Featuring poetry by Oliver Shrouder, Meg Watts, Eve Macdonald, Will Baker, Oliver Hancock and Dylan Davies, we share the best of !GWAK Writers' work for prompt challenge, #ESCAPRIL.
#9: Natural Light
No, not blue, closer to a white,
a calm white, the white you push mittens
through puffers for, my skin-without-sun,
flanking-the-sledge white, toenail white
with the same blues that bleed in after
a boot’s trudge through deep snow, new-shirt
no, I can’t see the clouds for the white,
but it’s a white that is warm, sky-white,
high-white, the white of summer,
the white of window glaze, the white
that makes you pull your blanket up,
the white that makes your head sweat.
#4: Earthly Pleasures
Call me a hedonist. Wrong kind of feminist
All too excessive in expressing
The desire I was repressing
I know my triggers, see (impulsive tendencies)
empty bottles / pills and powders /
Blunt rolls / ciggies every hour
"The junkie's masterpiece"
That was my former feast
But every movement's one of pleasure
Now I pace life at my leisure.
/ I find my long-term fix / Of daily happiness
In Perry vases scrawled with sex tips
In guitars that hum, electric
And it's all there for free !
I share it lovingly
And I'm not gonna drown in stress
If my work balance is a mess
Cos the communal gift of living
Is enough to keep me grinning
And to consumerist ambition
I share 9 words in opposition:
Fuck you mate
I'm in it for the joy
#7: Chemical Reaction
Today I miss you in all your magnesium bright burning,
I miss the way you examine the earth and the people that exist on this carbon rock.
I miss the way we consume ethyl and carbon dioxide,
sitting side by side,
In terrace or sky-rack.
I miss your smile, it's like Cesium and water, it explodes
across your face, shiny and vivid.
I miss the way, when you have Hydrogen Peroxide and
Potassium Iodide gossip to tell me, we go into your
room and it spills out across your floor.
I miss the way you are kind, how when you meet people your
interest and intellect swirl like the Belousov-Zhabotinsky
I miss how stable your molecular structure is. How strong you are.
I miss your dopamine-producing hugs.
I miss your serotonin smile.
Today, I miss the way we chemically react, I miss our
My smile fizzles out.
Today I miss you.
Translation From the Original Swedish
#3 Is Anyone Listening?
Perhaps it was during the dying day
or perhaps the drowning night
when, through the four walls, I heard the foggy
dim sounds of voices.
And these voices spilled into
the still pause of my box
like milk in coffee
and I was listening.
Here is a sense of seclusion for you it said.
And I took it for myself.
And here are all the first halves of our sentences.
And I held out my hands.
And here is the realisation that nothing has meaning.
And all these things they offered me I took
because, in my silence,
I could only listen.
#13 The City
I don’t often walk this way to work since it’s longer
(and it reminds me of you)
But when I do I see things I’ve missed before, glowing things
Like the florist filling tin buckets with water from the alley
And the bakery throwing out yesterday’s goods for today’s sweets
And the homeless woman usually a road over moving to new pastures.
Sometimes (if I’m early enough) I catch the life dimming from streetlights
And I try not to think of when we were out so late that the dusk/dawn
Mingled in a lilac haze and the moon/sun/stars whirled in our heads.
Today I’m late for work because this way is longer
(and I was caught in a memory net)
But here I am climbing above the city in a glass box, things shrinking
Like the green by your house covered with ants and beetles
Or the hill where a castle once stood and you can see for miles
And from there the city looks so huge it would never stop.
I sit at my desk and unpack my things and put a salad in the fridge.
#14 pink, like your brain
i read somewhere that the ancient egyptians
used to remove the brains from their corpses
before they were mummified.
they shoved a hook up the nose and
tugged and tugged the little bits out –
i used to think they pulled it out whole.
(sometimes, i imagine me as an
ancient egyptian embalmer, crawling up your
nostril, seeing what’s going on up there)
i read that they did it because they believed
the heart was the centre of thought
and the brain was mush, vacant, flabby.
i don’t know if the ancient Egyptians really
did do that. if they did, they were eventually
proven wrong. but now, whenever i have a
headache, i wonder who it is i’m missing.