Song for Kiev

It was frozen a year now
and only the metal creature moves.

So the finiteness of the tank is, on the sides, glass fused to human weakness, and on his head are flashing signals. A web
that nobody can read.

Because I have not invented myself yet.

I typewriter, I monster.

Metallic thug that devours cogs and wheels and keys and typewriters poured into my body.
To absorb such things as this we must focus on the motion not on the machines.

Russia mobilized against Ukraine today (no it didn’t).
Sochi celebrates 13 gold medals today (yes they do).

Even if some of them aren’t Russian.

Even if Ukraine is not Russia.

Not at all. Not at all.

Perhaps a little.

“You’ll eat me,” said the coach. ” And I’m gone. “

“….,”said protestors.

Gargoyles speaking to the crowd.

Wood Land

A truck grunts and heaves up the hill
beyond Vigeland Park. Far off hammering
carries on the winter’s air.

Nestled in the wood, the leaves
cut under trees an arc
round open ground of glacier and ice.

A beech dreams of new life and flings
its arms to the sky.

The leaf is a microcosm;
its fringes are fjords
rounding the top of an undiscovered headland.

The sides fold over,
parchment in prayer of russet and vein;

what it whispers is as untranslatable
as a winter’s day.

Miracle Magazine – Issue 7 Review

This morning the first ever print copy of Miracle Magazine dropped into my pigeon hole this morning. My first instinct was to rip it open and display my poem proudly to colleagues (who seemed genuinely impressed that I had something published).

This was nice but, however good it is to see poems in print, I have already read this one many times. Your own work wears thin quickly!

The second and more enjoyable part was the slow reading through the selection of excellent writing.  This was a difficult task, as I had to snatch moments between lessons, and on the tube; I still have not finished it, and feel several re-reads are essential.

Partly this is because the magazine is stuffed full with new work: prose, poetry, articles and reviews give a sense of abundance and plenty to the paper. This is appropriate really because the whole thing is focused around flowers – the idea taken as a loose theme for this issue – clearly as much thought has gone into how it appears physically as to the content.  If you have a copy, just smell the pages and you’ll know what I mean! It’s not the delicate scent of a rose but there’s a definite printed smell to it that makes it a pleasure to open.

As to the work, I was impressed by the quality, and proud to be published alongside these writers.  From David Kowalczyk‘s gentle ‘Auscultation’ to Bertille Sobiesk‘s much darker ‘For God’s Sake’, there’s a great range here.

Moreover it’s a collection of voices that feels and sounds very international and not at all limited to London-centric, or even UK centred poetry. As well as the interview and poem from the Mexican poet Camila De La Parra, there are also hints of other places and cultures throughout the magazine. This is one of the things that makes it so refreshing to read.

There are so many writers worth mentioning and in the limited time before I turn in, I can’t mention them all. I particularly enjoyed Laura Rojas ‘Now, Dear’ for its sparse use of language and the rhythm created by the careful overlap of images. There’s a lovely layering in the way sections read:

‘soft bodies soft flesh
imbalanced things, so tentative
with mouths for kissing
each other’s mouths’

There is a tenderness and a simplicity to her work and I would definitely like to read more.

So far I have only read the poetry and haven’t even started on the prose yet (though a number of good articles caught my eye, especially the interview with Miriam Nash).  All of the short fiction is yet to be read.

As for the magazine itself, it’s quite something to have a printed copy and it definitely feels like an important step for Miracle.  The quality of the pictures isn’t great but this is being a bit fussy – getting it in print is the main point.  The only thing that really bothered me was the number of typos and errors throughout the issue. If this new force in writing wants to be taken seriously, it does need to copy edit more carefully.

This aside, I am thoroughly enjoying reading Issue 7 and will be carrying it with me to work for many days yet!