Wednesday, 1 April 2020

It's a Graveyard of Walls by John Tustin

it’s a graveyard of walls
it’s an impassable fence of bottles and cans
I cry for the insects
I murder the infants
with the same eyes

I drown in these tears
I swim in these tears
as the world turns
in the wrong direction
like it always has

like the spider in the toilet
struggling against the swirl
of the inevitable

sitting by a loveless window
the drawings of my children like tattoos
on my eyelids
and the wind caresses like the luckless lover

it’s a graveyard of walls
of ears of memories
of souls overdosed on the world
and what it is

my eyes blur as the night folds up
and I face the cold impossible of the bed
that dissipates from Friday night
to the dawn

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

It's Every Man for Himself Leaving Every Woman To Form Their Own Conclusions by Colin James

Chinhoyi Caves, Zimbabwe

The trees had taken to the skys
unearthing innumerable cave like holes.
Many were unsuitable as residences
lacking in cushioned sleeping quarters,
access to clean drinking water and
a rear entrance for emergencies.
Yes, I'm talking about anal sex. Why
do I always have to explain everything?

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Body in the River by John Grey

Found Drowned by George Frederic Watts 

She’s wedged between rocks,
her body caching then unloading
the current on either side.

Blown shoreward by winds,
her perfumes could snare
lovers from miles around
but putrefaction soon puts a stop to that.

Some come to the banks anyway,
are drawn to the history in her pale blue face,
leave unmasked and naked.

As they retreat,
their whispers echo and ripple,
nibble like fish on her flesh.

Trees overhang.
Light peers through.
There’s no one to claim her
but shadow and shine.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Transcend, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Hawaii Pacific Review and Clade Song.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Single Men by DS Maolalai

my table festive with bottletops
spotting like umbrellas
up against a storm.
cup after cup
of sweet
and milkless tea.

we are playing monopoly.
I have the space around the jail
and some of the top corner properties.
my electric cigarette
tastes like violet candy.

Jack shakes the dice
like he's wanking them off
and Aodhain makes dirty jokes.

thursday night
and we have very little to be.


DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019)

Friday, 6 December 2019

New Book: Kind Surgery by Matt Dennison

Cover photograph by Juta Pryor
Urtica is proud to publish Matt Dennison's debut poetry collection. The father figure is central to this book and the voice takes you down memory lane, but not in a morose or weak tone. There are memories that, though painful and devastating, can later lead to the most beautiful moments.

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with Michael Dickes, Swoon, Marie Craven and Jutta Pryor.

Many of these poems were published in small press magazines.

42 pages - $6 - ISBN: 9780244537012
Buy it here!


Kind Surgery

Your father had an ear infection
so I lit a cigarette and blew
smoke into his ear and like a
damn fool started smoking
again and playing those
Hawaiian background
music records until
I got the scrof jaw
which you can see has
been removed through a
bit of kind surgery at the
Cook County Jail—
just the right side,
I believe. I touch
nothing when I touch it.
And yes there was my
side-family thought to be
hidden, but with your
grandmother fresh off the boat
from Sweden or somewhere
and dropping those babies,
‘twas tough being a cop and
a lumberyard cook—so consider
your father’s galvanic eye-squeaks
a rich source of magnets and
call it a day.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Love at Club Level by John Grey

Photo by suzukii xingfu from Pexels

So much smoke, so much noise,
a kiss straight from a whiskey glass,
and a touch, of your leg
that pops your eyes bright hazel.

All sex and jazz,
rain outside and dark within,
chairs pressed together,
bodies close as summer grasses.

You're all sugary sweat,
clutching and nibbling a perfect stranger,
the first step in a long relationship
or the penultimate line of a joke.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Checking The Appropriate Box On My "Finally A Diversion" Questionnaire by Colin James

Photograph by Paul Williamson

Are you now, or have
you ever previously been
alluded to as normal?
Hang on, I'll just
ask the neighbors.
Apparently not.
Our three back gardens
converge like the corners
of a checker board.
The reference to kingdom
so subtle you
probably won't care.