The Dead Queen of Bohemia

Pushcart Nomination by Red Fez & Durable Goods

I have recently been nominated for the Pushcart Anthology by Red Fez, a small press based in the USA who have published several of my poems. To check out a few previews from my new collection The Dead Queen of Bohemia, please click here – Red Fez, poem The Devil Didn’t Mark You, Those Marks Came From the Man

Here is No Stars Pension in Downtown Cairo, taken from my debut collection Urchin Belle. This is the poem which received the nomination. Below that I’ve posted a few photos from The Berlin Pension, an amazing old building I stayed in, in downtown Cairo. I adored it. It was smelly, decayed, romantically decrepit and showed all the wear and tear of a city in decline since the last revolution. I wanted to move in, live there and write my book. Anyway, here’s the poem and pics, see if you can see the heart that someone had drawn, in the dirt on the wall.

No Stars Pension in Downtown Cairo

The cat yowls at us,
hackles
like a matted
fur collar coat.

It will die in this heat.

Room 453 is ours,
an off green,
shower cubicle in the corner
curtained by lace
that once was white.

Someone has drawn
a heart, in the dirt on the wall.

Tinfoil holds the air conditioner
together, I lay on the bed
think of heroin
an’ cerise,
an angel with dirty feet
in the photograph you take.

Keys in art deco wardrobes
wear dust
an inch thick.

Higher still a gap
gapes into a grin as I sleep.

Down scurry scarab beetles
blues an greens,
through bare
floorboards,
out cracks in the walls.

Cairo has seen this before.

They are here for you and I,
come to pick our bones
clean
of a love
we will soon,
no longer know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also received a nomination by Durable Goods, a handmade zine published by Aleathia Drehmer in the US. She is also in the sought after issue 27, as is the Marquis De Ridgwell. Now —  here is Woody Guthrie to tell all you fascists what a couple of hillbillies can do ….


Poetry Scotland

I have a poem in Poetry Scotland’s Open Mouse, it’s called For Wang Wei. It is inspired by Wang Wei, an 8th century High Tang chinese poet. Wang Wei was also a painter and musician. I love the way he paints nature in words, check out my homage to him below, or better still, check out some of his work yourself.

Poetry Scotland

Unthology

I have a short story in this new collection called Unthology. It is the first collection published by Unthank Books in Norfolk, it’s had some great reviews and is a really eclectic book of quality short fiction. Unthank are a new independent publishing house seeking to publish new, innovative work. The name Unthank means unclaimed patch of land, it’s in Alasdair Gray’s dystopian novel Lanark, a beast of a novel that sits in my pile of books to read. They seem like a publishing house as much inspired by the independent publishing world of 4AD as they are in providing a platform for work they believe in. Put it in your stocking, read it in suspenders, especially if you are a cherubic boy. You can read a free preview, or buy it here – Unthology