First Contact

A poem by Holly Day

The dolphins at the zoo have begun to realize
the errors manifest in trying to communicate
with humans. Too many attempts at peaceful negotiations
have been met as requests for more fish.

The people in the cages have begun to realize
that the aliens regard them as only
pets or fresh meat. Any attempts to engage in serious conversation
have been met as requests for more corn chips
and snack cakes.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities (Wilderness Press, 2009), Music Theory for Dummies (Wiley, 2015), and Ugly Girl (Shoe Music Press, 2015).

My Night’s Two Hands

A poem by Paul Brookes

against exits and entrances,
eyes cornered by sleepdust.

Riff raff cast offs witter
as they’ve seen better.

Day is two rats in a bag
snotting one another.

Light, light against the living of the rage.
Life measured out in how many
plastic carry bags for your shopping.

Paul Brookes was and is a shop assistant. He was previously employed as a security guard, postman, administrative assistant, lecturer, and performer in the Rats for Love poetry troupe. (His poetry has been included in Rats for Love: The Book (Bristol Broadsides, 1990).)

His first chapbook, The Fabulous Invention of Barnsley, was published by Dearne Community Arts in 1993; his second chapbook, The Headpoke And Firewedding, was published by Alien Buddha Press; his third, A World Where, was published by Nixes Mate Press; and his fourth, The Spermbot Blues, was published by OpPRESS.

Brookes has read his work on BBC Radio Bristol, and hosted a creative writing workshop for sixth formers (grades 11-12 high schoolers) on BBC Radio Five Live. Some of his written work has recently appeared in Clear Poetry, Nixes Mate Review, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead, and other publications.

Feel free to visit his website!