Four poems of mine published on The Goose. An excellent issue!
i walked a cold night through to thaw in seeking
out our shattered landmark. long before i saw i
smelled the mildew, ditches, burning rubber –
your own impoverished pheromone, love. i breathed
it in. i found a place to wash, watched over by old
men, slumped at their insolvent leisure. i watched
them, astute to dominoes, and full of bellyaching
acumen. they tot the score, and cheat with slurred
compunction. i breathe it in and go, out into the fly
tipped half-light; the rim of the world is glowing
like a muted television. i walk to the church, not
locked but hollowed out by wind, and dripping
like a limestone cave. it matters not, the village has
its envies and its petty worships still. narrow streets,
cottages encumbered by an unenticing quaintness.
dilapidated gingerbread, cobwebbed to gothic
nonplus. tourists will not come. or god, again.
women whisper like slow…
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They ask the boy not to wipe his face
so all can see the blood and gunpowder.
Does he whine or protest? He does not.
Does he cry for his mother? He does not.
He goes along with everything they ask
because, let’s face it, he is dead inside
or if not dead, then an automaton,
a bloody five-year-old automaton.
He’s a boy that should be in the street
with a ball, and if you threw one at his feet
and told him he had to play, he likely might –
with the same blank eyes that admit no light.
We are people that should be on the street
and some may be, but most are in their seat
sure as they can be it will come out right –
there are always others to carry the fight.
We gaze from behind the polished lens
and clearly see the blood…
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Sharp on her tongue, acid
the berry she’s spent, but wanting
to sup the hell out the night
and shut away the bodies,
the trashed mosaic
of bone and flesh
from a country she’ll never visit.
The pictures come too fast,
roil up her throat,
They bombed the place
and it was murder, she says
to the no-one on the next stool.
She slides loose,
head astrum with the six o clock news,
views floor through haze,
numb-toed, torso swayed. Rocking.
Bollocks! Gonna walk the road home,
she mutters, and feeds her fare
into the too-fucking-late Red Cross box.
Reflected in the noir glass pane
of a newspaper stand,
I uncover the marked shape,
less tainted by the ceramic walls.
The smog that settles on the shoulders,
those crowded into compartments.
Stalked by the digital shields of life
– absorbed in the rose gold coat.
-A sleepy image,
somewhere between me
and where I have settled in the crowd
Cue inane picture of hat and pencil
meaningful pine trees
coated with sans font
is so feminist,
feeling the way she feels
*LOTS OF OPINIONS*
Taylor Swift ‘blank space’
picture of windowsill.
‘I tried so hard to be
so that you would want me
as much as I wanted you’
*Illiterate fuckboy slang*
young people driving.
Boy with dark hair, smoking in sunglasses
then come the wolves with triangle backdrop
incestuous fan art,
Breakfast Club animation
brought to you by:
meaningful twat that’s never seen Breakfast Club.
for your contributions.
I hate people.
A POEM IN SAPPHIC STANZAS
Ask me what it’s like to care for my kid. At
six, she cannot speak; is still wearing nappies.
Scotland, here we live, an autism ‘problem’,
not by choice, (I had a career—a Masters.)
Whitehall, righteous, speaks of women just like me;
‘Lazy cows!’ the subtext of slogan-rants on
Studies show we’re under more stress than soldiers—
Judged, dismissed by bankrolled and bought politicians.
Slothful me. I laze in life of scrubbing
shit off the carpet
where she’s smeared her stools, God, I’m such a slattern;
break my back (my daughter resists when dressing).
Two hour’s sleep, but clearly the Tories think that
I should work harder.
Liùsaidh is a Forward Prize-nominated poet, lyricist, author and critic from the west of Scotland. Prior to sliding to the bottom of society, she worked the law. Her work has appeared online and…
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I have an unapologetical love for political poems. And I always expect to find a creative distinction & intensity in those poems. I first read Maggie MacKay on IANASP : “I slave in his kitchens,/ my belly fired after him rape mi in the scullery/ like I was his peaberry fruit./ His boasts ride on fiddle jigs into the valley/ where my baby sleeps.” (Jamaican Macabre) I immediately liked her brutally honest voice & her clever way with words & sounds. At that point of time, I didn’t know the editor of IANASP would run a Poet’s Interview series & I would have the privilege & honor to ask her a few questions about her writing. And working on that project gave me the wonderful opportunity to discover more of her work. Maggie has published in various print and online publications, including
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It crunches as it enters the roof, cooling.
its shrapnel penetrates legs, chests
its dust smoke palls, quietens
the coughing, destroys any sense left
days hammered into days, decide
your breath is cordite, your tongue fire
how can you bear the stench?
the theatres that never stop, the screams
hands sprout through concrete dust,
they race frantically to extract the living,
they are trying to dig out the boy, and you
scrape your hands raw or scrub them sore?
Patrick Williamson is an English poet who also works with music and filmpoems (Afterwords, set to music by Mauro Coceano). Editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Most recent poetry collections: Beneficato (English-Italian, Samuele Editore, 2015), Tiens ta langue/Hold your tongue (Harmattan, Paris 2014), Nel Santuario (Samuele Editore, 2013; Special Jury Prize in the XV Concorso Guido Gozzano, 2014).