!GWAK Writers | #ESCAPRIL Anthology

Updated: May 3, 2020

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

bleach-on-your-trousers white-

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

explosive combustion

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.