in numerous magazines and journals.

Check out R J's website

Duty-Free Ayahuasca by Tim Kiely

DUTY_FREE AYAHUASCA

Use one sachet to one mugful
of boiling water each, and be
envisioned
                  as slipperiness
as process      as coagulate.

Imagine this being on a beam of light –
the liana of the soul -                 afloat
             overglowing the whole world
before breakfast (do not consume
with coffee or The Financial Times);

imagine returning to the office machine
reawakened, re-seen                  as meat
becoming motion    becoming unbound
becoming brilliant                  becoming
maggots          becoming the best damn story

that ever graced the employee café;       
imagine guilt-free     business class
all the way back    your boots clean
of rivermud and creeper         yours
all for a very          reasonable price.

Photo by Tyrone Lewis

Tim Kiely's poetry has appeared in South Bank Poetry, The Morning Star, Under the Radar and Ink, Sweat & Tears. He is a member of the Poets Versus collective.

the unseen codes of drawing alternative maps by Reuben Woolley

THE UNSEEN CODES OF DRAWING ALTERNATE MAPS

me you know

             crazy
in a head &
black holing all
a singularity i’m here &
laughing most ridiculous a

glorious shine & listen
the chimes
sing loud a fortunate sound the desert disappear

               & sink
an army in quick
sand the polish of a life so
painful is it the sacred vessels splinter

these states of health are no factor
my mad friends neither they
decover them this the
secret skins of territory


Reuben Woolley’s this hall of several tortures has just been published this year by Knives Forks and Spoons Press. He has been published in numerous magazines including Tears in the Fence, The Interpreter's House,  Ink Sweat and Tears, and edits the online magazines, I am not a silent poet and The Curly Mind.

Buy Reuben's book

Gentle Waft of Intestines by Esther Betts

GENTLE WAFT OF INTESTINES

Yesterday was another failure
There’s no way I can pay the rent for the hostel now
Not because I don’t have enough money, no
But because I know I will spend that money before I’m able to pay
Of course I could pay in advance
But I don’t want to
I want to fail
The doctors warned me about this
That the blood would come back
When I headed out at 9am yesterday
Only half an hour after I woke up
I knew the blood would come back
But recently, King Booze has been demanding interest
Every day I wake up exhausted
I can’t shower, I can’t read, I can’t even eat
I can’t even look for jobs
To replace the one I lost
Due to too much absence and illness
I’m sorry but to survive I have to fail
Like I was doing a chore, I slunk to the nearest Wetherspoons
Ordered the cheapest pint
Glue IPA
Something that tastes repulsive to me
I felt my face contort as I forced it down my gullet
But I drank it all
By the end of the day I had been born again
I could move, perhaps too much
I had spent well over thirty pounds
But I was energised again
Today, I don’t even know if I’m still energised
Maybe I need to drink again
The damp cloth of shame covers my heart
I go to the toilet and my shame is confirmed
The blood has come back
The constant fizz of acid reflux
The warm singe of heartburn
Now a constant in my life
The doctor at the walk in clinic was very clear
My intestinal walls have been severely damaged
Now I sit in a cafe, I can see in their fridge
They have bottles of cider
The gentle waft of blood and intestines slithers up to my nose
But last time I tried to stop drinking
I almost died
I lost a lot of my friends
Well, all my friends except booze
There’s no way I could quit whilst living in a hostel
I go up and ask for two bottles



Esther Betts is an aspiring writer/poet based in Bristol, her work is interested in exploring the darker sides of people's minds.

@EElmskid

SUMMER MADNESS by Ernesto Sarezale

SUMMER MADNESS

What will I shout about when I become old and crazy?
Will I complain about the weather or about the government?
To whom will I yell:
        "SHUT UP!"
Will I lose my calm when Queen Kate won’t reply to my WhatsApp messages?
Will I elongate the last syllable of the last word in every senteeeeence?
To whom will I demand:
        "BRING ME SUPPER!"?
Will I use whimsical linguistic turns? Eccentric metaphors? Daring tropes?
Or will I simply bellow utter nonsense?
To whom will I protest that
        “THESE UNDERPANTS ARE HURTING MEEEEE!”?
Will I use disjointed phrases? Backward sentences? Semantics without syntax? 
Will I lose my breath howling:
        “15 door from idiot that again mention don’t!
        Don’t mention that idiot from door 15!
        AGAIN MENTION DON’T! SHUT UP!”
Will I call women whores when I walk past them in the street?
Will I spit on children? Will I terrorise the tourists?
What government will I complain about?
Whose mother and whose father will I insult?
        “YOUR FATHER!  AND YOUR MOTHER!”
Will I laugh? Will I cry? Will I sulk? Will I protest:
        “I AM SLEEPY AGAIN!”
Will I shout shirtless – shirtless! - in the middle of the street appealing
for the man who never knew I loved him?
Or will I yell at the computer in an internet café and answer myself back
with the voice of a 7 year old ventriloquist dummy?
        “Ventriloquist dummy?
        VENTRILOQUIST DUMMY?”
Will I apologize for the inconvenience?
Or will I vociferate from the flat next to a pension in Pigalle
with the TV on at full volume in a mix of Basque and French?
        "Alde egin! Je t'aime, moi non plus. Zoaz pikutara, MERDE!”
Will I hold endless discussions with my late father?
Or with my older brother who now lives in Beijing?
Or with my boss from 2004? Or… with God?
Will I remember my nights of passion with the extra-terrestrials from what planet?
        “WHAT PLANET?”
Or will I simply repeat:
        “BREXIT is BREXIT is BREXIT is BREXIT is BREXIT!”
Will I steal food from pigeons?
Will I get into fights with the foxes in the street?
Will I climb up to the tallest belfry, fully naked,
after having painted my body and the furniture all white?
        “Painted white! WHITE! Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!
         AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!”
Will I masturbate like a chimpanzee in heat knowing that I will never come anyway?
        “ANYWAY!”
Or will I jump out, still naked, from a psychiatric ambulance
as it rushes through Shaftesbury Avenue
with its loudest sirens and its brightest lights?
What will I scream about when I get old and lose my mind
and remember that I forgot my medication…
...and remember that no one ever loved me?
And that I am alone. Alone! Alone! Alone! Alone! ALONE!
Just like you. Like you. And you. And you. AND YOU. AND YOU!
        “SHUT UP! IT’S HOT!
         SO FUCKING HOT!”



Ernesto Sarezale is the pen name of Basque cognitive scientist based in London. Writer, multimedia performer, erotic award winning poet, film maker and sporadic event promoter, he is well known for his "boylesque poetry" act, for his one-man show “In the name of the flesh” (also the name of his most recent poetry collection) and for promoting renowned erotic literary soiree, “Velvet Tongue”.

Check out Ernesto's website

have a wank by e.a.b.


HAVE A WANK

have a wank
and see how you feel afterwards
that’s the best advice i can give

it will help
for four minutes
like those cigarettes

if life comes at you
in a public space
worse still the public spaces where you can’t smoke

then i’m out of good advice
sorry mate

get home safe


e.a.b. is a writer from Tottenham, north London. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute and former editor of Freedom newspaper; she owns an extensive collection of Princess Diana memorabilia and is married to her cat, Scooby. Her new poetry magazine, G.O.B., is due for publication at the end of September 2019.


For George by Lydia Hounat

FOR GEORGE

I-am-grateful-for-your-unidentifiable-object-eyes-plain-dark-brown-and-boring-because-they-express-nothing-and-I-cream-off-the-tongue-that-you’re-not-that-big-a-deal-but-for-two-years-you’ve-been-one-long-word-to-me-so-this-is-my-apology-for-loving-you-with-the-overwhelming-stress-you-find-in-London-Victoria-line-rush-hour-and-in-the-colour-of-carbonated-cranberry-lemonade-this-is-my-sorry-for-sexing-you-so-hard-so-good-that-you’d-paralyse-haemorrhage-stumble-weakly-smiling-and-this-is-the-open-door-I’m-leaving-you-because-I’m-as-bored-as-a-moth-ball-I’m-done-remembering-how-we’d-always-form-two-walls-with-fleshy-backs-like-a-door-hinge-and-bend-on-each-other-with-a-sweat-swarming-the-eyeballs-so-thick-we-thought-we’d-never-see-each-other-again-steam-tongued-out-for-my-honeycake-underwear-tangled-and-a-ripple-in-your-black-jeans-sounding-off-like-a-pigeon-giggle-I-recall-your-tears-blanking-the-pillowcases-the-smell-of-your-housemates’s-shit-and-d’angelo-singeing-the-car-seats-like-hearty-yummy-thick-soil-in-my-eardrums-and-you-“innocently”-fucking-up-women’s-lives-cheesing-us-out-like-some-great-emmendale-and-you-forever-coming-back-to-me-like-leftover-cheesecake-so-don’t-pretend-you’re-fine-because-you’ll-always-be-my-roadkill-stuffed-into-the-padding-of-my-bra-I’ll-always-be-caramelising-these-wounds-of-mine-and-savouring-the-emotional-blood-of-that-brown-sugar-album-and-laughing-at-how-you-made-pasta-for-all-the-throwaways-like-me-but-significance-is-the-paint-I’ve-brushed-to-my-nailbeds-and-my-daddy-would-be-proud-of-me-for-sticking-to-my-guns-even-if-it-meant-ejecting-my-dignity-from-the-F-drive-of-this-sad-life-and-yeah-I-am-grateful-for-you-like-I’m-grateful-for-bin-bags-because-they-carry-all-the-shit-I-don’t-want-in-my-house-anymore



Lydia Hounat is a British-Algerian artist from Manchester, England. She edits the poetry section at REALITY BEACH magazine and SOBER. zine. She is currently a Poet-in-Residence at Manchester Metropolitan University, and resides between Cornwall and London.

Check out Lydia's website

blue balls at the end of humanity by e.a.b.

BLUE BALLS AT THE END OF HUMANITY

i used to be terrified of nuclear war
some sadist showed me protect and survive
when i was eighteen, it fucked me up
maybe antibiotic resistance will get us
or a big, tasty comet
crash
bang
wallop
what a way to go

we’re living through a slow death
a self-inflicted, festering wound
of environmental catastrophe
that’s not very exciting
a profitable apocalypse
it’s just rude

i’m not scared of nuclear war anymore
i want to be well in there
balls deep in the blast radius
no doomsday prepping for me
the human sandwich board
“you and i have a date at the end of the world”

i think kim jong-un has stood me up
motherfucker


e.a.b. is a writer from Tottenham, north London. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute and former editor of Freedom newspaper; she owns an extensive collection of Princess Diana memorabilia and is married to her cat, Scooby. Her new poetry magazine, G.O.B., is due for publication at the end of September 2019.

G.O.B. Magazine


This Man by Lydia Hounat

THIS MAN

this man is your simple next-door-neighbour
reading Stanislav and Freud,
this man is a qualified doctor,
“a nice young man”,
this man has turned many a key in my door
and changed the locks to myself,
this man coughs shit wit,
unreasonable unreadability,
unfathomable good kisses,
reduces the ladies to digital cum-buckets,
wages imaginary numbers,
smokes his dick out like a haunch of pork,
gaslights his grandmother in letters,
this man spiritually reawakens in a tent admiring his fingers,
who he will choose to sink them into next,
contemplating his Peugeot tyre, slashed by a karmic vibration,
signalling his life is already over.


Lydia Hounat is a British-Algerian artist from Manchester, England. She edits the poetry section at REALITY BEACH magazine and SOBER. zine. She is currently a Poet-in-Residence at Manchester Metropolitan University, and resides between Cornwall and London.

Lydia's website