Thursday, 30 October 2008

Introducing the November 2008 Readers - 2. A.B. Jackson

A. B. Jackson was raised by wolves in Lytham St Annes. An acrobatic child, he joined the Quaker Circus at 12 but retired early due to a hairline fracture of the arse. He has been smoking so long his lungs are the size of walnuts. His first book, Fire Stations, was published by Anvil Press in 2003. He lives in Glasgow, and will be leaving it like shot off a shovel as soon as the first opportunity arises.

The Christmas Pet

A blood-sport refugee
kicking its heels in sanctuary.
It was an impulse buy,

spurred on by the children
and the straw season.
Care required, minimum:

recommended food, anything,
make the den inviting,
give the gold nose-ring

a good polish.
It did not flourish;
I offered barley and mash

without success. It grew
lean and repetitive, slow,
lean and repetitive. Now,

having churned up the lawn,
it patrols
the small circle of indoors

scoring things with precise horns.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Introducing the November 2008 Readers - 1. Colin Will

Colin Will, Edinburgh-born poet and publisher, lives in Dunbar. His 4th poetry collection - Sushi and Chips - was published by Diehard in 2006. He chairs the Board of StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival, and is webmaster for Poetry Scotland.

Sea dreams

Dead gull floats in the sea,
wings spread, head down.
For a moment I dream
it's alive, practising snorkelling,
peering down for unwary fish,
but it's just the waves
that make its feathers
rise and fall.

Tide slides up the slipway,
in little laps. Seaweed fronds
rise from the rocks, outspread
as incoming water lifts them.

It's all just... not going anywhere,
just... going; never arriving,
just... having been, a place
where time is liquid,
life and death
just... phases of the moon.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Introducing the October 2008 Readers - 3. Kei Miller

I haven’t received a poem yet from Kei Miller (if one arrives, I’ll certainly put it up here, but donating a poem isn’t obligatory), but here’s a link to one in the Cortland Review called First Book of Chronicles. Pretty good!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Introducing the October 2008 Readers - 2. Rob A. Mackenzie

I’m reading on Sunday, so here’s a poem – light verse, I suppose. It’s not in the forthcoming book and I doubt I’d send this to any magazine, so it may as well go here.

Credit Crunch

Economists agree a mousehole is a last resort,
but not without merit. Cheese is currency when money
has no object. It can’t buy even a crumb
of love and lacks the crunch of, for example, celery,
but comes freely available on kitchen floors.

What does it credit anyone to gain
a notional treasure, pay back
more than they’ve borrowed, and lose the lasting
tang of gorgonzola? A mousehole spans the bottom
rung on the cheese ladder. No interest so far.