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18. Featuring: Edge Hill University  Poetry & Poetics Research Group

Including:

Robert Sheppard + Cliff Yates + Patricia Farrell +  Scott Thurston + Alice Lenkiewicz + Neil Addison + Colin Harris + Steve Van Hagen + Daniele Pantano + Andrew Taylor

Alice Lenkiewicz

 

Panel 2

 

I walked as far as the turning point, comprehended a woman in a raincoat

beside her empty trailer, filled with scattered particles, remnants of voices,

too much like being in a western, all those jeans and empty gazes. Then,

the sky opened. Water poured down upon her body.

 

She was able to lift off the glass lid and swallow liquids inside, one by

one, blue, then yellow and green. The glass absorbed a memory,

transmitting the emptiness of the night before, not the kind of thing you

would normally choose for a romantic weekend but then we agreed that the

future is impossible, so they at least felt blessed.

 

No mountains, deserts, speeches, or crazy blue butterflies here, to bargain

your best guns! Anger, of course was always part of growing up, useless

plaits and blazers, all that walking up swiss alps. Oh, to hurl oneself

under that truck or glide peacefully towards the farmhouse on some kind of

winged contraption.

 

The white dress rustles towards the abandoned beach. All those maniacs,

no good pretending it didn’t happen, no point in thinking it went smoothly.

I like to be part of that nonsense and anyway, I enjoy this seedy nightclub.

In the end the space is there for both you and I, never attaching itself to

just one person. The tragedy compartments just wouldn’t subside but the

memory sparkles in the sunshine today.

 

The betrayal is surrounding me. Why did I think it was her when it was

him all along? Those who met the flower junkies died but they taught us

something. They taught us something glamorous. Surely you know what I

mean? She lay down as the past streamed through her, out of her thoughts

like rusty old wire.

Colin Harris

 

The Forgotten Camera In The Glove Box

 

A and B met and fell in love

they got married and moved in together

things were great for a while

then they started fighting

this went on for a ridiculously long time

until neither could tell the difference

between marriage and divorce

A developed the hobby of making B miserable

B developed the hobby of being made miserable by A

despite themselves they woke one morning

and dreamed of something better

Andrew Taylor

 

From the 39th Floor

 

Streets mapped as if by Haussmann midtown

Polaroid age of colour daily news traffic

 

increase uptown to extended neon billboards

billowing smoke and steam from the roadway

 

Almost half a century on the skyline remains

enforced demolition these streets carry histories

 

There’s some nice parts of Manhattan you can

see them from here

 

Couples in love wandering hand in hand

flocks of birds in small parks

 

taking drink in bars grey atmosphere of backrooms

authentic coffee from delis polystyrene cups

 

Go everywhere by foot exploration a natural way

to Lexington and 52nd Street stand above the subway ventilation

 

[acknowledgements to eralsoto]

Steve Van Hagen

 

Naypyidaw

 

in Naypyidaw did the uncrowned king

follow the astrologer’s dictate

 

take the battered road north of Rangoon until

the dirt track morphs into

an eight-line highway spanning

scrub land and a hovering horizon;

the highway is empty save

for horses, carts and the occasional

blacked-out junta SUV

 

streets are silent as the graves, note

the smiles of forced labourers

who avert their eyes, then scurry;

half-built shopping centres

and neoclassical bank buildings stutter

into unsure, apologetic existence

while police office signs ask nobody

May I Help You?

 

down any side alley

the ghosts meander of the monks

who received this help in Rangoon

and Mandalay, they saunter

as far as the bunkers,

golf courses and five-star-hotel

casinos

 

yours are the only Western eyes

ever to see this place

Neil Addison

 

The Trimmer Today

 

The sky is all tooled-up,

The sunset a rich harvest of downed tools.

 

Kiss goodnight

to this disappearance already

and make ready for the morrow.

It is marginally wise,

 

even with the sun pegged against dick-wads,

rip-tides, rain-proof goods.

 

Here lies

another year of smoke without fire

 

hell-bent on sky-writing

 

imploring us to hurry on home.

 

I’m talking about breaking news,

‘The World’s Biggest Omelette’,

all those two-bit millions it’s licensed to earn

from sponsored dragnets, daffy meanings,

 

baffling arcs.

 

As storytellers

they reek of common sense,

 

unable to locate any moments

without earning

along the way, upending

 

the primary carcass.