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Why Bindweed Magazine is a labour of love

Bindweed Magazine celebrated its 1 year birthday on 3rd April this year. With the end of the tax year also in sight this month, Editor-in-Chief Leilanie Stewart has published, for a little insight to readers, Bindweed’s financial incomings – and outgoings – showing why the magazine truly is a labour of love to provide another platform for writers and poets to market their creative work. Read the full article here: https://leilaniestewart.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/why-bindweed-magazine-is-a-labour-of-love/

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Categories
Fiction

Kyle Hemmings – Fiction

Old World, New Day

It’s a  new world, one sans my longtime roommate, Munch. He’s always overdosing on insidious poisons from his past, and I wonder what fine morning I will wake up to find him frozen for good in a fetal curl. All the rooms of the apartment are empty. Munch, the ex-engineer who once worked for S & E, who developed a new plastic that sent the company’s stock soaring into space, who after failing rehab after rehab was salvaged by moi, rescued from underground shelters and a confederacy of stray cats, has vaporized into an emptiness too vast to locate him. 

 

I always tell him there’s hope, the kind of hope Frank Sinatra and Doris Day once sang about, that some night, chancing a walk without raincoat, he will feel the droppings of some sweet melon moon. He can only believe in pain and the luxury of its aftermath.

  

We are both bonded by the stigma of being lovable losers. It’s a kind of friendship with strong roots and sickly leaves.

  

“Love never lasts,” he once told me, “the better half of each couple on a moon colony have deserted for lack of proper space shoes. The other half are resigned to their personal craters. Either on earth or moon, you are doomed to masturbate into oblivion.”

  

Calling Munch’s name a thousand times, whisking through each room again and again, just to justify that I have done more than my share to save the both of us, so that I can feel lighter on my feet in my guilt-free shoes, I find Munch’s old tape recorder conspicuously situated on a wicker chair in his bedroom. Hesitant to turn it on, suspecting it might contain Munch’s long good-bye without the noticeable twitches and facial blushes, I finally hit RUN. 

 

“Charley, I know this is awkward and as the French say, pueril, I’ve decided to say good-bye this way without all the melodramatic hard-on soliloquies that in the end come to nothing. A misfire. You see, Charley, I’ve gone mad without a lover and I was even madder when with him. At first, I couldn’t stand to be apart, that some force of nature, either rain or sun, had destined us to idle in cafes, to pander to each other’s self-sinking indulgences, to fondle each other in ravaged hotel rooms without discount. I truly believed it. Then, Master Bot (my personal sobriquet for him) began to grow tired and twisted, justifying everything by trying a new shape for his needs. After loving one another with root and gut-instinct, Master Bot would burn my fingernails just to hear me scream, just to confirm that I was alive and well in the vortex of pain. I let him do it because I loved him or maybe I felt I deserved pain, that I had no right to protest what’s inevitable.

 

 He said I reminded him so much of the small animals in his childhood, ones in captivity, and the matchsticks, he added, were something he never outgrew. He burned down, he admitted, so many paper houses that could not shelter his flimsy lovers.” 

 

And so Charley, I’m a wreck. Well, when haven’t I been? I want to die, but not sure how or when, or that maybe the whole thing is superfluous because I’ve been dying all along. It only takes a quick of the hand, but I want to have a drink first and remember the good times if there were any. And I want to thank you, above all, Charley, for sheltering me from a storm that soon raged too wildly, broke into every sanctum. Perhaps, we’ll see each other again, veil ami, perhaps not. Take care of yourself. You are as precious as moon children, although I no longer believe in the moon.”

 

I have to find Munch before he turns to nothing and isn’t discovered for months.

 

I rush along city blocks, noticing the squirrels bungee-jumping from branch to branch, that is, without all the cords, witnessing the rose-chested Grosbeaks perched on trees as if they could be an oracle. Tell me, I want to ask them Where is Munch? If I don’t save him, I will surely die from self-neglect. Their answer in a song is both obvious and cryptic. I can’t understand their language and the meaning of their octaves, but they give me hope. Sometimes it’s good to be alive.

  

I search Munch’s usual haunts, the late-night diners and the bars on the outer circumference of town. In one bar, The Golden E-gal, I strike it rich without matchsticks. The barmaid, a middle-aged woman with large brown eyes, the daughter of holocaust survivors, tells me that Munch is upstairs in a private room and that he doesn’t wish to be disturbed. I tell her it’s an emergency. She understands. She can guess the secret-terrors behind Munch’s eyes. She understands his voice-imprisoned-within-another-voice.  

Sitting next to a far window with streaks, Munch is staring toward a wall. A half full mug of beer sits before him. I sit down across from him. The table is small, round and nicked to shit.

 

He speaks without looking at me.

 

“So you found me, Charley. You’re a good hunter. But I’m not much of a find. No reward for you boy-o.” 

He brings one hand up to wipe his lips. I gently grasp his hand, inspecting the missing fingernails, the cinched nail beds, their purplish color.

 

 “Does it hurt, Ernest? Do they hurt?” 

He smiles as if to himself. He still doesn’t look at me. 

 

“Everything hurts, Charley. It hurts everyday. I’ve been condemned to hurt.”

  

I guide his hand to the table. I stroke the back of his wrist.

  

“They’ll grow back, Ernest. In time, everything will grow back.”

 

“Will they, Charley?” he says with a slight twist of lips, a twinkle in his eyes.

 

🍃

 

 

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. His latest collections of poetry/prose is Future Wars from Another New Calligraphy and Split Brain on Amazon Kindle. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies,  manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.

Categories
Poetry

Glen Wilson – 4 poems

The River Rother Engineer

 

The levels are high again,

noticeable now to the naked eye,

 

between finger and thumb

I mark out the integrity of the washlands,

 

Its life once blackened sour

by the coke plants at Orgreave  and Brookhouse,

 

chub, roach and perch ,

are now able to sustain themsleves enough

 

to let the angler’s hooks,

cast a bounteous bait and switch,

 

there is taking, receiving,

and we must be careful in what surfaces.

 

The landscape only lets

us sculpt for the breadth of a season.

 

Will our hands make

the right moves to dam the water’s desires?

 

 

🍃

 

 

Statue

 

It is ugly.

 

Comissioned by a Lord something or other,

the artist’s name has too many letters

and it sounds foreign.

 

It has no straight lines, it is bent

with sharp edges at all angles.

 

A pensioner complained to the supervisor

“You’ll have someone’s eye out with that”

 

I agreed. A pile of nonsense.

 

The lawyers stride past it then past me

barely looking up as they show their passes.

 

I remember their applause at the unveiling,

the clink of glasses as they talked shop,

the sculpture standing naked, the red sheet

lying sadly on the marble plinth.

 

I watch the visitors who gawp at it,

tilting their head to one side then the other

as if it could be made to make sense

by simple geometry.

 

I look at the scrawls on the visitor ledger and wonder

How many would remember me,

my uniform clean and well …uniform Ha! –

–  how like my pass photograph

I look, don’t they see purpose there?

 

I follow the curves of the sculpture

as they either curl back into themselves

 

or splinter off into space.

 

🍃

 

Rapid Eye Movement

 

Is the shape of Love the space between

 

our sleeping bodies?

Found in the moving penumbras of light,

 

an opera of shadows and mute players,

our limbs loll to align with stars,

 

marking out our territory.

Two foetal spine to spine postures,

 

defending our middle ground,

switch to face to face, to feast on the stories

coagulating in the valley between,

 

to give us the strength to shift worlds in our dream,

to ready dreams for our world.

 

There are no schedules here, no appointments of dread,

no lesser addictions to cope, we breathe

 

in each other, chests filling up, eyes flicker like a meter

we are all upward pull,

 

only these sheets and the weight of our flesh

anchoring us here.

 

🍃

 

Skimming Across Lough Neagh, Late September

 

I plunge my hand in the shingle and silt

and pick up a stone, smoothed by tides

that tease the edges by the pier stilts.

 

I release it, smudging the water’s skin,

each time touching, briefly knowing

first impressions of holiness and sin.

 

Faces flick like fine spray in the shallow,

wetting, creasing, becoming less clear

going further out where I can’t follow.

 

All the stones sink so it doesn’t matter

how many times it skips across the water,

any throw can catch the wind, be faster.

 

I pick another one, trace along the stray

cracks breaking the illusion of surface,

see the glint of treasures thrown away.

 

A mackerel sky portends a speaking swell,

pushing us back towards our cars, who of us

can stay and face the accusatory knell.

 

🍃

Glen Wilson was highly commended inThe  2015 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition. He has won the Poetry Space competition and was shortlisted for The Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2014 and the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016. Twitter @glenhswilson

Categories
Poetry

Simon Robson – 2 poems

‘TWO BRAINS’
If I could miraculously develop a
second brain at the back of my neck,
not too heavy, all my weekend bets off,
I’d win the lottery –
gravity still allowing me
to drag my left leg over
the cracks in paving, steep, rising kerbs,
never falling over, ice and snow.

I’d go around every cine-plex showing,
me and my two brains together,
tiny sardine shoals of fish,
worth millions, vibrating, silver –
more than Argentina, Buenos Aries,
galloping polo players, armadillos,
I’d be worth spacious New York apartments,
a fortune in timber, match sticks, my ankles…

I wouldn’t be standing here now,
trying to piss straight, golden Lucozade –
I’d be careful with my movements,
strange, adding a second brain,
more wisdom, intellect,
bottles of embryonic fluid I’d happily sink…

I’d rather be a fish,
thanks to my mother’s womb –
I’d still be swimming around with two brains,
all that truth, nervous, untidy, my ankles –
still fumbling in my front door,
I’d like to see things differently,
less knowledge, dignity, respect –
one day, two brains.

🍃

MY M3 SMART MOTORWAY UPGRADE

 

Expect further delays,
that’s what I’d say,
you may as well be
in your pram sucking on your mother’s
nipple – I wish I was in charge.

There wouldn’t be a completion date
for motorway safety improvements and
maintenance, four lanes –
your mental health in tatters.

I’d have 500 useless workers at any one time,
shuffling dumper trucks, cabins, diggers,
Smart phones, taking dirty photos of trenches,
dilapidated, flapping fences, concrete paving,
useless, their endeavours, empty, limp diggers.

I’d have everyone slowing down to one lane,
miles of one-way upright traffic cones,
a few minor diversions just to confuse you further –
decapitated immigrant’s heads bouncing off
BMW and Landrover windscreens like expensive
Chelsea footballs, cocks, yachts from
Southampton docks.

A lorry driver who can’t change gears, lanes,
a DJ with his turntables and equipment,
a painter and decorator from Bagshot,
one bridge demolished, leaving residents cut off –
me and Anees, my driver,
on our way to work, Hounslow heath,
hampered by the roadworks and delays.

It’s been years, I wish I was in charge –
I’d commission an enormous machine to
produce more industrial thick fog, sleet and icy rain,
whirring helicopter propeller blades,
ambulances, medics, traffic cones,
more diversions to Essex, Epping forest.

It’s a government project, scam, I know,
worth £174 million, an idiotic investment, endeavour,
just above your average Chelsea football player –
all improvements to safety, none.
It’s been years,
I wish I was in charge –
I’d have fifty miles an hour
speed cameras to boost revenue further,
information signs that lead to Brookwood, Woking,
the Polish cemetery there,
some trained through the Skills Academy,
Farnborough Sixth Form students, NVQs, Job Centre Plus –
four lanes, improved safety, yellow information signs.

 

🍃

Simon Robson 

Categories
Poetry

Jan Wiezorek – 1 poem

Embosser

 

Surmise: defacing tool,

creating faux relief.

 

I, handheld and struck

to imprint.

 

Pressed by palm,

administered tactile,

 

scrolled in difference,

alerting courtrooms,

 

documenting valleys

and ridged fingers,

 

forced between

two appointed orbs

 

that never orbit. 

Once free, I sit amazed,

 

caught in produced

manliness,

 

and surface

blood blistering

 

by bounding

identity

 

at skin canvas

squeezed to chest and navel hair.

 


🍃

Jan Wiezorek has taught writing at St. Augustine College, Chicago, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming at The London Magazine, Southern Pacific Review, PanoplyzineBetter Than Starbucks, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. He is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (Scholastic, 2011) and holds a master’s degree in English Composition/Writing from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.