An international online magazine that publishes Surrealist poetry in English.
The Ghost in the Touch
Haunting is sap in deciduous trees, is the blade that splits the pavement. When I open books, the words slip into my lap like hourglass sand, and blank pages stain my fingers. I leave my prints on cash machines, and on fairground rides where hair and voices stream in circles like magnetic fields. Ghoul or whorl: it's an impossible distinction in the clatter of machinery and 50s pop songs, in the battering of palms on boarded-up libraries. Because haunting is a coloured bulb, slowly blinking; a bird in fresh rain, slowly drinking; a reader in a darkened room, sadly thinking of all the unopened invitations that pile around him. Trees acknowledge invisible forms, act on inscrutable urges. I run my thumb along a blade of grass or steel. Haunting is a sealed envelope, the uncertain outline of a story, the narrowing space between two bodies that, like magnets, push harder away the closer they approach.
Horses and Angels
On the cliff top, horses bow their heads, acknowledging the passing of angels. They remember them when they were young, flight barely hammered into their fresh feathers, glowing so bright they were almost impossible to see, their white arms coddling the lost and the dying. There were songs then, like a rainbow stroking a taut waterfall; like a moistened finger slicked on a chalice's lip; like the single pulse from the furthest star, haunting a locked observatory. From here, horses' heads are musical notes fallen from a stave, or the crooked eyes of a hundred snowmen. I hum their frozen tune as the last angel folds itself into equine dreams, becomes a grainy photograph in a local newspaper from a town washed away in last winter's floods.
Loving the Perseids
When he comes home late, he smells of meteors, their scent clinging to his face and fingers. It's like wax and oranges, or the crushed field after the circus has departed, with its candyfloss clutter churned in the paw prints and tyre tracks. He carries the burn of broken comets like a lover's handprints on the curve of his shoulder, the pinch of his waist. The idea of light makes him dizzy and, when he closes his eyes, fragments of every narrative he has ever trusted vaporise at 36 miles per second. The house is asleep, along with everyone in it, and he walks from moonlit room to moonlit room, between the beds of all the people he never grew up to be, trailing haze from the Kármán Line. One of these nights a child will wake for just a moment, watch him burn up, and will have forgotten by the morning.
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) and The Lithium Codex (Hedgehog, 2019), and co-edited The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Valley, 2019; with Anne Caldwell).