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27. Featuring Roelof Broekman

Moment as compendium


time is nothing more

than the things they are

in measureless streams

and uncountable cores


points of perceptions

are ideas about gods

unravelling views

in infinite star seas


me is just a cell of space

a sapient in the stream

bogged down in moments

littlest eternities thinkable


all is gone thereafter

self and all





Roelof Broekman




Vertebrae full of surrealism in gusts of lucid frenzy

I shudder, breath pinches the throat like racked by

humanity and her illusory triumphs


I stand in doubt and scream against the infantile power

and her lethal aerial bustle


I impinge against

the stifling crowds

the judgemental unscrupulous

the smoothing phrasemonger

and against my inability


to partake

to connect

to renegade


to stop learning

to disavow pain

and never being left alone


Roelof Broekman




Becoming Primitive


It begins with ramming a flayed umbrella 

   down the throat of a street corner dustbin, 

with knowing the cost of a camel hair coat

   and the taste of an afternoon spent in the salon.

It begins with a flayed umbrella.


It begins with rendering your last goodbye

   into binary code, spitting it down an empty ear,

then hurling your oh-so-smartphone at the sky

   where stars are wriggling free of constellations.

It begins with a last goodbye.


It begins with breaking an ankle bone connected

   to the tibia, fibula and an aversion to prayer,

connected to two flat feet and a long-torn tendon,

   a future wheel-chaired into dawn’s rugged rise.

It begins with a broken bone.


It begins with peeking up a skirt of mist

   lifting its tattered hem and finding a lost tributary;

then building a fire that fills the air with signs 

   declaring: Today I feed my lion.

It begins with a skirt of mist.


It begins with dreaming you are blind,

   left to bruise and demolish the nest in which

your own dreams hatched and were duly clubbed; 

   waking in a field and yelling Ye soft pipes, play on.

It begins with blindness.


It begins with lifting your eyes as a rosefinch

   alights from a maple branch; with hearing

the rupture of frost in your hollowed-out skull 

   as a certain light folds the edges of a face.

It begins, and ends, with seeing.


Brian Edwards




Jack on the 18:33


slither on silver

clench claws metallic

brace bodice tied tight

Beelzeboy out

a city’s own undoing

sincevillains now go Virgin


edible lattice in

strip lace up neon

cut river in ribbons

scissor South Parkway

hopscotch on hedges


schottische through tea shops

brow of backwater

In scarlet eyeline

over the mystery

leap and leer left


you see spike after spike

after light after light

onto pink sky amber grey

turning ambergris in the

stomach of a sea monster


that spat out a Port that

sings in rolled Rorschach

sub sound you catch your blue

flamed breath to pause and

revel in its grace.


Sarah-Lou Crewe






(Chile, 2008)


the car crashed into him

head on at a red light

Francisco held onto his life

for a few minutes

surprised at his curiosity

to see whether now

he’d finally meet his dad

he knew him from photos:

Tall, long-haired, sloe-eyed

he also died at twenty-six :


the police called it

but in those days

people disappeared

their absence still fills

the streets

empty chairs

living rooms

beds no longer slept in


they’re haunting

subways and bars

where the torturers

wash down the blood

with chicha


Claudia  Emmingham




Mothers’ Day 2010


Mother, this is your sonnet. I give you

Words.  You gave me the precious gift of life

Over half a century ago. To

Think that these words suffice, my father’s wife,

Shows, perhaps, the power we think they own –

As if mere sounds made with lips, tongue and teeth

Could replicate or reveal or make known

The feelings’ rich seams lying underneath.


Some dig for diamonds. There are mines for gold.

Black coal is hacked out of the earth’s hot heart.

Hewing at the language, so deep, so old,

Do these sounds from my heart turn into art?


No words can work on this most special day:

No precious metals from this man of clay.


David Wheeler