Issue 30: Matt Carbery

Terror of Mecha-Godzilla

this is undoubtedly from

outer space. a metal

that ignites the thoughts

toward it. prepare yourself.

in the middle of the night

there are no choices,

just consequences. alight

on a sleepless idea.

your inner space is vast

in its own way. leaning

on the safety rail of the ferry,

you find yourself tasting

the brine. one step closer.

if you could swim it, would

you? now, our wants

have given way to our

knees. in these sold off

ex-military premises, rusting

is almost certain. the apes

also think of swimming.

the mechanisation of all

this worry makes reeling

overboard a gorgeous

prospect. when godzilla

recharges in the brutal

storm, you still have an

hour of incomprehensible

bossa nova to wait through.

the showdown is never

simple. what is the purpose

of a wall, any wall. it's ambitious.

inner and outer parts

converge in a cluster

headache. the proportions

of this immense articulation

of space are impossible

to translate. you stoop

your head to enter. the pets

in the garden extend vitally

their desperate needs. if

you squint you can just

make out the skull that

frames the clutter of

a self. it is so easy to

be verbose in these days

of troubled sleep. the children

of ideas slink out in the morning

as if they never were. you

suspect an end incoming.

it's the way the basses

are set so low in the mix

that you could hungover

mistake it for traffic hum

or the stress of refrigeration. 

it's the breathing organs

layered in consequence and

panned across the room. 

it's the first thing you want 

when you wake solo 

this first time of many, 

all abruise. a cotton mouth

retch before blessing

the full length mirror

with a horror of arse 

and flank. petrichor hustles

through an open window 

somewhere, or else the 

outside is in. you can say

it this way : I always intended

to be the first to go. but

as is often the way, these

tensions are set into their 

amplitudes and soon there

wasn't anything other than

the gradual wane of sound. 

put your ear to the ground

of your bed, put your head

into the hollow. how many

such rooms have you graced, 

blue-azure meanness intact?

you're trying on old band shirts

well beyond your recent heft. 

you're claiming to have known 

all along that loss was inclined. 

the sudden vague arrival of detail

is a point of contact with a world, 

not this definite article but

the gesture out at rock, sand, shore. 

your hands turned up to the light 

bear increasing signs of worry. 

they struggle not to wander across

or under tables, to hand out

promises beyond your slender 

means. in a struggle for clarity, 

the itinerary is lost to constant 

small acts of recovery. you pace. 

the moon outpaces you. down

by the traveller site you saw

an egret swallowed in a carrier bag, 

and when you stepped out in rescue

into the tidal slurry you slipped 

and found yourself masked in

transparent orange film. wheeling

out of fading view, very high, very

small, a buzzard. your phantom 

limbs in panic picked you up, 

prize sized, a seizure of raw 

amphibious selfhood, stunned. 

in the current's glut, a sense

of global outgoing. from here

to any merchant waterfront. 


the yes button

sends us on

a certain path.

the general

sense of all

this is unclear

but you have

to anyway.

it's the fool

again sangsprung

the first person

collective feels

coercive. We

might struggle

in a gyre. As if

for the first

time, the first

second person

is comforting.

a door is

double locked.

you might know

the compulsion

to move. 1.e4...

in a certain sense,

it's degrading. the

swift moves. as if

by compulsion, the

swift moves.

Capablanca shrugs.

The same isn't played.

It's fiendish, parting.

So told of

islands, offshore

rigs, whereabouts

unknown. that

they are there. in

a manner of speaking,

the dinosaurs. the

compulsion to move.

in a fault


the sea

that wasn't,

all this


Pressure and

time. Compulsion.

on the chessboard,

if nowhere else,

justice does triumph.

a landlord

is stood up.

a ball of man

begins its roll.

the grammar

machine whirrs

into being. our

accidentals speak

volumes, open

up abhorrent

vacuums, pockets

of real nothing

begging for filling.

An absence still

suggests presence,

ghosts it.

all together now

we are exiting

the vampire castle.

a ball of men are

at roll. it's on

accident but a

window gets

smashed. we're

sweating the

small stuff for

want of the

bravery to

have difficult


(difficult does

not mean ugly,

crass, cruel. it

means difficult.)

and at the back

Sam with his

arms held like

he's nesting

rolls of carpet

under each armpit.

he's not worth

it, he's not worth

it mate. we're

washing up day

by day by day.

this time it's

just right. we


haste in carrying

out actionable

plans. all in all

it comes down

to a compulsion

to being moved.

it's nine o'clock,

it's eight o'clock.

time has, we say,

a difference.

how do you

change the way

you change the

way you feel.

sip the hemlock.

depart the Republic.

there are dangers

in eyeballing, great

transparent accident

omniscient, palpating

the green hills with

a particular view.

take the stick of

glue and carefully

run it along the

perimeter of

your worksheet.

when you've done

that, carefully

place the sheet

into your books

and press down

around the edges.

well done.

I'm one of the

forty thousand

maggots kept

onsite at derriford.

my every energy

is gifted by

consuming dead

flesh. reread

heidegger as

a necrophage.

replace the bubble

in the spirit level.

it gets talkative,

pushy. the ls in


more inward then.

the elephant

with its trunk

stuck in its anus.

the maelstrom

brews and kelp

is steeped, inky

blooming froth.

as if like a science,

the many eyed

lurker fidgets

in their sleep.

it was with great

celerity that the

summer began.

slumped in her

deckchair, she

prodded a toe at

the sun. there's

a buzz. a dream

of whalebone

corset, of ice

chipped from

the Thames and

stored deep under

London. sighs

a wonderer, back

to sleep 

Matt Carbery is a teacher, union organiser and writer from Plymouth. His publications include Phenomenology and the Late Twentieth Century American Long Poem (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020) and poetry, essays and reviews in Tears In The Fence, Stride, Epizootics!, Dead King, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Lay of the Land, Clutter and Shearsman Magazine. 

Copyright © 2023 by Matt Carbery, 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