GEOFFREY NILSON is a writer, editor, critic, and musician whose poetry and essays have appeared in PRISM international, subTerrain, Lemon Hound, The Rusty Toque, and rip/torn. He has won the Bess Coyne Award for Creative Writing and has been shortlisted for The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry. When not writing, he is an Editorial Assistant for Arc Poetry Magazine and the Web Editor for Pulp, a literature and visual art magazine of student work at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He lives in New Westminster, BC, Canada, with his daughter, Scarlett. Stay in touch @geoffreynilson
SAM KOLINSKI (b. 1988) began writing in Glasgow. He is incalculably indebted to Sam Willetts’ first collection New Light for the Old Dark. Sam’s poems have appeared in numerous publications and he is currently developing material for his first pamphlet.
DEREK PARKES is a poet from the Donny O’Rourke stable. He has been published in anthologies and online and is working on his first collection.
this wrinkled junction works
as if it has always been there
top heavy first-aid-fist beneath rushed bandage a blood
boulevard cross palm & slant wrist
thick down pale forearm
one flimsy box cutter blade
leaves coarse blue triple-knots tight tug
already itching red
balanced like a top bmx handlebar in the gut slid out mid
full of curses bent in the middle
another rider almost puked: my groin torn a continental
through the crotch
maybe internal body cavities have been breached says
with most of his hand in the hole
roost high across
the blue-black night shuttle down streaked snow
saw nurse dodge aimed arteries blood-shots
connected with skull gave full release to tension
jacket on fire
the wide surprise fear all over
passed out mid-scream between sumas & clearbrook
toward the border & free health care
head in the overcast
ring of rocks around the fire like trail markers:
a hand wrapped from tip to wrist the smell of wet gauze on
swiss army blade slips the splash across softwood stains
sprint past the barracks to the camp medic
sharpen sticks for dinner the blood slides out in serpentine
streams between the fingers
crimson sutures dirt & sand in severe
spaces so long are self-inflicted scars
against the bare redness this animal sediment
prone to split to mend
The Matchstick Girl
There were several actions taken.
The full house stripped of lighters.
Sandpaper discarded – razorblades too,
so no fleck of stubble could send her up
as she nuzzled against the collarbone.
That fear of friction overwhelming.
It’s better to burn out than fade away
they’d recite from sapless, grinding
mouths, to ears vulnerable (hers)
and numb (mine). Held in the arms
I’d stroke such delicate, macilent timber
but I knew this could not be stopped,
only delayed. I later left to fill with air
the unblown balloons I used to brag
were lungs, and the next time we met
how warped was her charcoaled frame.
Her face ash black and no longer hers
as if she’d traded it for her shadow’s.
You can thank the Lord
for meat to eat,
but some may have their cake
and eat it too.
Our first Burns Supper.
Me, the kilted Englishman
you, the queen of East Kilbride
in that cobalt dress with
the heather corsage.
It wasn’t the Islay single malt
that made me giddy that night.
As they addressed the haggis
I undressed you in my head.
If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Nilson, Kolinski, Parkes poems
All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet. http://www.glasgowreviewofbooks.com