My grandmother’s neighbor came over crying and yelling about how she couldn’t find one of her budgies and she was afraid the worst had happened to it. She lived in the studio next door and I went in not knowing what to expect. I had been in an old lady’s home before, my grandma’s for instance, but I got the sense that once you hit a certain age (and grandma wasn’t there yet) you lose track of things. Things like order, and dustpans.Continue reading “The Budgies of Broadway by K Dulai”
Between your [social] legs
Sometime in the past, B was born..
B breathes, welcoming the air external to the host person.
A: ‘What is between your legs, little one?’
A: ‘Congratulations, it’s a.. >insert binary pronoun here< .’
B cries, again.
A: ‘What are you going to call >insert corresponding binary pronoun, here< ?’
Sometime later, after B has spent years experiencing on earth..
B: ‘I still breathe, and cry. The questioning human at my birth got the pronoun wrong. It was a mistake to think that my anatomy somehow directly corresponded to a distinctive set of social behaviours. Or, knowingly or unknowingly, any attempts to make that the case. Other determining factors which continue to make me me, were quite underestimated, overlooked or ignorantly bypassed. As were possibility and actuality.’
B: ‘Yes, I have something between my legs, and person/human/homo sapien is my name’
A: ‘What is between your.. social.. legs, big one?’
B: ‘A variety of focal points for questioning. And I may not be one, but many. And why the assumption of ‘I’, anyway? But that’s for another time.’
Liminal Spaces – June 2018 Guest Editor James Pate – here is the final edition of all selections curated by James Pate during the month of June 2018 for his theme of Liminal Spaces – thank you so much to James for all his hard work during the month and for the impeccable way he managed and curated his month’s editorship. To have been avid readers and fans of James’ writing – especially his essays during the days of the incredible and much-missed Montevidayo site – to have James collaborate on BHP for a month has been such a dream experience. Thanks, James! – and Thank You So Much to all who contributed such magic work to the theme – Here it is, June 2018 guest editor James Pate’s Liminal Spaces edition – enjoy! Continue reading “Liminal Spaces – June 2018 Guest Editor James Pate”
Guest Editor: Amee Nassrene Broumand
Professional Mermaid by Megan Dunn
After the 10th Date by Sam Frost
gibbous moon waxing by Lewis Ellingham
Three Poems by Jared A. Carnie
Charon’s Amusement Arcade by BR Williams
Three Poems by Laura Potts
Plastic Eggs by C.B. Auder
Night Photos of Newstead Village & a Poem by Sophie Pitchford*
L’Idole by Laura Izabela
Two Poems by Annette Skade
A Bacon Sandwich by Jim Gibson
Solitaire by Attracta Fahy
Three Poems by Ivan de Monbrison
Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen
What Else Can I Do? by Rob True
How to Tell Men Apart by Breslin White
Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble
Two Poems by Kate Garrett
Stealing Sleipnir by Alison Lock
The Transformation by Emma McKervey
Three Poems by Samuel J Fox
Sing a Song of Ever Changing Perception by Michelle Diaz
Photographs of Bristol & a Poem by Jason Jackson*
When Food Goes Bad by Kelly Froh
Two Poems by Anna Wall
7yrs bad luck by Richard Biddle
Jack by Gene Farmer
Two Pieces by Erin Calabria
genesis by Clark Chatlain
Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed
A Catalogue of Small Shatterings by Makensi Ceriani
Bear off a Leash by Stephen Lightbown
Photographs of New Orleans by Julia Skop*
Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz
Interminatus by Cory Willingham
The Boyfriend Pinch by Christopher John Eggett
Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer
Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia
The Linen Man Suite by Lorie Broumand
An Interview with Poet Laura Potts by Amee Nassrene Broumand*
Featured Image: Solar Eclipse from Salem, Oregon 2017 by Amee Nassrene Broumand
Individual featured images by Amee Nassrene Broumand unless marked with an asterisk
The linen man was having a sale. The townspeople got up early to buy linens.
The linen man had boasted of his sale for seven years, and the townspeople were driven by a rabid impatience. They’d pressured him to hold it now, and then now, and so on.
On the day of the sale, the town was caught up in a colossal heat. It was uncommon, so early in the summer, and the townspeople swung their limbs in wretchedness. Henny and Ida claimed the temperature had increased daily as the sale neared.
Others noticed this, too; worse, the air took on a density that smelled of flowers. It was clear from the smell these flowers had flourished in the heat, grown large in it, and died. The townspeople chose not to say anything, as it was unpleasant in a variety of ways. They held handkerchiefs over their faces as they walked to the linen sale.
The sun hadn’t come up yet, and all but one of the streetlights along the linen man’s street had gone out. It was too hot to fix them, so no one had, and the solitary light turned the air an uncomfortable green.
“There’s something linen-like about that shade of green,” said Mrs. R.
“It’s not the shade of green you’re noticing, it’s that machine sound,” said Mr. L.
“It’s the smell,” said Ms. X, “which is clearly linen in nature.”
Mr. L and Ms. X were notoriously confident about the superiority of their perceptions.
Townspeople streamed into the linen man’s street. The machine sound was very loud there, and a large object shook under a piece of plastic.
Near the object was a crate of cubes.
The townspeople needed dishcloths, bedclothes, curtains, and shirts. But they saw none of this—merely the cubes, and the density in the air.
Mrs. R drew a line through the air, an involuntary motion.
“Linen sale,” called the linen man. He ushered the townspeople with his hands.
It was a surprise to see the danger red, tango orange, white mottle. All the other shellfish she had seen that day in the rock pools had been dark browns, some black elegant creatures. This was a lobster that looked like it was half-cooked, but alive and well, a naturally appealing dinner invitation.
She felt like a child squatting down next to the rock pool. How had he got washed up here, so beautiful against the wrinkled rocks and sighing sand. The day, sunny but with a wind that ran through her ankles and up her skirt occasionally, should have been about observing. She thought she would spend some time looking at the rock pools, looking at the creatures in them, grey and black and brown—crabs moving amongst the husks and wrappers of their dead comrades. Never take a step back, pick up claw from a fallen brother.
She was going to be detached today, she’d promised. She wasn’t going to get involved with anything, she said the creative writing course was helping, but there needed to be more material, more distraction. She’d been told by the tutor that she was a natural journalist, scornfully. Always ready to get involved and meddle in someone else’s story, rather than secretly skimming off the best bits from a distance.
So she would observe today. It was a bit like when she had been dumped by her boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. The idea was to stay single for a while, to observe the others doing the dance and check she knew the steps.
But here, with this orange lobster in the black bowl of a Welsh rock pool, she decided to engage with it. She started by giving it a nudge with a stick to see how active it was. It was beautiful, so could be dead. It moved and whirled around to look at her, pointedly. She was surprised, and didn’t expect it to be so forward, it was a rare thing and therefore should be shy in her world. Continue reading “The Boyfriend Pinch by Christopher John Eggett”
out of the gray afternoon it might begin—the creation of the world. in the sound of a snow shovel scraping on ice and in the slush that remains a kind of ex nihilo is generated. from nothing. certainly from nothing. in the birthing of worlds there are no principles only the appearance of that which did not exist before and that now is. that now irrefutably is. where once the cosmos was simply gray expanse and the waters then below, or even the gathering of all things in one small, great magnitude, there is now the gray afternoon. no diving for worlds in the great sea. no trickster. nothing. a flock of dying geese crosses the new sky in a v that tapers to oblivion. a dog howls to no answer in the distance. his leg is broken and he is looking for a culvert to hide in. surely, they have come. in this world the names are stripped one by one and a first and last lonesome forked creature with twelve fingers and no face ticks off the forgotten. ah, yes. this swirling mass of creation, this pool of dim color that rises in the deep of the gray and seems to nod to the cracked moon above—this is genesis. the names fall off each and each wanders to their glory in a desert of rock and gray sun. a world. a new world.
I am setting out on this water not to drift but to row, since this not loving you has drawn from me almost as much as loving you once did, and nothing is as full as a boat by itself in a sea that does not end.
II. Barn Ruin
We found it at the edge of the woods that August you wouldn’t touch me, just a skeleton of walls and poison ivy climbing all the way to the caved-in roof, triple leaves bigger than hands and glossed to the point of dripping, and it was almost pretty, all those edges hooked against each other, baring back a tessellated light, just as long as we didn’t come close.
I was not afraid you would hurt me, but that you never would, that you would never even peer between these ribs I’ve hinged apart for you, until the wind will do to me what it does to all soft creatures left behind by the tide, and the only sound my throat can make will be the sound of robin nests unraveled in a storm.
It was for Joanna Newsom that I left my wife and children, all of whom I adored more than anything in that world which I left behind and to which I will never go back. My defence is sound, you’ll see.
I’d checked myself into the hospital, just like they tell you to if you’re experiencing difficulties in breathing, have a tight chest and your head is spinning. I passed swiftly through triage and onto a bed where they wired me to an ECG, took blood and then abandoned me to crisp blue curtains and the metronomic beep of an ignored monitor. Continue reading “Jack by Gene Farmer”
I leave the house in my jogging bottoms and hoody. It’s the not so early morning in spring and I’m headed up to the corner shop for a loaf of bread and bacon, you know the stuff that says with added water on the packet like it’s something to be proud of, because it’s Saturday and when you live on your own, you’ve got to give yourself little rewards for making it to another weekend. Couples get to lie in together with hangovers but, when you’re on your own, the bed just doesn’t stay warm and a bacon sandwich on buttered white bread is a home remedy that feels like it’s been unconsciously passed down through the ages. Continue reading “A Bacon Sandwich by Jim Gibson”
It really messed me up, it did. For months after my discharge, even the sound of my own farts would send me, you know, wherever it was I went. I would just freeze up. Go into a kind of dead-face trance. I was a big lad back then, and it was difficult for people to get me moving again once I’d stopped. So I’d end up staying there for a while like, in the street, wherever, just staring at the grey clouds on the horizon. At one stage, it got so bad that when I was offered a job at the local arcade – one of them bandit places – my counsellor practically begged me not to take it. She said the flashing lights and the noise of the coins dropping would be too much for me to handle. She made it sound like I’d end my shift fitting on the mucky carpet there, like some sort of fucking fish. But I had to give it a try. It was the only job offer I’d had since landing back on civvy street, and staying in the house all day with my parents tip-toeing nervously around me, well that was sending me another kind of crazy. I was starting to feel like one of them fucking bombs I was so Continue reading “Charon’s Amusement Arcade by BR Williams”
I’ll make jokes about death. Give names to the bunnies locked between coyote teeth as we walk through the forest with bare feet. Go to your apartment. Drop to the floor. Hide under blankets until the air is too warm. Stick heads out and kiss. Stand up, I’ll watch as the covers shift off, leave you naked. Grab a bottle from the counter. Come back. Take the first sip then pass it to me. I’ll crinkle my face and say no more. But that just means I want you to get a glass of water for me to sip after each pull. You’ll know that.
Play music. Dance with me. Wait till our eyes are clouded just a bit. I’ll look up at you. You’ll look down. The whole world between my nose and yours. Eyes lock. We’ll have to fill the gap. Lace your fingers through my hair. Sit on the ground. Grab the bottle. Continue reading “After the 10th Date by Sam Frost”
- 1 x tooth brush
- 1 x toothpaste (100ml)
- 1 x shower gel (100ml)
- 2 x t shirts, pants, socks
- 1 x jumper
- 1 x anorak
- 1 x shorts
- 2 x good books
- Flip flops
- Tobacco, rizla, filter, lighter
- I-pod (nb delete nostalgic songs)
- Earphones (splash out on DECENT pair)