Kumquat Poetry

Sabbatical

To our dear Kumquateers, Readers, and supporters,

We can’t apologise enough for the last few weeks of silence. Life has caught up with Kumquat recently. For this reason, we will be back in May, when commitments to our studies, amongst other things, have eased off a little bit.

Please bear with us, and we’ll get back to our contributors as soon as we can about your submissions. We appreciate every single one, and taking some time out now will mean that we can do full justice to your wonderful and worthy work in future.

Many thanks for your patience and continued support, and we’ll be back as soon as we can.

Love,

The Kumquat Team X

stolen mobile masterpiece by e. smith sleigh

We found E. Smith Sleigh’s ‘Stolen Mobile Masterpiece’ captivating.

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stolen mobile masterpiece

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I become the touch screen Adam of the Sistine    my wrist limp   my forefinger darting across a ‘lectric blue pad    touch screen chatter   unfrescoed      images uncreated     generated         pulses of vibrating electrodes     become the creation    no consecration here      no scaffolding   I have no plaster in my eyes   no gasps of awe from below     il papa not on his toes   we do share the propagation of myths   though    I’m trying to decide which one      wait   

do I have to    choose      is it    what it does not appear to be    I refuse to choose   is this theory of life  really the universe in a chest       the stolen weave of the Nornes   and all   

connection interrupted

information rubbed out

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e. smith sleigh writes poetry and historical fiction. She lives by a lake in Robert Penn Warren country, and in a desert, where she draws inspiration. Her most recent work can be found in the December Paper Darts and the January Squalorly. On her website THESE THINGS ARE A ONE THING http://bit.ly/iionKS , she blogs about Poststructuralism and poetry.

Winter by Linda Morgan Smith

Linda Morgan Smith steps on the scene today with her amazing Kumquat debut, ‘Winter’.

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Winter

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The sky is a sheet of ice dripping into a pail
The cold is the embrace of my dead grandmother
Her voice the call of the crows in the sleeping trees
The black feather I found on the steps is her letter to me.
i am a voice with no song.

Down the path and up the hill are the remnants of a house.
The foundation outlines a square on the ground.
Stones cemented into the last of the chimney splits the wind in-two.
A hawk circles over the place
The chalk-line collapsed.
The level unlevel.
I hum.

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Linda Morgan Smith is a painter and writer in New Orleans Louisiana. Her poetry and micro fiction has been published in Full of Crow Press and Stage and Screenwriters Magazine.

Fire Doesn’t Break Its Promise by Ali Znaidi

Today Ali Znaidi returns with the incredible ‘Fire Doesn’t Break Its Promise’.

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Fire Doesn’t Break Its Promise

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I.

flashes of flame          over
                        mountains of smouldering  embers

caress the man’s finger
                                                         w/ the grace of

                                     their (Funky) French-tipped
                                                              
fingernails

II.

they pinch, sting, & burn          (w/ plump scorching
                                                              arrows)

his quietude             
                                                                        before

a promise is broken

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Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English. His work has appeared in The Rusty Nail, The Tower Journal, Mad Swirl, Stride Magazine, Red Fez, BlazeVox, Otoliths, streetcake, Ink Sweat and Tears, & elsewhere. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). From time to time he blogs at – aliznaidi.blogspot.com

Spring seems to be seeping in, so take a moment to sink into Bob Beagrie’s wonderful ‘Slow Recovery’, recorded here for Project Lono with guitar by Glenn McDougall and production by SJForth.

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Slow Recovery

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Nothing hurts like the stroke of the sun
With Winter’s clasp a discarded memory,
So I sit in shade to watch the wavelets run
The beach, knowing in each rolls a story,
And know that one of them is mine, or his,
Lost somewhere among the scars and rocks
When the whole sea shook in raging malice,
Left him, me, drifting, in lines and lobster pots,
A broken man, washed up, without a name.
Finding a pulse, she called me Driftwood,
Tended the bruises, eased the obvious pains,
But the bleaching sun turns a knife in the guts -
These wounds still leak salt water, not blood,
And there she goes, singing, between the huts
Sweetness, soothing, like the honeyed tea
We sit and sip together each dawn and dusk.
Calypso, as content as a pollen coated bee.
Him, dumb driftwood, me an emptied husk,
Who jerks awake in the night with a shriek
To see him floating out of reach by our bed
Within a dream of a war horse, one eye, a beak
Until she resumes her song, strokes my head.
One of these days I shall fashion some tools,
Go hunt for no one in shallows and rock pools.

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Bob Beagrie lives in Middlesbrough in the North East of England, recent publications include Yoik (Cinnamon Press 2008) The Seer Sung Husband (Smokestack Press 2010), Glass Characters (Red Squirrel Press 2011). He has won A Northern Promise Award, a Northern Writers Time To Write Award, the Biscuit Poetry Prize and The Sentinel Poetry Prize. He is a senior lecturer at Teesside University.

The Clothes-maker by Ana Maria Caballero

We’re excited to publish this lyrical loveliness by Ana Maria Caballero.

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The Clothes-maker

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My clothes come from places that are not immediately obvious:

A forty-day South American Christmas, an attempt at youth in College, a place of blessing turned hard. 

Embroidering is slow, so I mix patience with excess and comfort. Embroidering can be silent or loud, and it is inside and out; but it remains the single piece of cloth I choose.

At unexpected sounds, my thread sheers a right breast pocket to gently cinch the waist.  A set of green grapes spilled from the cup of an already full Caravaggio.  

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Originally published in Boston Poetry Magazine.

Ana Maria Caballero currently lives in Bogotá, Colombia with her husband and eight-month-old son. During her son’s naps, she created a blog– www.thedrugstorenotebook.co – where she shares her poems and love of literature.

Introduction to a Congress by Alistair Noon

Mr Noon’s Kumquat debut bowled us over. Porter/poetry, same effect.

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Introduction to a Congress

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Now the lights on the walls are down,

permit me my minute or three.

I trust your skirts and trousers

have introduced themselves to the plush seats.

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As you can see, I can’t see you,

and I’m blinking down at my script.

But before we hoist up our speakers,

if you need to abandon this dark ship

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to offload all ballast and waste,

for smokes, smirks or secret plans,

our staff will brighten your way

like a searchlight stroking a Lancaster.

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'Delete all words (said a Chinese sage)

and then you will have the true poster.’

'There is no such thing as a statement.'

'Am I asking too many questions?'

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These are all quotes from our speakers,

who’ve logoed banks, or drawn their fonts

from inmates’ scrawl. One’s intrigued

by the tricolour bags of Hong Kong,

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one’s crossed an elephant with a coffee pot

(Can horses gallop on tomatoes?

Bien sûr! barked Bréton’s dog).

Cuban film will receive some remarks.

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The Botanical Garden, the Museum

of Natural History are their clients.

The Literature House. The Public Theater.

Please welcome this morning’s designers.

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Alistair Noon lives in Berlin, and has travelled extensively around Eastern Europe and China. His first full-length collection, Earth Records (Nine Arches Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. He was recently bowled over by the Berlin microbrewery Heidenpeters’ Smoky Porter.

As a Boy, a Tentacle by Robert Greer

Robert Greer makes his Kumquat debut with a poem both unsettling and playful.

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As a Boy, a Tentacle

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The size of an oar slapped down

from the sky onto the patio

and seeped battery acid

across the empty porch

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Disembodied Octopus limbs

Make for fine birthday pie

My tongue was green and the napkins were untouched

and music rose up slow from the garden trees

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Holy swing balls falling from up high:

Me and the fish are doing the twist,

I should not have licked the homeless tentacle

that I found camping on my patio

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I swam in the mind of space

and scrambled through a thick field of mung beans

and saw all the classic shows

in the feeding tube

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Robert Greer is a writer of poetry and fiction based between Barcelona and London. He has been published in Limbo Quarterly and You Stumble Into A Room Full of Poets, and also writes for Dada Magazine. He is 23.

Sometimes You Have To Walk Away by Matt Miller

Matt Miller is back!

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Sometimes You Have To Walk Away

After Serenade

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Wednesday evening. In a restaurant

next door to a pub, across a road

from a club, round the corner from a

cinema, within a certain

vicinity of any number of

one-bedroom flats,

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at a table, in the centre of

a room packed with unwelcome watching

sleepwalkers, he reaches out his hands

and takes hers;

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wraps his fingers around her fourth finger,

writes clues across her palms, cradles

her wrists like the children that breath soft in

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her eyes

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linger there, lost in the knot of his

knuckles, then raise up quick as bubbles

to search his face; a sketch pad bathed in

criminal.

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Silently, from our corner table

we watch him, back from six weeks in Thailand,

her, tapping on the giggling glass, these two,

this snowglobe couple, shaking themselves

like staffie terriers, racing like

century screamers towards climax,

the phone rings.

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She snatches faster, acting tease,

puts it to her ear, asks, please don’t

bother us tonight. All the while,

he holds a surprise behind the folded

napkin of his lips. Thinking she knows

what it is she eases it from him,

and then stops.

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Sleepwalking, he reaches out his hands

and takes hers.

Validated voyeurs, we still watch.

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Time splits itself into fragments,

as she tosses her wine glass towards him,

one droplet after another

staining his shock Ribena red.

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Chair legs growl across the wooden floor.

She haults in the doorway and feels five

years in its solid frame, opens her

lips again, and asks him to join her.

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Matt Miller is in his final year of his Creative and Professional Writing BA at Nottingham University. He has been performing poetry since 2011 and has performed at the Nottingham Playhouse, the Olympic Park and various pubs in Nottingham and Newcastle. He also teaches creative writing at Arnold Hill Academy.

Riff by Theresa A. Cancro

Some wonderful musicality this Monday morn from Kumquat debutante Theresa A. Cancro. 

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Riff

Dis, dis me not,
no dissonance this night,
blue notes laid
        out,
keyed up to the b-flat sax,
floored me at the door,
a swingin’ two-four
and mellow scat
that cat spat,
played me for a fool
with slick jive, joke,
new looks
fake book open, closed
(g seventh flat nine
he broke)
scattered sheets,
traded fours
just to score
in the cool air
no aire —
down with love

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Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware USA)  writes poetry and fiction.  Some of her poetry has been published, or is forthcoming, in print and on online sites, including Three Line Poetry, Dead Snakes, Napalm and Novocain, Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Stormcloud Poets Anthology, Conversation with a Christmas Bulb (Anthology), A Handful of Stones and A Hundred Gourds.