Issue 25: Tim Allen



A natural tone hereto romantic or personally hyper or bathed in arnica.

Saints and visionaries all bunched on the headland. Saints and visionaries crowded together on the headland. Like penguins. Yet they look nothing like penguins they look like ordinary folk. If from this distance there is a difference between visionary and saint then who knows what it is?

The execution of the hermaphrodite takes place in a garage forecourt. Not pride of place though. Pride of place goes to an incarcerated pharmacologist’s withered hardstanding. 

A car left on the hardstanding does not possess the gravitas of a car left on the headland even though the headland does not come with a headlong experience. The ambient roaring of the waves competes with the crash of their arrival on the rocks below. The hair on the headland ends. The headland is bald. It is now as deserted as a bent rack.

Where does the comma go in that wave…?

refracting spangles of tangential prophesy leaving a trail of take-away receipts to the station concourse where the saints and visionaries are all hunched-up with despair remembering different versions of the same sorts of things. Not quite the same sorts of things as ordinary folk but the differences are negligible – unpractised – a breeze that can curl in slurry around a bulk of billowing Christo if it wants to but doesn’t – impractical.

Latest update: The saints are spotted collecting points in the garages of the town. The visionaries are reported to be wandering in the plastic fen-lands with snorkels and metal-detectors.


A person having enough nous pattered harmlessly or some morbid person having insider bias independently afraid.


Looking as if you were the Milky Way looking the way of heaven and earth. A repeating dream that is unrepeatable contemplates the vault.

The sublime and the sundry in unison – polarised by dignified contempt. Delirious with empathy yet unable to handle sentimental tools we remain sympathetic and hacked-off

looking as if you were a pond of secrets looking the way of the nearest limit.

Mid-air scratch. Transparent coupling. Senseless stillness.

Ecological psychedelia               ghosts                  into orbit.

Invasive harmony                         hesitates             in inches.

Event horizon                                                                 touché.

Pealing forest floor leaves a track which the wind lifts

into articulation –                         venereal shepherd corralling spores of imagism.

All the forces are here and all are invisible. Pressure mounts.

The telepath attracts the adoration of the polychromatic numberless…

the reuleaux triangle                   of the Venn diagram gone black

with superimposed vignettes                                  identical to boasting

that popular culture is superior                              to the void between the stars.



A right important time having myopic orders passed hourly over Britain in aimlessness.

You are showing symptoms of virginity. The imagination is blasphemous. Meditating too much is a mistake that can easily be put right. The sea cannot be reconciled with the eardrum. Due to another misunderstanding I lost my job as a bed warmer. The sums we did in school were a series of tortuous little poems. Leave me alone now.

You are still displaying symptoms of virginity.

Grave diggers are inveterate liars – what’s the phrase? – it comes with the territory – that’s it. The beer garden at the back of the Art Brut Arms shares its space with stacks of pristine grave stones all waiting to be defaced by an inscription. It is a peaceful place. Beer garden conversation in this environment is never stilted

it flows like milk over gert rocks. The sun is blinding. The dust well settled.

The symptoms of virginity have

detached themselves from you and are searching the marrow of social archaeology for an explanation of why is it that when all explanations have been described and all descriptions explained the problem of representation still remains? The cultivation or roses for example and the advent of toy dogs peeping out of handbags. Other examples might be spider crabs and soldier ants i.e. SF book jacket illustrators are inveterate arithmophobiacs for example when they (or you for that matter) leave the house of meditation (that is the filthiest room in the house) they (or you) have no control over who you (or they for that matter) might bump into. And the imagination is no help whatsoever.

Tim Allen lives near Preston and is one of the organisers of ‘Peter Barlow’s Cigarette’ in Manchester. Previously ran the ‘Language Club’ in Plymouth and edited Terrible Work. Most recent books are Under The Cliff Like (if p then q 2017) and Portland: a Triptych (KFS 2019), a collaborative work with Mark Goodwin and Norman Jope.

Copyright © 2021 by Tim Allen, 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.