Song by Siddhartha Bose

I have tied—firmly—my girl to
Stumps of iron, with
Rope of stone.

I keep her at home, feeding
Chewed bits—massacres—of
Lamb gut,
Fox eyes,
Duck fat.

My last lover
Belched me songs of fidelity.
We raised the child of our gut in a
Fog of streets—rainy days, garter belts, cigarette smoke,

The mother left me for my brother,
I went on to eat our produce, our lilac from dead loins,

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London in Peace

The sunshine slaps my shadow across Hanbury Street.
There’s a skip to my step as the latest old song
Grabs me by the ears and snogs me hard
And London is in loooooove.
The slivers strewn and the sick spewn
Are testament to every rampant lust
That bowl around Hawksmoor’s towering prick.
We can touch the sky for but a moment
Before we smack back to the earth of this succulent city.

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Snow by Louis MacNeice

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

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A wikinquisitor writes his memoirs

We’d seen heavy trolling near the capital,
disruptive sockpuppets jumping patrols.
Grandma and ShriGanesh were blocked as sockpuppets of Kolabare,
who’d been blocked as a puppetmaster back in 2.0.
Rouge Admin were to blame, or the Mergists,
depending on which rumour you believed. Cabalist newbs
were applying the Pokémon test indiscriminately.
Civilisation cracked. When I got given the mop,
I gathered my meat puppets and instructed them to salt the earth.

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A Brief History of Combat Simulation by Ross Sutherland

Standing in front of the bay windows
of my crisply vectored apartment
wearing a promotional tee-shirt
I got free from a box manufacturing company,
looking out over the red light district
on the lower east side of the city
and wondering where I’m going to find my next job,
it’s easy to forget that none of this is real.

Catch me on a bulletin board
and I’ll talk of my teenage years on Mars,
the fog bank that used to wait for me at the end of my street.

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An extract from Glyn Maxwell’s poem “Liberty”

It is July 1793, just before the Terror.

Rose, an actress at the Theatre Nationale, recognizes Maurice, a former aristocrat who now makes a living doing puppet shows in the street. They met once at a picnic, and played a charade as ‘the White Hearts’.

‘The Friend’ is Marat. ‘The Incorruptible’ is Robespierre.

Rose  Excuse me, am I wrong, is it not Monsieur –
Maurice Mademoiselle –
Rose   The White Hearts

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If Picabia Had Spun Above Zelażna Street by Ben Borek

… to be sung

Oh you maddened machine
no your face isn’t clean
in the traffic soot breeze-
you’re a relic

And the dirt on your face
is a wilful disgrace
from an affluent blip
in aesthetics

All the marks of your pox
as you sit in your box
are alight and they glow
with kinetics

But your dwellings are high
and it’s only my eye
trained on high that can see
for you’re fading

Dwindling out through the mist
made of rain and the grist
of your dreams and your thoughts
of mechanics

But your makeup is bone
you can’t leave it alone
though you cling to and sing

« All our progress is clear
to a seer up here
in my plane, with my brain
revolutions !

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Scratch a Liberal by Richard Tyrone-Jones

They say, ‘Scratch a liberal, you’ll find a fascist’.
But scratch a fascist, you’ll find a communist;
scratch a communist, you’ll find an anarchist;
scratch an anarchist, you’ll find a feudalist;
scratch a feudalist, you’ll find a Roman Republican;
scratch a Roman Republican, you’ll find a democrat,
though he will be incredibly tiny.

Richard Tyrone-Jones is a London-based poet and performer.

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