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translations from NINEB LAMASSU Jalal ∙ Lahnaktha ∙ Neena, neena


Otherday ∙ Eskimo Kisses Selected photography


Listen to me ∙ I have seduced a pet from the bones


Terms and Conditions


Acquiring Wisdom in a Dream State ∙ Search


BLUE I was with you in the pool trying not to stare ∙ The kitchen electric


One shout is all it takes



Three from Tina




A Poem for the Underground extracts from Pocket Song


Six Poems


translations of three Asyrrian poems by NINEB LAMASSU]


You don’t choose exile. Others decide. They slice your home like a choice meat, they tear your roots from the soil.

You are the lamb the murder of crows descends upon. It is your flock the wolves wreak havoc among. That sun that has been your life will sink onto their blades’ horizon, or they will force you down on your knees to a west that will shatter before it opens.

No, you don’t want to fly. It’s those who raped you who turn your dreams to nightmares, and your own song to a distant scream.

No, it’s no fluttering, fleeting idea, no spur of the moment thing, to take up your roots, and everything your memory can clutch, and wrap it in a blanket for a bag. How does it all fit? If every drop of the Tigris, of the Euphrates and the Khabour, If all those mighty waters were to fit, folded along with your underwear in a bag sealed with tears, how would there be room for an entire past? And how can you bid farewell to all the life you’ve lived?

No, it’s no matter to be decided on a coin’s toss, scraping together every penny you have to hand to the blood-traders who set you on your way, with a friendly goodbye, towards countries that don’t even want you – and who watch you drown only for your body to float to the surfaces, in the glow of cameraphones, of the social media pages, while the newsreaders chew over your bones for a week, all teary-eyed, until some new item floats to the surfaces and they wear out their jaw-jawing, chew-chewing, on that.

And they forget what their conscience is, forget the deluge of bodies, forget their own floating consciences, the damnation that rises on each surge of the sea.

Oh Jalal, my friend, I hear your voice so vividly, whirling as if in a seashell, asking, as a seashell asks, the dead conscience of the people and world leaders:

Can it be my destiny to live in death in the hell that was my paradise? Or to die when I am still so alive, in exile on the threshold of the shattering west?


My sleep was a dream, and my dream was the sweetest sleep. In my dream, my country was a land of fish and bread, of honey and mothers’ rich milk.

My country was a dream in the eyes of the children who climb among the stars to reach the moon.

In the eyes of that dreamer who still resides in me, my country was a board spread with luxury:

enough to fill the stomachs of the hungry, enough even to gorge those whose eyes were always bigger than their plates.

And in my dream, my country was a pair of scales, not yet wrenched out by the dictator’s right hand, its weight still left to fall on the people’s side.

I dreamed, and in my dream

my country raised its head from watching over its own deathbed, and said: Forgive me, for I have broken your sleep.

I had been dreaming my country,

and in a moment’s space,

I woke to live my country as a nightmare.

Oh my country, how come all other peoples can wrap themselves in their nations’ happiness, wear their joys like a carnival mask, while I cannot strip your sorrows from my body, or scratch your lines from my face? Oh my country, how come all other nations can live their dreams, while I can only dream of you as a nation?

I wonder, is it my fault that I cannot tear myself from the torture you inflict, or is it you who are so madly in love that you cannot help torturing me?

My country, they only needed one Dalale to bridge the Khabour, but you, my Dalale, my new Dalale, how many such precious girls will it take to heal your back, the bridge arched in pain?

I ask once more, is it my destiny

that my country must be the cross I bear

from cradle to grave? Ah Lanaqtha, you bewilder me;

I can only ask if you are meant to be

a blessing or a curse.

Neena, neena

I sat in the company of two brothers, and vodka, the fiery third brother, sat with us at the table. Shot followed shot, our memories set alight. We shot back to the past:

From the embers tongues leapt up to scald us.

Shot followed shot; in the warm light we were caught where 1915 still burned. For who can put out that fire? The sun shall be extinguished, but that fire will always have more to devour.

Like those two brothers, one sending sighs curling into the air through his duduk, the other plucking out a little tune on his oud that stirred even the dead to dance in their graves.

Music the warm room with those brothers, shot through with the strains and the rich scent of Assure Gul, Dvin, Arzen Shahriyar and Quylasar we knew them at once.

Stop! You can’t play that! You know we never play that song, not since they forced the martyrs of our parents’ generation, to dance on their loved ones’ bodies. They were drive n on in that carnival of guns and knives you cannot imagine until they too fell in the company, too great, of the murdered.

The warm room, our celebration, turned bitter, the music stifled, and in the silence, I heard the captives’ stumbling feet as they danced before the machine guns of the perpetrators, their cries fusing with the whining bullets, arms, legs intertwining as they swooped and twirled …dancing, dancing on their father’s corpses, dancing on mothers and sons, dancing, dancing on their daughters’ corpses, dancing on brothers and sisters, dancing, dancing to the tune of neena neena, neena neena, neena neena… until death.

Note to Jalal: The Jalal of the title was a close friend of the poet. A Yezidi living in Iraq, he drowned attempting to reach Europe as he fled ISIS in 2015.

Note to La hnak tha : "Lahnak tha " is a Modern Assyrian word coined by Nineb Lamassu as a translation of the Welsh word Hiraeth. A portmanteau of the Aramaic lahaqa longing and iniqtha it is a word that has no home and yet resonates in many languages.

Dalale is a princess of Assyrian legend. According to the legend, the bridge over the Khabour was cursed: it was no sooner completed than collapsed. In order to lift the curse, the king would have to sacrifice the first person who stepped onto a new completed bridge. Work progressed on such a bridge, the final stone was laid, and the king's daughter Dalale rushed across to bring a celebratory pitcher of milk: the first person on the bridge.

Note to Neena, neena: I first heard Nineb read Neena, neena at a reading of his poems to address the genocides, not just of 1915, but of all the last 100 years. The last part of the poem was softly chanted, to a lulling rhythm. That rhythm continues to haunt, yet is gentler than that of the Armenian Siamanto's "The Dance".



Otherday. How well. Sometimes I come

to you into your planet.

I kick the bones

from the pathway.

I see my tired and weary face in the puddle of blood.

Unseeing eyes.

I open my chest.

I let my heart

feel the vivacity of autumn.

I think of us.

And of our unborn children.

I would like you to once more die and return to me.

I would like.

How many things fill into this proposition.

Our tortures long sleepless nights. Offence and laughter. Sharp as if knives teeth, devouring the most intimate body parts.

A terrible thirst will commence and a hatred in the eyes. How much can a person hate and love at the same time. I light the candle and leave. I am followed by a memorial stone you threw and it presses me down to the ground.

I am eternally

staying in your


Eskimo kisses

December the thirty-first.

The day I despise the most.

The only day when my inability to make decisions tortures me and causes my suffering. Thousands of such indecisions have brought me to crossroads.

I'm like a Jesus that has carried thousands of crosses. Instead of nailing me down to one, they told me to carry all of them. And so I've carried. And carried. And carried.

And carried.

And I brought them. Now I can draw a breath and look at all of my crosses. They're all lined up in my flat. Arranged by size.

- You're the biggest, - drunk and proud I purr into the ear of the biggest cross.

But you're standing. And staring. And you say nothing. Even if I just flattered you. Not everyone gets to be the biggest cross in my life. Especially, when there are so many. Like I said, thousands. Thousands of forced squats. Thousands and thousands of steps.

- But you're just a cross, - such is the reality, and I turn away from you, even though we both know that it is actually just me despising the lack of response to me. After all, I am the narcissus, not you, because crosses cannot be narcissists, so behave yourself and know your place.

The morning light has now devoured the kitchen, as if filled the world surrounding me, and froze the dust on the empty shelves. All our glass bottles toughened even more from the silent fury of their emptiness. The calendar still declared December the thirty-first. Though, as uniquely sombre this day is, I must admit, it is not the only one that I wanted to finish early in the morning.

That's why I was drinking. I brought another cross into your company and drank.

December the thirty- first. My eyes were sore.

- You think I don't love you because I have so many crosses? - I asked and laughed to show my superiority.

I didn't say anything else. There was not even a thought that I would admit bringing

the other crosses for you. So that I, of course, could show you how big and important you are. But the more you show your love for something such as this, the worse everything becomes. That is why it is better to love nothing and to keep carrying the


- A long time ago, when you were just a small cross

I was standing and swaying, still drunk, and I observed how the silence devoured your greyest parts. Did you know? You were my greyest cross.

I froze and suddenly felt ashamed. My initial superiority was gone. Now I only had

shame and guilt. I was blushing underneath my thick hair strands that you liked so much.

And I was ashamed because of that, too; I always did everything in such a manner that others would like to touch me. I observe the peak of people's indecency and lust.

And yours always reached the culmination in my locks. Your long and bony fingers were as if the extension of my scalp.

Essential. Like air.

- Did you know, - my drunk blushing is soon replaced by my newly acquired pale skin tone. I am giving up. - Did you know that you were my greyest cross?

- I did, - your cross lips opened, such beautiful and symmetrical lips that saw so many winters, and I wanted to sink under the ground.

- Cerebral paralysis, - I admitted at once.

But you have not spoken with me in centuries.

I was masochistically ecstatic that you have finally spoken to me. That is why I froze immediately.

Centuries ago, you were holding me by the sleeve. You were such a small cross. And I was a Jesus. Like all crosses, you fell in love with me, and you wanted to be carried by me, or perhaps even the opposite - you wanted to carry me. And you brought me to many places. You would have me lie in the warmest and sunniest corners. And, sometimes, when my face would become eerie, and neither you or I would understand why not a single sound of pleasure can reach me, and you would lie me down in a dark and dry place with a reflection, so that I can see myself.

But I would more often look at you.

My growing cross, I would say. To myself, of course, not you. As if I could admit such

a loving matter. You won't receive that.

And you didn't.

And now you did.

But my cerebral paralysis still lingers within me. That is why I simply found myself the same corner that you would offer for me: a dark, dry corner with a reflection that allows me to ignore myself. And just like before, you will never get to know the truth.

Of course, I know you have a suspicion. You always were an ingenious cross.

Unfortunately, your lips started dancing as if half of your shifts weren't during freezing winter nights.

- I would like you to move out, to leave all the crosses, - your cross-like face was so betraying and handsome, I was wondering about your country of origin, it could not be Jerusalem. - I would like you to be happy. And I will remain here. I will be a sculpture. Or a monument. For the memories. For you. Your thousands of forced squats. Thousands and thousands of steps. I am merely an importance lacking cross.

My eyes were sore. But you were ignoring my symptoms.

- I will ask Moses to blow me up later. Cheerfully. With special effects.

I am almost ready to admit my love just to stop you, but as I am still in paralysis, I

have lost the gift of speaking. At least, one of my hands is regaining the blood flow. I

finally make it to the calendar and scribble a reminder - "stop Moses". It's a good start of the new year.

You laugh.

Bells. Thousands of bells.


would carry and carry you, only to hear that.

Please, return. Don't stop.

But you can't hear me. You do stop.

You're not here.

I wish you were. Amidst all of my crosses, I only wish for you. You scared me for a long time. But I have never avoided you.

On the contrary, I wanted to see you unexpectedly, to feel emotionally overwhelmed within the mixture of adrenaline, blushing, shame, and a beastly desire to embrace you.

And now I am in cerebral paralysis with one functioning arm.

Of course, I could masturbate. Ten minutes of sweet ignorance.

But no. I will not allow such a luxury for myself. I am far too much of a self-betrayer to choose such an easy exit route. I raise my hand gently and keep writing reminders.

Stop Moses. Kiss Judas. Stab Bartholomew. Question Philip.

The new year sure is productive.

Done with my plan, I fall down to the ground. The surrounding crosses lightly plummet on my body.

So cosy and warm.

Tough concrete on my nose. The crosses tickle and kiss me.

I feel almost like I'm home, amongst the Eskimo.

Listen to me.

You can hear the hearts breaking.

You can hear the sea breaking.

Listen to me.

Listen to me.

I am sweeping leaves.


All my life it’s been a quarter past 9. It is a quarter past 9 and I am still sweeping leaves. I have been sweeping leaves for a long time; for almost as long as it’s been a quarter past 9. I have been sweeping leaves forever. Sometimes I’ll dream most nights of sweeping leaves and I’ll put them in these pages to press but all leaves are lost in the wind of dr eams and at the end of the night it is still a quarter past 9.

I am surrounded by Important Men but they don’t see me while I am sweeping leaves. I am on my knees sweeping leaves and like a thought I forget their structure and their dreams. Meanwhile the men are talking about Important Things but I do not care as I dare to sweep my leaves to dream again.

It’s a quarter past 9 and I wonder if I were to sweep my leaves in a different way I might be allowed to join that circus where all things rhyme with the sea and create emptiness on the page large enough to fit the human race

But I am tired of space.

I am sweeping leaves and long to join the circus where all Important Men

must dress appropriately and I must dress inappropriately. I dream of eating fire. I dream of eating fire and when I spit it back out of the page it will burn

you more ferociously than those leaves have ever done. I dream of eating fire of swallowing of collapsing a lung a universe of infinite space in finite space I dream of burning 8 months of moths of circus tents now the circus is in my mouth my oesophagus my moths are alight my words are on fire.

And I think of all the things like all the leaves. I am still sweeping leaves.

Listen to me. Listen to my words break like the sea.


have seduced a pet from the bones.

I took the bones of old clothes and the bones of dead ivy and the bones of

lost lambs and seduced a pet from the hours. His organs are tied together by green thread: he has no lungs guts heart or oesophagus; he does have a mouth. His head was once a leg born in the hot decay of early summer. He

reminds me that the hours are killing our days; I remind him it is now autumn and the days are killing our flowers

He reminds me that this is poetry and that’s all it’ll ever be.

I ha ve seduced a poem from the bones: I took the flowers of the oak and the

flowers of the broom and the flowers of the meadowsweet and built a pyre from the hours. My pet’s eyes write poems, empty and airy like vowels. His forehead is white like bone like the hood of the moon like the equs resurrection of the mari lwyd. He is made of lamb; his heart beats in iambs. The pyre corrodes fiery words – we don’t need it. The bones of old poems are nothing but so much dust I have deleted them into so much dust.

I have seduced a pet from the bones of the poetry of Old Stories.

He is a simple toy and we dance together through the streets at night; he is perfume he is broken he is poetry in bone he is the reflection of the bright sodium light and

that’s all he’ll ever be.


Can you use this?

Can anyone use this? Why not?

fire waned sun

open window

In conditioned catastrophe boxed items, shared spilled spoils, human backs, the secret jokes of the starswinking constellation weeping, looking down

Without the arbitrary bonds of love no provision or protection affords, the shell against denial

Darts of friendship or love like shots in the dark.

the light


rising and the gravity that pushes back down, the constant motion, the sky shut off or the fantasy of it, burning bright and blind and brilliant in some other world yearned for, swooping then falling and crawling to conditions of learned violence, structures of learned dominance in object expense invested, in falling and catching rituals of display

Doing justice in epic, the behaviour of the whole representational scheme life internalised acted / outer shell at edges shoved back, framed small



Tell me the truth about never having enough. Teach me the truth about being always so satisfied. Tell me the best, most broken secret places To be hidden in and to hide.

How to live through the damage given the name of desire, to and in its name; histories as form and still they shape, that Obstacle dodged comes back: whatever it is, that cannot be processed, works away, corrodes within; in operation the incisions multiple and so precise, precise and all too numinous to be felt.

Bury the dead in the water, bury them in the sea, burn up the corpse in the park. Remains.

That no event, single, would overthrow or erase the violence of what’s named progress in time progression in body fabric facet, social sutured wound to feed fed and cast aside, to cell or heap;

Elegantly shuttered up, too late and closed; incapable of speech.

More now than ever before, if it were to split open, it would immediately reconstitute itself, bigger than ever, and twice as smooth.

From each pyre, from each wreath draped sombre song: most pathetic wavering trill. In power distributed, stretched so thin, you think of what object as collective wish you made, and the individual hopes twisted within that organising web.

However this could not happen, however much though in mourning still refrain returns; Ceaselessly. A children’s game about death, and the formation of the group; training for loss; easy replacement object switch;

So Trill endlessly alone.

To the dog a bone, a gesture of impossibility: cataloguing each abuse, each measurement, each mode, weighed in hand and heart and brain, to drop it all in visible throwing up of hands abysmally, beyond reach.

In veils of transparency having proved always to have been in disguises clothed, in clothes disguised, in songs that promise much said ceremony bedraggled wreath for wraith.

So saying this ending of what is named as world, the abolition of all things: what vision of history, No one, no goal, singular and full too easily dreamed to be fulfilled.

Yet in defence not to be resigned.

Somewhere you have to start. Somehow.


[G AURANGI S HAH ] 'Acquiring Wisdom in a Dream State'

'Acquiring Wisdom in a Dream State'




Please note in pectoral fin speech this is all killing blue scratch: spectral peaks. Such a deadly blue. See: image (verb), as in, he is now radioing another woman’s breasts sometime after. Apparently the sensitivity of the human eye peaks at green but that’s just internet speck and what does it eyes do when they got them cut out or when it’s coming up terminal like hers. If only this could occur in vaccum. In a slow-wave structure, or just not so fast, please. If hope, please see: list of light sources, or our friendly grief librarian. After, see: light echo. Some thing delicate and not there anymore. Like bones her even yellow if you were to check. What is your grandmother’s second best china set doing in your face, darling. You catch yourself rosy and prickling in delayed resonance, like irradiated names. Alternative spelling forms:

Cherenkov, Čerenkov, Cerenkov, and Vavilov, Wawilow. Her bad physics: of course she’d will an underwater burial in hope of nuclear blue, of being killing in kind. And how the fuck are you going to explain this one to her now, in serrated rows of tiny blue.



was with you in the pool trying not to stare

when I was moved to map that final detail, the tattoo you came up with on an acid trip,

then got inexplicably inked. Well can I touch it I said and you shrugged and gave me your shoulderblade. I traced it with my fingernail and as I did so my own shoulder started singing and smarting. It glowed, too, from the look of the water. In the exact same place.

I tried to turn to catch my reflection but my aquatic echo is my better half. You laughed, having let me fall for it, and told me you made up the acid: it’s probably a thing you’d do. I was scared my tattoo would clash with my bikini, as if I didn’t feel strange enough already, so I took everything off. How free I was, having lost nakedness and gained ink. And I moved further out of the shallows, and found the pool was longer than expected, and deeper, and I could suddenly swim properly. You kept your back turned, and didn’t see me go: our tattoos watched each other like twins. If I had looked back to you there would have been a rosy trail in the water. The notes I had of your excellence were soaked and I lost my way, and any want I once had to come back. At first the chlorine was killing but as I went deeper and more distant the water softened and became milky. I thought I saw a distant cloud of waving people, who turned in choreograph to flash the very same symbol on their backs. I switched to floating, facing downwards, and moved past them, away from my mother, shame, and solitude.

The kitchen electric

White glass current. I found a bible lodged among the cookbooks, strange with the switched-on glow that only black things hold. I asked is this the source of my tiny kitchen’s sudden power, her conversion rate to new, rude health? Snow lined the sills. From then I couldn’t leave the place, but spent my afternoons and evenings

chewing the honey that grew like light or moss around a doorframe, just under the rim. Those slight burnings:

how I wore eau de pain brûlé to parties, charred orange zest, the ridges of my hands

I caught almost by accident on the stove

and scarred. A patterning of habitat. My fridge, my andro, may this interest hurt / you tiger-woman, you honey electric, you queen of nodes.


One shout is all it takes


What if One Man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of the stars Would they all fall to earth like drops of rain Or would they disappear leaving the earth in their wake

What if One Man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of religion That spews from the barrels of guns held by feverish believers And installs an illusory dictator to sit in judgment

What if One Man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of the relentless Heart that pounds the blood that flows And the breath that sighs

What if One man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of purpose That exhorts us to chase a dream Even as it tethers us by the feet

What if One man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of progress That weaves visions of an inexhaustible mothers breast Even as it has us feeding on ourselves

What if One Man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of death That frightened Prajapati himself From whom all emerged

What if One Man were to stand up and shout at the tyranny of life And proceed to discard his body like old clothes And sit in reflection like countless before him

Would One Man be all that it takes to stand up and shout Into the nothingness of space And wait in eternity for the veil to lift






The poet was crying. The poet’s cry stretch ed all the way to the window. The poet’s cry stretched through the window and into the street Stretching to the sacred grove. “Watch this”, the poet cried And made a s ign. He stood behind the s ign. He was making a mistake.

“Greetings to the supreme being in a song of endless reference”, the poet cried. “Greetings to the coming and going seasons. To the invis ible stars “Behind the purple and orange s ky. To walking in the snow at night. “To getting home at night. To being completely alone at night. To being dead.”

That night I followed the poet home. The poet was thinking “There is something wrong with my art. There is something wrong with my feet. There is something wrong with my hands. Someone h as been writing in the snow. They have been putting down s igns. They have not been understood. They are not kind.”

Nothing was wrong with his feet and hands. But there was something wrong with his heart. He was holding his book too tig htly. He was letting go. His book was falling. I imagined him holding a bold infant. Being a bold infant. Holding him. I imagined the infant falling. Imagined his fall before the s igns the poet made. The moment of release.


As Tina listened hidden among stalagmites and the swains and shepherdesses listened in stillness the Swain in rough and tender strains of vulgar prose began a manly two-part song of worth he’d long prepared.

The first movement of the first part was a travesty of a useful poem by Louis Z called « Alba (1952) », published in his useful book Some Time in 1956 about a darkening dawn in the first s leeping cities of Italy set to music for solo soprano and clarinet by Elliot C in Poems of Louis Zukovsky, first performed in 2008 an arrangement of desiccated counterpoint that Tina would later snort to remember like a disappointed revolutionary watching a harmless but humiliating accident befalling a policeman at a distance. The second movement of the first part was a travesty of a useful poem by Bertolt B called Die Hollywood -Elegien , written in 1942 and published in 1964 about the circulation of heaven and hell in the apartments of your best friends and what to do when there is nothing to eat but bad art set to music for piano and the voice of anyone by Hanns E in his Hollywooder Liederbuch , published in 1956 a work of flickering bravado Tina knew by heart and would sometimes be found humming amid the mild detachments of a twentieth -century afternoon. The third movement of the first part was a travesty of a useful poem by Keston S called « Ten Past Nine », published in his useful book Antifreeze in 2005 about legendary psychaesthenia

set to music by Stuart C and Marie -Angelique B

, in an improvised performance for red bricks and dictaphone in 2004 which Tina would later speak of with rigid solemnity like a child waiting in expectation of delight the appearance of a surpris ing animal among sawdust.


known as T. H. F. Drenching known as Sonic Pleasure

The second part was a travesty of part of a useful poem by Christopher S called Jubilate Agno , written between 1759 and 1764 and published in 1939 an ironical commentary on the three movements of the first part rich in flirtatious entrapments and aloof sarcas ms which Tina with noisy gaiety would memorably parody as we wandered in the southern foothills of the Pyrenees in 1938 ——

« For Louis Z

called Bottom: On Shakespeare, about how to listen with long ears

but Elliot C For Bertolt B

written in 1935 and published in 1965 a travesty of a useful book by Alfred F called Mê-Ti, des Sozialethikers und seiner Schuler philosophische Werke, published in 1922 about the essential idiocy of an unsurrendering life

and how to res ist when commitment was betrayed into eleg ance for love of its object

but Hanns E

published in 1956, about the dangers of the consolations of stupidity

and how to be clever when struggle was done.

For Keston S

published in 2011, about becoming just stupid enough

to laugh a way out of your apartment window without forgetting why you wanted to in the first place

but Stuart C

about doing the exact same thing only funnier and in reverse. »

wrote a useful book concerning the plays of William S


was too clever to be troubled by anything foolish for long. wrote an interesting book called Me-Ti: Buch der Wendungen

wrote an essay called « On Stupidity in Mus ic: A Dialogue »

wrote a book called Stupefaction: A Radical Anatomy of Phantoms

wrote a boo k called Blepharospasms , published in 2016

As the Swain sang and the Arcadians s wayed under their rustic costumes Tina in the shadows was suddenly afraid at the Swain’s pretense of innocence. She knew the Swain was only capable of cleverness. She had watched him spending his time taking apart early keyboard instruments in secret rooms hidden behind paintings sacred to revolutionaries in exile

learning the

and making complicated travesties of the poetry of the future. She wanted to speak satire against his song but the Swain had ins isted with fearsome looks that Tina attend his performances in hiding and in silence even in Arcadia —— though now she realised she did not understand who she was or what she was doing there nor even if she could remember how to speak —— and so she waited in anxious silence.

secrets of their mecha nis ms


A centipede moving in the earth of a grove dark with sacred longing. Or with fear. Or with violence. The poet made a lesson of stars and hearts. He trained his back to the wall. He grew against the wall. He turned away. Shame is the moment the blind orange body curls to. Shame its richness. The release of shame in the intens ities of admiss ion. In making mistakes.

How things live in the earth. What blindness is. What growing is. “The first branch is the lapsing movement from shame into forgiveness” The poet cried. The ground is empty where his body will go. And his shame. And his book. But the s waying branches . Our hunger. The hunger of things in the earth. Their movements and their signs.

“Where will your body go”, the poet cried. “And where will mine. “Make a ho llow in the earth for these burning s igns. For this burning book. “Make for the centipede a hungering bird. The name of the bird will be shame. "The name of the earth will be hushed by grass. The name of the air invis ible.” The grove is full of briars. The earth of books. Their black pages .

Walking near the grove at night I heard a melody of owls. The branches Bowed to the stars . The snow shook quietly at the roots. Beetles and worms Moved in the soil. Th e bones of infants. The sway of circling trees. I stood and listened. I saw the poet returning from the sacred grove Two hungry infants in his arms . In frenzy trembling the air with riches .



How could anyone reasonably or unreasonably Be expected to prepare, when the cost of fuel is this? This expensive, emergency, glut! Hay! Hay! Hay!

Are we all going to die? - Yes! We’re all going to Die! Of Murder! At this point, as if from nowhere, A train entered the station, and the voice and the

Voices (where was this?) were drowned, but who Cared? The stacks, not we. We laughed and hay and Giggled. It must have been the train of death this

Tube of thought. The well-known autumnal ear worm Whispered, too, on the platform, on warning it winds Its way to wards the dark the end the edge, of huge of

Village, and others. I, a woman, have borne This dead one, preceding me, in the intestines, for Years. A thing or more than ‘it’ must come to come

From The Anthology of Poems by Drunk Women



They can do it, I won’t peeling off before the night begins to surface

you can see it sway & falter you can help everyone and nothing will move without speech.

Everyone talks to me quietly. I keep my ears safe, I save the service & I leave. You can feel it with stolen feet, each foot already in front of another.

You can see it and feel it everything stray, I came here to be here aloud. You can hear it still in the pause, still in the delicate crowd.

Now entirely the night is awake. You can do this if you want to, turning the years I was frightened of closing, turning the pause to open & push over & open, still open.





For harmony, dust I’ve been testing my weight dust was my body’s accomplice. Dust was lettered and I was its litter the sweet world was ending and I was its song.





wherever my legs would take me

twists in the distance the boring sublime

in the city sincerity flew


I snuck into the city chokes close to the road supply and demand demanding. I’ve been standing alone and October is closing contact with water contact with air. Give me you best arm for steering let me take it and change it

the exchange rate

over emotional.

The heat leaves through my clothing.

The cranes hint and I’m hinting.

With my hands in my pockets.

With my hands in the air.


The scale flips out warms up and I’m failing

like a feeling reduced by conversion to steam.

The heat gets everywhere twins me with sailors

This was my data inhaling


It was never sweet. Think of the street the danger of the street as a surface. Did you ever get fixed on description, on carving on song, the theme and its cousins repeating? That’s how you catch it sky heavy and definite that’s how you catch it repeating.


Now it’s morning and I’m listening and it’s morning.

Amy says Simone Weil says

Art has no immediate future because all art is collective and there is no more collective life.

It’s a trick of the light and I’m not used to this light after the brilliant compromises

of night. And it’s morning and I’m listening being held in the voice, and the world isn’t ending and I’m morning and you’re night and it’s coming

love unbroken by the sun



selected by the editor from five booklets, each entitled Sonnets, published between February and October 2016

She knew that she walked through the world differently in the cinema at first light. Ground to air. Ground to dust. Bright as they are. Helicopters are for flying over things. If you weren’t so far away we could definitely fight. Last seen in the airlock after the airlock scene dressed in my angel of history costume, flowing on a bed of super-heated air.

I like evening because it’s like the grey that follows furled signals. Like the world’s version of outside. The grey of it is like fairy dust, or what theory does beside theory, or beside play. When will I hold the blanket again in Transfigurations? Or play along with another dusk as the one seen from today’s window. Many of our cells die, making the interpretation change. Always getting over sadness on a swing in the past. Even my only twentieth century poem was about snow.

After I went down to the theory lab, heart resting between limbs, gradually I felt that I wasn’t learning from the tears it ends in. Not yet more moth than love, wing dust, a mere syllable in practice, everything that is the case goes cold, pulled out of a rock pool. Often your choice of words tries to weaken that. The tears dried elsewhere, only to fall again. For now, there are resourcesbeing drunk with workmates, pale grey sleep dress, an arachnid eye. Pallas is our freeway. Any more would be a dead weight. Mostly I think the poem only needs to protect the heart.

To come back against a high quality opponent and carte blanche. Effortlessly capable of being vague, and no butterfly. Loving is not an expertise the crowd wants. Wait till I’m human again and expect nothing.

Dust, why settle, do not go. Nor spy, nor sorrow, on a song lyric lily. I am doing push-ups and can hear a helicopter. I don’t like crumpled things. A random drove. A temporary high. The guaranteed autumn. Feeling that remains in dusk. Our two shells, lost touch, tired in the sand. Torn seers ghost into the long limos as a cicada dies. Something else arcs down over the power plant, with the complexity of a temple.

Night rain, take your moth and your compositions. Stars wa it to collect rock pools. Don’t squash us with good writing. Some days are for other worlds, some are for nightfall and alienation. Not only do you say where the comet goes, you say where it can’t. I was a bit confused by Adam because he was filling up. ( Plus I’m a moth. I’m 90% dust. Don’t knock my dust off. ) Right after the space shuttle lit off into the subtitled dark.

Botch Magazine was printed in Colchester by Max Maher. It was kindly distributed in Cambridge

Botch Magazine was printed in Colchester by Max Maher.

It was kindly distributed in Cambridge by Imogen Cassels and Paige Smeaton.

For more information, and to send submissions for future editions, please contact:


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