Monthly Archives: June 2018

Womp womp, by Donna J. Snyder

I am not a silent poet

to Corey Lewandowski[1]

1. Schadenfreüde
The little toe on the right foot is swollen. Thick with heat. Heavy. A dropped glass broke it last night, the second toe I’ve broken since mid-January. That one, unsplinted, has a new angle, like a road sign for a right turn ahead. That toe forks sideways from all the others that make little leftward-leaning stair steps from the big one down to the little one I broke last night.
I may have one toe that has never been broken. A few more have only been broken once. Others have been cracked, fractured, or deformed multiple times. You can laugh if you want. People do that, laugh at others’ pain, misfortune, and folly. Womp womp.
2.The callous few
Womp womp to my hot little toe on a bruised and battered foot.
Womp womp to a destitute child…

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some time we are heroes – book to be published, Reuben Woolley

My proof copy of my new collection, ‘some time we are heroes’ has arrived. It will be available on the Corrupt Press web page in September and I shall be getting a few copies for scribbling in and sending as well. Remember that postage from Spain isn’t cheap so, unless you really want that scribble or live in Spain, you should get it from The Corrupt Press. All my thanks to my editor, Dylan Harris, to Helen IvoryGeorge Szirtes and Jerome Rothenberg for saying such good things about it for the cover and to Nick Cooke and David Pollard for commenting on an early draft. Thanks also to Jan Stead for the cover painting.

me with book

Here’s the link to The Corrupt Press web page:

This is what some rather good people and brilliant poets have had to say about it:

reuben woolley
some time we are heroes

US Trade, 81pp, €15, October 2018
ISBN 979-10-90394-58-2
The cover image is by Jan Stead

Reuben Woolley’s some time we are heroes traces the frayed relationship between two people in terms of a despairing yet lyrical crisis. Images of water, dancing, drinking and singing run through the book in poems whose lines shift nervously to produce a kind of sharp–edged jazz that touches both nerve and heart.
George Szirtes

John and Mary, whose trials began in children’s post–war picture books, are pitched into existential tribulations in a dystopian universe, akin to Popa’s. These poems occupy the worlds of both myth and physics with flashes of folk–surrealism. Woolley’s language is spare, his syntax and word–choice paint an off–kilter logic. His use of white space allows the poems, and their imaginative journeys, to perform themselves on the page.
Helen Ivory

In a line with our most ambitious striving for a new poetry and poetics, Woolley’s poems are both innovative in their means and open to the ruptures & struggles of our time that have broken apart the stories & myths that once held our world together — or that purported to do so. The results here are unique to his own special view of history & masterfully compelling.
Jerome Rothenberg

What is a “homeboy” to do? (Sonnet), by Clara B. Jones

I am not a silent poet

for Antwon Rose (d. 19 June 2018, 17 y.o., Allegheny County, PA)

  1. You can buy a house in Collegeville and paint it Federal Blue.
  2. You can join B.L. Matter and wear designer clothes.
  3. You can move to France and make Pinot Noir.
  4. You can pair caviar and collards.
  5. You can shave truffles on your mac’ & cheese.
  6. You can trade your I-Phone® for a bag of chips.
  7. Poetry disrupts the way we see the world, but you can vote Republican and save negroes.
  8. Pittsburgh is a modern ecosystem where you can buy Abstract Art.
  9. More people with depression are living full lives so you can weigh the benefits of therapy.
  10. The barrel is either half empty or half full (rat-a-tat-tat), but look on the bright side, cigarettes could cost more.
  11. Surrounded by violence, you can go anywhere.
  12. They may want to hurt you, but they don’t mean to…

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the children, by Crystal Snoddon

I am not a silent poet

because they are prone           383 children    lie//stand//fall
little limbs misshaped wide, their colors,
their pores pressed between layers of digital fungus
a trap set by sticky fingers
exposed, their pixel skins breathe

383 children birthed to operation Broken Heart
……………may inhale beyond the pages, believe
lizards trickle fairy tales tears, while they bleed
from clefts of torn innocence.

sweet children:

you are not alone.………you, 383, you have been found, but

others cry compressed air into ribs//into throats clamped//voices
enslaved in virtual silence.

to the seeming endless scream on the screen:
the web vibrates with searching — your mouths
shake sternums and clavicles, blow bony cacophony
into trade winds that grasp and claw.

a child’s rain

gathers between small scapular curves,
nestles into the indents where shame
might hang elastic sputum memories of fat lips and thin lips,
hide the blisters of chapped hands who brand…

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sweet chariot, by Ruby McCann

I am not a silent poet

sneaking into the city      Prometheus

late again     and so close to Juneteenth

time stops      framing a lit up sky

not shunting burning coals

to Molls Myre      above Dixon Blazes

ancient master blacksmith’s      sit with Charles

and Margaret      fire-placed in perfect

swinging low clouds      like Gods


and Goddesses muse over theft     fuelling

fine fire and art      no cupids angels frolicking

or gossiping about who Jupiter’s off shagging

when you really need him      to be angry

as thunder      to bring rain


below in the shadows      a fiddling fiddler

offers flamed serenades    silent rhymes

of night and day cracking structures      snapping-hissing

popping sonatas      paid in grounded

capped coins on concrete      croons aromatic

fiery-smoking      haar-filling

blanketed-brassy-breathy tinny red notes

A Mother’s Sacrifice       wraps

itself around Glasgow mourning


and Scottish MSP’s refused to parlay

parliaments anti-democratic      jiggery-pokery

devolution walked out its metal on worlds stage

allying together      against rape clauses for…

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The breaking of borders, by Cath Campbell

I am not a silent poet

It is not the skinwalkers.
They were always from a place of evil.
It is not the appalled.
They will always object in the face of evil.

It is the every day spoken thoughts
of those who say the caged babies deserve it,
their self-righteous cruelty
crossing all lines in ultra high definition.

Land of the free you stand naked.
The border is broken. America is broken,
and no walls will ever save
the cracked conscience of your nation.

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Life Jacket, by Hazel Hammond

I am not a silent poet

The armholes are crusty salt damaged
the once plump body casing
sags, shows how it lifted
against the waves
and it smells 

when I go to the shore
resting on the pebbles of my home
I find them, not one but many
imported from far away
no price tags 

I see the movement, orange flashes
out to sea washed to the beach
weighted with a load
a cargo no one wants to accept
dead or alive

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Shujaat, by VK Shashikumar

I am not a silent poet

(For my friend Shujaat Bukhari, Editor of Rising Kashmir who was assassinated recently in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir.)
Mountains with memories watch
trespassers of vulnerabilities
drawing blood from brave voices.
Security vehicles run over
angry youth with dead dreams.
White vans, dark windows,
Provocatively masked young men
Crazy with unfreedom on the streets
Calling for bullets in return for stones.
Unknown killers on motorbikes
coward slaves of mayhem masters.
He was about to leave for home
the daily responsibility to readers
dismembered by 16 bullets.
She was standing at the window,
a bullet found its mark
on the mole above her eyebrow.
He was home-bound with milk
shot at his doorstep,
school-homework in his mind.
So many stories of fathers, husbands, brother, uncles
facing pointed guns,
pushed out of their homes
squatting *murgas* of the merciless State
with States’-men taking turns to rape
the women at home.

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When poetry is beautiful, by Bethan Rees

I am not a silent poet

These children need a lullaby
with soft and gentle petals wiping the dew

drops from their foreheads.
Crockery bones encased in ceramic skin
porcelain fingers grasp for tenderness
and are met with the rasp of metal scrapes.

When poetry is beautiful

These children’s cries are as real
as the richness of images it conjures –
Firework lights of bright flowers meeting joy
fill the sky and rain down like bullets.
Piercing screams and skin the same.

These children don’t need an anthem.

These children need a lullaby.


Bethan Rees is from Swindon, England, though is originally from Neath, Wales. She works full-time  in admin and also studies an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She hopes to use this in the future to be a “less silent” poet! You’ll usually find her clinging to any spare time she has by napping with her super supportive partner and ancient…

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