Question & Answer 5 – Anthony Desmond

Question 5

I never think of Tom Petty
when I hear ‘Free Fallin’ –
no, instead I see Tony
Soprano, driving the Jersey
Turnpike, fever dreams and
dead friends.

The sun overheard, the shade
of cigarette ash mixed
in blood, kept under the eye
of a yak. No life left to
watch distractions or
murder his

skin cells. Culture sometimes
steals culture. Words sometimes
eat cinema. I sometimes wish
I was more ‘me’. Do your senses
lead you astray? Do you find songs
in scenery?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

First times and faces I don’t care
for anymore carry the tune
in certain songs. My life is an
instrumental while I hum for
the moments I’ll never forget
including regrets, a couple
swings I wish I would’ve taken
or days I didn’t fear being
a disappointment.

– Anthony Desmond

Question & Answer 3 – Kate Gale

Question 3

Under the bat tattoo is a halo scar
long enough to reach the sun
on a kite, and a ghost’s pager.
There’s a carving in a rich kid’s tree,
a war cry above a warren, lapin
don’t understand the class divide.
Are heart monitor readings
worth putting on CVs? Is
tracing blood onto paper
equal to the value of stolen china?
Rorschach could see the butterflies
for the demons, and prazosin
brings the moths back from hell.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

We all have scars, echoes of our former selves,
of damage that was done. And the fierce dark,
the sun blessing our bodies, knifing us, the rip of you from me.
If we were kites, the air would like a float a thrill.
An honest CV would list a few items. Who you like,
where you go on weekends. An honest CV would
have blood on it from the
thousand days of unemployment.
You want a job? Don’t tell the truth.
You want the truth? Don’t get a job.
You want the truth? Don’t get married.
You want to get married? Don’t tell the truth.

– Kate Gale

Question & Answer 1 – Devin Kelly

Question 1

When my lottery win comes in,
I’m never gonna ride the coattails
of my father’s veins again.
St Day Road stretches three
odd miles wide, and I can still
smell the pastor’s suit in the seventh
ring of Gwennap. The seventh
flat river run red on cassette.

Are you haunted by Nebraska? Or haunting
Springsteen’s songs? I still
run the dirty streets I was born
on a conveyer belt in my mind.
Dream electric.
Dream tonic.
Dream whiskey.
Dream on it.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

I used to think the headlights running long & wild
on my ceiling as I slept were different kinds of ghosts.

Still today. Even now. I’m haunted – read frequented,
obsessed, brought home – by the way we shape

our past. Sometimes I wonder if home means only
the idea of a home, if a poem is just us at the door

fiddling with the lock. I’m haunted by all I haven’t tasted
with my mouth & all I have. This is why I’ll never weary

of love & death & the words we use or don’t
to fit our bodies through all the space between.

The word haunt means to practice habitually, with obscene
discipline. Imagine a ghost & how its task is wrecked

daily with visitation. This is how we write. Isn’t it?

– Devin Kelly

Question & Answer 3 – Daniel Roy Connelly

Question 3

Daniel,

What are we to do with flat Earthers, and Holocaust deniers, and illuminati speculators? Should we dangle them over the edge of the world, and watch as they step into the curve and continue to circumnavigate this globe? Or do we show them the remnants of hate and watch them stutter through invisible threads?

My father was a conspiracy theorist, he found hope in David Ick and swore that every shooting was a false flag. Blame the prime minister, not the shooter. Every story had to be a cover for something deeper, or something more malevolent – as if thirty children dying at the hands of a teenager’s rifle wasn’t dark enough, so there had to be an electoral scandal to hide behind. I always hoped he would read my report card and decide a ‘C’ in Maths was due to the rising of lizard people in schools, not because I wasted my time listening to Kanye’s All that Glitters in class. [but that would’ve meant he had read my report card].

Terrance Howard promises that this is the last century our children will be taught 1×1=1. Terrance Howard thinks Einstein and Tesla would lose their minds were they alive to hear of Terryology. Terrance Howard spends 17 hours a day proving that if one times one equals one that means two is of no value because one times itself has no effect. If we have one version of one Terrance Howard, we apparently have two.

And maybe that’s the trick.

Maybe Terry has managed to clone himself.

Maybe the lizard people did mark me down in Maths.

Maybe this planet drops off somewhere past Australia.

Maybe we’re just blind to all of this.

Though I doubt it.

Stay chill Daniel,

Aaron.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

BEGIN
Illuminati. A bit 1780s really,
when Xavier von Zwack was
second-in-command. And you don’t
fuck around with a name like that.

I’ll return to your questions further down the page.
Strictly speaking I’m a left to right no nonsense man,
blocks of text as if an asteroid storm

but this one’s had me flickering back
and forth from the Indian IPL, sixes,
Kanye and cheerleaders, setting me
unexpectedly
on a path to more conventional form.

That’s live commentary for you.

If only conspiracies pulled their weight,
Elvis as spied on Sunset Boulevard,
Lord Lucan taking tea at Traitor’s Gate,
or that whole ‘we conquered the moon?’ charade.

Conspiracy, old as Trojan horses,
in place to encase the mad online wrath
in the presses of the global shit-bath…
Where would we be without our rough sources?

I see the vertical multitudes –
for there be many nasty fuckers
we’d like to get rid of once and for all –
with rainbow balloons strung over their heads
expanding as they rise up to who
gives a shit where, far enough away
as outer hemispheres get.

I have a heart like everyone has a heart
and my heart wants all the dark hearts
to fuck off completely and irrevocably.
In space, they will meet by chance,
the holocaust deniers delighted to point out
at altitude to passing Jewish scientists the earth
is not flat, while the is she/isn’t he brigade
is there to keep space hatred oxygenated for all constituents, speculators inc.,
whose balloons might go up as well as down.

I owned a lizard I taught to count to 2
and who knew the world was round.
Paul was his name. One night Paul
and I discussed Terry and decided
to cut down a tad on the learning.
Next day, Paul packed his bags
and abandoned me, as have many others.

– Daniel Roy Connelly

Question & Answer 4 – Niall Bourke

Question 4

I drew my thoughts all over her walls,
like a child with a crayon,
screaming for somebody
to appreciate the straight lines
and attention to detail
in how we communicate.
Do we always need

to talk?
I scribbled messages of hope and fatigue,
exhaustion and desire
and all the while, I couldn’t help but to consider her
beautiful,
and lost,
and stronger than I could ever hope to be.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

They walked not knowing what to say.
Where shall we go? What shall we do?
I don’t know. Up to you.

Perhaps, if either can now recall it,
down the back of some quiet lane,
there was a low-slung red-bricked wall
with faded yellow mortar lines,
buried deep behind a privet hedge
(or maybe it was some evergreens).
They squeezed in-between, wading ankle-deep
through the faded wrappers of crisps and sweets.

He sat down, unslung his bag.
She smoothed her dark-green skirt
then threw away her cigarette
and stumbled in among his legs.
they kissed. Her mouth was wet, his eyes were open.
The empty packets spoke in rustles round their feet
and the evening died, staked out between the leaves.
(The pines? The hedge? The trees?)

Do they still remember now
how all that ever mattered hung, just then,
taught upon two straining tongues
as twenty teenage fingers swum
through that stucklimbed well of silence?

– Niall Bourke

Question & Answer 1 – Jennifer Edgecombe

Question 1

I write pikkutrapp / trapped
irate / rate / raise a barn/
owl / öwllwö / covered
in paint / pain / glass
shattered / as mattered /
dark matter / does it
matter / question mark
/ at all / atoll
/ a toll to pay / bridge /
no e / bride / I will wear
gold / bow tie / pocket
square / hip / hipster
slow drip / robusta
blend / robust /
espresso / sunday mornings
/ coffee shops / work
to pay / for a road /
in France / my daughter /
soon / a road in France /
and to kill / a mocking /
bird

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

[Dear Öwllwö,

Pikkutrapp trapped,

…………….retold.]

O wow, Öwllwö!
Patter due! Pure reap reap.
A toll perk, toll
loot!

I applaud proud trowel.

……..A pipped apple.

……..Little tulip.

……..Owlet.

*

Paper due. A trapp trap. Duet.
U are latte rapper, idea aerator. I
wallow, purport writ!

Outlook auto,
……..workup ritual,
…………….tweak order.
A taut utopia.

A poor warp tatter word prattle lip rattle PULP!

O, owl woe.
Our toil a trial a trade, Öwllwö.

A door to a loopier road.

– Jennifer Edgecombe

Question & Answer 3 – Cyrus Parker

QUESTION 3

INT. SUBMARINE – NIGHT(MAYBE? OR DAY? EVENING?)

It’s a shit title, let’s be honest, and the set-up relies on an innate knowledge of living onboard a submarine and all the stuff that goes on with it. Everything is grey, the protaganist [might be the antagonist] used to make a joke that living onboard a submarine was just staring at fifty different shades of grey. This joke was before the book was even conceived. He can’t use that joke anymore – but please know there is no colour in a submarine, everything is grey. Fourty nine and a half different shades of grey.

……………………………..SONAR OPERATOR
………………I’ve just learnt what nihilartikel means.

……………………………..CHIEF
…………………life on board…

……………………………..SONAR OPERATOR
………………I think it means me, some broken entry on
………………a map that exists purely to confuse other
………………people. I’m not even worth some grid
………………co-ordinates.

The submarine begins to fall apart.

The submarine begins to fall apart.

The sub marine begins to fall apart.

……………………………..SONAR OPERATOR (CONT’D)
………………I think I’m falling apart.

……………………………..VOICEOVER
………………And it’s at this point crush depth forces
………………the hate into some innocent flesh. It’s
………………here that we the lines blur. Boundaries no
………………longer exist. Where does reality seep out?

……………………………..SONAR OPERATOR
………………Another fucking shade of grey.

The Sonar Operator has fallen apart.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

reality.
reality.
reality.

the sonar operator falls apart.
……………………i am nothing.
the submarine falls apart.
……………………i am nowhere.
the ocean falls apart.
……………………i am drowning.
the world falls apart.
……………………i have drowned.

forty-nine-and-a-half shades of grey blend
together. grey turns to white, white turns to black
and i am choking on the weight of it all.
i sink down to where the darkness is too dark
and my feet touch ground but i am weightless.
i scream and nothing comes out of my mouth
but i hear it in my head.

the sonar pings.

……..the universe falls apart.

nihilartikel.
nihilartikel.
nihilartikel

……………………everything is fake.

– Cyrus Parker