MICHAEL MCGILL has had poetry published in New Walk, RAUM, Northwords Now, The Haiku Quarterly and in two anthologies by Ragged Raven Press. He has also had work included in the Hot Tub Astronaut e-zine, the Open Mouse website and in the latest Lies, Dreaming podcast. The two poems below are part of Notes for Castrato, an extended poem in five parts. Michael has appeared at Inky Fingers, Blind Poetics and Last Monday at Rio and has also appeared as part of The Accelerator and Big Word Performance Poetry in Edinburgh, at the CCA and Tron Theatre in Glasgow and the Soho Theatre in London. He has also appeared several times on The Verb on BBC Radio 3. Twitter: @MMcGill09
PRATHEESH RAMACHANDRAN was born in 1987 in Kerala,India. He is a bilingual poet and artist and has published three poetry collections in the Malayalam language. He continues to live and work in Kerala.
The corpses are still there
sometimes. ‘Treat them like meat!’
they’d always tell us. But one
from that Summer still haunts me.
He had ridden life loudly that day,
his motorbike blocking out
the sound of his fears. But towards
the end of our shift, as the dawn
emerged outside, we folded him
away in a quiet drawer. ‘Why?’
you asked me once, ‘What was
it that was so special about him?’
I answered, ‘He was the only one
I saw that Summer
who died with his eyes open.’
After you were gone, you left
me with nothing but blank pages.
My memories were wiped away
and I wore madness well, if only
for a short while. But even then there
was a memory which never faded.
It was a day, years before, when
we sat in a café sipping cappuccinos,
and you stuck out your tongue
and made a funny face and joy!
Joy rang around the town
like church bells; like telephones.
And I said to myself, (or was it
out loud?), “I am in the middle
of a memory.” It was youth
and it was effortless. Years
later, alone here on the bridge,
looking down at the cool,
cool sea, it’s that moment,
like rope, which binds me still.
I slept a lifetime
Beneath your skin.
When I woke up
I had become a
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