Wisdom Adediji


The day I turned into you,     you saw me first.
You were there, breathing petals like lilies,     plucking stars
from my heart, to the earth on your palms.
I whisper to the wind      to whistle songs to you,  & 
you —a bright shard from the sun— eats up the darkness
on my tongue. I pray the hook in my throat  unfurls
Into lyrics     of old starlings   hymning your name.
I search your name in the sky of my heart,   & all I harvest is memories
of you as an angel,   &  I am incomprehensible 
for dishing void from my voice. 
Demons are fallen angels, &  oh!  what do we call fallen demons?
But you  are the clean waters,  shattering darkness
from my bones. & I moult from dirt    to your kisses 
wrapping my tongue with your molars,     making my 
breath as quiet as a sepulchre.

Ian Copestick

That Famous Black Dog

Sadly, I have
to admit that
depression is
getting the better
of me.
Everything is really
hard work.
Just getting up,
and dressed tires
me out more than
an 8 hour shift at
work used to.

I've lost interest in
nearly everything.
I used to love playing guitar.
I was never very good,
but it was something I
I haven't picked it up
for over a year.

The amount of poems
I've had published in
the last year,
I used to have that
many published each month.

I need help,
I know that.
I've known it
for a long time,
but now I've
reached enough
of a low point
to accept it.

Tomorrow morning,
I'll be phoning the
doctor's surgery.
Hopefully, I'll get
the help that I've
finally acknowledged that I need.

Laszlo Aranyi


Cooking a scrawny, hairy newborn...
- What the fuck are you doing, cummer?

"We'll boil the nine devils out of him."
Nine precocious, duck-legged gnomes,
born by God-tempting practices of witchcraft.

This brat is not even mummified.
(parchment-coated, peeling, scaly-skinned) he is a
disgrace to the crib.
His shrewd, bow-legged hounds chase
and hunt the stray deers' akasha image.

Nine paces from the river, nine moons sit
above the motionless water.
Usurer, the sevenfold crouching creator rules
the real and the imagined world.

He deals zinc-clad cards
while fertile scribbles guard
the nine crystal-structured Villains.

(Translated by Gabor Gyukics)

Ayiyi Joel

To Boys Holding Hands.
Each time I want to say this
my mouth becomes lead.
I saw a boy
holding another boy.
To be another boy's lover here
is what might drain you of your breath.
I cannot say,
if to lock lips with a boy
is bad.
I cannot say,
if to lock soul with a boy
is a sin.
You might walk into your grave,
get lynched, stoned
& as you scream in pains
to be left alone,
your father might be
the one to cast the first stones.

Ian Copestick

The First Time

The first time that I
remember thinking
of suicide was in my

I remember being
around 18 years
old, and a friend
" If I killed myself,
that would show
them ! "

" Who ? " , I asked.

" All of them, the
teachers who put
me down at school.
Al of the girls who've
said no to me. "

I felt like I had to say,

" Most of them would
never hear about it,
anyway. "

So I did.

I don't think he liked

But it's the truth.

I mean, killing yourself
just to prove some kind
of point seems idiotic.

And very self indulgent.

If you really, really, can't
take the pain, anymore,
then I don't honour you,
neither do I judge you.

Or me.

I prefer to believe that as life can always get worse, it can also get better. 

George Gad Economou

Midnight Blues

away from the bars for a while, swilling 
cheap wine that allows for trips 
down memory lane.  

saving money, trying to figure out the bleak future,  
a way to make it, somehow, alive out of the whole damn charade.  

as cruel mornings dawn, and drinks flow,  

the blues come back with an extra 
vengeance I haven’t seen in a while.  

bitterness returns, I see faults everywhere around me,  
on everyone, including myself, and there’s no light 
to illumine the crepuscular rooms of life.  

even in strip joints I fail to feel at home anymore; 
a constant reminder of how things were constantly 
looms over my head.  

dark rain floods the streets, the emptiness of the world  
engulfs me once more; exhausted, trying somehow to disappear. 

always remaining still, unable to react.  

more drinks are poured and downed. the dry bottles withhold 
no real answers. 


Late Night Embraces

she held me tight, when we were both high on high octane rotgut 
and fortified wine; “I love you” and I couldn’t mutter it back,  
my heart resided my throat blocking all words.  

going cold turkey and someone else held me tight, refusing me bourbon 
and junk (that had momentarily sent me to the Bar); she, too, said “I love you” 
and I had no voice to reciprocate.  

few years apart, the two long late-night embraces that kept me sane;  
one from my whiskey girl, the true love that was taken too soon from the  
merciless spike.  

the other, I did love, too; she couldn’t take the madness any longer. went  
through too much in too short a time, all the bourbon insanity I relish and in which 
I feel alive.  

too many other embraces came and went; none significant. 
temporary escapes from the mist, vain attempts to glimpse at the sun.  

more are to come and I know the ending; wordless poems on  
yellow napkins, while Wild Turkey and Four Roses water my withering heart.  

it’s all right. barflies will always be there, bars will never cease to exist.  
home, the corner booth of a dimlit joint 

and a broken down angel in whose embrace I’ll lose myself for a night. 

Ed Brickell

 Monsters of Legend 

Bigfoot lives on skeletons and mud, 
Moonwalks through the meadow.  
His heart is a fist of crawling crickets. 
There is no limit to his awesome evil. 
His feet aren’t the biggest you ever saw, 
But they’re goddamned big enough. 

Middlefoot lives on bacon and eggs, 
Prefers the shortcut past the meadow. 
His heart is the common array of valves, 
His bark and bite just a joke someone told. 
His feet are not a topic worthy of discussion, 
So small and normal. 

Littlefoot lives inside of Bigfoot, 
Glides free through every meadow. 
His heart is boundless and filled with love. 
No violence salts his sweet dreams. 
His feet are not a burden to him anymore, 
Bigfoot does their walking, and that’s fine. 

Shiva Neupane

What is life?                                                              I don't know what is life                                        Who designed it for what purpose.                      I am esoterically flabbergasted                        for not being able to understand it.                                                                                                          If we were to die                                                      what is the significance of being alive.                I wondered about this tantric saga                    because it created the maze of curiosity.                                                                                                when the elixir of imagination                             gives me a philosophical emancipation.            I will celebrate the reason for why I am here.