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Poetry / Prose
138 x 216mm
£8.99+ P&P UK
PUB: 07 / 09 / 2018
Ever since Roland Barthes said that steak and chips mythologised Frenchness and that cars were the new Gothic cathedrals, the concept of myth has been peculiarly open to interpretation. The writers collected in this anthology give us timeless mythological topics like birth, death and relationships, animal-human shape-shifting, landscape and the seasons – but they do so in conjunction with very modern environments like festivals, the office and the cinema. By turns comic, tragic, celebratory or satirical, the stories and poems involve old favourites like Medusa and Persephone, and take us from the Vikings to China, via DC Comics and the Tír na NÓgh.
This is the fifth in the series of anthologies under the Wordspace imprint with Indigo Dreams, and contributors are all involved with Leeds Trinity University in some way – students, staff, alumni, visitors to the Writers’ Festival and performers at our Wordspace Open Mic. In keeping with tradition, it is edited by two MA students and members of the English Department.
a Space for Words
Alexa Marie Russell,
Kate Kennedy, Amina Alyal
Penélope welcomes the disguised hero – Alicia Fernández
She weaves a burial shroud slowly
on the set of Volver, in between takes,
secluded in her dressing room.
She is positive this film will win her the Oscar.
It will be worth the wait.
Penélope flicks the dog-eared corners
of time, slams the door on the lust-red
face of suitor #108. When night falls,
her faithful hands untangle her progress.
She undoes herself with each passing day.
Far from Don Quixote’s land, in Texas,
her lover hobnobs with the Coen brothers
during the filming of No Country for Old Men.
It has been too long now since he left,
and the tabloids are full of pictures of him
with a tall blonde Hollywood star.
She is woken by a knock one cold dusk,
opens up to an unrecognisable face
and hands she knows well reach out for hers.
The man’s fingers stroke her blisters, every cut.
In rags he comes to beg, but it’s too late for love.
Que te jodan, Javier – ‘You can fuck right off.’
Midas Touch – Leah Barron
How, where, and whenever death closes our eyelids …
Her hand takes mine,
cold and clammy, skin and bone
fused together by bruises and
gold. Her hand glitters
in the dull light of the Afterlife.
Her molten fingers, hot and cold, drip
over my forehead, my eyes, my lips,
my body welding shut with liquid gold.
Death closed my eyelids and took my hand,
my soul following her without a thought.
Her touch was ice,
numb hands leading numbing hands
away from the dull, dull light.
The Bull’s Shadow – Joanne Clement
Soon no hands held me but rope did.
Tethered to the bull, our hulls
converged, one resisting the other.
He didn’t hold me as much as I held him.
Slapped in the round, I clung
to his flank, to fight the slipping lariat.
Where he carried me, this bronco,
this barrel of meat, where he kicked
his shanks and shook, I cannot tell.
To be under him was his punishment
as much as mine, running to the headache
of bells, their bawling huzzahs.
Bull, you shouldered my weight away,
bowing as you cleft this body
from the hook of your horn. Beast
but not beastly, you looked so wild eyed
and earnest as you stamped me,
thunderous and gently into the dirt.
Legend – Joe Williams
It happened up by Hackwood Lane,
before the new estate was built.
It nearly made the national news.
That’s how the legend goes.
A still-repeated story shared
in taproom tattle over town,
though no-one seems to quite recall
the when, the why, the who.
The once accused denies his guilt,
and names another suspect, who,
it must be said, had form and fame,
and still his legend grows.
From testament by nameless friends,
recalled through twenty years or more,
in every pub you’ll find the soak
that swears the tales are true.
I knew him, yes. If forced to guess,
I’d picture him in jail, or dead.
He went to fight in Chechnya,
or so the legend goes
Medea – Kathleen Strafford
Jason I can smell your thoughts.
Did you forget I made the rivers
run backwards for you?
You loved me
because of the steel
glint in my eye.
Now face down wind
of your children’s bodies
rotting in the corner.
Let the whole house compose
in the key of black.
This tune will fester
in your bride’s poison dress
and empty loins
reeking of vinegar and piss
while my sweat
smirk at your balls swinging and colliding
as I lie with Aegeus
as a bloated warrior.