Issue 29: Manson & Mendoza

nine horned puffins sit on a cliff edge

the badgers are moving the goal-posts

in the english scheme everyone is

mecha streisand or flattened affect

here the elbow is leading the turn

to language in a spiral gavotte

a middle class revolt ya dancer

in the dark wood i woke up crying

a band-eyed drone fly pinned to a thorn

in the thrum of this interregnum

small weeping lichen on rotting log 

assume the backdrop of a city

in the black forest the snow is as

deep as your waste in england all the

houses are cold  go forth and greet the

king with as many shapes as you can

carrie doesn’t live here anymore 

only a soft or no sound appears 

unless of course my visiting dress 

rode up to the occasional verse

it refused to collect at the fence

for a stolen cake to bribe krampus

puffing like a thing I love to pluck

and stuff into a turnip's stomach

o be my perverse haggis my bash

-ful neep my absconded tottie scone

and i'll be at yours by tiffin time 

i who have never knowingly tiffed

don’t cry for me marge and teacakes we

hoard for the spring dressed all up in the

nines as truffled tutu hinged and brack

et fungi tucked in folly folds un

folding tiny tendrilled hands entwined 

in fruiting bodies         nee tongue nee mooth

to conscience prick  turn only on a 

straight path    as if to waltz  as if to

write a connection between two things 

you interrupt a stottie cone to

bring to us this message in a pork

pie hat for the day that's done it now

innit yer lias blues for ammo

nighties i've sat in never reaching

the verb form for loss of innocence

twa gorbys on your beer mat chevy

chase the anonymous cheese away

you the upset of a barley moon

and so it went on like a charm such  

is this cake made of small lady hands  

its fingers point skyward like we see in 

the dark a figure not jack-in-the-

pulpit striped and tinged with purple but

Cordyceps militaris bright orange

or scarlet orange on mossy wood

transforming from animal to plant

winter creeper springing summer herb


passing the motion of condolence

and then the expandable baton

liz truss in the parlour with the no

-vichok    Who will distract us from this

turbulent beast    i, said nick witchell

mangling the stress on my limpet shell

alewives with wings shake a wooden leg

events are overtaken by snails

jennifer gentle my cat's a witch


sss sss sorry, charlie, for the imp

-osition is an imp like a kite  

in the shape of a magpye?  ah black

bird beke ah peck in crown and

so it went on like a charm such is your

english bond always repeating with 

the same insistence oh that wasn’t

     a dainty dish  in my limpet shell      

she makes any king whom she pleases

as an imp is a graft chimaera

holding the chi rho banner i smite

my internalised foeman ding down

merrily the sky is riven with

angels mooning over lancashire

you leave your supper or second sleep

to rove or gad about in the night

in the days of '52 a full

deck dawned and we all do the shuffle


[Peter Manson lives in Glasgow.  Books include Adjunct: an Undigest, Poems of Frank Rupture, For the Good of Liars and Between Cup and LipWINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS: SONNOTS for Griffiths, a collaboration with Mendoza, appeared in 2018 from Materials/Materialen.  His book of translations, Stéphane Mallarmé: The Poems in Verse, is available from Miami University Press, Ohio. for more.

Mendoza, aka Linus Slug: Insect Librarian, is a Northumbrian poet living in London. Publications include: WINDSUCKERS & ONSETTERS: SONNOTS for Griffiths collaboration with Peter Manson: Materials, 2018; the science of poetry : the poetry of science Linus Slug / Peter Manson broadside,  2015 and Type Specimen: An Observant Guide To Linus Slug, Contraband, 2014. Mendoza's visual poetry has appeared in Tentacular and under the persona of Pat Phaggs in Datableed issue 9; their poetry can also be heard at the Archive of the Now]



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