Monday, 7 January 2013


Neon Highway 23                                                                    ISSN: 1476-9867

Note from Jane...

Dear readers,

I have begun a new series of Neon Highway issues that are to be

edited by guest poets. I thought his would be an interesting idea to celebrate

the variety of editors and their interests and poets of choice. 

Our first guest editor is A C Evans. I pass you over to AC to 

introduce this issue.

Yes, thank you Jane! And, without further delay we can meet our contributors to this ‘surreality of now’ edition of Neon Highway…. Unidentified flying poet Andrew Darlington is author of Euroshima Mon Amour (2001), a collection of SF poems enthusiastically reviewed as ‘poetry from a twisted mind’ by NME. A visionary novel Beast of The Coming Darkness is currently hunting a publisher; then there are reviews, interviews and fiction sales to hosts of UK and international anthologies and magazines. A live performance video (Five Leaves Left) and records (as part of the U.V. Pop Electronic group) have also appeared, and probably been deleted! Andy’s spoken about how any vague potential for academic success ‘got terminally wrecked by teenage addictions to loud Rock ‘n’ Roll and cheap Science Fiction’. Aad de Gids has a straight twin brother Bas, while he himself is gay. We’re from the ‘anti-generation’, Aad tells Neon Highway, ‘a bit punkish’. Bas is the imagist; the sharp eye for imagist distortions of a distorted society. Our aesthetics have always been anti-theatre, anti-poetry, anti-cinema = experimental, neomusic, nonmusic, muzak, the ‘die-collector-scum’ aesthetics, dada, postneodada. All that is new, strange, decoding all codes, societal, sexual, natural, literal, philosophical, transdimensional; this, we try to do. ‘We have thousand personalities now and, it shows’.M J Foster is a writer, poet and the founding editor of Inclement Poetry Magazine (est. 2000). Her work has been published in Still, Iota, Exile, First Impressions, Poetic Licence, Breathe, Candelabrum and Amber Silhouettes. Her short story, 'The Willow' was shortlisted for the Myslexia Women's Short Story Prize 2012. She graduated with a first class BA (Hons.) in Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.  She is often mistaken for Beyoncé by absolutely no-one and has a long-running battle with a squirrel with a grudge. Wednesday Kennedy has lived and worked internationally as a writer and performer in theatre, cabaret, television, radio and print media. ‘Always experimenting, working with sound artists, musicians, dancers, film makers, actors, honing her craft and creating her body of work… surfing into every scene like a gate-crasher’. Post Romantic, her 1999 CD, prefigured performances at The Edinburgh Fringe, and beyond. She has also written One Woman Shows for other performers, including Intimate and Deadly for Christine Anu and recently released her magical realist memoir21st Century Showgirl, ‘an all-girls adventure epic about being a One Woman Show in a Brave New World’. Rupert M Loydell is Snr Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and editor of Stride and With magazines. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including the recent Wildlife and A Music Box of Snakes, co-authored with Peter Gillies. He edited From Hepworth's Garden Out poems about painters and St. Ives and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, an anthology of manifestos and unmanifestos. He lives in a creek-side village with his family and far too many CDs and books. Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974, grew up in Upminster and attended Huddersfield University where she read English, and then University College London, where she read Library and Information Studies. Her pamphlet Bye For Now was published in 2005. In the same year she also received an Arts Council Writer's Award and in 2007 her poem ‘Thursday’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best individual poem. ‘Her gift is to reveal how much of the everyday is purely surreal and to articulate the strange and fleeting thoughts we often have, but rarely have the nerve or quick-wittedness to voice’. Lorraine Mariner’s Furniture was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Fiona Pitt-Kethley studied at the Chelsea School of Art where she obtained a BA (Hons.) before going on to become a full-time writer. As a student she ushered at the Old Vic and National Theatre and while writing sometimes worked as a film extra. Now living in Cartagena, Spain, Fiona has acquired new hobbies and has adopted seven feral cats. She goes rock-hunting and hill-walking in the Sierra Minera and is currently writing a book on its history. Her Selected Poems was published in 2008 and includes work from her notorious 1986 collection, Sky Ray Lolly. Alicia Winski was born in Los Angeles and has been hailed as ‘a fierce poetic voice, spreading her wings across the West Coast’. With an impressive following in both LA & Seattle, she is ‘a provocative figure on page, online and on stage’. She is Author of Running on Fumes and works at Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House (Editor, Seattle division). Alicia possesses a craft that is ‘melodic, brutally honest and oftentimes, quite sultry’. Her words encompass strength, courage and a passionate perspective on life and love as seen through the eyes of a poet. She is currently working on her next collection, Naughty Girls Dream in Color, which is anticipated to be released in 2012. Michael Woods is a surrealist consultant, writer and experimental filmmaker. Expert in special photography and effects in all media he is experienced in publicity, poster design, digital work, prop photography and vintage prints. Also, he is joint author with George Melly of Paris and The Surrealists (1990). Work in progress includes: constructing and editing a film version of the stage play Ajax, (2011) with Jack Shepherd, and The Distorted Self – Schizophrenia, an experimental film with Eliot Albers. Soho and Elsewhere: an exhibition of photographs 1979-90 (2012) and Portobello Eye (with Michael Horovitz) explore the ‘topography of the imagination.’ And, finally, Marie Zorn is our ‘eternal wanderer questioning the ambiguities of desire, the wonders and the mysteries of the Self and the Other, the thinking body… the body that we both are and have’. When asked about her work Marie says: there is a Paul Klee painting entitled ‘Beginning of a Poem’, in which the painter offers these words as a riddle... so fang es heimlich an’ (caught it on secretly.) Should there exist’ she asks, ‘other reasons to write than to steal and hide, to chase elusiveness of emotions and conceal them in beauty, crafting amulets to protect ourselves from their tearing power?’


Note from Jane… 2

Meet Our Contributors by A C Evans 2

Andrew Darlington 7

Fiona Pitt-Kethley 10

Michael Woods 13

Rupert M Loydell 13

Marie Zorn 16

Wednesday Kennedy 26

Aad de Gids 28

Lorraine Mariner 31

Roy Sutirtha 35

MJ Foster 35

Alicia Winski 37

Listings & List of Illustrations 42

About Neon Highway 43

Thank you to Michael Woods for his original artwork for this 

issue. © Michael Woods’ for all pictures

Front cover and artwork by Michael woods

Front cover: untitled photograph

Jane Marsh would like to apologise to the poet Roy Sutirtha.

A mistake was made in issue 22 where Roy’s poem was attached to

that of another poet accidentally. I have republished Roy’s poem in this

issue and of course,  this time under the correct name! Our apologies to

Roy; We hope this republishing will make up for our error.

Andrew Darlington

How Does It Feel To Feel…?
(Incident Sourced at ‘Jumbo Records’ St Johns Centre, Leeds)

hey andy,
flipping vinyl in jumbo’s
Ian, great to see
bin a while, how long?
doin fine, I can see
how’s the lady? – oh
she’s not your lady now
stuff happens, man, yeh?
when she goes, she’s gone, but
we had happysad times though
partners in rhyme though
you & me, Ian, riffing verse
reelin in them years, wow!
how we did Blackburn…
driving down to Blandford
a high hi-fidelity weekend
Ian, crazy days drift away
what’s bin did & what’s bin hid
never forget, know warra mean?
flipping vinyl through futures past
yeh, we’re younger than that now
are you on Facebook, Ian?
see you there, great, great…

it’s only later
walking away,
no, it wasn’t Ian
it was Martin…

Notes From The Coming Apocalypse:
Rime Of The Future Mariner

now, inhabiting this place only in dream & myth
these conspiratorial corners of this city of wraiths
burned to the ground, rebuilt, razed, & built again,
too ashamed or too broke to venture home, yet
sing my rime I must, believe as you choose
how we stake its mouth, to hold it from closing
how we prepare our vessel in readiness
mounting our lodgings within its intestines
provisioning with stores of bread, fresh water
& other vitals necessary for survival, until,
next morrow, the whale that is not a whale dies,
& since taking upon himself to be our pilot, we
sacrifice the hyena to the bronze Poseidon-head
& wire his still-warm cerebellum into its
neural network, it is said, the source of our curse,
& fastening cables about its teeth we
haul our strange craft through gravity wells,
for our first three days together hard by
the lodestone of a swathe of worlds
we find ourselves becalmed,
becoming as dreamy as the tide beneath us
with the currents of light running so
I can already taste morning,
the fourth day we rendezvous dark moons
& encounter multiple drifting corpses
perished in the most recent apocalypse
our vessel holds against those bodies
taking measure of what stone does to bone
what shrapnel does to flesh
& what confinement does to the mind,
seeing a man with the tail of a snake
another being devoured by a crawl of ants,
before running aground in this far place of exile
where nothing is as it seems & every
truth is written in six languages, here
you must know the dead, not just the living,
yet, sing my rime I must, believe as you choose
although I don’t always trust my own opinions
I will never betray by saying we were wrong…

(using elements sourced from Jeff Nuttall)

fat mattress sun rippling
spring unsprung nettles-thorn
kids bounce contra-grav
up-&-down around
in lazy bee-droned light

silver moon-scum for
furtive teen-lovers grope
no place to go, but here
in slurpy slithery skin-softness
erupting seed body-fluid stain

dawn in piss-wet dew-sodden
spilt lager and fox-musk odour
snails slugs slip-trails under ooze
spider-crawled over-webbed air
louse-lair within-inners bug-skitters
hosting hosts of beetle-hordes

fat mattress corpse-open
splits around spiral helix rib-coils
drifting quilt-continents separate in
incontinent spume of tufty magma
crow rips with nest-weaving beak
burry-down deguts rag-splatter intestines
overflow rip-mould sink-holes agape

blossom-green blood-sockets
bright blister-warts tap-root forks
decomposing composting depositing
devolve in leaf-creep mulch, ripe
slime-fibrous, seething erupting seed
germination pollen swirls,
torn in nettle-thorn storm
fat mattress fades in slow
molecular entropy
already gone…


The advert says ‘Giant Comet Sale’
so I go in and say
‘I’d like Halley’s comet please’
she says ‘of course sir, we have
one due in 28th July 2061’

now I hear that, across the retail park
Curry’s are holding a ‘Monster Sale’...

Fiona Pitt-Kethley
From In Search of San Valentin

Corta Brunita
A row of broken houses by the road –

a hamlet of the damned – marks where it lies.

The path winds downwards to a jade green lake,

soft toxic sands gilded with pyrite dust,

marked with the footprints of the last who past. .

They planted trees here years ago…They died.

The withered saplings still have plastic wraps

This soil, it seems, will not rejuvenate.

Yet one thing grows here in this barren land –

Small crystal sceptres springing from the rocks.

The Eight Kings of the Air
I walk the paths of Sancti Spiritu.
Eight windmill turbines dominate the scene –
the unoiled one groans slowly as it turns.
Strange shadows pass across the yellowed soil.
Distant they´re small- a cluster on the heights
along a track that winds its course across
the hills, littered with debris of the ancient mines.
Up close they tower above me as I walk.
I stoop and scratch some opal from the road.

You see for many miles on either side. -
the Mar Menor, La Manga and the Med,
poor ruined Portman with its damaged beach
It´s not the Roman “Portus Magnus” now.
since Peñarroya´s pipe belched toxic filth
into the bay till Greenpeace closed them down.

The fifth mill has dark stripes below its blades.
A lightning strike? Graffiti by its base
shows pictures of a cloud and zigzag line
and labels these the eight kings of the air.
We find a large decapitated bird –
an eagle – lying on a quarry path,
hundreds of feet below the mountain top.

Aeolic turbines, like the ancient gods
whose altars crowned high places in the world,
must still demand a living sacrifice.
From Baal to Jove to Iberdrola now –
the heights send energy to those below.

Michael Woods


Poem to George Melly,
first trip to Paris for Paris and the Surrealists, Thames & Hudson,
Hotel Blanche, 69 Rue Blanche, Paris, France. 1988.

I am the wanderlust returned,
A ghost, barely visible, a
Trace of stale nicotine smoke
Curling up spiral stairs to bed

Pigalle has finished

Curtain call, lights out
A chorus line shot-dead,
Line up metro-bound,
Cold eyes peering in dreary rain,
Combinations of threadbare lives,
Elastic snapped, hitched-up above
The knee - a feint memory
Between intervals, between my
Index finger and thumb, of
Ritualized sex well done.

I haunt dark allies, theatres
Constructed from Adams rib,
Penetrating neon paradise, a
Solitary cardboard figure amid
The glitter of fading porno stars.

I wander soundless into a
Parisian night,
And strike a match
From a box of desires,
Entering a storm raging
Beneath satin sheets,
Set sail my soul in sunless sleep.

Rupert M Loydell

Boarding Pass

And here's the ego talking:

Did you ever use my poems

in class like you said you might?

My travel plan does not preclude

diversions or different trajectories;

this is not a boarding pass.

By focussing in on the decay

we draw attention to the structure

revealed through crumbling walls,

the infrastructure if you like,

the way it was originally built.

How the past has followed us:

one of the voices used in this volume

is there only to quietly catalogue

the discarded items of the dead.

If you read the newspapers

then you will know that poems

should look like this. It is easy

to take it one stage further

and promote a more fluid approach

to life. What advice do you have?

How should text perform in the world?

And did you ever use my poems

in class like you said you might?

Ready To Fly

The spirits hovering over the ashes

are vultures circling the debate.

We are just selfish, each echoing

each other in each other's minds.

The problem is not deception

but corruption. The art of mirrors

is a lie, the truth is in an envelope,

unnoticed just inside the door.

We are principled but not transcendent,

live without hope of a sensible answer.

Some are jubilant, others more sombre,

most a series of imperfect erasures

revealing an astonishing white wall.

Content arises as much from process

as from subject. That process disrupts

the poem, readers are likely to flounder.

The spirits hovering over the ashes

are vultures circling our remains.

No one wants to talk about

the echoes in each other's minds.

You Should Have Given Me

My Medicine

Science fiction madness:

I think I can see time.

Using Paris As An Instrument

A hundred miles from chaos

preparing for something.

Life moves in a spiral;

cyclone trees have no eyes.

Fall into the footseps:

they're easy to follow.

The swaying of a skirt

is a type of freedom.


(a found poem)

'Sin the worst of her screaming,

when she would bury her face

in the pillow and throw herself

on the blanket, as if there were

a grenade in there that was about

to go off, when she was so shaken

with its trembling that she felt

like a flat, vibrating sheet of paper

so flat that there was nothing

to take hold of, no way to stop

her shaking, it became clear,

with a clarity that was not conscious,

but that hit you straight

from that trembling sheet of paper,

that her compassion and even her love

were rattled in those initial sobs,

and that here, on the blanket,

on these pillows, she was left alone,

quivering, that hysteria consisted

in that trembling, in that howl,

in that dance of hers

beneath the vault of heaven,

that this was a matter

strictly between her

and the empty space

of air around hers'

(Marek Bienczyk, Transparency)

Marie Zorn

so fang es heimlich an’

Veil Nebula
Is there still a sheet over my soul that he didn't remove
In his fleeting manner of a breeze
Or of a falling star?

Shrouds of ancient thoughts
Distant universes of oblivion
Torn rags are raving
Over the trembling revelation they uncovered
Before this bareness more naked than flesh
His comet eyes that set my orbit

The dance of Salome
A swirl of veils
A command to reveal up to vertigo
Upon my closed eyes that see only his image
The heavy curtains of eyelids
Alcove of my dream
Fiery orbs that burst
Pierce sails, burn ropes
Free hallucinated ships
Tear their shreds

(And Lazarus sisters
Do not understand the mystery
And dancers
Devour their dismembered God
And Veronica
Holds her veil she will no longer wear)

My baldness of a tomb
My cerement
But already flown cataclysms
Complete my transformation
Bones bathed by the light of the Veil Nebula

Home - His child – Bare

She remembers the cold. Biting. His departure. Biting. Reluctant steps clapping. A clicking of heels on streets. They walk. She staggers inside. And then a flood of words covering the drum of her roaring thoughts. They are ebony - her thoughts - freshly hatched, first born of the Mother of humanity. They rejoice like little lustful children.
Your eyes ...
Your arms ...
Your sad smile ...
The hotel room that has become an extension of you ...
Just as you have become an extension of myself ...
The alcohol, so much alcohol to silence the huge fear that pierces me when you touch ...
Let me disappear, in this very moment, on that field, too much evanescence ...
A drunk drawing with lip pencil all over your face ...
A large vertical line that you let me draw ...
Now, I say, you sleep next to me and I tremble ...

And then the pressure of his hand on her shoulder, in the bitter biting cold. His other hand surprising her, shaping a pedestal for her face. And there in the cold, a kiss intimated as an order. He takes her mouth more
intensely than he had taken her last night. She wavers. Her bag! Damn bag that slips from her shoulder and tries to come between them. No! This kiss, she wants it. Interlaced, pressed. She could die of his tongue. Not to move, not to live. Here. To surrender as if it was death, so she could feel everything deeper. Some people passing them scream: "Get yourself a bed!"
Yes, my love ...
Lets return to the hotel ...
There, now ...
You see, even they know it is the right thing to do ...
Vox populi, vox Dei ...
Can you hear it? ...
Pure folk wisdom ...
You and me, our place is in that hotel, in bed ...
So that I could touch you ...
Scent you ...
There, everywhere, on these spots where your smell is a little stronger ...
She remembers that she had asked him to bite her last night. Not that she likes pain in itself. But she wanted a trace, oh nothing much, so little, a small bruise instead of a wound. A bruise on her skin mirroring the wound in her heart. A sacred image on the roundness of her breast that she could caress later at leisure.
So, you are here! ...
She thinks of it when he releases her. Yet she keeps it secret. But she talks a lot this secret girl, while she prefers silence and she cannot say. It is in silence, that she loves him selfishly.
You've imprinted in me ...
You see, I have a proof, a bruise of blue, green, red ...
Melancholy, fear and passion ...
They start walking again, closer to his departure. Biting. She would not wait with him for his train. They agreed so. It is better this way. Nobody wants to close this parenthesis. "No goodbyes, eh!" He said.
Of course no farewell ...
You rest on my breast ...
In colours ...

He walks her to a taxi. She rushes into it. Returns to her life. She takes her hat off, which protected her all this time against the biting cold wind in her hair. Her beautiful hat. Her favourite hat. She will forget it on the back-seat of the car.

Ah! Evil God!
Ill Master of language!
You, whose face I do not know
And yet the only I cognise
Who secludes us from those we love
Who longs to be the sole comforter of eccentrics and poets

Jealous, who collects us in Your shelves
Like battered flower-dolls
Watered with the poison of words
Words that we think, say
And we cannot free ourselves

Things are said, uttered so poorly, yet told again
Why speak then?
Except by this force placed in us
Strange and estranged


Thief, who brings everything down to Yourself
Who robs me of my ineffable:
My silent music
That could link

(Which aspires in its movements and chords
To the transmutation of souls)

My inner melody
That could love
Me, my love, the world and the roses
In a single momentum

But You mighty thundered:
« Feel, think, speak up, put down, separate, define, order! »

Then like your puppet, I felt ardently
Ordered keenly
Separated grindingly
Thought intensely

Devoted to the task
Embracing my fate of a sultry courtesan
You pay with illusions of being Your kin
I spoke

Too much?

« Think about what you feel
Express yourself
Shout it out
Don't keep it in
Let it go
And at the end
Tear it apart:
Put words between you and him »
How common!

Transparent advices from a bad adviser
That are making ethereal birds swim the deepest sea

So I showered him with misunderstanding
Rotten doubts and corrupt brain mud
With the sulphur of my fears
And my fantasies

I took the cup that You held for me as a reward
Yet it wasn't a cornucopia
But a death chalice
and I shared it:
Unconscious and generous
Innocent and wicked

Providing the arsenic of Time
To what had no beginning and no conclusion

Throwing in a reality that will inevitably end
What was supposed to float and wrap
Although it didn't fully exist

And me, Your docile pupil
Oh malevolent Demiurge
I told him: « I love you »
And then I could only swallow my tears
Of a weeping widow at the battlefield
For my words were no longer mine

I love you
I love you?

Why saying?
Why detach I from YOU?
Is there a greater peril for newborn lovers
Strong as lace
Fragile as steel
Than these vaporous words?
Deadly swords!

(You have to choose, my burning soul
You can't make love and poetry)

But on that first dawn, dear

Before the Evil
There were only
... your skin
... your sweat
... my silence
The smell of my love on your skin

Unspoken promises of what has yet to come

Dream Of the Alchemist
A l'amour comme à la guerre
preparing provisions of oblivion
to quench the consuming thirst
memories inevitably bring

A l'amour comme à la guerre
drinking liters of quicksilver elixir
matured in the saliva of men
hoping that its bitterness
will give birth to the Great Work

A l'amour comme à la guerre
believing, oh yes we are believers
during calm mornings and nights of fire
with the same ardour
that revival will come from rottenness

painting ourselves in colours of transmutation
Nigredo - Albedo - Citrinitas - Rubedo
A l'amour comme à la guerre
one only in the multitude
of our nerves and sweating pores

A l'amour comme à la guerre
small children dying without coffins
no graves or roses to honor them
bearing the chilling image
of the future they will not have

A l'amour comme à la guerre
feeding on promises
and wishing only for those
that would engulf us as Biblical monsters
if we would approach

A l'amour comme à la guerre
unleashed and embraced
shouting out of time and over mountains

meeting our Janus
that soothes and aches at the same time
A l'amour comme à la guerre

(And we cry in advance
paying our debt to order
forgetting is horror
remembering is horror)

A l'amour comme à la guerre
with no fear feeling
the hand that holds us
and then no tranches any more
in love nor in war
nothing else than the certainty of meaning

A l'amour comme à la guerre
facing each other

My love, my dream of battlefield ...


In your dream
I kissed a devoted alchemist
who vowed me then
to bitter blackness
certain death  - sudden
quicksilver embraces
poisoning fleshes
and transcending soul
otherwise unattainable promises
heavenly elixir
that soothes as it deepens
my thirst
and my unquenchable fire


And I woke up

Prayer Before The Catastrophe
(to utter between fervour and fever)
I know that you are music itself in the guise of a human being, and that you took this shape to dance with me. All other reasons, I don't care for. And I know that I am beautiful since I am you. Since my soul doesn't exist anymore, but became this wave coming and returning from me to you and from you to me. And I am still doubting my very existence everyday when I touch my face, my lips, but in a different way. My string is so much out of myself, that I wonder if it is still possible that I dwell in this body. That this flesh hasn't evaporated yet to join you in the velvet of your deep night. But then I feel sparkles of electricity under my fingertips, pollination of the comet rain you cast upon me. And I know without any doubt, in a leap of my heart, that this body is still there to be a vessel for your alchemical work. And this body, a dream of you. And the space of our dream together. This flesh of mine is seeing you in all the beauty my eye finds in this world. So strong is my love, our love, love. But despite all this, I still wish, after all this intense joy of contemplating you in Nature and smiles of blossoming Spring, to see the world in your eyes, to find it collapsing there, ingested, nothing but these dark pools to save me, my gaze mingled with your gaze. To bring back love from its diffuse homeland, to its only true home: you, me, meyou. Sensual dream of you that is the air I'm breathing. Light piercing my flesh, rhythm of your music becoming the momentum of existence. Swelling waters of the fountain of youth of your kiss. Then I believe again in this primitive and ancestral wisdom, that the dew of beings embracing each other is forming this rainbow bind, movement of one to one. And we are endless decay of each other. My one in movement, my endless set of digits after the comma, my diapason that I attuned to. The palm in my palm in your palm. The polymorphous creature of our love

The Sad Sister
You gave her
Some vague glances and
Too voluptuous
To withhold
Unfinished embraces
And she surrendered
For some looks
Or pennies
Eternal price of love
A few drops of man's dew
In drunken dawns
Like an automaton
She remains
And sated of sad flesh
She staggers
In apnea of you
The perfect rhyme of your lips

Wednesday Kennedy
Door Bitch
Just a few weeks ago at a dinner party in Melbourne a retiring Rock God said to me ‘

Wednesday maybe if you stopped describing yourself as an Artist then you’d get more 

opportunities? Three times tonight you've referred to yourself as an Artist' As if that was 

something very shameful and the key to all my woe.
His words slammed like a sucker punch and so I slapped him back with his own self-

description. The room gasped but I knew I’d missed his balls. My head was reeling. Why the 

fuck was I even having this conversation?
I knew that being seen as an Artist was akin to having a venereal disease but it was strange 

to hear someone who had devoted their life to the muse, chastise me for owning the fact 

that I’d done the same? I mean he had some volunteer scribe that he was dictating his 

autobiography to. But maybe he knew it was his shlong she was hanging on ? Because if I 

looked at all the stories I'd collected on my travels he did have a point.
Nobody likes Artists. Not even other Artists. Unless they’re rich they’re almost universally 

despised. When Aussies think Artist, they think smelly needy poor lunatic whores with no 

ears and no sense living in garrets off tax payers money. They think wankers and bludgers 

and even worse…poets. There is nothing sadder than a Poet. People run from them. They’re 

not worth robbing and they want to read you their poetry. It’s hideous! Run for the hills! 

Better to be that guy on his knees at Town Hall who keeps his mouth shut and holds out a 

cap looking humble and fucked up. At least he has the power to make people feel guilty. 

Poets don’t have the power to make people feel anything. Except, perhaps irritated and 

vaguely suicidal. 
So I went to the loo and videoed my feet as I was contemplating. And I remembered when 

I’d just got back from New York and was still floating on the last of my Manhattan mojo. I 

had organised a photo story with a magazine and the Crown Casino Day Spa. They were 

catering to the Melbourne Metro-sexual. And I was bringing in three handsome men for 

pamper, interview and photo shoot. I had scored myself a room in the Penthouse suite and 

dinner for everyone involved and facials and mani pedi, massages for the talent. It was a 

magical ride that all ran like clockwork until the Casino looked at the proof of the photos. 

The Rock God looked too much like a dirty artist and didn’t fit with their corporate brand so 

they all freaked out and pulled all the photos. Without the photos I had no story. Without a 

story I was cast out of the Penthouse Suite and onto a greyhound bus back to Sydney. The 

clock had turned midnight and it was chutzpah au go go…
I’m a regular Cinderella act.
When I returned to the table to remind the Rock God of that incident I had a napkin swiftly 

stuffed in my mouth by the Hostess. She tapped her knife on her glass with a ding ding 

ding. It was time to SHUT UP! The discussion was finished. And it’s not like I could argue 

because I was staying on her lumpy couch.
So I went out on the balcony for a cigarette.
The Rock Wizard joined me and said 'Wednesday I understand when you call yourself an 

Artist. That makes sense to me because I see myself as an Artist too'. The Wizard was sweet 

and could afford to be generous because he'd escaped from Australia and been rescued by 

Germans. They even paid him to perform and they weren’t a front for organised crime or 

anything! He was indeed an Artist. He embodied and owned it. Whereas I had become that 

twisted thwarted creature that Virginia Woolf once described in a Room of One’s Own.
I gotta get out of here’
Out of this dinner party?’
No. Out of this country. From coast to coast it’s Ding Ding fucking Ding. She needs people 

like us. Artists darling ARTISTS! But she crossed the line with her 'ding ding ding'. This is 

why people end up throwing punches. And you know I expected more from Melbourne! I 

know it fancies itself as the cultural fucking capitol of the arse end of the world but this is 

not exactly the Round fucking table is it?'
The Rock Wizard listened supportively in silence because Wizards never take sides. They’re 

too busy looking at the big picture .
Then the Rock God joined us on the balcony and announced ‘A year ago I was diagnosed 

with Fucking Arsehole Disorder’ as if to explain himself.
Oh really?’ I replied. ‘And all this time I thought you were a GENIUS’.
He had traded in his electric muse for a shrinks diagnosis and now he'd been reduced to a 

Fucking Arsehole. It was official. And then he pointed to his girlfriend and said ‘This woman 

saved my life’. As if that was sposed to soften the vibe and make me feel better?
If I’d been diagnosed with Fucking Arsehole Disorder the room would be emptied. It's hard 

enough being a Disaster Diva with PTSD. That didn't even win me a ticket for the Disability 

Pension. I tried for that pension TWICE but I failed the twenty point madness test. It’s very 

hard to pass that test. They’re not even taking Cutters these days. You could crawl into 

Centrelink hanging off a cross and nobody would blink. They’d just call security. So forget 

slashing your wrists. It leaves them cold. You’ve got to chop off the whole hand off and 

poke out your eye and get gangrene in at least one foot and even then you might only add 

up to nineteen points. It’s a risk. But then once you’re in, you’re officially mental. It’s like a 

Hi I’m Wednesday PTSD. Pleased to meet you.
Nuts is the new black but unfortunately I’m not quite nutty enough. I’m in a sort of nut 

limbo. Can’t spit and can’t swallow. I’m one of those nuts who sees themselves as an Artist. 

Who will show you her stigmata at the slightest provocation. Who is married to the muse 

and who doesn't make a single choice without his consultation. I'm a regular moon mama. 

And I may be delusional. But I aint the one feeding Big Pharma. It’s a game, it’s a dream, 

it’s a faustian deal, it’s an art, it’s a calling, it’s an addiction. We’re back to mental illness. All 

roads lead to the nut house. Buy your tickets, take your ride and suffer your ridicule
So put your money where mouth is.
Aad de Gids
while he slept the guilders of death imminently swirled
here we have the house and just now a thought of immense beauty traversed
to be vanished now,and if you’re old enough you say: “go fuck yourself,another
thought will come”. but it was a round thought as profound as gracing surfaciality,
as imminent as heralding absent light. poetry needs endurance more than inspiration,
maddening drivenness more than chic declining on a chaise longue. the painting has
great intimacy. all is done with “old” colours,rich ocres,greens,browns. the brush
could have been tipped with ash. it had this anciennity and timelessness. a frozen
chamber of faith and philosophy. it has certain naiveté in style but almost deliberately
so because its impact is grandiose in its stillness. a bearded jewish mystic lays vastly
asleep in his bed,seen on the backwall. the room is painted as if on a stage. not much
nécessaires cloud the image of bed and table,chair,window,alcove with three books.
a washing vase and basin,a pot in the window,all painted fromout the heart with
meticulous devotion and the room gets unity by the preciousness of style throughout.
something is happening in the room the omittance of which would have made this
the painting,with love,of a sleeping man in his revered room. yet now we clearly see
that,while he sleeps the guilders of death imminently swirled almost as if in the flight
of starling,leaving trace of twenty,thirty guilders or shekels hovering from ceiling to
bed,alongside him more,as not to disturb him. it is of supernatural order,as death is
of supernatural both,and of natural order. perhaps it isn’t his last sleep and he just aided
in his dream an older woman or man on their templed erratic pathway to death. if
this the sign of death is,it is gilded and a flight of magnificence. the timeless patchouli.

rose du texet
it is raining delicately to an inner wallpaper
wallpaper is wallpaper if big flowers are involved
not so much behind but in the thinness of the
finely plastered paper to the walls,dressing them
in hibiscus,magnolia and roses,there is a hush
as there are two phenomenons compatible than
this inaudible yet presumable hush of innerest
rain meeting upon the thinness and delicacy of the
wallpaper. the dying shall be the waterfading
riverialization of the reddest hibiscii and roses,also
lush rosa and sinister red,and magnificent magnolia
asian pinks in appearances,all these colours now
a carousel of death. and thus death rained in and
the slowly fading and with sinewy fingers inter
mixxing petals and colours and stamen and scent
wafted towards an areal vessel as perfumed as
half sensible in her flight,the halfzen vessel of
death,in due time,to not too much dishevel the
living and those,who still had some tasks at hand,
perhaps a repair of the flowery wallpaper,after
all inner rains were subdued,stilled somewhat

living in the trafficpretzel of unaromatherapycoloured steelhulled rapid s of erythrocites

o.k. i will make a NASA map of this here and there of freeways and lanes and antivegetational
graphite labyrinths for the beetle like drone and persistence with which these gleaming post
homoeopathic monsters started and actually,pertained to ride,glide,staccato heavy humming
of 5000 kg bumblebees. at night you heard individuality within the cars prodding forth in the
endless night,however sometimes threesomes or flotsams of easy nightsurfers neglecting
trafficlights to define the zanzibarian loneliness of the only rider on an endless boring offblack
composite asphalt,reducing roar and thereby blandening the driving endeavour,that you now
were a shusher at night,a hustler,an unobtrusive hooker,an ignorant vector in the urban statistics.
travelling became featureless now even with highest highrises or skeletonnest bridges and
aluminiumnized museums billbaoized titangleaming facettoid flyeye museal expositions one
trafficdrone over the northern hemisphere. geiger corrections showed slowly fractionationleasions
and extractive metallurgic progressions,disaggregated oreholes,destabilized earthconventionality.
FIRST STAGE CRUSHING is generally by JAW, GYRATORY or CONE CRUSHERS, depending upon
the tensional strength of the rock. Crushing capacity can be predicted from testing data from
that all rock types that will be fed through the concentrator are tested. Many new beneficiation
plants have found themselves to be short of crushing and grinding capacity because they tested
an average grade ore and paid little attention to the rock type, or failed to recognize a siliceous cap
that dominated production for the first several years.” we have abided with these schemes and
the way now shall be builded following the 1974 plans and this is yet the best for us all,all is always
alright everywhere at all time and at all costs,all is true,safe and prosperous,beneficial for earth
and obscurest of plants. with this we can comply finally,the tenfoldening of the traffic so,that some
days ago in the “botlek” i said to the driver,it looks like sao paulo and mexico city and that,was such
marvellous feeling,of globality,mafia,pantzercars and panterwhores,fences and canaille,so sweet

lou rivera motel
this is the motel where we take new responsibilities and,looking into the bering,see,
that these depths and that furor also are present in us yet have the same indiscernability
the same profundity but with a kind of soothing valuelessness,just its’ being there,very
bering,menacing and changing with the minute,to which anchor what certainty would
arise,in the fuming broiling mass of froth and lost ponds,undersea rivers and pipeworms,
galaxies of protuberance and cystic cyclicity,pain and the pain overwhelmingly awashed
with the acrid salinity,in this motel in dutch harbor. all meteorologic conditions are gruelling,
job perspectives gruelling,social mobility interesting. there is the great absence of alaska,
being so desparately empty,as it is called placated with words the inuit and alaskans hate,
it is what it is,this big realm of naturality,and even not that,all attribuations fall short,better
to ditch up some found poems under the lychencovered grounds and just above the perma
frostlayer. cold poems of blubberfood and windshiftings,short seasons save the eternal
borealis winter. temperatures like vectors on a grid between which maze we can climb
hollow and sparse trees,from within,higher,higher,as the conditions strangify by the minute.
squirrels have squatted here. in the h/m/otel of m/h/ysteria we learn that there are the empty rooms
for anti-aliasing or birefrigerence,but also restylane ®,botox ®,tupperware ® and agent
provocateur ® and princesse tamtam ® parties,that there are rooms for gazing at the wall,
experiencing some outerbody fluidisizing,floating,in the void in the void of alaska unalaska.
actually it only seems that there are nothing but empty rooms in the lou rivera motel. couple
of researchers always,the lost pilot,a cameramember of “the deadliest catch”. absence of
mentors elemental in the distracted,disheveled yet also strangely comforting,nondemanding
athmosphere in the hotel. it became an acenter of sorts for full body and contact and mental
floating and putteth unalaska on the map for the seoul? 2014 olympics. nothing to loose here
bc all was already lost. alaskan nature so oversatiating nothing keeps left for fancy desires but
surviving and sashaying in your anoraks. and it is so filling that there simply is no room for antics
other than zonous floating exploring lightblottage the thinness of stranded hairs entangled
just so on the silken midaregami reminescing cushioned silkcovered black bedaccoutrement.
a blackness gleaning with the moiré pattern not to anti-aliasize feature of simply,beauty like
the surfacetension on the glass water reflecting minute flutterings of light due to small coils
of wind. this is the matter-antimatter of visionary floating. we see the “worldness” of the world,
we’re “becoming world”(deleuze-guattari). so we reached in this motel the echelon trance,
as the physical household with all kind of alcoves,niches,the empty rooms,sexy waittresses,
sexy bellboys,all to learn to still the desires of linwood and aad and jack and carolyn and tara,
y’know? but also the meticulously inlaid tables with ebony,mahogeny,rosewood,pearwood
and eucalyptus flagplates of inlaid mosaics,with that fine rough texture,where you can easily
put your lass of peachjuice and peacetea and hardcore liquor at and it doesn’t shift. the greenly
gilded kitch boots with ink neonite light,to replenish the eighties with bandanas,yoga de luxe
and loveboat reruns,that harsh acrid blue colour splashed around in this motel with vibes of
calneva lodge”. and thère we would learn floating? we’re already doing it,searching for tiny
meaninglenettes and sense in a world that is just cascading and loaded with cyclicity in an
amplitudinous race timeless,while the gravity of the iron basalt granite planet draws us back
into shape,until we fall apart in quite arresting funiculary shapes of skeletons and skulls pearly

an interval of draught through the house. weather as ominous as yesterday,
heat builded up in certain domestic areas and,after dinner,inside the inner temple
as well,a hot head,a hot belly,cayenne pepper abundance. the draught brings
world” in,in whichever not a priori humane fields of energy. the windows bring
the world in,as well as keeping it out. the world seeps in in the house as the mould
already had annexed quite some stretches. a resolute contrameasurement is to
mix chlorine into your latex where it otherwise had been water. first you hoover
your walls ad absurdum,that is,the affected spots. then you slap with loose hands
and the brush the chlorified not glorified latex onto the rims,walls,stretches,dotted
areas. if your mood either or your condition is weak a lot of drip is gonna fall indoors
and it aint transparent. you had me slapping inthe weakest ways possible just to
arrest and halt the mould. now we have a tokyoite avantgarde architectural house
with dots white on white. i am weak. the mould now becomes satiated with chlorine
and in the background a bossanova. it is inside as well as outside. in my world brazil
is always near as is sicily. there are no borders,just the oceans and the continents.
both teaming with life and chemification,also due to the high usage of chlorine and
ammonia and lead and acrylate debris. i had to let it go to come through the day.
the trend of tropicalismú furthers. FFWD. the brazilianization is inevitable,combining
modern complexity with tropical laisser passez,out of a deep knowledge that spots
are there,if we are there. sleep,slap and swallow all pride,it is just going fast forward

Lorraine Mariner

Austerity measures

We tightened our belts
but still our trousers
dragged on the pavement
tripping us up.

140 characters

your brain may dribble out of your ear and this town is full of tightly dressed women with Twitter accounts so do not get drunk without me


So I tried to shut that factory down. Laid off
all those operatives who’d been working in my head
non-stop constructing your good name.
Explained that times were hard and my heart
was even harder. Disassembly wasn’t as easy
as I’d imagined. They formed a union,
turned up as usual the next day, said they’d accept
a three day week, half-pay. Insisted this
was the best job they’d ever had


You came back to me today
after 30 years when from
his swivel chair my colleague
offered peanuts still in their shells
to me in my swivel chair.

Suddenly I was back
with my top school infant class
standing in front of your cage
to watch you squatting
on your branch, chewing your food,
which you then decided to spit at us.

You hit our teacher
who found you hilarious.
You also hit me and that evening
my mother spent what seemed
like an hour combing
congealed nut out of my hair.

Was that your party piece
or some animal kingdom
warning lost on us?

Belligerent monkey,
my colleague has got peanut husks
all over the carpet around his desk
and tomorrow morning
before we arrive, somebody
from another country
will hoover them up.

Toll booth attendant

It might look
like the worst job
on earth
sitting in a booth
on a motorway
collecting money
so a car
can go over
a bridge

but the snatches
of music
you would hear
as the windows
roll down
and back up –

driving song,
a sonata,
a hit played
on Radio 2
caught in

or suddenly
you have never
heard before
so beautiful
that your soul
begins to lift

then it’s gone
foot down
crossing the river.

Roy Sutirtha

Van den Budenmayer

Of Course I didn’t meet the man near
Marble Arch at Hyde Park on an idle
Sunday afternoon, precisely at four p.m.
Nor did he shake my hand or, lift the
dark felt hat, before he could take a
bow and scrape. But I always knew that
He was the one - the invisible maestro,
the Dutch who loved waltz, red tulips,
merlot fragrance, sometimes fresh
Polish scones,certainly life above all.
And only
He could capture the immense beauty
of time and space silently flowing like rain
beyond the grey-scale, - perceptively limned
ever by him – the eternal Van den Budenmayer.

M J Foster

Beyond thrilling, entire spaces
Of imagination captured, scents
Of paper, sweat and ink sear the nostrils
Keeping memories and anticipation alive
Sensual and electrifying as new love
Hopes and dreams and the intimacy
Of another being’s thoughts, their grainy
Perfume consumes and we, the reader, submit.

Proud fingers now fasten
and smooth
the golden strands
a wave
of stale perfume and age
the neck stretches
just a little longer
the head lifts
the eyes
whirlpool grey
clear and confident
an illusion of grandeur
Cocktails and cotillions
a sense of belonging

When I pretended I knew you
You were the Sun

and I was blind

The Ice Wharf
Near full moon
the blank sky
snatches lengths
of the creaking cracking oak
delicate but
to the fearful foot

not diamonds but

Alicia Winski

City Driving

Driving in the city--
a precarious past time these days

With so many highways to choose,
I always seem to lose my sense of direction on roads
of such complexion I find it difficult to turn around
and recover my original point of destination

Despite high tech maps and my fully charged GPS,
I find myself frequently traveling down a one-way street
so charming, so inviting with a nuance so enticing,
one would never know it was littered with dangerous
road hazards and

with so little fuel in my reserve, it's far too precious to expend
on a street with a dead-end leaving me befuddled; bemused
as to why I always choose
the wrong road

A Winter State of Mind

gray cracked concrete saturated under icy torrents drenching early morning risers in cold anonymity; sunny outlooks washed away as litter down dank street gutters, released into city drains hoarding dark secrets

hearts fall hard in the rain,
when exposed to

optimisms defeated, victories of the angry mother heralded by harbor horns in sing-a-long with a herd of sea lions barking in protest against buoyant steel intruders polluting a rapidly diminishing habitat

hearts fall hard
when torn asunder,

assaulted by realities depicted in the form of digital lives, victims of a sea gone mad in a killing spree incited by eruptions of anger and thunder unleashed by a shaky, outraged ground under once complacent feet

never to know complacency again

hearts fall hard
when shattered,

a safe haven in rebellion against catastrophic indignities inflicted upon it by kami-kaze engineers annihilating the purity of our garden, damning early summer blossoms and gently aging falls to a silent season

hearts fall hard under
the weight of silence

leaving me shell-shocked, apathy jarred, a single spring
larva cocooned behind secured doors and haunting music, combing through bright memories stored away to relieve the sorrow of a rainy day, safely confined where

hearts fall broken, lost --
to a winter state of mind

apr 1/apr 2 2011 (written after the Japanese tsunami)

~The Wednesday Night Special~

No, a slow, lengthy demise does not inspire pride
for Death is not proud

It's hold is long and strong
with a grip on your throat
allowing just enough air to breath
with just enough suffocation
to give you the delectable little
taste of nothingness you long for
in the dark when you know
you can't take any more

The question is,
what would you prefer, Monsieur?

Suffocation, with a hint of life seasoning
or the soup du' jour;
a carefully concocted creation
offering sweet release, pain-free salvation
while bypassing a god
in whom so few believe--

It's your choice; ask—
and ye shall receive

Wednesday Blue Plate Special

Pentobarbitol --- $275
Morphine --- $100
Xanax --- $50
Amobarbital --- $47
Valium --- $30
Nembutal --- $30
Secondal --- $25

La Petite Mort

… why, why, why did you need him?
where was I? just how close to you is he?** (from Kandi by One Eskimo)

you, you were far, far away and he--
he was close, oh, so close and he--
he looks in my eyes and he--
he calls me baby and he--
he makes me want to drop where I stand
and he takes me and he breaks me

all night long

he burns me from the inside out and he
rips the flesh from my bones with his teeth
and he gets me sticky and sweet, licking me
clean as he calls me

baby, baby, baby
all night long

he sings his whiskey warm song in my ear,
it’s good, oh so good and he--
he smolders when he looks at me and he
pours his dirty little secrets into my mouth
drowning me in a flood to my senses as he
overwhelms me with his

baby, baby, baby
all night long and he—

he says all I’ve been afraid to hear and he--
he turns me to liquid, sipping from this deep,
deep well until it implodes, touching me in places
you can’t reach and I die a little death with him
all night long

baby, baby, baby
all night long
all night long
all night long

It's a cold earth you roam, lost in yourself,
lost to humanity, lost to love--
your steps ponderous, immune to the scalding ground
quivering beneath scornful feet, immune to the fires
you vanquish with a frigid glance

Have you not witnessed the fury of an erupting volcano?
Have you never been singed by the heat of lava flowing
through dry fissures in its race to meet the sea?


Opposing elements in a violent clashing, creating
between them a stealthy mist, an insidious vapor
slipping in and out of one's thoughts, melding
in that volatile place where

Moisture begets moisture, where

all water flows
in the same direction

Singular slow trickles deceptively mild, conjoined,
high velocity currents sweeping lone, abandoned hulls
into roiling seas, flooding the void between them,
saturating, expanding dry tinder rocked wildly
beneath the weight of healing waters
leaving a finite voyage softly concluded

Exhausted vagabond vessels washed up onto gritty terrain
surfeited, becalmed, left simmering under a sunburst glare

all water flows
in the same direction, while steam

rises …


Andrew Darlington
Euroshima Mon Amour. Hilltop Press. 2001
I Was Elvis Presley’s Bastard Love-Child. Critical Vision, 2002
MJ Foster
Inclement Poetry For The Modern Soul (Ed.) 2000-
Aad de Gids
Wednesday Kennedy
Cultural Refugee (performance) 2000
Last Night In New York (multimedia show) 2001-2003
The Myspace Diaries. Oko-Jumu Press, 2009
The Myspace Diaries. Oko-Jumu Press, 2011
21st Century Showgirl. Oko-Jumu Press, 2012
Rupert M Loydell
Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh (Ed.). Salt Publishing, 2009
From Hepworth's Garden Out (Ed.). Shearsman Books, 2010
A Music Box of Snakes (with Peter Gillies). Knives, Forks & Spoons Press, 2010
Smartarse (Ed.) Knives Forks & Spoons Press, 2011
Wildlife. Shearsman Books, 2011
Lorraine Mariner
Bye For Now. Rialto Bridge Pamphlets No. 1, 2006
Furniture. Picador, 2009
Fiona Pitt Kethley
Selected Poems, Salt Publishing, 2008
Alicia Winski
Running On Fumes. Create Space, 2009
In The Company of Women (Ed. with Apryl Skies). Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House, 2012
Naughty Girls Dream in Colour. Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House, 2012
Michael Woods
Paris And The Surrealists (with George Melly). Thames & Hudson, 1990
Puff Ball (directed by Nicolas Roeg). Dan Films/Yumi Media. 2007
Marie Zorn

Illustrations by Michael Woods
Untitled [front cover]
Arena of Hearts [detail] Place Pigalle, Paris, collage assemblage with Inesa-Barrington de la Roche
Sonia Braga, montage-collage for Nicolas Roeg’s film Two Deaths, 1995
Place Pigalle, Paris, in-camera montage
Arena of Hearts (Psyche ’63) [detail] collage assemblage
Pilar Reflecting on Herself, Carlton Arms Hotel, New York City, photo and photo-collage
Passage des Princes [Interior], Paris, 1987
Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, 1993
Passage des Princes [Exterior], Paris, 1987

Neon Highway Poetry Magazine is edited by Jane Marsh and Alice Lenkiewicz. Neon Highway was set up in 2002 as a non profit making little poetry/arts magazine

Neon Highway
                (ISSN: 1476-9867)

Literary journal

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 made out to Alice Lenkiewicz at 37, Grinshill Close, Liverpool, L8 8LD


We prefer to receive work by snail-mail. Sometimes email is useful if your work format is 'experimental' or you have images and of course if you are abroad. For these reasons, email submissions will be accepted. On a general level, email submissions will only be read if we have time to, as we prefer to receive your works in the post. Please do not forget to enclose a sae for returns and replies and to write your name and address on all poems.

Alice Lenkiewicz

37, Grinshill Close, Liverpool, UK, L8 8LD