Thursday, 17 March 2011

Iain Britton - One Poem

hydrangea translucency

hunched converts
barricade the only road out
they huff ‘n puff into groups -
with long-stemmed bazookas 
tucked under fierce thoughts
all walks of life front up      uniformed/    and ready
            to take sides
            choose colours / mascots / a sponsored drink
the blue hydrangeas hang heavy now

mine enemies

have chosen the ghettos to play in/have infiltrated the ranks/
intermarried/mongreled-up their relationships
and encouraged a squashed-in/each-to-themselves
failed mentality
                        I’ve chosen to be
where forests of tower blocks
peer down from penthouse heights where sacrificial lambs
breed randomly
oblivious of the promised slaughter
once cut     
the blue hydrangeas stoop to conquer
with you       the day’s heat 
has a lot to do with people’s actions – it’s a question
of summing up a scene – charging at the logo’d 
firebrands – splitting asunder the cordons
of do not enter this estate – a question of how to proceed
to the piled-up resistance further on     is considered
a strange translucency makes the going clearer
we’re set on blowing the hostiles

straight up the chorusing chimneys
you show me
           a gap in the horizon’s wall
                 and ‘mates rates’ for a holiday
                            free of book-banging rages
                    you display mug shots
in favour of John the Baptist 
      I smell meat loaves     cooking
                              being sliced
                              for human consumption
the house I built
   floats on a red sea of dyed grass

Iain Britton has published poetry internationally in magazines such as Agenda, Stand, The Reader, Warwick Review, Wolf Magazine, Nth Position, Blackbox Manifold, Jacket, and Harvard Review. Oystercatcher Press published his third collection in 2009, and his fourth is available now from Kilmog Press. You can read a recent ebook of his here:

Friday, 11 March 2011

Featured Poet #6 - Jon Stone


Lara, it is your deaths that make me marvel.
Not the pistols that stud your chafed-up hips,
alexandrite earrings of your bottom

but the way you swallow-dive, boots locked,
onto a stint of sandstone and crumple and
not your plait’s strop, dosed in jeweller’s rouge

but the boulder massaging your hapless spine
that straightens the metals of my eye and
not the oil slick of you in your wetsuit

but how you buck hard enough to break
as you drown in a deep sea grotto and
not your strut or your small, hard ‘t’s

but how, set alight, you still do ‘demure’,
gasp and expire in a sponge of moss and
not the sheer vastness of your swimming pool

but live wires caressing you in the kitchen
of a slowly capsizing icebreaker and
not the calibre of your voice actresses

but the wolves who worry your jetstream
legs to uneven kebab-shanks and
not to be your butler or obstacle course

but the Arctic waters tenderly biting
through your Parka’s scruff sealmeat and
not be the boat you climb into in Venice

but the spear sprung by a pressure pad that
tastes your knee, that you fall around and
Lara, don’t bend to pull up your sports socks

but fluff the jump again for me, would you.

Near Extremes 4

Where I come from it’s the other way round:
Seroquel’s slipped by the fistful into
ministers’ snifters, curing them (fingers x’d)
of such spells where they intuit war things
are squirreled beneath every unturned stone,

and when shell-shocked or down-on-their-luck
ex-squaddies mistake the knifeplay of light
for a gun barrel’s flinting we all hit the dirt
because after all, the odds are they’re right –
in the streets: hajjis. Hajjis everywhere we look.

Three Celan Poems


Mid-day Monday, undone, counting
foreign brutes.

out, my almond.


I cure her, the artists nick timber.

I cure her, desperate that sin and silt
hail down or hang ten.
Desperate assembly throwback.

I cure her, see lemongrass leaping,
the antsy kazoo-flux.


Frederick’s aghast
the way sometimes words are alarming.
Hera gets switched on. The mower
and the iron wander, hawk-legged.

Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel, where he co-produces both Sidekick Books, a publisher of collaborative poetry books, and arts magazine Fuselit. He was highly commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009 in the same month his debut pamphlet, Scarecrows, was released by Scottish press Happenstance. He has also released a co-authored pamphlet, No, Robot, No!, through Forest Publications with Kirsten Irving and a full collection, School of Forgery, is due from Salt in 2012.

[eds. note: 'Three Celan Poems' look different due to the fact Blogspot wanted to make the capitalised lines way too big, so I had to use my nonexistent HTML skills.]

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