Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-EIGHT – Tom Phillips

Remembering Margot Heinemann in BS3

And so there’s a sniff from the neighbours.
The lighter goes out in the breeze anyway.
They’re inferring our allegiances

and are probably right. Theirs are,
I’d hazard a guess. Not ours at least –
and staying put will leave us

in a different country. They’re forgetting
that we have memories too
and remember afternoons in the 80s

when Margot Heinemann heaved up the stairs
and the heart of the heartless world
plumped comfortably into the sofa.

We ate lunch her sister prepared
and talked of changes and days
when Jarrow came down through

a country made over to red brick
and university places paid for
in a different currency.

She knew all too well about Spain
and its unnecessary murders
and said so – rhetoric cleansed

of excuses – while her lost love
turned in his distant grave
outside Teruel where he fought

to the end to save everything
that they kept hold of,
everything that they held dear

 

 

Tom Phillips is a poet and playwright living in Bristol. His poetry has appeared in a wide range of magazines, anthologies, pamphlets and the full-length collections Unknown Translations (Scalino, 2016) and Recreation Ground (Two Rivers Press, 2012). Other work includes co-running the online poetry/art project Colourful Star, editing the magazine Balkan Poetry Today and translating contemporary Bulgarian writing.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-SEVEN – Finola Scott

Stane Dykes

Gather stones      obvious yes   but no need
                         for them         to be uniform
            Sandstone    Blue John        Granite
            The trick is to pile   high   layer    pack tight
Malachite Delineate territory    Inform your neighbours
it’ll make you friends     Slate     round-eyed pebbles
             may seem unimportant but hold a barrier snug
block chinks No room   for manoeuvre rock solid
             Rhyolite    Schist      Meta-quartzite
Belly-fat boulders built it fast        show strength
     catch others off guard     Basalt   Choose rough or smooth on
             a slick facade Sound professional determined
               Obsidian    Fire Agate        Copper
Cup it round a hill   March   down glens
              Make your own horizon.

 

 

Finola Scott‘s poems and short stories have won & been placed in national competitions. They are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, Dactyl and The Lake. Liz Lochhead was her mentor on the Clydebuilt Scheme. Also a performance poet, she is proud to be a slam-winning granny.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-SIX – Arwen Webb

April’s Fool

You have to take out their families
knock the hell out of them
the wife knew exactly what was happening
watching her husband fly into the
World Trade Centre
those brave souls
take them out I say
they are politically hostile
they care about their lives
I kid you not
torture them
it absolutely works
bring it back
get tougher
I want to do everything within
the bounds of what you’re
allowed to do legally
do I feel it works?
Absolutely I feel it works.
Chopping people’s heads off because they are Christian?
That’s not okay
let’s re-initiate a program
of interrogation of high-value
alien terrorists operating outside
our territory
they won’t refuse me
they are not going to refuse me
believe me.
Take them out
with their families
knock the hell out of them.

 

 

Arwen Webb lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire where she regularly performs her poetry. Her poems have appeared in the New Boots blog and The Morning Star among other publications. She teaches Sociology at a sixth form college.

 

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-FIVE – Rodney Wood

They Didn’t Care If I Died

they only took my money / possessions & starved my body / they didn’t kill me / they didn’t make me a slave
I was lucky / they only took my money / possessions & starved my body
I was lucky / they didn’t kill me / they didn’t make me a slave

the dinghy before mine was packed with 130 bodies before it sank / I only suffered hypothermia / broken bones & exhaust inhalation
I was lucky / the dinghy before mine was packed with 130 bodies before it sank
I was lucky / I only suffered hypothermia / broken bones & exhaust inhalation

but / I don’t want to talk about it
I was lucky / but
I was lucky / I don’t want to talk about it

the prison where I live patrolled by masked men with baseball bats / the people attack me with words / Molotov cocktails / rocks
I don’t want to talk about it / the prison where I live patrolled by masked men with baseball bats
I don’t want to talk about it /  the people attack me with words / Molotov cocktails / rocks

how they do with my body what they like / how they have taken everything I am / they humiliate / persecute / torture me every day because I’m a reffo
I don’t want to talk about it / how they do with my body what they like / how they have taken everything I am
I don’t want to talk about it / they humiliate / persecute / torture me every day because I’m a reffo

but / I don’t want to talk about it
I was lucky / but
I was lucky / I don’t want to talk about it

 

 

Rodney Wood is retired and lives in Farnborough. His work has appeared recently in Brittle Star, The Journal, Envoi, Message in a Bottle, International Times as well as the anthology The Poet‘s Quest for God.

 

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-FOUR – Alexandra Citron

Pantoum for a Pernicious Panjandrum

Who the hell let him in the room? I mean
who the hell? A joke, a spoiler, a puffed up
spliff of a man. A bad trip, a failed fix –
a trumped up lie of the land.

Who? The hell of a joke. A spoiler. A puffed up
hot-air balloon over the prairies. Cmon,
a trumped up lie. Of all the land
this was the answer, the best we could do?

Hot-air balloons over the prairies – come on –
trailing a sky-sign could do better.
This was the answer? The best we can do is
go back to square one and start again

trailing a sky-sign ‘Could do better!’
because this ain’t gonna work I tell you.
Go back to square one. Start again.
Screw all the money. Where’s the smarts?

Because this ain’t gonna work. I tell you
they get vertigo just thinking up so high.
Screw all the money. We need smarts
and not this joker lying his way through.

They get vertigo just thinking. Up so high
it’s easy to forget what’s important here
and not. This joker? Lied his way through.
Up to us you know to set this straight.

It’s easy to forget. What’s important here
is who the hell let him in the room. I mean
it’s up to us, you know, to set this straight –
fix this failed spliff of a man, this bad trip.

 

 

Alexandra Citron was born in Washington DC and moved to the UK aged 12. An editor and publisher by day, she is a member of the Blue Side Poets, the Persisters and a Poetry School student and has been published in Myslexia and Visual Verse.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-THREE – Andrew Fentham

Trumpelstiltskin

Once upon a time
there lived a little goblin
with a golden head.
Its name was Trumpelstiltskin.

Trumpelstiltskin loved
when people called its name out.
Trumpelstiltskin! Trump
elstiltskin! it would pout.

Say my name again!
My name is Trumpelstiltskin!
Trumpelstiltskin splashed
its name across its building,

living as it did
inside a golden tower –
TRUMPELSTILTSKIN stood
in giant golden letters.

Trumpelstiltskin said
its art was deal-making,
though it broke its word
without apologising.

Looking down from high
in TRUMPELSTILTSKIN Tower,
Trumpelstiltskin saw
a woman wipe her tears.

Who is that? it thought,
and does she need a favour?
Can we do a deal?
and scuttled down to meet her.

My name’s Trumpelstilt
skin! I can fix your problems!
Trumpelstiltskin’s hair
is valuable and golden!

Plucking out a strand
the goblin told the woman,
Gold will ease your pain,
no matter what the problem!

Desperate and spent
the woman asked the goblin
what she had to do
to end her painful sobbing.

Say my name, it said,
before we give each other
gold inside my tower
as you piss my bed.

 

 

Andrew Fentham’s poems and translations have appeared in magazines in the UK, Ireland, France and Hungary. ‘Project’, a response to the work of Victor Pasmore, appeared at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne in May 2015.

Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY FIFTY-TWO – Stuart Paterson

Immigration Visa No. 26698, New York, May 11th 1930 

Mary Anne MacLeod, low-earning migrant
fleeing poverty to live with your sister
who’d been banished from a strict religious
land in an unwed childbirth scandal
just a few years previously, welcome to
America where thirteen years from now
you will yourself be wed, to Fred,
give birth to irony, or as he’ll come
to soon be known, The Dómhnall.
Good job that Hoover isn’t into building
walls, Mary Anne MacLeod from Croft 5
in Tong on Lewis, away in you come,
put your feet up, we’ll make you a cup of tea
& have a chat about acceptance,
tolerance & the land of the fucking free.

 

Stuart A. Paterson writes in English & his native Scots & lives by the Solway coast. Originally from Ayrshire, he was Dumfries & Galloway writer-in-residence 1996-98, returning to live in the area in 2012 after 14 years spent working in Manchester. Border Lines, poems about Galloway (IDP 2015) & Aye, poems in Scots (Tapsalteerie 2016), are his latest collections.