Monthly Archives: August 2015

52: a bucketful of permission…? 


Review: ‘The Very Best of 52’ Edited by Jonathan Davidson, Jo Bell & Norman Hadley. Nine Arches Press, July 2015.


bucket_and_spade-1I have a confession to make when it comes to poetry … I’m a bit of a slow reader. Generally collections of poetry aren’t that long, but it usually takes me quite a while to work through a whole book of poems.  I tend to dip in and manage to read one or two poems at best and then need to stop for a while.

I find the same thing with visual art – I’m not one of these people who can readily hoover up three galleries in a day.  When you find yourself walking briskly past a Caravaggio with barely a sideways glance, I think it’s probably time to stop. Actually, the stopping ideally happens in front of the painting. But long enough in front of enough art, and…

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Mary Gilonne

Writers for Calais Refugees

Mare Nostrum

Shoe laces tie the dead tighter than life.
We raft on their skin, how can flesh float
when boats shatter, wood, ribs and bone.
Hamid, swollen brother, hollow gourd,
the salted body of you drifts, whitens tears.
My hands are cups of waves and piss
and all the sky hangs grey as glass.
I never knew the baby’s name. Gaza, Syria.
Her eyes are closed, turtle, fish.

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new boots and pantisocracies

To Dream of Copper, Denotes Oppression from Those Above You in Station

after Gustavus Hindman Miller’s Dictionary of Dreams

Your dream denotes sorrow and vexation.
Some deceitful person has installed himself at the heights of prosperity.
Unhappy conditions are piled thick around you.
Enemies are circulating detrimental reports.

Your dreams are abandoned.
They are abandoned in that you will have difficulty framing your plans for future success.
Little sustenance will be eked out by your own labours.
You will suffer for another’s wild folly.

No good will come from this dream.
It foretells an event will cast a sickening fear of living around you.
You will find yourself tangled in meshes of perplexity; the victim of nervous troubles.
A withering state of things bodes no well for the dreamer.

Your dream is significant of a chronic stage.
Enemies will chase your every effort, you will suffer exasperating gloom.
Loss will…

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new boots and pantisocracies

the summer of

that was the summer they didn’t write their books
Ink was cheap but they were looking for work
that was the summer the plays didn’t get booked
no one was in the mood to play
and the tickets
that summer no one went to the beach
except of course some people did
and no one went and sat in the lush green shade of the countryside
even though the countryside is free
(for now) because of the train fare
and the importance of
looking for work
that summer the diy shops went out of business
you either had money to get the builders in
or you were trying to hang
pick one: the wallpaper, on by your teeth, yourself
that summer no one opened the post
that summer no passport was post-haste eviction
all over Europe the borders went up and the boats went down

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new boots and pantisocracies


is the Human Rights Act in the desert Inshallah
are Freedom of Speech and Equal Ops
curlews in the crazy desert Inshallah

repetition of treasures in the Congo
repetition of bobble heads across poppy valleys

does the Kaaba glow on the road to Raqqa Inshallah
what swollen pass must these sandals tread
for the scar of Jerusalem Inshallah

repetition of warriors on the Screen of Thrills repetition
where I’m swung in love with a gun aboard my back

who has taken my house and eats my bread Inshallah
who takes the pen from the head so its flesh
harden to a vessel of God in muezzin cry Inshallah

repetition of robots in the sky repetition of babies blown
like dolls in a market repetition of fresh torn martyrs

why are my daughters in the desert O Inshallah
for the theft of the word where one man’s Allah
is beheaded…

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new boots and pantisocracies

In previous communiques we stated that the project would continue for as long as there were poems we wanted to publish. We begin that process today with a fantastic new posting. For Phase 2, we won’t necessarily stick to the ‘poem a day’ schedule – that will be dependent on our contributors. We will, though, continue to commission poems from writers as before, and would like to open up a further Open Submission Period – so if you are minded to write a poem for the project and haven’t yet been approached to do so, please send it to azjackson65atgmaildotcom and we will publish another ten of the best.

We can also confirm that we are working on two further fronts: the prospect of an anthology distilled from the project is now more concrete, and we’ll give more information soon; plus we are pursuing the idea of the live event

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DAY ONE HUNDRED – W.N. Herbert and Andy Jackson

new boots and pantisocracies


after Ian Dury

Why don’t you get out there and vote?
Why don’t you get out there and vote?
Why don’t you get out there and vote?
Why don’t you get out there and vote?
Why don’t you get out there and vote?

Aneurin and the Bevans, Bernard and the Levins, Blake and his Seven, and Brian Clough.
Black Narcissus, Sids James and Vicious, being with the missus, and Peter Brough.
Julian and Sandy, a cappucino grande, The Beano and the Dandy, and the minimum wage.
Shepperton and Ealing, Assam and Darjeeling, Living On The Ceiling, and Standard Gauge.

The books of Molly Parkin, the Troubadour of Barking, Philip Arthur Larkin, and Clarks’s Pies.
The songs of Stephen Patrick, being on a hat-trick, not feeling geriatric, and the Turner Prize.
The Instantness of Karma, being in me ‘jamas, the specs of Harry Palmer, and Cabbage…

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I am not a silent poet by Reuben Woolley

I am not a silent poet

This is my introduction to I am not a silent poet together with a few poems of mine that were published on the magazine and are now in my chapbook with Erbacce Press, dying notes. The video was recorded at my reading at Culture Club at the Thrive Cafe in Totnes last Friday. The lighting wasn’t very good but here it is. Thanks to Graham Burchell for filming it.

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Applauding between Poems

Angela Topping

When I first started giving readings of my work, in the late 80s, poets were asked to read for 45 minutes, in most cases, if they were headlining, with a Q&A session to follow. People listened attentively, the poet made a few comments sometimes between poems, things that were interesting, things that were not in the poem itself.
These days it’s much more likely to be given a headline slot of up to 30 minutes, and sometimes, when reading with other poets, ten minutes may be all that is given. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes for poetry events which include a lot more variety, especially when the readers are professional in sticking to their time slots. There is also a proliferation of open mic spots and even whole events dedicated to open mics. Again, no bad things, especially with so many people writing these days, who all need…

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