Issue 30: Joseph Minden


w/c 3 Jan 2022


It is Epiphany, when

we reflect on how things are

revealed to us. With masks

back, their eyes come

forward harder from

around the room, but widen

with what they can’t say.


They are subdued, deprived

of the impulsive

preliminaries to expression:

how the mouth moves

often so immediately after

where the eyes go.

On their own, the eyes are legless.


Year 8 and I are thinking together.

Where do tears start? Inside

these eyes. And where do they end

up? Below them. So that, by

definition, they lower

you, those characters,

into the world.






w/c 7 Mar 2022


Peter and James fell into

the bottom of a lift shaft


I vaguely saw them crunched there

in this glass bore



the firemen came as paramedics


There was a brief

muffled investigation


Peter is dead they said

coming back up to the rest of us


The smallest hesitation that

Peter is truly but not indefinitely dead


Hello spine

ladder to turn out


The same place in that is what

stairs are up to the top suite






w/c 6 June 2022


It’s Monday morning, 1am.

I’ll not sleep.


The day is a church,

its windows the last few days,


the door, my desk.

Everyone respects a door.


Then I was on my feet,

my head against the food.






w/c Sep 12 2022


Having observed the lesson,

the inspector presumed to pass

judgment on Danielle:

you’re a bright girl

but you’re being led.

Our eyes met

in the conspiracy of children

which says

who the fuck is that

and smiles off, distracted

like a slide

into the afternoon.


When I make my new

friend, now

as this eleven-year-old

I discover –

suddenly –

his mouth doesn’t

stop but leads

on and on,

his relentless approach


by the loop of time.

Get it away!



you’re dead to me

(I discover as the inspector)

is an important type of

murder. I, too, retain

the infinity

of starting out as a human

but it is mine. I cannot bear

to know better.

Or you

of the asking,

the asking again.






w/c 21 Nov 2022


       for S, for Aug


At the counter, Kat

grates lemon zest into

a frying pan with halved

tomatoes, although bleedy,

sparklered by rain, the new

Krieg interface, given by

our hand in the meadow that is

the same gait as first circled

such stuff as dreams that we were

full of war and would tend more

that way, ghosting a final meeting

in newborn shadow, sleeping

in the creeping wakefulness

of weeks, the steeples of trees

walking with no different

pace across the neurotoxic

hull of Salisbury, a neutron

star in the chapter house,

I am a free. Fortunate son,

at the counter your back is just

your back. But yours is the body

who carries our minds

into the blast radius.

Joseph Minden is a poet and secondary school teacher. His books Paddock calls: The Nightbook (slub press) and Poppy (Carcanet) came out in 2022. Another, Backlogues, is coming out in 2023 with Broken Sleep Books. 

Copyright © 2023 by Joseph Minden, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author