Alzheimer’s 1 I see the heads of a family bobbing above the shrubs– or is it really small people holding up sticks with heads attached? 2 a burning shovel at the bar a boneless leaf in the bed 3 water broke Helen while diving into lake 4 Helen’s lips a rain check purple clouds 5 […]



Talking about weather they say meat substitutes are spies like prose poems or undercover agents who can’t keep their mouths shut, who keep talking about the weather meanwhile my grandpa died the way he lived—  talking about the weather, flirting with nurses, dead-set on never letting tofu pass his lips when you live in a […]

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COLD – Aldo Quagliotti

Cold I’m cold when you walk in defrost me with your breath score your goal against my mouth and may it be auroral breakfast or tangled cuddles to unsnarl my feet are glacial, past the afternoon the evening iced up when you went grocery shopping I race with the sun, lace up my hope you […]

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The Dance
…lilac Nehru jacket,
ploughman’s amble,
gadabout eye-flicker
-       you doorstep…
…pare sweet breads
into morsels,
deform, hand out.
Tump with cauliflower…
…retreats into a dive, yells.
“Something titanic, icy,
flush and gin.”  The barman…
…we’d never waltz on shingle,
ripple-drenched feet,
as vinyl purred…

Horizontal Vision
…barrows to-and-froed.
Hagglers impressed, lurking.
I corner nosegay oils,
you earmark…
…tilt steamer
on disengaged hob
10-15 minutes.  Baste…
…check-up.  Paramedic eurekas
-       something woefully awry –
deduces tip-off…
…metro expired at Wallsend,
bus green-lighted
an hour to cloud-gather,
you’d never essentially…

…peachy-keen upbeat guitar
seesawed your hips.  Taffrail clover,
…rattle all footloose.  Chip walnuts.
Grease loaf tin…
…ventured into Bronx Flea Market,
bisected dummy
cornered into a pin-stripe…
…lick-and-promise miasma
Overhauled drained instincts.
Only traffic faded…

…in rag-order
knee-highs yodelled,
single-filing my alley.
No cur whined…
…kibble, tooling rutty blade
of mincer.  Dissolve ½ oz…
…Pegasus’ foals vamoosed,
so the knight…
…we quick-timed hours.
An invisible…


Not Quite June
…gabby-guts rooks
air-cleared your nickname.
Evening shade diffracted urgency…
…groundwork panade.  Turn out
as for béchamel, stargaze an hour…
…wolfed my quill.”
“What shall I do?”
“Take advantage of a crayon…”
…rule-breaking headaches spared,
though we blethered all…



As we walk across 
Seaton Beach 
My Grandfather 
Asks me of my prospects 
‘I’m 75’ 
He said 
‘Soon I’ll be fucking dead’ 
He seems to think life will work out for me 
But for a brief moment 
We are lost 
Eventually we find my mother 
And grumpy Grandma 
Before eating fish and chips 
My eyes looking up towards the sun 
Bristol, August 2006 


Where he worked 
He lived 
And did not like 
To be reminded 
That he did 
He was always reliable 
But found others far from it 
He cursed them 
Under his breath 
As the days rolled by 
With cigarettes and coffee 
To try and ease the strain 
Sometimes it rained 
Sometimes it was windy 
And jobs would not be done 
He sat in his chair 
Made phone calls 
Often cynical 
He would nonetheless 
Face his humiliation 
With a rare bravery 
One day 
One of his sons 
Wrote on a piece of paper 
And stuck it on the wall 
Of his office 
He snarled 
At his sons sense of humour 
Because by Christ 
It felt like one 

Colchester, April 2007 

Mark Anthony Pearce lives and works as a Receptionist in Bristol, England. His poetry has been published in University of Essex Poetry Journal, BS Poetry Magazine and online, Inefável, Coronaverses, Winamop, Horror Sleaze Trash, Duane’s PoeTree & Piker Press. Mark’s writing has also featured in ‘Anne Bean: Self Etc’ (Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, Autumn 2018) 


Gaby Bedetti – 2 POEMS


You speed through

the Minotaur’s labyrinth

hoping to avoid the monster.

The motor responds.

You have another

someplace to go.

You look into the wind,

a lop-eared hound

head out the window.


the GPS tracks your

departures and arrivals.

In your sonic life,

you are the hip hero pointing

toward the next adventure,

the lover with the ball
of thread to navigate

​the labyrinth.


Her Final Email


Days you stayed in bed.

Migraines. Texas heat

and medications

made you sweat. And then

another week had slipped away,

unlike your chores and wishes.


At your desk, a compost heap

of essays. You even began grading

and then Shadow would sigh

to say it was past feeding time

and you abandoned them. You called

him the best dog in the present world.


One son announced he was moving back

so you removed the sewing machine

from his room. You then grew angry

with your husband for leaving.

The other son mentioned downsizing

and you heard nursing home.


Your grandchildren were delightful.

In your final email, you acknowledged

you were lucky, but only so far.

And soon after, the fatal dose.

We could have reunited,

here in Kentucky or there in Texas.


We could have remembered,

and renewed, our luck.


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Navigating the Ocean

I crave you like oxygen sometimes,
as if I couldn’t breathe without you and
this terrifies me, makes me want to
push you away, prove something,
find the key that unlocks this tether, set
you free, to go away but come back, choose
as if there was a choice,
as if I could become amphibious, grow
some gills, maybe a tail to navigate
the oceans of the loss of setting you free and not
drown; or possibly build a raft, to float above,
but not so far that I’ll miss your hand reaching
up out of the water to come aboard, in case
I can save you, as humans rarely do;
or maybe there will be a sunset and a night
when the ocean grows moon and stars
while a gentle current transports me to
somewhere my love for you is not so full
of need, will be refined of dross, capable
of anything.

The phone is ringing.
Maybe it’s you.



Spoiler Alert

There’s no escaping the constant whirs,
hums, chugs and buzzes of summer,
like birdsong, in variety and nuance,
but less conversation, more dictation,
as if to an old fashioned stenographer-
get this down, condense the languorous
signals of summer to shorthand,

We shorten grass, shrink hedges,
embarrass pieces of wood with hammers,
(to drown out the woodpeckers)
interrupt the lifespan of recalcitrant
weeds, till them under, nip and tuck.
Each hum, buzz, whir, chug
a jigsaw piece of putting nature

in her place, a pissing upon,
a tiny fist raised in defiance of ice-
storms, blizzards, microbes, death.
We oil and tighten, plug in and refuel
until the entropy of it catches up
in the end while the birds have
their say during the intermission.

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