Issue 21: Maria Sledmere

Ariosos for Lavish Matter


My self a disc I can’t compact. Instead relay anecdotes

about the cost of waitressing in several nocturnal

glistenings; remember it was Coleridge

who could not walk because of hot milk

so my shame is a migraine deprived of opiates

and mostly I unravel my uniform

steaming beneath the lindens.


In profile much prettier, every epoch

has its scary techne. Dream where my mother

reapplies lipstick in the restaurant mirror

and my life is the tiniest violet smudge at the edge.

Customers fill the sepulchral dark as other shadows

tuned to mystery, clearly

in pain with better quality, keep warm.


Resisting the hot mathematics of football

downward to HD and popcorn memories, hum

of love and bike wheels. Honeycomb crunched

in the back of my mouth like a birthday.

These splintering words

to be dressed and buried, most of human

and more. A scalp massage is tentacle pleasure.


Shouldn’t we pick kin that resist us?

Dreadfully expensive, the wristwatch future

of light that lets in, silver fingers

threatening piano wires to whiter fire.

Tweets excepted, the lure of the bright

and Maytide familiar; remember he was

supposed to come play but didn’t and hurt.


An empathic blue sky, little organ donation

around the rain. In the red, the muscular

cumulus news fell away. Meat that thins

without freezing. I don’t want to look

the way, this way. Cashing misery

for Mercury, cash in gin. Two cold halves

of a decent cut, fail to function as ritual.


Hypothetical rhymes halo the bay,

become powder. How are we now.

The camera lifts the wax from your eyelids

startling a blankness of planetary lashes.

No sweet work of skin was sufficient,

those silhouette girls with faraway poses.

Switch off the desert, I’m not listening.


Rub my eyes around the fantasy cedar

as if the sap stopped happening.

Hydraulic thought as all the rage

and wasting, most citizen damage

dismisses the winterized lanterns.

One line follows the next, a nest

curling up tight the language of saplings.


In crispest best, street clover pales

to lilac assets; too true of an elevator birth

between ages. Starved in the dark

the poem’s gloaming is a hollow in the elm

of my belly, not to sprawl any longer

the vitamin lore of extroversion. I require

such luxury of inherited messages.


So maybe Meredith’s hereditary spells

crested the gleaning sea’s chartreuse, reductress

of cool semesters. Exceptionally latent

the corridor of aesthetic residues

repainted a glorious yellow.

All premonitions ring with red:

a seagull eating a seagull.


Interrupted outlook is late-night, tricyclic

opening your mailbox for ravens. Advertise

a fresh electronic duo, treat us confidentially:

our slick new remix made the radio.

This addiction can wait till Friday, as I add

to my nerves undigested iron. No condition.

Popping kelp didn’t help, am I yet shining.


Halfway to Brunswick and back

in lossy compression of monochrome era. Missing

you much in abandoned houses, cloistered green.

Nothing a shake of desiccated opals won’t fix

when the sparkler goes, death as fizz and cravings.

Some sort of wartime cousin now a chocolatier

and I really don’t know what to say

ready salted with these read receipts.


My womb through the night was shredding

to suffer the sheets as glass

and the body’s luminosity, I’d say

the wrought metallic twang of the tongue.

I pay for everything

and the recipe stays central

to rich boys, coke and brand new menus.


Can I fetch you anything while I’m here?

How was it this time. The cervical curve

of bone at the brink of the plate, a balance

I exact as gravity. What sorts of eternity

do we choose for our labour?

I was so afraid of orange, poverty; your eyes

if they opened just so, like beautiful eggs.


It didn’t take long to recreate

the opaque catatonia of sad hospitality; news of aniseed

drained the pool. No-one came.

Chalked up to biospheric sequence

and now receding. Is there bread with that.

I spent ten minutes sketching to change things.

Remember you can always sleep.


Didn’t I say a dairy-free dream

would deliver me strange to some home or another.

When everything grew too green

and the smell of the bluebells

still deep in your neck like a song.

A sort of Gaussian moment propels me, lullaby ever

of red-berried February, the alkaloid.


Coltan imbues each blade

of archival lust upon airplanes. A touch.

Some other pixelated dryad could tell

time from the web of a spider; my primary

accent dissolved as sand then ambient.

Each window of night became complicated,

pasteurised. I could not acquire the nascent tinder.


Fluorescence rises from the woods

to a clearing of gilded tips, expiry dates, essays.

These demented lands where I love you

in the drafted webpage, a fractal

synapse unsampled. Our hours as baskets

of moulding fruit, glitching seeds. This can happen.

I like the loops of your voice, dust, the trivial starlings.

Maria Sledmere (@mariaxrose) is working towards a creative-critical DFA in Anthropocene aesthetics and the everyday at the University of Glasgow. She is a member of A+E Collective, Poetry and Nonfiction Editor at SPAM and SPAM Press, founding editor of Gilded Dirt and occasional music critic and collaborator.

Her work has been published in places including Adjacent Pineapple, Amberflora, Cumulus, Datableed, Erotoplasty, Former Cactus, From Glasgow to Saturn, The Glasgow Review of Books, Gutter, MAP Magazine, Numéro Cinq, Plumwood Mountain, Really System and Zarf. She blogs at

Copyright © 2018 by Maria Sledmere, 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.