Issue 1: Rupert Loydell

from A Wing & A Prayer

Fugitive pieces of the pirate’s gospel:

transient life in the twilight, a hang-

over jig around buckets of optimism

and a small circle of neglected saplings.

All I ever wanted was to run to the ghost

and remember how clouds collapsed

as my mirror spoke. This is no reflection

on you, it is simply the mirrorball light

in the wounded wood one morning

in spring. On a day like this, showers

cause the sky to collapse and blood

to run downhill. A storm is coming

and it is not the weather to fly. My friend

is late, it is like waiting for the testcard

to move across the television screen.

Every forest has its shadow: this is mine.


Fictional mechanics and staged events

are unlikely to fool the participants

or cure our feverish dreams.

Awkwardness and ineptitude means

you’re more likely to sink than swim.

Torn landscapes repeatedly exposed

look old and worn, dark and lifeless.

What we’re seeing is cultural history

ultimately lifted by unflagging belief.

The black-suited character is everyone,

is always on the lookout for land uglier

than his own. The maker defies gravity,

is another blip on the radar. There are

messages coming in from the architect,

he is planting fresh sentences as we speak

although they may just turn out to be

somebody speaking like a human being

about being a human being, or rather

singing like one.


for Anthony

Frosted colour and splashback.

Windows as high as the ceiling

and doors to private worlds

where radios on timers

tame and catch the music

as it falls upon Penzance.

The boombox can't keep up.

All this zigzag electricity

amplifies the sound,

and these canvasses

are way too small for

what you want to paint.

It is as easy as singing

and alters the neural

connections in the brain,

is a rapid short circuit

of chaos, an equation

of movement and line,

is as natural as falling

into friendship, as hard

as grey concrete walls.

We cannot get a word in

and would not want to:

you are so noisily alive.

Rupert M. Loydell is Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and the Editor of Stride magazine. Shearsman published his book of poems An Experiment in Navigation in the Spring of 2008.

Copyright © 2008 by Rupert Loydell, 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.