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Hi everyone, we’re now accepting submissions for the first IHOP zine! We’d love you to send us up to 3 of your best poems on the theme of ‘Crossings’ / ‘路口’ by 30th September 2016.


*Send poems to ihop_zine@outlook.com

*Entrants should be China based

*Poems can be written & submitted in Chinese or English

*Please send poems in Word format or in the body of the email

*The zine will be printed in late October & we will host a launch shortly after. More details to follow

*IHOP – International House of Poets, based in Shanghai.

What We Know About Love

What we know about love

is that it doesn’t always come calling

when we want or expect.


What we know about love

is that when you are crouching

in the bathroom at 2am and know


you are going to die, you text your mother.

You text your mother because you’re going to die

and want to tell her you love her.


What we know about love is

that it comes to us when we least expect it.

What we know


is that love is a battlefield

where our hearts are the hills and ridges,

our minds are the forces


that fight over them. And no matter

what guns they bring against us,

what we know is that love


will defeat them. What we know

is that what they know who hate

is not worth knowing.


We know that love comes thick and fast

and when we least expect to be alive,

we are suddenly and viciously alive


even if it is only for a moment and

in that moment we can say

‘I love you’ to whoever


we want. Even those who have no

way to text or call will be calling out

the names of loved ones.


And when the beloved is called,

they always know to answer.

So I know what you are thinking.


What your vicious mind tells you.

I know you, and who you are.

Who you, poisoned, are.


And I do not accept you. I will not

lie down and be trampled by your lies.

I will not love like you love.


That is to say, not to love.

And though I hate you, I will not

let that hate fester or take hold.


I will love if necessary, I will love

if possible, I will love or not at all

be loved or expect love in return.


Because what I know about love

is that it lasts. And I will continue to try

love until I am tried in return,


until the fires of hate are gone. I will love

because what I know about love

is that all we can know is love.


13th June 2016

at 1.35am

the evening
is a gift
a puzzle
we try to figure out
by tickling the cat
writing love letters
to the sun
the morning
has gone stale
in a beer can
the cat
sleeps on the bed
no concern for
the living room
all the light
will have gone
by december
only the generators
have enough
to keep
till midsummer
it is nearly
i bathe in
falling leaves
marking each one
a stitch
the surface
is too brittle
a thread
with the needle
i draw
in the air instead
hoping the light
catches my fingers
like a sparkler
traces your name

Poetry found in leaflet on Carston Höller’s ‘Decision’, Hayward Gallery, June 2015

When we look jointly

we see a mirror lens to invert his vision,
the impression of presence,
the passage of time.
Another timepiece.

At moments within these dark corridors,
moments of rupture,
it meanders, the decisive moment,
like a pair of restless, insomniac twins.
They can no longer be sure
the length of time in which it is possible
to disrupt
two apparently twinned entrances.

Dreams are a short-cut
with holes for children to climb in an out of
while others look on.
It’s a bit like I’m using other people’s kids,
more than 600 billion offspring,

Morlette Lindsay & David Marshall (editors)

Aus Einem April by Frank O’Hara

We dust the walls.
And of course we are weeping larks
falling all over the heavens with our shoulders clasped
in someone’s armpits, so tightly! and our throats are full.
Haven’t you ever fallen down at Christmas
and didn’t it move everyone who saw you?
isn’t that what the tree means? the pure pleasure
of making weep those whom you cannot move by your flights!
It’s enough to drive one to suicide.
And the rooftops are falling apart like the applause

of rough, long-nailed, intimate, roughened-by-kisses, hands.
Fingers more breathless than a tongue laid upon the lips
in the hour of sunlight, early morning, before the mist rolls
in from the sea; and out there everything is turbulent and green.

Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

by Frank O’Hara

10 Hour Day

Breakfast egg, half-lopped & scalped,
the morning gold of yolk on white.

Early sun on eastern walls,
dancing crystal golden light.

Dusty-gold of patient books,
unread on shelves, leaning or straight.

In dusk, apartment faces gleam –
windows high on winter’s night.

Yellow cat’s eyes glitter late –
curious slits of golden sight.

To the New Year by W.S. Merwin

A lovely poem to start 2015, by one of America’s greatest living poets:

To the New Year

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible.

W.S. Merwin


The combination of water and cold
Creates a snowflake, or so I am told.
Crystals, cuts and particles arrested,
Within a flake the water sequestered.

To scrutinize it your only urge is,
Magnified closer the science emerges
And each tiny aggregate reveals
Clear-cut-forms, tough as iron or steel.

Rimed snow quartz, germ of ice and column cast
Irregular particles in time held fast.
And for every needle, sheath or spear,
There’s a broken molecule locked in fear.

For the truth is, like the human, snowflakes
Are unique. One form in varying shapes.
Spot if you can the individual one
In the mass of storm, before it is gone.


I’ve been trying out new things both on a personal level (poetry) and a professional level (teaching); mainly I’ve been looking at creating StoryCube through the excellent Bookleteer site. It’s quite a fun visual way of publishing material & I’d like to start getting children’s stories and poems printed as StoryCubes to display in class. Here’s one I created for my poem ‘X’: X Poem_cube_portrait_1pp_A4

Check it out & have fun!