Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Poetry by Louise McKenna

Puffer Fish

Here we lie abandoned on the beach
like deflated balls,
ugly as toads.

It is a mystery how we got here,
how we oozed from the ocean's heaving lungs,
slippery as phlegm.

You poke at me with your foot
for I am too vile to touch.
There are signs of life: I flip suddenly,

like a foetus in the womb
and my dumb mouth opens
on a lethal bolus of air, staring

with my unblinking bloodshot eye
as if an ember of afterthought floats
in my iris before death.

- Louise McKenna 2013

Rat's Skeleton

I unearth it from the humus beneath my roses:
a chain of vertebrae, exquisite skull,
ribcage like honed shards of porcelain.
I remember him dying, slowly as a martyr
where he lay poisoned
in the cruciform shadow of our garden fence.
He seems so brittle. I could snap his matchstick femurs,
fracture those toy toes. In life he was untenable,
the substance of shade slipping
through interstices between day and night.
And I loathed him. Now through the empty windows
of his eyes there is only darkness;
through the gables of his ribs, only untenanted space.
This is what we are all pared down to.
I feel death scuttle down the stairwell of my spine
before I reassemble him in the soil,
hiding him from the teeth of this antipodean light.
I will no longer dig here.

- Louise McKenna 2013

Louise's first poetry collection, A Lesson in Being Mortal was published by Wakefield Press. She has since co edited Flying Kites, the Friendly Street Poets anthology, also published by Wakefield Press. Her work has appeared in Poetrix, Eureka Street and Mascara Literary Review. In 2012, she was one of the poets who appeared in Light and Glorie, an anthology of South Australian poetry, published by Pantaenus Press.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Poetry by Tendai Mwanaka

Playing to death’s gallery

last breath of
sun, like us
beyond our boundary’s stiff netting
the sun’s fast setting
We mark
time together
as we
dip our toes
Friday’s evening

time is a beckoning glance
to beat the clock
as it
turns into dusk
In the
final heat fanned
by the
last of the sun

shadows of wagging tails
of no complexion
yawns in the expanse of stars
dims and

this quite night
death furious and scoffing
at my
refusal to go with him
hunger is a brush fire
Says my
death is down the
dirty road, a bit down
me that he will be back
soon for me

Life is
too technical for me
through my casual
day trading
a score
tricks on my brain.
to learn how not to die
knowing, half not
to catch
it before it tells me
to try
to cancel it

still leaving upto this face
a face
without a name
strongest one among us
has to
raise his string
imaginary string hallowed by absence
all of our reach
for us
to get past the scales
don’t ask anyone's permission
accompany the frightened children.

- Tendai Mwanaka 2013

Untitled * 2

there is no choice
we deal
with what
we did
not choose
choose what we
do not
want to choose.

- Tendai Mwanaka 2013

Voices from exile, a collection of poetry on Zimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa was published by Lapwing publications, Northern Ireland in 2010. KEYS IN THE RIVER: Notes from a modern Chimurenga, a novel ofinterlinked stories that deals with life in modern Zimbabwewill be published by Savant books and publications, USA in July 2012. Logbook written by a drifter, and Voices from exile were both short listed by the Erbecce press poetry prize in 2011, and 2009 respectively, nominated for the Pushcart twice, 2008, 2010, commended for the Dalro prize 2008, nominated and attended Caine African writing workshop 2012. Published over 200 pieces of short stories, essays, memoirs, poems and visual art in over 100 magazines, journals, and anthologies in the following countries, the USA , UK , Canada , South Africa, Zimbabwe, India , Kenya, Cameroon, Italy , France , Spain , Cyprus, Australia and New Zealand.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

New writing by Jonathon Kane


Even the hired clowns never knew what hit them, their tearstained faces running off into an oblivion of polyester, their paintbrushes thrashing around in a silver bowl of cold tomato soup, their parrotcolored paints streaking across white linen tablecloths -
while a nearby abandoned piano made the most of its only tune, keeping an eye out for the coatcheck girl helping herself to hundred dollar bills from every finely culled wallet she rubbed up against with the storytelling lines of her hands -
as the stragglers blocked as best they could the muttering walls, repeatedly announcing the abbreviated names on the guest list, including the young cousins hiding in the discarded folds of the paintstained wedding dress, playing cards in the hope of drowning out the din on the other side of the ruined silk -
where the lofty dreams of lovers grew green horns and a tail, leaving only the lightfooted priest untouched, and alone in signing the register, his inscription reading: This will not stand.

- Jonathon Kane 2013


Vines of jasmine covered the mausoleum, the latest scent in a heavyweight night already far from sleeping, winding its way over the threshold shaped like the breadboard you were fingering after dawn with the dread of indecisiveness, back at the house:
away from the afternoon’s heavy humidity, pushing out the veins of your arms down to the end of wavering hands, prompting a pair of boots to stop and comment, relieved, as they must have been, to be speaking of something other than why everyone was gathered around - before the sky got mentioned, the sky the same shade of blue as the flapping tarpaulin, half covering the pile of firewood, back at the house:
away from the scuffed knee shots of her comparing crayon compositions atop a recently raked pile of leaves, her lines resembling the fragile strokes of clouds - before your threatened social awareness fragmented even further, and found you all washed up on a thinning stretch of beach, the trace of your steps together returning to the sea, then swishing round the pint remains in a centuries old pub, hearing her speak once again of Xanadu, and the biscuit tin, kindly left behind by the chambermaid, back at the inn.

- Jonathon Kane 2013

 Jonathon Kane currently resides in the Blue Mountains of Australia

New Poetry by Mark Nenadov


Resolve is slightly out of my reach
like that lonely cookie jar
only accessible by a stool.
The stool is misplaced.

If resolve is a cookie
inside that jar
then I'm dieting
and nothing else sounds good.
How will I quench my hunger?

What have I done with
my precious time
other than spin my wheels
on the dry, dusty dunes
of a quiet afternoon?

- Mark Nenadov 2013

Mark Nenadov lives in Essex, Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife and their baby daughter. Mark's poems have appeared in publications such as Wilderness House Literary Review, WestWard Quarterly, Northern Michigan University's The Lightkeeper, and Pif Magazine. See http://www.marknenadov.com for more details.