Question & Answer 3 – Simon Barraclough

Question 3

I think I’m both sinking and waving,
not dying for help – just looking for the final
snapshot
of my last hurrah. [Fifteen thousand
seven hundred
fifty
psi]. I sailed on trident while scrawling

protests in the rear view mirror [remain
victorious] of a lost boat, [remain triomphant]
aim aft, aim aft, aim emm ess one.

I am only on the thunder road
because of the nuclear waste
in my veins.

Sometimes I remember being
fathoms deep, and I feel lost
between acceptance and rejection. Do you
still cling to former lives? Hold missiles
to the scars?

[Submariners, we’re promised
daughters,
told it’s the way the life
affects us. I don’t know why I still cling to the notion
that I’m part of the club – one of the dolphins –
when I was rejected with such hate.]

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

‘I ought to learn how to sail, the Hemulen thought. But I’ve never got enough time.’
Moominvalley in November, Tove Jansson

I’m competent of crew, deft of clove hitch
and nimblejack with a midnight bowline;
can read a tidal chart, know where to moor
and when to yank the fenders, flee the dock,
duck the beam and jury-rig a rudder.

Or was, before this dry-docking.
Now I gnaw my Sun-cracked lips,
tilt sockets scoured by stars and seagull beaks,
flense my flesh for my daily bread,
jab my shrunken, salt-cured biltongue
between the fraying shells of my teeth.

My words fall to the strand,
are carried off by hermit crabs
who skitter them this way and that
over the unread page of the shore;
little stories even they can’t read.

– Simon Barraclough

Question & Answer 3 – Stu Watson

Question 3

As a teenager I used to think
of how to get home quickest
without being hit by a baseball
bat upisde my head;

but now I think of how
to get home the quickest
so I can see the glow and glory
of my wife and our (her) bump.

Don’t worry about the hive, Stu,
worry about the nectar,
the life blood & all that sweet,
disgusting, gross honey.

How did we let ourselves
become so sickly sweet?
How do we draw lines in the mud
with sticks we broke bones on?

My reflection carries weights
and arms itself with shoes
in the fear that my hometown
will cremate me and forget

to tie my laces.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

I once imagined that I’d seen
a scaly green reptilian hand
emerge from out the sodden marsh
sunk in beside my family’s land

I told a friend that we could catch
this creature and destroy it there
a reverie then gripping me
reality peeling into air

and I can still see his wide eyes
his baffled look of pure belief
and feel the power in my lie
that power granting not relief

but guilt, awareness that a shift
in tone can swing a person so
as to obscure the truth in mists
that veil all that they know

for me this is the honey of the hive
and also still the stick that swings against
the hive and cracks its brittle muddy walls
the lie is lastly bee eyes gasping
as the queen drops down and falls

so something rhizomatic, mixed
I find when what we want is pure
and unadulterated truth;
but I guess we’ll take it, why not, sure,
lest we from that pure truth go poor

– Stu Watson

Question & Answer 8 – Charlie Baylis

Question 8

Charlie,

You begged and pleaded to take part in this, asked me to take your virginity in return for a spot on the roster – and I let you, with none of the side effects. And yet, there you sit, torn apart like Natalie Imbruglia in Warsaw, begging for me to jump at your cheap tricks.

Fuck you Charlie Baylis – you don’t know shit.

I have half a mind to rewrite your answers as glowing praise for me, but I wouldn’t want the stain of your compliments on the lapels of my work. You’ve grown like a rose bush in Practical Magic, you’re all resurrection with none of the treats. When Halloween comes you’ll knock on doors and whisper ‘trick or trick’ because opening the door to you is never a treat.

You think this is harsh, wait till you see what I drew in the men’s toilets in the Falmouth Café Nero. A picture of you reading your own work and crying.

Do you actually think you are worth the effort, Baylis?

Love Aaron

– Aaron Kent

Answer 8

the last image was strong, the rest was trite and predictable
marriane moore

i last saw aaron kent by the ugly tree locking his bike to the no bike sign
excreting light bulbs to illuminate his wife holding a pink balloon
he’d been wearing the same blouse for weeks

“aaron how asinine you seem in blouse and brogues
why dost thou dress in thy mother’s clothes?!”

“charlie charlie i’m not a real poet
just a jerk attempting poetry to boost my social media status
here here have another question”

“aaron kent i had a pleasant time sipping sunlight in the moonlight
until you came into my waldorf salad
with your frilly frock and pointlessness perfumed by j lo you are a complete idiot
here is a pin for your pink balloon i require you to pop it”

– Charlie Baylis

Question & Answer 3 – Kirsten Irving

Question 3

I see giants the size of angels
and angels the size of small alleyways.
These are all we have to keep track
of the dark ages,
beside a collection of wells so intricately hidden
that they long to cure gout and depression.
This whole county is blue
and blew itself up.
Cornwall rode the lip you describe,
slid heavily into madness
and took all of our fields of wheat with it.
[cheap memes]
What do you do when you’ve defeated the moon,
and found four more waiting
just outside of your consciousness?
I read them Murakami
and create a cat that talks in tongues.
I have seizures in the night time
and stab the men who come for me.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

There was a little princess who lay dying
and wanted the moon, knew it would save her.
They gave her a moon of silver for her neck,
and she got better, knew it would grow back in the sky
like the thumbnail she held up to eclipse it.

There are plastic truths and there are granite truths.
There are conducting truths of copper (silver
carries faster, but costs far more) and there are
insulator truths in glass and rubber. They make
Things quieter, the view so much better.

– Kirsten Irving

Question & Answer 7 – Anthony Desmond

Question 7

My ancestors smoked their way
into the history books.
I went to school proud
to tell my teachers my dad
smoked sixty a day.
Eighty a day.
Perhaps even one hundred.

A kid threw a cigarette
from his car window
and I threw a banana skin
from mine.
His won’t deteriorate,
whereas mine will
feed the foxes.

Do you give back, Anthony?
Do you return to nature?
I’m still thinking
about that banana skin
and a comedy fall
by some Charlie Chaplin
lookalike.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 7

Amongst the trees,
I thought I could be
the same with all of them.
I thought I had to carry
the weight of the world
like a circus act.
My kindness was a show,
free for all to see the fool
whose love was like
a penny face up,
like a coin toss with
a double-faced nickel.
I was spent; my days
were currency in the
pockets of those who
forgot I needed light, too.

– Anthony Desmond

Question & Answer 3 – Amanda Butler

Question 3

If we’re talkin’ sax solos
then we need to keep
Careless Whispers in the footnotes –
because George Michael was magic,
and I won’t have anybody
tell me otherwise.
It’s Freedom ‘90
where he truly excels though,
he doesn’t belong to me,
but I hold his sounds like I hold
Elliott Smith, and Phife.
Who do you mourn
though you never met?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

The daily mourning hashtag news
tells me who to add to my heart
and social media prayers.
Forty-nine pulses pump, and
love is vein-river-streamed.
The first soul I cried for but never knew –
found in pixel flowers
left on Anna’s MySpace
in the comment section.

I mourn for Issa –
also, with every haiku
may peace fly in flocks.

– Amanda Butler

Question & Answer 1 – Andrew Fentham

Question 1

What glory do you find in Cornwall?
I find it in the chough,
in nests built on acrylic landscapes
with legend imbued in its genes,
the once common, no longer chattering
compositional bird ascends.
Every detail seared on its iris,
every magnificent horizon etched,
it finds the majesty in every hand
held and reborn again.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

Answer 1 (1)Answer 1 (2)

– Andrew Fentham