An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
The hospital always keeps its distance, hanging on the other side of town, somewhere across the motorway. However we approach, it's always the wrong direction, and signs swing like turbines, generating misdirection as traffic builds up and the sun stops overhead, bleaching all the colour from car bonnets and from the awnings of shops that haven't changed hands since the last war, whenever that was. It's been so long that our snapped bones have knit into inefficient angles, our hearts have become accustomed to irregular beats. We make do without breathing. As the one-way system sweeps us away, we pass a glass coach with black horses, black plumes lolling and blinkered against uncomfortable histories. Inside is a garden where a familiar child whose name no-one can remember plucks peas from a vine, opening pods like newspapers or a Bible.
Some mornings, we'd dress in haste, put on the wrong shadows, not notice until it was too late. One day, I didn't realise until I was in the office, deleting the past night's junk mail. As I blew on a cup of disappointing coffee, I caught the shade of your lips, whistling or kissing on the partition wall. Then, as I took a halting sip, I could see you mouthing words, but I'd no idea what they were. Rather than a cup, you were holding something broader, softer, closer; and as I reached across for the phone, your shadow leant back, fading as a cloud swallowed the window's light. That was years ago, but still I sometimes feel its fabric itching at my wrist, pinching at my chest.
Sawing Ourselves in Half
I store my selves in a conjuror's case, while hers are stacked with party dishes, dripping drops of misspent nights, each more sweet than the last. Like a dog-eared pack, we lie on the grass between cups and capes, sleights and tricks that tick into each other. Wands bloom to warm flowers, stretched with skin, slipped beneath seed trays in a glass pavilion, where metaphors dodge each other before completion. Back in the kitchen, the kettle whistles a pure A, pulls hares from hats, steams the paper from the ceiling, revealing traits and foibles labelled with strangers' names.
Oz Hardwick is from York, England. He leads the Creative Writing programmes at Leeds Trinity University. He has published seven poetry collections; most recently Learning to Have Lost (IPSI, 2018).