Hurry up, Time! (A sonnet)


The Silence of Shock by Maggie Mackay

I am not a silent poet

Students, all women in our freshest years,

we settled on landings with mugs of tea,

never thought to lock our doors,

and, late into the night as Sweet Baby James

floated up the stairwell, we gossiped, fell out,

time -shared bedrooms for lover trysts.

Then she disappeared,

that girl of the fiery perm and Scouser sound.

We wondered in the silence.

Her space filled over

like a river after extreme rainfall.

I imagined her walking back after drinks at the Union,

in her silk halter neck and corduroy flares,

humming Joni Mitchell in her head,

caught in a clutch, dragged into a flowerbed,

calling for her Mum.

We stopped walking alone.

We avoided the garden. Then we forgot.


Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet

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Jamaican Macabre by Maggie Mackay

I am not a silent poet

It will be my pleasure to poison Mr Rae

as him eats in the Great House.

The fools, Lord Belmore and Sir Willoughby Cotton

dance the Creolian hop a la Mustee.

I slave in his kitchens,

my belly fired after him rape mi in the scullery

like I was his peaberry fruit.

His boasts ride on fiddle jigs into the valley

where my baby sleeps.


Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet, Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Indigo Dreams Publishing and Three Drops Press.

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Nothing At All by John Sweet

Your One Phone Call

cold in the shadows of empty warehouses,
in the indirect blur of this burnt-out november sunlight,
and i couldn’t breathe,
could only smell gasoline & approaching snow
and what i kept hearing in the back of my mind was lou reed,
was the velvet underground,
oh! sweet nuthin’,
the chorus going on and on,
the guitar,
and it was like church bells & stained glass,
it was like summer skies from when we used to live at
the ruined end of jefferson ,
from when you tasted like sugar,
and i remembered this while i crossed the field,
was tired suddenly, was old,
and a storm was moving in,
was pushing down from canada ,
and i couldn’t get warm,
couldn’t find the staircase or speak your name
and the song was almost over,
and i finally fell the last three stories & hit the mattress,
i finally heard the…

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The parasitic vine

Bart Wolffe


Before he left his cave, before the ice,

He wrapped a living rope around his waist

And placed its root inside his vest

And then stepped outside into the wasteland,

Trod the stones for many sunsets,

Slept in corridors of rocks,

Stroked the vine inside his sleep

And dreamt that other world he left behind.

This green life borrowed from his blood

Its life. He bore its weight, its constricting stem,

Allowed it to make itself at home

Inside his skin.

When he lay down orphaned one last time,

Its dream fed off him in a foreign place

Where the half-light casts in shadows

Penumbra of strange haunted silhouettes

Speaking strangled tongues of wilderness.

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Faded Blouse

Elan Mudrow

Photo by Abbie Pegler Photo by Abbie Pegler

We take the blouse

(Forbidden by mothers

Unknown by fathers)

From out our school backpacks


Tucking our slimness,

Or the semblance of slimness

Into the new shell

Over naïve shoulders

Behind the large shade

of the neglected tree

In case someone’s looking

Knowing that everyone’s looking

Hoping for someone to notice

Which is different than looking.

This hunger evolves into

The secret tattoo,


Off-center, upon the upper arm

Back shoulder, above the ankle

Only to find out after

We have been well-fed

There still resides the wish

For the blouse to remain forbidden,

And the secret tattoo

Kept from fading

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