I Was Born Yesterday

Do you know British royalty
and British aristocrats can be
racist? Now you know.

Do you know there was once
a divine project called the
British Empire? Now you know.

Do you know the natives were
enslaved, brainwashed, and
put through the meat grinder?

Now you know. Start waving
your angry finger
at a device of choice.

Do you know that only they
who are ordained by God
can appear on Oprah? Now you know.

Thank you internet,
I know what to think now –
I was born yesterday.

Bogdan Tiganov


Feel-Good Poetry

There’s a trend now
for poetry that’s like
something you’d stick
on a t-shirt or toilet cubicle
next to ‘suck me.’

Feel-good, warm,

And not the good shit.

This loved up soup
brings in the groupies
on Instagram
and the ‘poets’
make a living from
smiling and spunking
in the permanent
neon sunset.

Oh, the remains
of Hollywood happy endings,
brains scrambled into sticky

Bogdan Tiganov


deer and ducks

she told me a story
of wandering the earth
set forth against forces
larger than her
she walked neighborhoods
night and day
and told me she
hissing deer
ducks raping
i didn’t know
what to say
and soon
after that
we parted
on the drive home
i fell asleep
and when i awoke
i was in my driveway
there were no ducks around
i was
thankful for

Tohm Bakelas


Oh, Richey

You left us when this whole shitshow
was stumbling to another century, where
did you go, Richey, where did you

You slept in your car did you it’s the
whole fuckin fame game that’s all, 
the burning rose, the smiling butcher

Watching the black sky above
a lead weight pressing down, pulsating
with impeccable loneliness

Oh, Richey, back in Blackwood
haunting the old home, the bare bones
of the empty streets, alone

Why is home so lonely why is home
so abandoned why are we always leaving
and where do we go now, Richey, where

Bogdan Tiganov


Starry Night

shit, Vincent, i don’t think
you could have ever imagined
your Starry Night
would end up tattooed
to the lower back of this woman
who on all fours waits on the bed
looking over her shoulder
telling me with her eyes
to hurry up and fuck her

Jose Pepe Arroyo



Don’t you dare stare into her face
as her shadowy form marches down the street,
hair tied back, dark eyes, no smile for those lips.

Her bones stand still outside the grey office
as she inhales from her cigarette enough life
to show up.

Is that a warhead hurtling down?

She strolls to the toilets and hammers down a fifth of vodka,
her features deadpan like deflowered oysters.
Another day begins.

Bogdan Tiganov


Birdman Blues

When you’re poor

You have to shit

In an un-air-conditioned

Bathroom as rivers

Of sweat rush down

Your face I was listening 

To a podcast

About daring prison breaks

Dillinger El Chapo et al

And I thought, emotionally

I’m no different 

Though it shouldn’t 

Have to be this way 

When love dies

And you find yourself

Doing hard time

One should be able to

Walk right out the front door 

And not have to sit there 

Plotting your own great escape 

In an un-air-conditioned 

Shitter as rivers of sweat 

Rush down your face

Jose Pepe Arroyo



it was all in the way you 

carried yourself before 

i set out i shined

my own shoes 

so the populace 

could see my work

my battered wingtips

with the laces busted

they walked much

but got nowhere

and still i stumble

through callejones 

and cantinas

of my memory

searching for me

with an old shoe shining box 

strapped to my shoulder

asking drunk men 

“shine your shoes?

shine your shoes?” 

but the drunks have 

no money to shine

their shoes and they 

send me to buy them 

some smokes instead

and i run and get the smokes

and steal one for my ear

and by the end of the day 

i manage to hustle 

a few pesos

and i walk home 

smoking that cigarette

counting them

Jose Pepe Arroyo


Night Tram

Asleep, or half so
with my feet
At rest on the opposing seat
My pissed up face
pressed up against
Against the window

A woman in a uniform
nudged me
Gently and said
“Could you move your feet”
I said
I could but no ones sitting there.

There are no other people here
Besides you, me and hopefully
A driver.
And she shocked me when she sighed
Took off her hat and sat beside me.

And set her feet beside mine on
Her opposing chair.
She said “Know what two stops more and
I am going home.”

Turned out her name is Emma
She has three mouths to feed
And she’s falling back on credit cards
A city falling out
Into my eyes
Lights so bright and skirts so short
They may as well be naked arses.

Sitting next to me like she
Had given up the ghost
With the flicker yellowed stamps of
Streetlamps streaming past.

“This tram will stop
so where will you get off?”
I tend to fall through doors
And wander homewards.
Sometimes I even get there.

She put her hat upon my head
For momenmts there
I was the conductor
That made me smile
I said “Emma could you move your feet”
She said yes
Just one more stop.

How awesome can those random strangers be?

Stuart Knowles



She went to bed

wearing her yellow

hairband and said

she’d never take it

off. Later I crept in.

How she flinched

and twisted like a

shrimp, grabbing

it in her sleep and

fought to keep it on.

Long may she win.

Caroline Clark