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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Poetry by Brent Cantwell, William Doreski and Samantha Maw

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Brent Cantwell is a New Zealand writer from Timaru, South Canterbury, who lives with his family in the hinterland of Queensland, Australia. He has recently been published in Sweet Mammalian, Turbine/ Kapohau, Verge, Brief, Blackmail Press, Cordite, Landfall and Plumwood Mountain.

 

 

 

 

the sound of the sleepers

the sound of the sleepers keeps me awake

then a train goes by & the platform light
is off then on is off then on is off
& I can see that two dimensions
are now enough and were enough
& everything is back lit anyway;
the illusion of movement is adequate
because the image is loud:
a polite bow & a slow kiss –
a cigarette & a plucked lilly –
a clubber left tapping –
another adjusting a wig to alight –
the day line is coming

the sound of the sleepers keeps me awake

 

 

 

 

William Doreski’s most recent book is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). His poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals. He lives in Peterborough, NH.

 

 

 

 

 

Van Gogh Chewing Off His Ear

Distracted by the stars crashing into the trees, I mistake myself for van Gogh chewing off his ear. He didn’t chew it off but snipped it with scissors, or slashed it with a kitchen knife. Or Gauguin chewed it off for him. Anyway, it was only part of an ear, and the stars were crashing into the wheat fields. No wonder he felt distracted by the teasing of women old enough to cancel his bus ticket and serve him to the dogs. No wonder he feared that his art dealer brother might accidentally sell a painting. The days unravel like poorly knitted garments. I’ve never learned to knit, although some professional football players have made a fetish of it. They knit in the…not the dugout, that’s baseball. Locker room? Field house? Maybe just on the sidelines, where fans can observe their technique, their quickness with the needles. Why don’t football players have dugouts? Like van Gogh resting between bouts of painting they spend much of their careers standing around with their muscles bulging like overripe papaya. I wonder if from that angle they can see stars crashing into the skyscrapers of Houston, Dallas, Miami, Boston, wherever the home teams call home. I have no home team. I haven’t stood on a sideline for many years, yet I feel as remote as van Gogh snipping off a bit of ear to feed the whirlpool of night. I don’t think it bled much. He was so malnourished by then he had probably drained his blood to mix with his paint, giving it a texture cruder than life itself.

 

 

 

 

Samantha Maw is studying a Creative Writing MA at Lincoln University in the U.K. and is a member of Lincoln Creative Writers and Outspoken Poets. A qualified teacher who has worked in primary and secondary schools in the UK and in Africa; she has now gained the confidence to impose her poems and blogging skills (couragechasers.com) on the general public. She lives in Lincoln with a scruffy golden lurcher and two ridiculously cuddly cats. In her spare time she likes to tread the boards at her local amateur dramatic society, and leads story time at the local village library.

 

 

 

 

 

Goat on a bike

Goat on a bike
An undignified turkey
swinging
beady eyed
upended
feathers dancing
in the breeze
37 trays of eggs
on her head held
steady with a scarred
hand
A clutch of children
unbound behind a boda driver
grinning fearlessly in
the heat soaked wind
A cackle of chickens
scattering like marbles
across the
orange dust
A confused tortoise
airborne like a trophy
The seller hoping for a good price
The product dreaming of lettuce
and a safe, warm box
A giant yellow bloom
of jerry cans banging
out a hollow tune
A woman walking
in her Sunday best
no shoes
A broad chested man
with a Hello Kitty Jacket
and a santa hat
playing pool under a
hot tin roof
All traffic ignoring the red
lights and the puffa fish
law enforcers in their white
jumpsuits and oversized black boots
Armchairs stacked high
on a pick up
a suited recliner enjoying
the wind on his face
The Blessed Fwaniture Centre
The Alleluia Tea Room Amen
This strangeness suits me
wraps around
my soul
like I’ve returned home.

 

 

 

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