Issue 22: Lotte L. S.


Towards touching other forms of awareness—

I barely think of revolution anymore. That place,

this place, each scattered vestige. By the end we knew

the centre was within us—Bakunin smoking his manuscript

in prison. We hurled our solitudes together,

a small soirée ensued in the dark oaks of the dining room.

The concept is limited to our species,

other trees beginning to produce toxic chemicals—

the beeches, the spruces, the firs all registering pain.

Possible news bulletins sent via the roots,

a need to warn distant parts of our own structure.

Whenever we step into fields, the vegetation

becomes quiet.


Using and reusing a loose substratum—

obituaries, squibs, sidebars, stock phrases,

tongue turning into a tree. I haven’t see P in years,

long enough not to know what she would be

saying out loud to a room somewhere,

a dossier containing files on everyone we know

left planted on the table, lingering spritz of tear gas.

Even DNA displays hesitation: “One wants to create

a bright new past—one creates it.” All oaks in the area

promptly pumping tannins through their veins,

state sponsorship on tap. To transform is not to abolish,

I say out loud to nobody, somewhere. Meanwhile

we watch muted videos of you online—I miss you,

maybe more now that I think you’re dead.

Shhh, hushwing, don’t turn back. Nothing else—

calm, deep forest.


Inside this is that, and inside that is them—

what happened to the forest

is what happened to the 21st c. mouth:

they found it ‘touching,’ ‘endearing,’ ‘winning,’

‘often thrilling,’ but ultimately unsuitable.

Walking beneath the warmly lit windows,

the blind mice drift away—I cried for an hour

right there, into my mask. What matters

is unrelated—how they found a pair of gloves

fitted with explosives in the pockets

of a pair of her trousers when the trousers

were proven to have no pockets. It is, it’s just

softer at the edges—not about but beside,

where the centred thing breaks. The leaves

on trees caught beneath apparently also need

justification. This, that. And inside them is I.

Her mellifluous echoes floating through the night.

Lotte L. S. is a poet living in Great Yarmouth, the furthest easterly outlier of England. She keeps an infrequent portfolio and tinyletter, Shedonism.

Copyright © 2019 by Lotte L.S., 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.