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An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.

Issue Four



She Spoke Through the Letterbox

I don't have time to answer your questions
but I do have the answers. I'm running far too late
to fill in your form but if you were to wait and listen
like this a moment longer then you'd learn what I know.
The door to the snail is the snail itself,
but now it's long gone and its house
holds vacuity. Who will there ever be
to weigh the void after the snail? Is there
anyone at all who could measure the height
of its head, majestic before the beak of the thrush?
What language did you speak, Thrush, when you
snapped it out? Could anyone appreciate the quake
of the snail's buoyant body as it felt the unrelenting
power of another? Oh that snail, neither a him nor a her,
but both and neither. Well, ask me, for I have some idea.
I don't have time to open the door to let you in
but I can sense the skyline clearly from the slit.
My husband will be back soon. Although he knows nothing,
it is from him that I learnt everything. I have some idea
of the snail, helpless in its enigmatic majesty. But of course,
I'm long gone. No one had time to question my answers.


You, who bequeathed to us the dandelions –
an apron's worth of stars upon the meadow –
we have come to tear out your teeth as you sleep.

You cannot but sense us beside your bed.
We are that which you dream of, pulling at your mouth.
Wake now and find us gone and your mouth full of life.

You, whose mouth erupts in gobbets of scarlet flowing.
You, who will no longer bite at the heels of the morning.
You, who bequeathed to us the dandelions.

You speak the deep night that becomes our sky forever.

The Changing Room

In the changing room she tried on a yellow dress
and looked at herself in the long mirror.

But the yellow dress was a mask, not a dress,
so all she could see was a stranger in a blue coat.

She removed the yellow dress and tried on a blue coat.
But the blue coat was a mask, so she saw nothing

in the long mirror but the onrush of pines in her descent
from the blistered moonlit sky.

She took off the blue coat and tried on a snowy owl.
The snowy owl was a tight fit but she persevered

and squeezed herself all the way into it.
But the snowy owl was a mask, so all she could see

was herself in a yellow dress, weary from endless pretence.

John W. Sexton lives in the South-West of Ireland. His sixth poetry collection, Futures Pass, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2018. His poem The Green Owl was awarded the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007 for best single poem, and in that same year he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

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