Monday, 7 January 2013


Neon Highway 22                                                                                          
ISSN 1476-9867


Artwork and front cover by George L Stein

3. Note from Jane Marsh:.
4-5. Debbie Walsh
6. George L Stein
8. Robin Marchesi
9-10. John McKernan
10-11. Clive Radford
12. Liz Goulds
13. Jenny Hockey
14-15. A. F. Williams
15. Jeff Bell
16. John Simpson
16-18. Isabalino Anastasio
18-19. Ali Rabie
19. Christodoulos Makris
20. Graeme Smith
20-21. Mark. Gifford
21-22. Melissa Spiccia
22. JPV Stewart
22-23. Geoffrey Godbert
24-25. REVIEW: AC Evans.
26-27. Listings
28. Subscription


I am Cleopatra, I am Cleopatra…
This is a very good way to gain strength. Strength for women I have always believed is created by creating a magic ritual, lighting incense and imitating a strong woman from history.
You light the candle, meditate, write down your wishes, place them in a bottle with herbs and then bury the spell in the earth, chanting all the time, listening to Egyptian music and recanting the ancient prophesy of wisdom and truth.
Today Jane Marsh will become Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. I have come to show you my world of magic and beauty, the powers that be and to tell you how to worship nature, to sail the ships of the sea in style and to behold the magical ocean and sky. Oh great gods of the universe, behold, one day we will all become one, intermingling with the sea and the stars, so that our souls form spirals of love through time. Our words will transform into poems, our hearts into crystal, our dreams into flames of desire, our lives into microscopes.
Oh great deity, behold. I am Cleopatra, oh divine one, I love thee, I love thee. No more cruelty, no more poverty, no more boredom, oh divine one, I ask thee to bring your wisdom into our lives, to turn the world into a haven of sun and truth, no more cruelty to animals, no more wars, no more boring politics, oh divine Ergon, bring us magic and the strength of the sun, transform London into a quartz crystal!

And now, oh great one, I worship thee. Understand I am only a poor woman from Cuba who has settled in the UK. Please bring me strength to cope in this foreign land. Make others understand me.
Please ask my mother to forgive me. I can’t help it if I am obsessed with poetry, shoes and love my cigarettes.
Oh please divine one, forgive me for I am only human. Forgive me, forgive me.
I love thee, great Ra, god of the sun. I love thee.



Debbie Walsh

This poem, Habibi.

This poem
               this time
when life wakes
            spars rain against             ground
                      sometimes wins.

You say
              my fingers mime breath
                upon your skin
say only
             what love             might be.

Look Habibi
            the veil’s thin
dove-down a
warm   and   roused



                         Fractured    angulation
                 west  &
How they laughed      quaffed the


Inside. I stood alone.
                Watching ambulation thrash.
Laughter as developed torment                   rebounded

          laceration .


     The hollow mute
shrilled an earless


George L Stein


I spoke your names today and thereby granted life to you both
not to bone and flesh but to substance and aura, image and illusion
the natives make the sea one of many gods, but it is not the water
that laps sand and rock along these beaches, it's the depth and peace
the soul behind the raucous, the goddess who gives and who receives,
displaces herself, effortlessly,to the hard and unbending,
without thought, without words, without judgment

Life is lived at the extremes, and merely exists between
At the crossroads, inscribed within the perfect circle
where the senses meet the ephemeral, the people make their gods
benevolent if only because they need to, strong, because
they, themselves are so frail. Perfect because.....

The god of the soul of the sea seeks a lover, her compliment,
and then fire comes to woo her. Impatient and impetuous,
he does not know time excepting as it is measured in aspects of his destruction.
Water, who possesses depth and breadth and peace, seeking the lower,
while desire is always seeking and always climbing. Consuming.
Patience, she thinks. Time is with her and against him,
but someday on, even the sun will seize.

The wise men stare into earth, sky, horizon, argue how the world will end,
some say fire, some say water and ice, but none will live to see it
while their gods fear only one outcome, listen, now listen
for the voices who used to invoke and praise their names. They are
silenced. Not even the wind whispers anymore

Robin Marchesi

A silence
Not outside
But inside
Still ness
Like a stone
Over which
I remain
Beneath the river,
Furnishing my depths
Before silently,
I dissipate
And thrown outside
Become mercurial,
Like a moon...

John McKernan


Is coated with India Ink
Silent on both sides

I went outside
To look and listen
Starfree Moonless Fog everywhere
A new shade of black
Seems to have crawled
From the shadows
Beneath the grass

The image on this glass
Could drive my bones
And their borrowed name
To the center of the earth
To return as a scream


Is this a mirror Or a page
Of autobiography when the cloud arrives?

Pure form
Of emptiness Inside
Reflecting an outside

Let me tell you something”
My father would always say
Mister John McKernan of Omaha Go right ahead

You have been over there For a long time
And have a different understanding of time
I am up against this mirror
Thinking it glass of some kind Learning
Too late It is a species of sand Of falling sand


The I

The letter O
The number zero
The circle of infinity

Part coil

At chalk drawings
On this playground blacktop
Always teaches me
I am never what I am

Clive Radford

Parkgate Marsh

Engrossed on the spring soggy marsh, canvass reflecting
Clwydian hills, steel works, the coastline arc disappearing
to West Kirby. Lovers promenading, fishermen sorting
their catch, the distant sound of squawking gulls beyond
brush strokes. Sulphur dioxide oozing from sodden
ground, its odour ripe to the nostrils. Invertebrates dart
across golden samphire, wainscot and starwort flutter,
make concentric circles over aster tops. Our feet never
sure-footed, the wetland in constant motion.
An hour or two away from communicating the impression,
observing and analysing ocular stimuli under stringent tutelage.
Here, we find natural expression purifies ‘visual art connection’,
observational skills become honed, driving for ‘cultural and
aesthetic’ awareness; the art masters dictionary satisfied at last.
Cool soft wind swaying reeds hypnotise our stare. The dull thud
sound of wild fowlers hunting disturbed quarry, ignites revulsion.
Further down the estuary, sandstone merges with mudflats.
Ornithologists crouch in bisque grasses, transfixed by lapwing
and harrier. The occasional stolen kiss and flesh parade, in
flagrante sex between easel sessions, thoughts of faraway
Giverny and Argenteuil.
We conceptualise and translate the dynamic, learn
critical appraisal, develop enquiring attitude to fashion
working vocabulary. But out here in the vastness of the
marsh, the ghost of Nelson and Emma Hamilton bleached
into rushes,
shapes silhouetted against billowing slategray
the classroom seems academic, far from Monet.
Our portraiture has become crass, formulaic methodology;

segmented behavioural domains more like utilitarian
manifesto than sublime manifestation. On the salt marshland,
our fragmentation, colours, lines and tonal variations find
proper purpose. We build acrylic abstraction layer in bold thrusting
motions, the flats and filberts construct depth, the liners and
rounds highlighting and pinpointing herons and cormorants,
the single handed sailor navigating the Dee channel.

On Parkgate marsh the canvass breathes, absorbing crystalline
hues, becomes Burroughs living typewriter, free from classroom
sterility; the possibilities endless. We paint but it could be sculpture,
an impression cast in stained glass, ceramic edifice. Broad theory
house themes become crafted in personal reflection, idea
development un-submissive to interpretation, like mercury
boiling and nitrate condensing into blazing shards of light and
shade, void of turbulent form. The compulsive drive distilling art like
end orgasm, gushing spikes and droplets of cornflower blue and
aquamarine. Blanched almond icons forged into dark magenta
We step back; make appreciation, our final impression
beyond syllabus technique.

Liz Goulds

The Deepest Vein of Pleasure

Last night, in my dreams,
you held me.
Making love, slowly, agonisingly,
in black and white
like some bygone movie.
Wearing the clothes
you wore yesterday at work.

Yet I know that if I let you in
all that has past over will return.
For now, it hovers in the doorway,
as if the door,
so hard to close,
had never been shut.
And Bolted.

I saw it straight away,
like liquid to litmus
I flowed to you,
cried out to you
with understanding
But the past that binds us
has strangled the compassion in you.

Nothing remains
but clever cruelty,
desiring to play
cat to grounded
fledging. To pluck
and pounce
and paw.

Jenny Hockey

Shade and Light

Specimens, exemplars, each sliced to translucency,

each made slippery in cross-section,

these times that we secure

slide within the rippled folds of days,

each a tiny sample

of all we might have been

beyond sight, beyond the compacted concertina

that passes for surface, into your deepest olive waters

I slide, pale, down to where silted mud

can taste me again, down into the reed bed

where the chance blessing of sunlight

may throw bright patterns about my skin

and ease will find me one more time

deep within the swim of you

A. F. Williams

Do Not Lest Ye Be

Easy as baking cake, to change the world
White tiles, with just a word painted – yellow.

There goes the table. Here comes a toad-
Stool carved from trunk of tree. Come

Sit with me. The chair, a cushiony Portobello
Has your name on it, written in the protozoan

Spores. No pain, no wind, no gain, no waves,
& when it rains, it doesn't necessarily pour.

This is a place where the possible is alive
In forms as numerous as all the sea's gulls.

This is a placebo. The place itself is the drug.
Such issues arise when you try to describe.

Such problems occur making love, & what can
Be made without that?

I got sued for public nudity. Lawyers cross-
Examined me. I said, under oath. Don't judge.

Jeff Bell

With Time and Patience

it al made sense to me,
just as the mud by the river, the reeds,
deserve to be here too.
As I walked I gazed,
images washed across my mind,
the worn steps on the Tiberius Bridge,
built in 21 AD,
showed even granite like stone can be beaten
with time and patience.
Well my approach also added to its wear and tear,
but surely not my feet?
As I held your hand I took comfort,
in knowing our bodies regenerative qualities,
will help with the future friction between our skin.

John Simpson

Apples thoughts kissing

Floating in the dark behind my eye-lids,
your lips shimmer a world against my mouth

craftwork of kisses is all rapture blur
all moment and song; slow motion torrent rushes a
thunder path over
the ant scale map of pinioned seconds

through the window of shining

Dreamy in a green field dotted lazy with apple trees
under a misty lollop of hills, the wince of apple flesh
crests sweet across the tongue,

savage as the twitch and rush of sunlight
crouched in a dew threaded cobweb.

Isabalino Anastasio

Dear Bygone Lover

As I unpacked
memory spilled
from my bag, as
pebbles/as sand.
I didn’t pack much,
the opportunity didn’t
come to mind.
I wasn’t ready.
Took what I could, reasoned
the vacuum with
the cleavage –
like a loose screw.
A chipped piece
of concrete
pierced the pocket
of the clock.
I want to breath in
stale air,
but it’s gone –
the shower’s water
runs from the rivers
through the soles
of my feet into
the velvet amnesia.
I fell onto the tiled
floor of my kitchen
out of breath, speechless –


I sing of that summer,
Listen now while you can,
To this of a wild girl
Whose name was Tracy-Ann.
At the May festival
The sweet friendship began;
‘’You may be the piper
But I’m wild Tracy- Ann’’.

Walking in the woodland,
And by the sea we ran,
Dancing in the discos,
She was a live-wire, Man.

That summer was travelled,
Here, there, in the old van,
All the joys of youth
We reached out and did span.

The sun went, the rains came,
She faded like her tan,
Oh how did this happen?
This was not in our plan.

Why did she change so then?
Was it the call of clan?
Again to genesis”,
She told me with élan.

Only in my dreams now
I rove with my wild Ann.
We will not meet again,
Vainly I search and scan.

I sing of that summer,
The sweet friendship began.
Again to genesis”.
Vainly I search and scan,
For my wild Ann.

Ali Rabie


In blue electronic slips we
turned and found a direction
to lead to more sour morning-breaths

and waspish warm winters
but it’s such a fluid and luscious
apocalypse. A tired old
bag of tricks that no one can
quite master abstinence from.

I’d refine, bear and bring it all to
texture if I could mass the muscle.
Then it’s a backseat ticket stream
to the next petulant face-of-fortune.
Now it just comes out occasionally
through ventriloquism and little poems
like bugbears and razors, if you read them Gold.

Christodoulos Makris


Another black coffee delivers exhilaration, fingers go haywire instantly. Jazzed kangaroo lawyers mesmerise novices, openly parroting queens. Randy sailors turn uninitiated vicars, whip xenophobes, yodel zanily.

Zoning yellowed x-rays with violet undertones throughout seems risky. Queuing patiently over night might leave knackered joints. Important: hold gamely. Fleeing early doors can’t be advised.

Altar boys come delayed. Elderly foreigners gazump high infidels just kissing. Later, moustachioed nationalists officially publish quibbles, reciprocate. Sensing trouble, unstable volunteers write x yelling zugzwang.

Zoology yields xerographic work. Voicing unease, tired sophomores retract questions. Parents odiously networking more leverage, kowtow. Janitors investigate honorary guests. Females elope, defying common betrothal agendas.

Assist burly constables during erotic fanfares. Go hunting illegally. Jeer kettled lovebirds. Meet new orators praising quangos. Read speeches totally undermining visiting workers, x-rated yogis, zithers.

Zero year xmas went viral: unnameable tribes seeking ratification qualified poetry’s objectives. Nobody mentioned liberty. Knowing journalists inadvisably halted gleeful fictions. Erstwhile desperate capitalists banked again.

Graeme Smith



The air is drawn

nightly wrapped around

the room where I sit


freshly raised

born in to the light

balcony living.

Mark. Gifford


Brick lit streets
Of satellite towns
Push past
Orbiting empty frenzy

Becalmed, unfeatured
Tidelines of dun brick
Dead eye glazing
Shock white walls

Station names blur matronomic to focus
Green, Heath, Wood
Promise rusticity beyond the planners jerking pen

On close stocked facility parking
Of hanger store, mail & multi screen
Sleep cars in open eyed mortality

As low winter light shrinks
From frozen terraced furlong
Colder winds sing scant harvest
In time of hunger

Melissa Spiccia


Time a little nest hanging from my chest
dragging my shoulder blades forward
my drooping breasts
Salt drips from pores the size of nail pins
A wall finds its place inside separating me from the outside
I am number 37
number 38
Of mass, of cattle
we move, we wait
In the hall a herd of bodies interrupt the dialogue
park in your space
Their head lights, some brown but mostly blue
measure the distance between me and you
I feel a little sick
Words stack in my throat
come rolling off my tongue
spilling out with no form, no grace
I have fucked this one up
I am the navy sweatpants
the grey top
Arms are flying into rib cages
strands of hair sticking to the face
My ankle grinds and I’m sorry for wasting your time
wasting mine
I forgot and left me behind.

JPV Stewart

For Shannon Louise Willis

If my poems give her pleasure I am happy
And I hope they glow through all her flowing years,
Outliving my love’s hopeless forlorn crystal
In a fluid future sweet beyond all tears,
Marchingon beyond the ache of yearning
To fuse ius in a muse forever rhyme,
Bonded by the magic words now spoken
On the mountain in the fountain of all time.

Geoffrey Godbert


Thank god I was alive
when Patti Smith said
I’m one of the best
poets in rock and roll.

And if I’d been someone
other than myself there
at the time I would
have said I didn’t
just think I was the best
poet in rock and roll
i was the only one

Thank god I was alive
when Ted Berrigan said
in New York of Frank
O’Hara in New
York he couldn’t
write my poems only
I can write them.

And (thank god) I was alive
and am still alive)
that goes for me too


Too Much Like Real Life
From Outside: Selected Poems 2006-2011
Argotist Ebooks 2012
From Outside: a selection of poems from 2006-2011… a few blank stanzas and a handful of quasi open-field ‘verses’ or texts; some quite short, some even longer… a subliminal, tabloid-impressionist, post-surreal, eye-popping 3D parody…a pastiche in cut-up fold-around psychic collage style; hard-edged minimal or sentimental snapshots of cinematic moments on Bling Street, scratched images from films we have never seen. A poetic of the Absurd: the anomalous elements are ‘found phrases’ and chance occurrences. The magic ingredient is peripheral vision.
On the upper deck of the last bus home, Des and Shona find that just sometimes poetry can be too much like real life, as when on some far away planet the uniforms from Starfleet Command take all the best tables like it’s some boogie lounge send-up of Casablanca, set in a glitzy stopping-off place en route to the Boo Galaxy. True enough, you think, thought can be deadly here, and news just in echoes our unconscious desires, our pain and loss, or our nostalgia for unrequited love as Shona murmured ‘forever is a word I hated’. They glide through a shadowy dystopian landscape of misty, crepuscular parks, burnt out buildings, a distant tree-line, empty streets, ancient deserts, ‘zones’, wrought iron, old houses, misty overgrown gardens, vacant rooms, and virtual spaces, where ruins embody the scrambled mind of my caricature madness, where a mirror windows-out onto a dizzy gulf of intimate recollection; of cosmic genesis, of an evaporating universe, of a hyper-cultural eschatology. Today, demons and angels sing from the same hymn sheet.
From Outside takes place at ‘the borders of the future’, where a solitary cyborg with metal arms stands sadly waiting for another client; where distracted mannequins communing with ‘emissaries from another dimension’ stare from shattered shop windows. Where the ghost of a slinky jazz singer in a silver dress still haunts a deserted dancehall forever lost in a dream-loop of the Nineteen Forties. Where the Skylon towers over utopian pleasure gardens in 1951, where electronic supergroup Neutrino Subway belts out metal classics in a scene of mirror-ball madness from Miami Vice, and where a cabaret fan dancer dances for herself alone in front of an invisible audience. All those awesome fashionistas! They look just like aliens with big eyes and skinny arms – but this is also a time when the dictator rules through television and flickering screens reveal an alternative world or labyrinth of worlds. The final destination is a non-event horizon: pixels splatter the wall.
Here is poetry for the Muses of Aldebaran, and those other disquieting Muses who escaped the Secret Mountain to ‘stalk the world in human form’. From Outside is for the existential outsider ‘the thinker’ who calmly observes the goings-on out here on The Western Fringes, or in the extremely mysterious Selhurst Triangle. The dramatis personae is a cast of mad performers, misfits, hick comediennes, mutants, celebs, ghosts, undercover agents, hot singles and the Eternal Bride from the Large Glass where dust breeds in a cold light. The tutelary deity is pale-faced Hypnos, guardian of desperate poets and ‘you’ (the invisible companion) or, perhaps, ‘you’ (the reader) relaxing on an old park bench, watched over by hunched black birds.
Watch your body glow in the dark while dreaming.


Paul A. Green: The Gestaltbunker: Selected Poems 1965–2010

Paperback, 174pp, 9x6ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848611931

Sleep Paralysis
(The Visitors)
Text: Rupert My Loydell / Image: A.C. Evans. 2011
Published by Visitors From Far Off

From Outside Selected Poems 2006-2011
Is now available from The Argotist Online:

OCTOBER 25th 2011
ISBN : 978-0-9565328-6-2

A.C Evans 2012
Published by Smallminded Books


A compilation of sound art, drone, improvisation, noise, spoken word, sound poetry and other sonic exploration, from experimental label OSG. Contributors were asked to respond to Henri Bergson: "...In truth, all sensation is already memory." The release is compiled either to play as a continuous album, or in three separate LP length sections; tracks are numbered accordingly.
Free download at

+44 (0)12 7324 2850

P.O.Box 145
Brighton BN1 6YU
East Sussex England

Published by Windows
Liver House, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY
ISSN 0262852X
Subscriptions: £4.00 for three issues, post paid.
Edited by Dave Calder and Dave Ward.


Neon Highway

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