from Issue #6: Poetry by Richard James Allen

Photo (CC) simpleinsomnia @ Flickr

Photo (CC) simpleinsomnia @ Flickr

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anniversary           

yes we get on alright
no longer breathless
like young lovers
more like old folk
though not so old
for i believe i am of sound mind and body
and still capable of work
it being at such times
after work
as i’m not feeling my best
what with standing up all day
and the rheumatism in my left knee
or if i’ve been treated to an unkind word
or if there’s been a hold up in my pension
or a dear friend has passed away
that i talk to her
pondering it all over
as i powder my toes before bed
and she listens so patiently
but mostly i let her talk
nodding my head from time to time
even if i’m only pretending to listen
because there are boxes of my mother’s letters
to be read or reread sorted or resorted
or a note to be answered from the landlord
concerning the rent
or a couple of lines that want writing to the dentist to say
i won’t be dropping my teeth in there again in a hurry
not after the price he charged me for that new set last may
but there’s never a harsh word between us
forty years and nothing to complain of
we get on famously
her and me
me and the tv

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Crazy stuff

Why did he give me all that crazy stuff –
his portfolio on UFOs and Alien Abductions,
his years of research into Conspiracy Theories,
his proofs that everything we have ever suspected
is actually true and is going on right now,
only even worse than we expected?

Why did he give me all his crazy stuff
and then disappear off into the night,
never to report back again?

Did he think I was as sane as he?

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The Unanswered Question

Would you have loved me as I loved you?
The great unanswered question
Which binds like forget-me-nots
The recycling souls of the human race.

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ABOUT THE POET

Australian-born poet Richard James Allen’s recent collection of poems, Fixing the Broken Nightingale (Flying Island Books) is his tenth book as a poet, fiction, performance writer and editor: http://www.fixingthebrokennightingale.com/.  Widely published in anthologies, journals and online since winning the ‘under-21 section’ of the English Teachers Association of NSW National Writing Competition in 1980, Allen has been the recipient of numerous awards, nominations and grants, as well as opportunities for presentations, screenings and broadcasts, in a unique international career as an acclaimed writer, director, choreographer, filmmaker, performer, new media artist, and scholar. Further information at The Physical TV Company website: www.physicaltv.com.au

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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