Tuesday 28 May 2013


Neon Highway ISSN:

issue 12a

Hi readers!

I am happy to tell you that this is the re-launch of ‘Neon Highway’. It was Alice’s idea to get the magazine going online, where we published a good batch of poems and interviews but unfortunately after a while, we did not feel that the online experience in terms of publishing was for us and therefore we decided to return to the original hardcopy format. ‘Neon Highway’ will now be issued twice a year. Subscription information is at the back of the magazine and information can also be found online at www.neonhighway.co.uk

Well, where do I begin? We have now got two other editors besides, myself and Alice. Dee McMahon and Matt Fallaize will also be editing this magazine. Please welcome them aboard!

In this issue, the poet, Allen Fisher will be interviewed by, myself and Dee.

And we hope you enjoy this issue with a new bunch of poets, as usual some of them known as well as unknown. ‘Neon Highway’ is happy to promote the unpublished poet as long as his/her work is basically, good!

We will be running reviews and listings. The website is updated for subscription and archive information. We do prefer poems and artwork to be sent in via snail-mail but obviously if you are abroad we will understand email submissions.

Well, I’ll leave you to it. Hope you were as amazed as I was by the summer rain. I had one particularly strange experience where I just gave up and lay down under a tree and allowed the rain to just fall down through the leaves and branches upon me. It really was most exhilarating. When I eventually got up, soaked and bedraggled, a teenager walking his dog ran away from me thinking I was some kind of lunatic! Of course, I wasn’t, just simply enjoying the rain, like you do, as simple as that.

All best for now.

Jane Marsh


Note from Jane: Page 1


Joanne Ashcroft: p. 3-9

Iain Britton: p. 9-10

Geoff Stevens: p.10

Jonathan Timbers: p.11-12

Brendan McMahon: p.13-14

Carol Thistlethwaite: p.15

Robert Shooter: p.16

Kathleen Kenny:p.17

Allen Fisher Interview: p.18-21


Tony Trehy: p.21-22

Jan Oskar Hansen: p.23




Graham Fulton: p.27-28



Note from Editor, Matt Fallaize. p.31

Subscription. p.32

Joanne Ashcroft

An Irreversible Equation.

0 + 2 = 1

- 1


can not still must be


I no ‘we’ am

somewhere not home

a place expecting you

one hour

I saw you move speak

(the eyes die first)

willed life back


gone ?gone


left-alone dry-shock

words can lie think

written is done undone

is that you? the wind

mocks belief you are

‘are’ must be then but

no you are unspeakable

‘are not’ absented

in everything

did you know, feel

fear pain remember

me absent

one cheated one stolen


a cold goodbye

1 > 2 ?

drinking your smell

a resurrection

your hair on my chest

I wear you

to become you

sleep foetally in you

burned on your image

damp pillow cold bed

A Parlour

painted from a good likeness

I kissed you cold

left tokens

and you



you are not black marble, not green grass, flowers or plants

do not sit here alone

I bind you to me, make you alive, address you


but not here. grey powder in a beach box is

grey powder in a beach box


you are dreams

soothing trick

my senses feel

your ghost

wake you gone

beating in fear

drink to sleep again

Trick of the Light

you phoned while I slept

existing in bliss

why do you cry?

a warning


must live in death

Buried Alive

erasing your name = redeaths

I resist

memory rebels you gone

I write you

write you into resurrection

non sense words

search for you

no voice no reply

too hard


only ever with you

in me no more

desire lives and is dead

hands and mouth putrefied

beyond touch

irreplaceable sensation

phantom simulation

can not re-place


is a smile is dressed is an unclouded sun

is wearing not-black is uncrying




to solitary confinement


to loving the dead

I a ghost

haunt myself

meander memories

for company

in brain imploding silence

these wracking wounds

are numbing me

beyond existence

desperation = hallucination

a non-conversable you

gut slashing torment

no consolation

no conclusion

no definition

no you

The Maths

am I

an improper fraction

spinning chords in a broken circle

an unmirrored axis of symmetry

a dead rooted square ?

Workings Out


0 + 2 = 1

then 1 from 2 = a baby

therefore, 0 +2 + 1 = 3

3 – 1 = 2

therefore ½ of you

in real terms

0 + 2 = 1 (no + 1) – 1

= ?

Sum up

irreversible equations

are the whole

minus one

where one is the whole

the whole can’t be halved

I am half of one

can’t be half only one

zero became one

from two

two fused into one

defied logic

and died


not one

but the whole minus one

I conclude

1 – 1 =



in lulls you

surprise me

a scent a song invoke

hair tingling horror

reigniting you dis-ables me

- rewounded

unerasable replays of

you = unavoidable

Not 0

I alone

can recreate


in that insane zero

nothing is non sense

reject that conclusion

I retire the maths

and spin yarns

in memories silk

for comfort’s sake you

shall not be dead

while I exist

Iain Britton

A Consciously Diminishing Equation

Quarried from a rockfall of disused angels

and put together to fulfil a purpose, we begin

to track my scent across town, lamppost by

lamppost - a town that flops in terraces

down to a river where locals, crouch, wash

and push away parts of themselves. They wait

as if for long-legged streaks of divine light

to touch them. In Anzac Park

we squash into the backseat of my father’s car,

listening to hedgehogs

grunting in the grass, the footsteps of someone

very close. We move like conjoined moons

in slow motion – touching, searching – and for a

while, we go into ourselves

consciously diminishing. A family

stares at us from trees pruned back

for the winter, the oldest male seems incomplete,

cannibalised – he sits at roots

bulging from the grass. The oldest female

is crumpled up, reshaping the branches, unsure

about the reality of resurrection - whether it works

or not. I’m alert to the pedestrian

history of this town,

the reconstructive touch-ups that begin annually.

Each year the streets look different.

I repossess sightings of the two of us

leaning against walls and fences, or standing

under windbreaks in overgrown sections,

behind a library, or amongst the framework

of a face-lifted church. I repossess a shrivelled-up

passion, the vapour of a faded hunger, two young

people trapped in their own artwork. In this park

there are lovers doing what we’ve done all along.

They burrow into themselves, become

inconspicuous, motionless. They stain

the grass, their intimacy only a whisper.

Geoff Stevens


I am theatre in reverse.

Front of curtain

the chaos of partially built sets

abandoned scenery

unfitted costumes

unapplied make-up

and rehearsal rooms

where mistake after mistake

is displayed

Backstage the complete play

slick and entertaining

a one man show

for a one man audience

a production deserving of success

But critics sit out front

amongst the debris

Jonathan Timbers

Oh, No, it’s Andy!

He did not hunker down

in the carriage

next to our table or bow

his head to show off

‘a machete scar’;

I did not comment

on his hair loss;

or was he going

to a BNP march in Leeds

with an amateur boxer

because he was

‘a lifelong socialist’.

Likewise, the other passengers

didn’t notice him

nor did they glare at us

when we disembarked

at our destination


not minding that we

hadn’t said,

‘Don’t take any risks, Andy!

Don’t give them

Any propaganda!’

TV Quick

Harbajhan traps Lara lbw for 11. Lara doesn’t agree and puts his head to one side and rolls his eyes. But walks. They’ll be sparks in the dressing room, it’s like Time is a tap that won’t stop leaking. Change channels. There’s whiskey

in the larder and chocolate soya milk in the fridge. Change channels. On the embankment, rosebay willowherb and bindweed, its white flower a satin euphonium, speckles of yellow-headed ragwort. Remember the marsh thistle, more blades than a Swiss ary knife, the way it rises above a barbed wire

fence and growls, ‘Go away’. Change channels. Feel the weight, there above your belly. Put it down. Pick it up. Change channels.

That one and that one and that

Until I hit white noise.

It goes on like it always does,

Around, underneath,

Just like the room

And silence.

Chanderapaul is stranded on 123 not out.

Brendan McMahon


No future and no past. Just this

Attenuated moment which will whimper

To a stop sometime soon. Till then

Let’s practise nothingness, and sink

Our minds in wells of silence, so deep

We cannot hear the angel voices

Proclaim the end of everything.


You can’t do endings, but might eat us out of house

And home, or come to love the river or the sea,

Or other dilute deaths.

Black mouth and eyes of glass, sleep

Broken by the heart’s dark captains,

Warm and dirty, how she bends to you,

Reeking of hay and the sun. Even

A small soul shines like the moon,

Like the stars whose feet the ocean washes.


Membrane, the shadow of excluded rain,

old fight of borders to maintain themselves,

hands pressed to an encroaching dark.

Red rush feeds muscle, nerve, capacities

for action, hamlet-wise persist so long

as only this capillary tidal crash.

Listen, how it pulls and beats,

the song reverberates, the body’s caves.

The echoes, drumming shadow thoughts,

scurry to light and blink and best

inexorable rhythms out to worlds and stars.

Carole Thistlethwaite

willow warbler


hop hu-eet

leaves fluttering flit-shadow hu-eet

flutterigleaves hop flank leavesfluttering

flutteringleavesflutteringtwig flank shadow leavesfluttering

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves hop tail hu-eet leaves

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves flit shadow leaves

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves shadow flit fluttering

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves head flit fluttering

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves hop tail leaves

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves hu-eet flit tail fluttering

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves willow leaves

flutteringleavesbranchflutteringleaves warbler leaves

flutteringleaves back flit flutteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranchfluttering hu-eet shadow branchfluttering

flutteringleavesbranchfluttering willow branchandflutteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranchfluttering warbler branchandfluteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranchfluttering flitting branchandflutteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranch further branchandflutteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranch back branchandflutteringleavesbranch

flutteringleaves hu-eet into branchandflutteringleaves

flutteringleavesbranch the branchandflutteringleavesbranch


Robert Shooter

Lip l-l-l lip s-s-s service

l-l-l labial, l-l-l letting my l-l-l lips c-c-c close,

or p-p-p partially, to l-l-l let it out,

p-p-p pray, kick-start p-p-p projection,

or the w-w-w word cannot f-f-f form.

l-l-l letting through understanding

b-b-b bugger inar-r-r-t-t-t ticula sh-sh-sh tion

b-b-b bringing us b-b-b back to the w-w-w word.

f-f-f phonetics demands it

l-l-l lips p-p-p playing b-b-b ball.

b-b-b but the c-c-c conundrum t-t-t to t-t-t- truth

t-t-t telling of

l-l-l living

t-t-t truth the

w-w-w word

l-l-l lies

enou f-f-f gh

c-c-c - nowhere near lips -c-c-c- cannot

s-s-s sp-sp-sp spell

oo-oo-oo u-u-u you r-r-r require r-r-r rounded

l-l-l lips - they l-l-l lie in t-t-t truth - u-u-u oo-oo-oo you - d-d-d- do…

t-t-t too

f-f-f for the oo in t-t-t- trooth lies like

u-u-u you and I d-d-d do

w-w-w which is s-s-s so-so-so- s-s-s sound

w-w-w wh-wh-wh- y-y-y- why?

Kathleen Kenny

Day Trip

I’m going backwards

in an airline seat,

in a charabang,

The last strobes

of natural light

dashing through the sky.

The Editors ask the poet, Allen Fisher questions about his poems.

Brief Biography:

Allen Fisher is a poet, painter, publisher, editor and art historian, lives in Hereford, Crewe and ‘in transit’, works at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire, where he is Head of Contemporary Arts. He has exhibited in many shows including London 2003, Hereford 1994 and York 1993. Examples are in the Tate, the Living Museum, Iceland and various private collections. His last four books were Place, Entanglement, Gravity and Singularity Stereo.


JANE: Hello Allen,

I hope you are well and thank you for agreeing to have us ask you questions. I am just about to read your book, ‘Gravity’. I want this to be a spontaneous process without any pre-planning so I will simply read the book and get back to you.


Ok, a very quick reaction to first piece titled Banda. I do want to read on and I am enjoying the book but can’t resist interrupting.

Surprised at how much I enjoyed this. I imagined it far more clinical and using a language that may be more distant and heavy perhaps influenced by the title of the book, ‘Gravity’ but it is surprisingly light and sensual. There also seems to be some hope for humankind in amongst the urban ‘big brotherish’ post war city atmosphere.

She bathes in rainwater at last clean

For the first time in decades (p.13)

You give the reader hope of a beautiful world. You bring in smells such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, (my favourite spices by the way) and then you somersault into a grocers! This just made me laugh. The image of someone somersaulting into a grocers is, to put it mildly, utterly hilarious! Thank you for making my day!

And then we have wonderful use of sounds;

Launch from the ramp and the joy

Wet zings say it as wasps

And I enjoyed your use

of irony

Bird carpets copied get copied p.14

Can I ask you, are these poems a kind of thought process of something you have experienced as you walk through Brixton? Do you jot down as you experience, a little like a diary or do you reflect and write later after the experiences?

The experience of walking through Brixton is part of what Gravity

includes. I make brief notes, research, accumulate and then

assemble using a system of transformational procedures. Sometimes this

is a quick process; sometimes it takes a long time.

Do you place a lot of emphasis on the editing of your poems?

Sometimes poems are radically edited; sometimes I get it as I want it


How would you describe your poetry?

The poetry in Gravity varies, but most of it works through

transformations of previous poems.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am building a set of 35 emblems each of which consists of a poem, an image, and a commentary (it’s a Renaissance and then Baroque idea). In 1980 or 81 Brian Ferneyhough, the composer, wrote a piece called Lemma –Icon, “Epigram, which uses a similar

tri-part set. The images are all done, the poems are underway. The commentaries have only just started.

I know that you are an artist as well. Could you tell me of anyone who has influenced you in particular and in what way they have done this?

I was initially very strongly influenced by John Cage and many of the conceptual artists in the 1970s. Having rejected art as object for a decade, in 1978, Jasper Johns London exhibition lifted my spirits and I started to make paintings. He was able to show me how painting was about thinking and feeling and transforming as extended processes.

How would you describe poetry that avoids creating a dialogue between the writer and the audience and vice versa, poetry that creates a dialogue between writer and audience?

My aesthetic stance demands that the work is in process as soon as a

reader or viewer engages with it, I wouldn’t call it a dialogue. The work is made by the viewer/reader in responses to the work initiated by the poet or artist.

Do you write about your own personal experiences?

I include record of my personal experiences in my work.

Who is your favourite poet and why?

I read about 100 American and British poets. The idea of favourites varies daily. I usually include Denise Riley, Tom Raworth, Joanna Drucker, Clark Coolidge, Muriel Rukeyser, Charles Olson, Jennifer Moxley, Ed Dorn, Lissa Wolsak, Frank O’Hara, Andrea

Brady, J.H. Prynne, Gertrude Stein, Hugh McDiarmid and translations of Paul Celan in my list.

Dee Mcmahon

Questions for Allen Fisher, following my reading of

Transformed extracts from iDamage

using keywords ‘pattern’ and ‘damage’


Here you explore your theory of damage in its relationship to visual perception and cognition, supported by examples from image in art, and poetry. Do you find other strong relationships between these two worlds, art and poetry? Do theory and concept in poetry inform art, and visa versa? Any other examples?

I do find a strong relationship between many of the arts. I practice

poetry and art, so I give these areas more emphasis. I find that theory and concept are to some extent embedded in the poetry and art, but I do go through a process that has a theoretical

and conceptual base. This base is partly derived from bases I have recognised elsewhere, in others work, and partly from my experience and practice. I recently listed a set of headings to

describe a practice as research process and showed how it helped with planning a calendar and it may apply here. The headings are: Enquire, Investigate, Accumulate, Analyse, Select, Transform. Like all analyses, this list unnecessarily damages it its small bits

from a larger whole, but it helps articulate the duration and space needed. How poetry or painting articulate 'Enquire' may of course seem to be widely different. If painting starts a one

moment in making sketches or collecting fragments of visual material, poetry could be, conceptually, doing the same. Anyway that may be now off the point you were encouraging. I know that I was very influenced by the conceptual art of the sixties and later,

along with the hole 'dematerialisation of the object' debate.

2. Do you wonder what other abilities and skills such as writing music could bring to the development of theory in poetry?

I have tried 'other abilities and skills'. I find that aspects of one approach to method can be applied to another and often this exchange of method within the parameters of appropriateness, can be efficacious. In 1975 I used Bach's The Art of the Fugue as a pattern-basis for a sequence of poems (The Art of Flight). I followed this in 'Birds Locked in the Roof' (in Unpolished Mirrors which used Beethoven's last Quartet, then in other poems used piano works by Schoenberg and by Stockhausen. In the early eighties I wrote Defamiliarising ____________* which used the note pattern in Brian Ferneyhough's Time & Motion Study I. More recently I

have been using his Lemma-Icon-Epigram in a similar way. These pattern sources have been the basis of musical compositions for Bach, Beethoven, Schoenberg, Stockhausen and Ferneyhough, and through my transformation of them have become patterns for my work.

They don't lead to poetry that is recognisable from these patterns, what they do is to break my pattern habits, my own speech patterns for instance, and encourage my invention. There's a sense in which poets using a riming pattern encouraged their own transformations from song and proportionate design. You could think of Spenser and Sidney and their use of spectacular arithmetic

and pattern in The Fairie Queene and Asphodel & Stella. Patterns can provide the bases for conceptual understandings of what to plan to for. The use of large and small patten can be as readily available from architecture or design. When Bartok composed some of his Sonatas he had natural elements in mind which in turn could beinterpreted or analysed through Golden Section ideas in

Euclid and then Fibonacci. Rather than taking the easy option of repeating a natural pattern, I prefer to transform into a new pattern. You could say that has a metonymic dimension, a kind of requirement not to repeat, that stands for the ethos of not repeating.

3. Transformed extracts, is very detailed. What allows you to have such focus? Is full immersion necessary?

I think your implication of immersion sounds about right. It's possible to recognise an overview or conceptual preparation, which may not be immersion, but when the engagement starts it becomes necessary and effective to stay there.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Allen.


Jane and Dee.


Tony Trehy


0. monotonic the fall. In the cot, of equilibria and reducing

complexities, the baby recognised my death as our eyes

another reason to avoid the butchery of children’s

moment Cut, a form of transitivity when the engine stops

and you can't go on, but you get out of the car and go on.

A prepersonal intensity corresponding to the passage one

experiential state of the body to another implying

augmentation or diminution in that body's capacity to act

She reminded me of what we could have had - and it was

remarkably paradisiacal, only less so. The dynamics

hovering bird wings, the public are mad those that aren't

found in any species in city park ascriptions of method.

Two opposing points connected by positive and negative

charge tired but it was there, something about never

getting there – the slender margin language object – daily

routine of back and forth sine wave study to the quaint

notions of windswept steppe and desert’s unequal

presumption of innocence without fear of retributive

access will be the end of memory: 1


0. Second-rate or loosely prehensile, our heroes forgotten,

the principle of least privilege delegated accrues for sun

kings, sons richly apprenticed His, corrupt variance

toward the meaning in its use; the universe of all small

types, which contains names for all the attributes

forgotten; facilitating removal of exotics as nonalgorithmic

monuments: telomeres thin between every regeneration.

Children haunt with the smell of butchery, cost and

elections deplete memory of us, heroes, our movements

recorded and forgotten, from one traffic light junction to

the next top of the range sports car accelerates

ostentatiously away to wait to surge by system of

apologia-inertia by proxy’s excluded other, middle and

below, effectiveness derogating to ‘the same point in space

repeated times’ as last season’s telomeres thinned toward

brown, became fashionably black, decisionally

incapacitated by golden lineage, modelled proudly by

Akhenaten’s daughters, with tanned, luxuriant, pierced

bellies, the statute delegation: we were all epigones will be

again, singular in the infernal drilling noise of extractor

fans. A changed voice would stand out saying: one day you

will be someone who lived long ago: 1

Jan Oskar Hansen

The Reason

The bells you hear, when busy voices briefly ceases,

are made of brass and polished, at dawn, by the spittle

of seven deeply religious monks in the far away Tibet;

where they use yak butter in their morning tea.

When first light strikes the bells there is and explosion

of the colours, blue and green, that lives inside the sun,

without these tones the seas would have been dull as

a rain puddle, outside Gare de Lyon, a fall afternoon.


Purple Patch no. 117

An enjoyable edition of Purple Patch with many scene setting poems such as Leaving Vyrnwy by Jane Moreton, and Empty House by Michael Newman. Landscape imagery throughout but the imagery is more striking when used otherwise, for example, in the return to childish speech ‘melt like a lolly on a hot day’ in For Glynn by William Burroughs, and the description of an impoverished scene in Arts Centre by John Denham:

‘with the impossible heroism

of the one kilowatt convector heater

as it strives alone in a dusty corner.’

Some flashes of unexpected language, for example Kate Edward’s ‘snarling’ in Absence. Despite that many of the poems are predictable and conclusive, leaving little to the reader to work with. The Most Depressing Day of the Year by Frank Burton is an exception, as is Paul Walker’s A Kind of Freedom. Probably the editor’s intention, but there was little in the way of experimental poetry. Interesting concepts were explored in Paul Walker’s Long Year of Unreason, and Gordon Scapen’s A Certain Age.

The review section cuts to the quick and looks for the positives in each publication. It is informative rather than patronising or overly critical, and a reasonable basis for choice of reading, I felt. The gossip section is interesting and controversial.

50 Heads by Tony Trehy

From a striking cover to a hugely enjoyable set of poets prose. The cover shows the mid-section of a high rise glass and steel structure, appealing in its mathematical, ordered image of contained clarity, appropriate to the poetry within.

Trehy’s set of 49 poems are all in the same prose format, and take up space within the centre of the page with an overall square or rectangular shape. They begin with 0. and end with : 1. I was unsure of the reason for this during reading, but Trehy explains that he has invented this ‘Head’ form, and that it relates to Mathematics, where ‘the probability of something happening is defined as a number between zero and one – with zero meaning that the thing didn’t happen and one meaning that it did.’ The titles are arranged alphabetically.

There seems to be within the poems a mathematical as well as poetical approach to the possibilities of language, and recurrent themes are mathematical theorems, linguistic concepts & syntax, and a sort of reflection on human nature. Within quite dissociated texts, phrases appear in more than one poem, and the reader recognises as old friends. There is a sparseness of imagery with some exceptions, such as in the first half of Poem. The poems are predominantly temporal, although there exists in many of the poems a type of mathematical imagery which leads the reader into, out of, and around part concepts, as in Content. The concepts, thoughts and images are presented fleetingly as part phrases, phrases leading to further phrases or concepts presented within the same sentence. Perhaps this is the way the brain links things instead of the formalised order imposed by societal systems, including commonly used language phrasing and syntax.

Most of the poems are made up of phrases rather than sentences, with only an occasional complete sentences within the text, occurring at the end of the poem as a possible conclusive sentence. In general there is permission to interpret the phrases and group them as the reader wished.

Tony Trehy makes up relationships between words and phrases and presents these relationships as texts that can be read and re-read, interpreted at a moment in time a first instance, then again. These are poems to be taken in small doses like 80% cocoa solid chocolate – they are intense and immensely satisfying, if you like this sort of thing.

Dee McMahon

Review of ‘countersyncopationyeah’ by Mark Sonnenfeld

This is probably the fourth time I’ve read this piece of work, written by Mark Sonnenfeld in collaboration with artist Jose Roberto Sechi. A line on what I’ll call the title page tells me its ‘about electricity and THE DOORS’. I have a basic knowledge of each, but am happy to have my belief that poetry contains no truisms confirmed here. For me this piece is quite simply about art and text and the relationships between them.

This piece of work spans nine pages and appears as collaged columns from a Spanish newspaper, possibly from the ‘looking for’ or ‘for sale’ ads, overlaid with short sequences of letters in alphabetical order, and black dots of varying sizes in varying positions. There are text and symbols, or collaged text above and below the columns on each page, and these columns never exactly fit the page. The overriding result for me is stimulation on a poetic, conceptual and artistic level. The relationships between the various texts on the page and from page to page is well disassociated although I do form an impression of both snapshots from daily life, and occasionally, an approach towards a moral commentary. The fact that the font is different for each line of text on each page and page to page, makes for more and more dislocated reading. For this and other reasons the work is unusually compulsive and draws me back to read, re-read and observe it.

One of the most compulsive elements is created by the presence of black dots on the newspaper columns, always two per page. I wonder about the balance of the dots themselves, if one is large on the page, must the other be small; do they equal the same square area in each case; are they sequential; what text are they hiding; is the point the interruption of the column text or the size and position of the dots; their relationship to the text outside the columns. They engender a gracefulness, and artistry in the piece that is outside of the texts but at the same time part of the whole. In a strange way I feel related to the artistic nature of the work through these black dots, and in their simplicity and movement through the text, they make me happy!

The relationship between text and art works as counterpoint, the text dissociating, the artwork uniting. Constants are the newspaper columns, the presence of black dots, the presence of text. Variables are the black dot size and position, the content of the text, its font. It becomes apparent why countersyncopationyeah was chosen as title to the work.

That this is a work is both poetic and artistic in nature does not mean it will necessarily command repeated reading and observation. That it is stimulating and interesting on many levels means countersyncopationyeah will interest poets and artists alike.

Dee McMahon

Review of ‘A Fiery Sunset’ by Omar Musa Ballouta

A Fiery Sunset by Omar Musa Ballouta


Watermark Press

3600 Crondall Lane

Suite 100

Owings Mills, MD 21117

‘A Fiery Sunset’ is a book of love poems, beautifully written from the heart. Read it all in one go and you know where Omar is coming from. For most of us at some point in our lives, we have been there. It reminded me of those relationships you have, no matter how short or long, you never forget the fleeting magic of it all, even though quite often there is pain and loss involved. We don’t know why it may sometimes end but that is the mysterious side of life. At least we can capture these memories as Omar has in this interesting and sensual book of poems. I enjoyed this collection.

Jane Marsh.

The Life of Fergus in the Hall Cupboard

During the Very Wet Summer of 2007

The highest shelves

are full of dad objects such as

a birth certificate in Spanish a flag

of Chile a strip of photographs

of a young boy in a sailor suit

smiling up at his father

on a street in Valparaiso each one

a small epic a heartbeat more

than the one

before letter

about an earthquake in 1906

a snowscape in the Andes

a Panama Canal souvenir brochure

stories still lifes poems

cigarette cards film star cards

Brigitte Helm Loretta Young

bats of the British Isles cards

famous Scottish people cards

David Livingstone Thomas Carlyle

carefully pasted cowboy scrapbooks

carefully written bicycle diaries

diaries from the war he shouldn’t have

kept in case he was captured killed

without having seen mum

without having made love

without having ridden the pulse

of longing completion creation a ship

in a bottle

Made by a German soldier

in exchange for cigarettes and chocolate

I can still smell the cork pieces clipped

from victory sheets I can still smell

the V flowers pressed

in a heavy book I can still smell

the perfume letters

about love

threads a framed picture of a sailing ship

slicing the waves of an imaginary sea

braces glasses a shaving razor

the blood plugged with tiny papers

cufflinks armbands lists of things

lists of worlds lists of music he loved

lists of music he needed to love list of things

to lift him a heartbeat more a letter

he wrote the week before

a death certificate in English a photograph

of a young boy smiling up at his father

turning into his father

on a hill of ferns in Argyllshire

who has to make the list of everything

on the highest shelves because

I can no longer be sure of

what he laughed like what he

sang like what I look like beneath the dust

Puppy Love

A weekend redneck

with his boot on a chain


his Alabama drawl

to a Greenock snarl


fuck off

after singing

every second line

of fuck off Freebird

by Lynyrd fuck off Skynyrd

to his chocolate-

coloured fuck off pup

as it plays growls


his tatty-coloured

guitar-shapped bag


his earnings

all over the slabs

looks up at his fuck

off face for approval

Graham Fulton


Purple Patch

Editor: Geoff Stevens,

25, Griffiths Road,

West Bromwich

B71 2EH



West House Books, 40 Crescent Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1HN











The Measure: an email magazine of poetry and prose





The Journal & original plus

Sam Smith

17 High Street


Cumbria CA15 6BQ



See also The Select Six - www.bewrite.net/select_six.htm

The Book Of Hopes And Dreams: a charity, poetry anthology, published to raise money for the Medical Aid, Afghanistan appeal of the Glasgow-based charity Spirit Aid.


The anthology features the work of many well-respected poets, including Margaret Atwood, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Heath-Stubbs, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Tony Harrison, Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, Penelope Shuttle, Anne Stevenson, Jon Stallworthy, Alan Brownjohn, Ruth Fainlight, David Constantine, Moniza Alvi, Cyril Dabydeen, Elaine Feinstein, Vicki Feaver, Michael Horovitz, Tom Leonard, Robert Mezey, Lawrence Sail, Jay Ramsay, Charles Ades Fishman, Geoffrey Godbert and Ian Duhig, amongst others.



POETRY KIT (www.poetrykit.org)





Points of Reference: cd by Edge Hill University Poets Alice Lenkiewicz, Andrew Taylor, Cliff Yates, Angela Keaton, Matt Fallaize, Dee McMahon and Robert Sheppard. £4.50 p&p from Alice or Dee

Stories of the Line: cd by Dee McMahon. £4.00 p&p 14 Tower Hill, Ormskirk, L39 2EF

Message from Editor, Matt Fallaize.

Neon Highway – Here to help

With the vast array of poetry magazines in the marketplace, it’s not always easy to send your work off confident that it’ll receive a sympathetic reading. Each editor has their likes, their dislikes, their pet hates, their secret loves. Every poem deserves to be given the best chance possible. Likewise every editor needs to spend less time sorting through submissions pile weeding out work which simply isn’t what the magazine wants.

So to make your life, and our lives, easier, let us clarify:

Here at Neon Highway we want work that is, for want of a better word, experimental. We want innovative poetry, we want interesting, engaging, poetry. We want poetry that is trying something else. We don’t care if you’re published a thousand times over, or if you’re submitting for the very fist time. We’re committed to breaking new work.

Experimentation can be linguistic, it can be thematic, it can be procedural, structural, topical. Experimental does not necessarily mean obscure, high-brow or any of the other narrow descriptions writers use unnecessarily to define themselves. It is a freshness, a state of mind, a willingness to take a risk on behalf of your writing.

What is doesn’t mean is formulaic, polemical, hectoring, old hat. A political poem is fine, a rant is not. A love poem is fine, yet another poem about how sad you are because your partner left you is not. Descriptive work is fine, work that groans under the weight of its own adjectives is not (remember what Bunting said about them bleeding nouns). Simple poems are fine, obvious ones are not. Poems about cats will be going straight in the bin.

If you think we’re the ones for you, we’d love to hear from you. If you don’t, then relax, there’s someone out there for your work. It just isn’t us, and you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time.


Neon Highway, the magazine for experimental and innovative poetry.

Submissions of innovative poetry to be sent to editors:

Alice Lenkiewicz: 37, Grinshill Close, Liverpool, L8 8LD

Dee McMahon: 14, Tower Hill, Ormskirk, L39 2EG

Matt Fallaize: 67, Lea Crescent, Ormskirk, L39 1PG

Neon Highway is available bi-annually, with 2 issues costing £5.50, or a single

Issue available at £3.00. Order your next issue by sending a cheque to Alice Lenkiewicz 37, Grinshill Close, Liverpool, L8 8LD.