Monthly Archives: March 2013

Columbia College-Chicago

Columbia College-Chicago

















 The Biscuit School


Andrew Burke



My three year old grandson

points to the skull on

the BlazeVOX poster

and asks, ‘Wot’s dat?’

I say, ‘That’s your head

without the skin on it.’

He looks at me doubtfully

and says, decidedly, ‘No!’

‘Yes,’ I start to explain,

‘behind my face and your face

and your Mum’s face there is

a hard-boned skull. It holds

our brains and memories in.’

He laughs and looks at me

with merriment in his eyes, ‘No!’

The grey matter behind his skull is

in denial – it thinks he’s immortal.

He’s as mortal as the whale beached

and dying on the tourist beach, as

the mosquito swatted in the night,

as the young man trying out

a cocktail of chemical hits.

Everyday examples for an ordinary life.

‘Can I have a big one?’

So we adventure in

the biscuit school of philosophy –

covered in delicious fine chocolate

with a delicious soft mint centre.





On Monday After Bollywood


Philip Hammial


On Monday after Bollywood

we gently drop the animal, gentlemen

to the core, hard, prepared to bed down

with Uncle’s bride anytime, anywhere. Just nephews

getting a leg up? Overfed choir boys working hard

at looking soft? Why not? We’re all at home

in eighty-seven languages, those dragnet swoons

always ready to up our utterance better, best.


that was some brag! Bet you can’t

do it again. Can & will: What Uncle say

be shit. Only thing he tell you

is talk, just more cant to put

on the bar tab. Real rickety-tick

don’t come that easy. Don’t come at all unless

there’s a care for the hire virgin, her action bubble

blown like a fasting glory, a feast for those stump angels

messin’ with the wings she never had. Promise

broken, she no choice but to abide by the Abject

& move on to what the grab missed: flesh

by a mile. Smile, sweetie, you’re truly

oral Ganga, your kick-ass fellatio a winner

in the Big Say stakes. Meaning? Meaning Holy Writ

from the Coast (Malabar) that amplifies right views, my

views of course but enough of this. Like it or not

we’re pausing for a station break. It’s that time of day

when I like to have a little chat with my favourite dead –

the three Johns.

That madam you’re pursuing,

she’ll bring you to grief. I know & I don’t care. She’s so

come-hither with sexy top to toe tinkerings, in

anticipation of which: Moghul flop! Taj crawl! Sari

porn! Went down to the river, women scrubbing

that dead bride’s underwear. You want her back?

How much darling time are you prepared to give?

Fifty years? OK, you got one big study (in book

could grow) to up & do. Can you absorb

that swami’s punch – his the only fist

in this ashram. Not known for kindness

he gave that girl for snips at barber school, hair

for a shirt for that saint, what’s his name, Bunny,

who perfected the squat. Get down! As in dance? You will,

to her tune, & from this bygone Begum will with gratitude

receive your death on Friday past Hollywood.







animal magnetism








blue tongue



Mark Roberts


the blue tongue

must have spent winter

under our fake log

gas heater.

growing fat

on insects

& whatever

he could find.


at the beginning

of winter

when I turned

the heater on

for the first tme

he poked his head out

his long blue tongue

flicking the air


i stepped back

he slowly hauled himself

across the stone hearth

eyes and tongue alert

looking past me.

his claws


hit the polished floor boards

& slide

his legs slipping out

he flops on his stomach

then scuttling

he starts to move forward,

skating on claws

almost gracefully.

over the stone step

at the back door

it is sure-footed again.

heading to the

rock near the laundry.

he turns

& looks at me

tongue still flicking .


















St. Pat's Chicago

St. Pat’s Chicago






















  1.   AIR




A nothingness

pushing Space

Here to There.

Making Matter

out of nothing.

Moving air

  outside is Wind.

Moving air

    inside is Breath.

        Air that doesn’t move                                      

        is Death.

        Another nothingness


        2.   FIRE


         Fire is writhing liquid heat

             leaping skywards

        to the Sun

        it came from.

        I contain a billion tiny fires

        but do not rise.

        I flame in different ways.

            Passion and desire.


         3.   WATER


Today it’s raining.

Seas of water.

From water I came.

Of water I’m made.

To water I go.

That’s all

you need

to know.


 4.   EARTH


Planted in earth

you are a seed

of what might be.

Tree or reed.

Flower or weed.

You might thrive

in fertile earth

or struggle to survive

in sterile soil.

All depends on God

Chance and Chaos.

Things your seed

is made of.





Pantoum for an ex-lover


Marilyn Arnold



I know you want to bury me;

It is the end of our affair,

When I am gone you will be free,

You’ve shot me down;  I do not care.


It is the end of our affair,

My name is now Persephone,

You’ve shot me down from out the air,

I will survive by sorcery.


My name is now Persephone,

I’m underground; Watch out, beware!

I will survive by sorcery

With red witchblossoms in my hair.


I’m underground;  Watch out, beware!

My pomegranate seeds are sown,

I’ve red witchblossoms in my hair,

And in my cauldron, flakes of bone.


My pomegranate seeds are sown,

I’m polishing the silverware.

Mixed in my cauldron, flakes of bone,

A cold moonstone of wild despair.


I’m polishing the silverware;

I know you want to bury me,

In my old doll of cold despair

I stick my pins of misery.


I know you want to bury me,

You’ve written out the eulogy

But I’ll survive by sorcery,

When I am gone, will you be free?









The Burst the Vicksburg Bag Ensemble


Philip Hammial


As fail-safe as fax sex

you’re clenched for a Catholic exit, Baptist dogs

snapping at your heels. Which way

to milk culture? White


of you to offer a wolf hustle when, as

everyone knows, you’ve yet to grasp

the meek lamb technique. Methinks

you’re something of a hypocrite. If only


what you listen you could speak through

Day-Glo teeth to a multitude packaged

for appeasement it could sooner than a spoon

stack a teacup storm for in-house gallants


who can’t connect what modesty must best

or least. Believe in angels? Fairy tales

come true? Yes, but at Fedora

I cut off, a concession to Sam


who goes with gospel further. With him

it’s a new soft us, a goodness shave

as close as feathering it in Memphis

I’ll hold you true (I feel I must) to something,


to what? It might as well be Memphis, to Memphis

that you’re held for it was there on a history boat

(O mighty Mississippi) that I met my mystic, my

hallelujah echoing from wolf to lamb


as the rending began

as the reading ended not

as you expected ­ in face

of Law itself ­ but with


as told the only thing he talked

what sat to his taste it recognised

to him a distant garden where so true

was how they said (as shrines break


cups & saucers) Me! Me! Me who

were ten without becoming, who had idols

more than one, who were

too many teeth that must chew


what’s close & small. If appalled

consider it a calling, you the one & only

if clenched you stay, Baptist dogs

snapping at your heels.



Follow us on LinkedIn