from Issue #6: Poetry by Iain Britton

Photo (CC) KamrenB Photography @ Flickr

Photo (CC) KamrenB Photography @ Flickr

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Leonardo’s spaceman

from city sleep

………..the night’s long shadows

……crawl inwards /……late walkers

…………….stumble home

the cat in dog’s fur / listens for owls

the thudless bells

…………of the temple………whisper

.

from here it’s a primitive hot house

……a neural-fed stardome

……….of short stories

of a man who lives in an iron lung

……….who walks up hills

…………….lying on his back

………who watches the clouds through a glass map

mouth open to spoonfuls of sea life

.

………..everyday

…..he responds………like a tide

………….caught between rocks

.

……….a helicopter

passes over………….stirring up

sound / dangling vistas
…………………………heartbeats
…………the air pockets of athletes

.

………..the man in the iron lung

dreams of standing upright /…….naked

…………….like Leonardo’s spaceman

head and shoulders

…….amongst the congested luminaries

…………..of his reading /………head

……………………..and shoulders

decorated by a turmoil of feathers

solar systems parading their colours

.

…..he compares himself to a tree in blossom

………his nights populated

……………by ethnic interpretations of what he says

.

this morning he flew too close to the sun

.

……………i put back the soft golden peaches

………that are too sweet / i leave the grapes

……………to shrivel into green wrinkled heads

………i leave him to his confinement

 

…………everyday

he relies on small revivalist shots for something greater

 

…………with calculated ease

………………he stroke plays

………………….his love for objects out of reach

………………………for the silky fragrance

………….of another’s skin / the slipped momentum

…………………..of a similar person

.

the man who lives in the iron lung

……knows what it’s like

…………………to breathe underwater

…………..without sleeping

.

 *

.

chrome yellow hypothesis 

 

the house isn’t what it was

the voice of a radio

predicts a storm / it mimics a politician

……..commentates on cricket /

the radio possesses the eye

………..of an orchestra

anthems on walls / flags and

coronation stuff / a platoon

route marches to Hill 44 /

.

the family has taken its furniture

……..its god particles

…..and disguised itself in bundles

.

…………the house isn’t what it seems …

a square brick object

………at the mercy of orthodoxies

……………dousing gentiles in holy water / they

chant / play / sing / love thine enemies

 .

Te Hahi o te Whakapono

………..the church……..(sermon-bloated)

…….hunches its white skull

…………..beside the lake

.

passers-by are pulled in to drool

on historical grounds

…..where prisoners in wood

……….hug others in wood

where the lake laps music against stained-

glass windows /

………………….a flute’s voice

………….breathes on naked skin

……..a woman smiles

…………..undoes her soul

………………..for the cost of a camera’s sharp bite

.

….life………..i observe

………….is a sulphuric cloud

………raw and exposed

…………….a matter of confessions

 

this woman this mother
approaches

.

……….the miracle makers
…………..who each year split atoms
………………………by walking on air

.

she’s fascinated by silica

its crystals / this geothermal fragility

………………which domes the town

.

……..she opens herself to parkland

…………………………fantasies

……..any stuntman might exploit

.

beside the lake

…………..birds scrap

………over chrome-plated godsends

plucked from moonstones

.

this mother this woman

…..goes into the house of

…………………one room
…………………one kitchen
…………………one radio

.

a solitary figure clothing

……..legends in bright garments

.

what if                                                                                                           

…………..i place my lips on her lips

………….would forests                                                                      

………………….buckle up / would ghosts

………..return to their shelves to rest

.

she speaks to each gnome in her garden /…….paints

their hats gold

…………..handles them carefully

.

each night they rough and tumble

……………squabble…….like her children

……………….where invisibility is an asset

where in her house

love battles

love charges up a hill /    e hoa

………………………………..she calls

and the radio responds

with the news

……..the weather

a boy scoops up a ball

and runs with it

through a yellow cloud

 

ABOUT THE POET

Since 2008, Iain Britton has had collections of poems published by Cinnamon Press, Interactive Press, Oystercatcher Press, Lapwing Publications and Kilmog Press, plus two pamphlets with Greendoor Publishing and Like This Press. Also, his work was included in the Shearcatcher Poetry Anthology, published by Shearsman Books, 2012. A recent collection, photosynthesis, has just been published by Kilmog Press (NZ), with Rufus Books (Canada) publishing new work in 2015.

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Contrappasso, Issue #6 – launching in September 2014

Cover image "DSC02603" (CC) Vincent Lou @ Flickr, altered from original

Cover image “DSC02603” (CC) Vincent Lou @ Flickr, altered from original

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New Issue. New Authors. Contrappasso 6 is launching soon! This issue explores still more possibilities in international writing, bringing together work from nine countries in four languages, by more than twenty authors who are appearing in the journal for the first time.

Their work leads from snowy streets in Montana to packed train stations in Tokyo, from Hong Kong horse races to Sicilian passion-plays, from the Coal River Valley to Manila shopping malls, and from an iron lung to The Raft of the Medusa.

This issue features interviews with Australian poet Judith Beveridge, veteran American crime writer Lawrence Block and Filipino novelist Jose Dalisay. It presents new fiction by Japanese novelist Mitsuyo Kakuta (translated by Aoi Matsushima), Chilean Álvaro Bisama (translated by Megan McDowell) and from the USA, Jon A. Jackson and R. Zamora Linmark. The poets are Elizabeth Smither, Iain Britton and Stephen Oliver (New Zealand), Flora Delalande (France), Penny Florence (UK), Ouyang Yu (China/Australia) and Richard James Allen, Stuart Barnes, Jamie Grant, Siobhan Hodge, Frank Russo and Les Wicks (Australia).

Watch this website to sample the work this all-new ensemble of writers. They travel far.

The Editors