Question & Answer 3 – Emily Critchley

Question 3

I buckle – lack of a simple graph –
lack of stability – bad and – vertex’d
to myself – in the repetition
of balcony railings – bourgie aspirations
from Brexit – loving – parents – proving
their worth from the –lack of a simple –
class – or sos – SOS – save our son – never
mind this time – add two to the planned degree
to avoid – the marquee – are you ever
lost in thoughts of greater people – Emily –
or do you live adjacent to the loop – I buckle –
lack of basic – survival skills – born from born

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

(Brexit elegy)

for Sandeep Parmar

Lifelines in our hands
to grasp details of which
I am travelling past
snapshots of myself
travelling past
a simple graph
whatever sings
the difference. Planned
landslides are better
than. Listen
I could tell
you about
how to bite off
one’s thumb in spite,*
bitten, repeated, blood
cutting around
the finite
When we made up
this family
(out of scraps,
adjacent stories)
but when we have this
permanent rainbow –
smash the windows,** let the rain off
this precious train
the one over all Europe.
Its new goal
a stupid arrival.
Blood thumbs.

*And the continuance of their parents’ rage.

– Emily Critchley


Question & Answer 4 – Lavinia Singer

Question 4

I don’t hear trumpets
when the reckoning comes,
just the silent, soft sound
of footsteps.

We all need more than one week
to grow, more time to shield
our remains from the soil
and bury our aging bones.

Where will you be buried?
In the return of graceless dancers
I will find myself torn
from their aching kneecaps,

spread wildly across
the bugle player’s path
and cleaning the mess
from an unsanctioned riot.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

[New Moon]
Sunday 23 July 2017, 10.45

It began so quietly and darkly only a softness to the shadow that soothed, not menaced. And here I was here lulled into the talk, and opening an the eye to the inner histories and layered desires histories I’d been balancing in the heart. Soft and dark, you inveigling We can only hope for earthshine at a time of absent of earthshine and so inveigled, I sang and spread slipped the message as as sure as wildfire but black here it flows, crisp light fingernail tearing the open the from first to and last dark and how does it appear slips slipped like a fingernail’s ragging raging the dark, and how does it has appeared I can only this ragged graceless path – from first to, against the dark, last. an at it is a graceless account. an unspeakable I would think it unspeakable

– Lavinia Singer

Question & Answer 3 – Tom Jenks

Question 3






– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

I always was a pessimist, like all true country singers,
lonesome in the boneyard with my meal deal for two.

My dreams are sound tracked by pedal steel,
sadder than the crumbs on crispy pancakes.

What does the moon mean, gold above the pines,
the coyotes calling from the industrial estate?

There is a hole in my bottle and the minerals leak out.
There is not enough mocha in this world for a man like me.

– Tom Jenks

Question & Answer 2 – Logan February

Question 2

I keep sending people
black and white photos
of bioluminescence,
and forgetting nobody
gives a shit about the day
I swallowed my weight
in acid rain so I could
wash his stench from
my jeans and his sweat
from my lips. What days
do you keep remembering
even though you want
to forget? I went deaf
for weeks too, Logan,
covered my ears in sheet
music and learnt to play
my tears in the wrong key.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

I, too, wear my trauma on my lips,
then go around kissing crooked boys

who don’t have names. Yes, I’m
that good at forgetting. Once, I went mad

& didn’t tell anyone. What was I to say?
A hemorrhage, but also not. My eyes

bloodshot, my head swimming. I was
high on mania, what a scene I made.

A body cascading off a pinnacle, with all
the grace in the world. So clean & slow.

So I kept it to myself, found a boy
to hold my memories. Left so much

smoke in his hands, right there outside.
Everyone was watching. I didn’t care,

I gave him my trauma & made him sing.
& when I danced, I danced in the rain.

I’m sorry you didn’t get to hear the music.
I danced until I had my back pressed

against the fogged glass of the windows.
Somehow, the boy went missing & took

my song with him, & despite all of their
eyes, the people were as shocked as me.

– Logan February

Question & Answer 2 – Anthony Frame

Question 2

If this is all just a series of metaphors
then let me be Prynne’s white lines
laid out on the fresh snow, waiting
for sweet, broken sleep to fall on me.

But that’s too obvious, and so is
reading the planet’s radius [smaller
than] every other day until I find
some space in which I can settle.

I guess that’s inspiration, don’t you
think? Obsession and recreation,
the maybe your own voice somewhere
among the wildflowers and metaphors.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

Wait – which Prynne? Hester or Jeremy Halvard? I wonder how long
we can go without googling? And I wonder about white lines in snow?
Redundancy eludes me even in metaphor so let me stop answering
your questions with more questions. Let me get to the heart of things.

Don’t lie down, waiting for sleep in snow. You’ll freeze and the chill
will start inside. The coldness of hearts – as cold as any red letter
embroidered as violence – these are what led us here, at this moment,
when the earth herself is ready to burn or freeze us away. I know

I’m rambling but I’m worried about you. You’re drinking and there’s snow
and these Great Lakes are unforgiving. Fear of freezing has made my lines
so long they’re risking hypothermia. Last night, I dreamt I was forced to wear
my own scarlet letter but I couldn’t tell if I was in a book or an adaptation

staring Gary Oldman. Is this who I am? A loose interpretation of the classics?
Is this the true heart of the matter? I want to lie down among wildflowers
but I know they’d forget me as soon as I stood up. Snow melts, grass returns
to its quest for sun, and I – I go on, trying to leave behind more than a headstone.

– Anthony Frame

Question & Answer 3 – Devin Kelly

Question 3

I leave the coffee to stain my mug
so I can remember the days I couldn’t wake.

I always carry three books with me:
one poetry, one fiction, one factual.

I leave three books beside my bed:
one poetry, one fiction, one to read to womb.

My body is a chamber of broken Cadillacs
and wasted tumours.

How about your body, Devin,
what fills it to the brink?

Your catalogue reads like a manuscript
of mother nature and father time.

Somebody is always watching us,
in the cracks of the corners of the rooms.

There are too many Russian dolls in this shell
and I can barely breathe through the layers.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

I once wrote
A body can be the song you mouth to yourself
& think of this often – how
a body can be so close to the soul
& so far away, the way
it is not always air that fills us,
but often music. But, but, but…
it is the air, too, isn’t it?
I open my mouth & contract my throat
& all this breath you’ve breathed out
comes floating in. We share this
together. Me, you. You, me.
The world a mess
of all you haven’t taken with you
taken by me. I would say
I love it, what’s in my body,
but I want you to love it too.
You can have it. At night
I stare at what light the dead leave
& wonder how it can be possible
to give so much & no longer
exist. Wouldn’t that be the dream?
To rest these eyes & in such resting
be another dreamer’s sun.
My body aches. Look,
I’m forgetting again to breathe.
Here, you can have this one.

– Devin Kelly

Question & Answer 5 – Carrie Adams

Question 5

Special is tiring
is barely special
when you tire
of attempting spectral.

Do you ever
get a postcard
back? Do they tell
you they turned

your room into
a gym? My old
address is one of
twenty seven

spread from Redruth
to Florida
and back again.
Each postcode

another notch
in a web I long
to catch my family
within. Tango romeo

one five

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

I receive the postcard I sent myself
I count the years in words learned

Clinging to the windows of high-rises
caught in a shaft of air that might be enough

We are desperate creatures
who forget in the name of forgiveness

I tweeze out every shard of mistake
the pieces of gravel in my bloodied palm

Don’t ask me why I fell
Ask me what shape I made in the falling

– Carrie Adams