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.


Emergency Room

this extended

this wrinkled junction works
          into erosion
                            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
the doctor
          with most of his hand in the hole

roost high across

the blue-black night   shuttle down streaked snow
                            on skidoo
saw nurse dodge aimed arteries   blood-shots
where snowboard
connected with skull   gave full release to tension

skin seared

jacket on fire
the wide surprise   fear all over
passed out mid-scream between sumas & clearbrook
oldsmobile floored
                                      toward the border & free health care 

head in the overcast
ring of rocks around the fire like trail markers:
                                                                            gone home 

a hand wrapped from tip to wrist   the smell of wet gauze on
supersize blister

                            skin desperate

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

                                                           Geoffrey Nilson


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.

                                                           Sam Kolinski


Burns Night

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.

                                                           Derek Parkes


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.

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is an online journal which publishes critical reviews, essays and interviews as well as writing on translation. We accept work in any of the languages of Scotland – English, Gàidhlig and Scots.

We aim to be an accessible, non-partisan community platform for writers from Glasgow and elsewhere. We are interested in many different kinds of writing, though we tend to lean towards more marginal, peripheral or neglected writers and their work. 

Though, our main focus is to fill the gap for careful, considered critical writing, we also publish original creative work, mostly short fiction, poetry and hybrid/visual forms. 

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