A Statue Speaks
The morning takes it’s first breath of daylight
Exhaling the sunrise that fills the sky with colored
Chirping often mistaken as singing by winged troubadours.
disrupts the gloaming’s silence
Shrill announcement of their agendas prior to flight.
I stand in bronzed stillness
Aware of the onslaught about to befall me
A daily routine of  humiliation.
Statues are City scarecrows
Just as ineffective as their country counterparts
Pigeons are first to perch on my structure.
Cooing laughter while they shit on my oxidized green copper surface.
Their feces leaving white spots about my body
As though I was infected with Vitiligo
These rats without wings are indigent of respect
I’m a creation of spirituality for Christ’s sake
a pious image of an Arc Angel
Crows and Magpies swoop in like gang members
commandeering territory the Pigeons
vacate in a cowardly fashion
They squawk in triumph and sharpen
their beaks on my alloyed body,
committing the same sacrilege as the prior visitors
Milky excrement drips into crevices
Sliding downward scoring long white lines
An expression of their contempt
a display of discourteous actions without apologies.
The Bible contains many verses and references
pertaining to their reverence.
“Look to the air and the birds
Your heavenly father feeds them.”
But God like an undisciplined child
takes no responsibility
for cleaning up after their mess
He’s occupied creating Divine catastrophes
that doesn’t leave  dirt under his fingernails.
The day is evicted by the Sun’s stealth exit
a grey landscape surrenders to the night.
Another vandal with equal disregard for public art
employs a method of deviant behavior
in contrast to the winged assailants.
They’re referred to as “taggers”
The weapon they holster is a can of spray paint.
scribbling  nonsense and irrelevant messages
containing misspelled words,
profanities out of context
grammar of an illiterate
Their desecration is accompanied by the hissing of the spray can
I’m transformed into a marquee
Displaying their stupidity in color.
Their graffiti leaves a scar difficult to erase
I’m painted in areas that cause me to be embarrassed
Enter the drunks, addicts, thieves,
homeless and the mentally deranged
Each group staging a unique performance.
some voicing prayer like a child asking Santa for presents,
believing that their requests will actually be answered.
Assuming I’ve got a direct connection to God’s ear.
Others curse, swear and scream  at me with contempt
suspecting that I am the cause of their misfortune.
As if had a hand in their bad luck and demise
They choose me to be the victim of their displaced aggression
I am the one to blame.
They reward me with piss and vomit.
Breaking bottles against my metal frame.
Under the cover of foliage behind me.
Lovers moan with pleasure from engaging in sex.
They scream with delight
Young voices expressing orgasmic sensations
Hookers provide discounts for acts of oral gratification.
my stature keeps them hidden and undetected.
I’m sentenced to constant exposure to  the forces of nature.
No matter the  weather I stand vigilant braving the  elements,
being at the mercy of each season’s unpredictable climate
Assaulted without relief never provided with shelter
Against the brutal atmospheric conditions.
If in the near future you pass an anchored figurine.
Take a moment to notice it’s grandeur,
admire the curves, the expression, the attention to  detail
And comment on the creativity of the artist
Now being aware of a statue’s stiff existence.
Your appreciation will give purpose to it’s frozen pose.

Ian Copestick

            My Nightmare
Every writer thinks that they’re writing great stuff
If they didn’t, then why would they bother ?
Each one thinks they’re a genius, a craftsman or a seer
Better than all of the others
Who wants to think that they’re mediocre ?
Who wants to think they’re no good ?
When they feel art in every heartbeat
And literature flowing through their blood
At least 90% have to face up to
The fact they never got it quite right
They weren’t who they thought they were
They were never that good
Their names will disappear into the night
It must be one of the saddest things about humanity
To live a full life, yet get nowhere
To be born at the bottom of the mountain
A lifetime later to still be standing there
To never make a mark upon the centuries
When you see the shit the general public gets fed
The idiots get rich and move to L.A.
I’m here in Stoke, might as well be dead

J.J. Campbell

a long note in the rain
find a woman that thinks
you are as cool as tom waits
in 1978
find a woman that can drink
you under the table and then
will allow you to join her
down there
find a woman that will push
you, push you past your limits,
past whatever envelope you
are carrying
past your father, past your mother
past every worry or imagined
monster in your head
past every damn ending you
thought existed, push you all
the way to the top, but never
thinks about pushing you off
find a woman that understands
the power of a saxophone and
a long note in the rain
find a woman that looks amazing
in fishnets but only wants you to
enjoy the view
find a woman that will lay under
the stars with you, ask to see what
it really takes to write a poem, licks
every scar on your body and gently
place her lips on your cheek and
whisper it’s going to be okay now
find a woman that likes to laugh
find a woman that knows how
to properly spice food
find a woman that likes good
find a woman that is willing
to want you to smell her pussy
in public
find a woman that understands
god never loved all of his children
find a woman that likes a good
hockey fight
find a woman that likes music
you don’t and allow yourself
to grow
find a woman that knows
sometimes art is stupid
find a woman that can find
beauty in a pile of shit
find a woman that understands
why no one should be having
find a woman that thinks you

are good enough to die for


Ian Copestick

                       Heroin History

I was flicking through a book,
Earlier today, on the social history of  Britain in the 20th Century  and I have to say that
I was absolutely blown away
To see that Heroin was only
Made illegal in 1956.
Nineteen Fifty fucking Six !
Can you believe it ?
At the time, according to
Government records, there was
47.5 heroin addicts in the
Whole British Isles. Before you
Even begin to think of what
Makes up 0.5 of a heroin
Addict, 47.5, in the whole
Fucking country !
Prohibition worked really well
There, didn’t it ?
The only winners that I can see
In the whole, sorry scenario
Are drug dealers and criminals.
How to make 47 turn into
Hundreds of thousands.
Call me sceptical, or cynical, but something doesn’t quite add up here, for me.
You might possibly think that in the ’50’s with the birth of the
Teenager, and suddenly large numbers of working class
Youngsters going to University
And getting educated. That
Those in power would like to See a lot of working class
Youngsters opiated and numb
As I said, I’m cynical, and a bit
Of a conspiracy theorist, but
It’s just a thought

Lou Faber



“Another,” he said,

his knees pressing

against the mahogany panels

of the old bar,

“and keep them coming

until I can take no more.

There won’t be

a last call tonight.”

The clatter of caroming

billiard balls cut

through the cigarette smoke

that curled against

the etched, streaked mirror,

over the din of karaoke.

As the bartender rinsed

and wiped the glasses

with a beigy cotton towel

and walked to the storeroom

he lifted the shot glass.

“This one’s for you Ginsberg,”

as he had earlier for Lowell,

Reznikoff, the others.

Much later as the sun

rose slowly, as his head

rested in his left hand,

he struggled to grab the small glass,

lifted it painfully

from the ash littered bar top

and in a sodden, slurred voice

whispered, head falling

against the wood, “and this

is for you Corso.”


Troy R. McGee, Jr.

To Ex-Girlfriends


stomping, glorious shapely gears, dangerous curves

turn on your large hips and walk away,

mumbling “fuck you” fumbling ample breasts

back into the bodice because I bounced in erect

with no bullshit and wouldn’t say I love you

you can’t reverse gears now you’ve

swallowed me you hate me why you hang

around me I could make nice or we could

watch fireworks later, settle into why I’m not

how you are how many times you lie on me

angry you tell me you faked, tell your friends

“I never fucked him” meanwhile I meditate,

meshed, mashed mouths into you

I never lie, never sleep without you, not

asleep, in love with someone else

unable to matter to you, to be your friend

and lover, you think love and law guilt

and sin and blame coven and covenant

I think like a man, a monkey merely

filthy and “pussy” scared you know

you let me in I tell myself you would

do it again I awake a world away a married

man 12 steps from poetry to slavery

love and sex and pure knavery and not




Curriculum Vitae


It is important to practice your craft. Try to hone your poems down to concise and finely tuned statements about the true beauty in the world. Send these pithy ruminations to magazines and publishers who seem to share your view of the arts or to those whom you admire. Be persistent. No one likes a quitter or those who are easily discouraged. Try to get a foothold in Academic circles. Much success for a poet can be had with those who read and are conversant in the language of books. Maintain an air of humility as you continue to sharpen your skills. Let others make the seminal observations about your writing and your character. Garner awards so soon your newest collection of poems will have some sort of a medallion on it or at least some addendum to your name signifying you are one of the true young lions of the literary world. At some point it may be necessary to formally approach poetry with a book of sonnets or sestinas or historically highly regarded forms. A language phase may be added consisting of words which ring and shine for their own sake. Actually, settle down somewhere back East or in some mystical locale made famous by your own verse. In this time speak of the spirit of the place you inhabit. Even use the term Zeitgeist and see if you can get away with saying Weltanschauung. Become obsessed with the plight of some group and their struggle and devote two or three books to heroic songs of justice in their name. Get a job at a university of your choice because you love to give back to young people. Write your observations on the world to your local paper or even to some lucky periodical of which the editorial staff will be so thrilled to have your input. Become an actual charity or an endowment of some kind so people will see and hear your name when they watch PBS shows and other younger writers can get money and medallions and addendum on their books. Champion a few of them and maybe have some affairs. Get to know some famous people but make sure they see you as aloof or somehow above everything that goes on or inexplicably dark of mood. Become some kind of living national treasure whom someone undoubtedly will say the very advancement of letters could not have been possible without your contribution. Design a building for your foundation. Scratch that. Have a committee design a building for your foundation and hire a famous architect to build it. Probably on the grounds of the university you are now an absolute bulwark of culture within. Make sure the building is expansive and ornate with wings and futuristic furniture and green over there and orange over there. Go out of fashion quietly and without unseemly protest about how you no longer understand the world or young people. Understand that the smell of your books will be slightly musty and reflect your death in the way a poem never could when some literature professor you taught tasks a student with writing a paper about you and your poems which after all is said and done are exactly what always came first.