Poetry

Progress in Progress by Paul Lyalls

There are no horizons in a city,

only those within yourself.

I couldn’t tell where the city ended

and the people began,

there were only individuals

with crowd-like tendencies

and eternal hopefuls

dreaming of big fat redundancies.

I went through every street in the city

and couldn’t find one person whom I remotely liked.

The revolving doors of human happiness

were jammed shut with people

pushing in every direction

apart from the right one.

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Alone by Joseba Sarrionandia

Translated by Linda White

She’s alone in the world.
She loves getting letters, but when she looks in the mailbox it’s always empty.
She decided to write to herself. She put the letter in an envelope and wrote her address on it twice, once as the recipient and once as the sender.
She went out for a walk down the empty streets and dropped the letter in a random city mailbox.

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Briar Neck, 1912 by Ernest Farrés

Barren, sun-baked and glistening
from rough weather, rocky crags with deep
gnawn-away gorges and warped landings
hanging plant growth
and rubble as the base of cliffs
descend as far as the sea.
The sea! An eagle
at odds with blackbirds and finches,
a debauchery of countenances
and murmurs fading beneath the arch of the sky,
a mass of indigo gleaming
in the filtered sunlight,
a terminus.

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murrai is pondering… by Antón R Reixa

murrai is pondering a profound study on
ignorance but does not want to devote himself to writing it
until he acquires greater general unknowledge
yes yes the paper towels for
after

(From Stories of Rock-and-Roll, 1985)

Antón R Reixa (born 1957) is one of the most radical innovators in Galician poetry. Since the 1980s he has been experimenting with multimedia poetry and artists books.

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Two poems from Edward Hopper by Ernest Farrés

Railroad Train, 1908

No sooner is the caboose
out of sight than they’ve
already forgotten you.
It’s like losing clout or taking
a load off their minds. That’s just
how they, who are out
to lunch or do nothing
with their lives, wash their hands
of you. Got it? Yet the trains you catch
are determined, air-conditioned, carnivorous,
in fine fettle.

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Climate⎜ˈklī-mət by David Hermann

noun

the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period

the weather conditions
the whale congregations
the wisdom constructions
the wish consultants
the whiskied conscience
the worry controls
the worship controllers
the weather conditions
them all

 

————————————-
David Hermann is completing his Masters in Comparative Literature at
UCL. He writes a lot. Read him at hermannist.com

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The Value of Wales by Paul Lyalls

Its chief contribution to the UK
must be as a unit of measurement,
as night after night
a news desk declares
‘An area of Rainforest,
the size of Wales disappears every year’.
0r, ‘The amount of water
London loses through its creaking Victorian pipes
would fill a swimming pool
the size of Wales’.
Every part of the world has a similar unit of measurement:
in the United States it’s an area the size of New Jersey;
on mainland Europe the reference more often than not
is Slovenia – which appropriately happens to be
98.4 percent the size of Wales.

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Something about a woman by Charles Bukowski

ah, Merryman,

a fighter on the docks,

killed a man while they were unloading

bananas.

I mean the man he killed

clubbed him first

from behind

with an anchor chain

(something about a woman)

and we all circled around

while

Merryman

did him in

under a hard-on sun,

finally strangling him to death

throwing him into the

ocean.

Merryman leaped to the dock

and walked

away, nobody tried to stop

him.

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Don’t Try This At Home by Paul Lyalls

Start the beamer,

thrash the beamer,

smash it into the housing estate.

Wave to the helicopter,

I ain’t sick and I don’t need a head doctor,

it ain’t stealing when I take your car,

it’s just another form of drug with which

you’re not used to dealing.

My drug has more than highs and lows,

it’s got 4-wheel drive accelerator feeling,

I thrive on its buzz,

at last I’m alive, I need its rush

and you must know it’s never this

exciting on the paving.

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The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski

the pleasures of the damned

are limited to brief moments

of happiness:

like the eyes in the look of a dog,

like a square of wax,

like a fire taking the city hall,

the county,

the continent,

like fire taking the hair

of maidens and monsters;

and hawks buzzing in peach trees,

the sea running between their claws,

Time

drunk and damp,

everything burning,

everything wet,

everything fine.

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Corpse Washing

They had grown used to him. But when the

Tilley lamp was brought and threw

fitful beams into the darkening room, the stranger

grew unknowable. They washed his neck

 

and, as they knew nothing of his circumstances,

they wove a history for him from lies,

diligently washing. A cough forced one to pause,

to rest her loaded vinegar sponge

 

on the face.

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Now Winter Nights Enlarge by Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine:
Let well-tun’d words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey Love,
While youthful Revels, Masks, and Courtly sights,
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.

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On Reading Virgil’s Eclogues by Raficq Abdulla

Not so much the rivers that have dried up
As myself, dried up with acts and failure to act,
Alexis is yours, mine is named differently
But beauty lay there too, my eyes joined my will
To love for a while when the trees you speak of
Stood tall and sang lyrics with the breeze,
That was a long time ago, but yet a snatch of time
When measured by mountains and laughing nature.

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Symphony in Yellow by Oscar Wilde

An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there, a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.

Big barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like a yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.

The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.

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‘perishable poetry’

At Borders on Oxford Street
Poetry is at the end of Fiction
Next to Crime

 

 

London stands united
What a blast
We share the rain
Not the umbrella

 

 

David Hermann has written for film, television, print and online publications, is in the middle of a Masters degree in Comparative Literature and working on a collection of poems.

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London Fashion Week/Pelvis

stepping out
onto the sunset
catwalk, London

 

juts its bones in
couture: organza
sky distressed

 

over the West End’s
knowing armour – it’s
all about structure,

 

darling, the single
crane dangling its
ruby earring: blood

 

pendent amidst blue,
last drop on the map
wrapped and worn

 

as a dress; the full
moon is artless, a silver
given, a fluorescent

 

puffball scattering
glitter spores of desire
over the shards, ascendant

 

crystals healing only
sceptics: the hard city
softened by chiffons of

 

fog as it tries to rise,
a ten-inch heel spiking
the stars into the sky.

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