RICO CRAIG’s first poetry collection Bone Ink will be published in 2017 by Guillotine Press. Recent writing can be found in London Magazine, Cordite and Tincture. He has been shortlisted for the University of Canberra Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poem ‘Angelo’ was awarded third prize in the Dorothy Porter prize by Meanjin. For additional work visit

LARRY D. THACKER’s poetry can be found in over eighty magazines and journals including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Mannequin Haus, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting and Memory Train, as well as the forthcoming, Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at:


Reunion – Our Suburban Lingua

Where are you? I’ve scoured this reunion; lost friends
huddled at the Bowling Club, caught in Keno Limbo,
feeding their last twenty into the hurdy-gurdy
pokie whir. It seems like old times. The best lives bewildered

among blinking lights; shucked, eyes
ready to churn, lips silver-pursed poised to gush
shiny confessions. Your friends strut
like fathers in driveways, pretending not to recognise;

but for a moment, knowing, they remember me and
suckle, desperate, at the words on my breath.
I’ve been tasting mouths, divining tongues, looking
for you. Let them gape at me, fall slack against the slipperiness

I press into them. I’m as much them as who
I’ve become. All our dreams are plasma-struck,
defenceless. I’m here in the carpark ready to spit words,
stain the gravel between these tidy, auto-locked mockeries

of our past. You’d remember if you hadn’t dived
into a double-brick world of curtains and plush carpets.
Was it worth the short time you had? I’ve hoarded all
our words, little dried charms, collected, carried

in a pouch at my hip. I’ve lugged our many tongues
for so long. My fingers fret at them,
the little brown shapes, edges curled, leather-dry.
I’ll fill my mouth with the withered gobbets,

bite down on what we thought was true, chew
until they start to bleed the words we shared and I
have the taste of your voice in my blood again.



Life Savers

We’re trapped in this vodka decade,
battered by the aftertaste of Skinny Bitches,
lime between our fingers, septums
scraped raw, my burberry scarf
louche around your neck all summer.

You’re so Sid Vicious you make
the cyber-dykes swoon. Your tongue
is a luxury car sweeping around
a manicured hedge, your lips taste
like spirit poured from a crystal skull.

I’m on your trust fund junkie diet, we’ve
been talking to the warehouse doctor,
chicken, white meat, and Life Savers
the only food that’ll pass our lips. Each
dawn you pace the gritty floor barefoot,

searching for the right pill. You push me
to my knees so we can make another
bullshit narcotic pact. We’re full of holes,
but I promise anyway, something
about being beaten clean with sage bush,

drinking ouzo and being weathered
by salt air. I lie and listen to the birds
that roost in the roof above, they coo
at the empty din rushing from our bodies.

                                                                              Rico Craig



A message to be dwelt upon another time

Uncle Sammy had a habit of tying his boots
too tight, Aunt Lilly mused, the afternoon

after the funeral, shaking her head and pursing
her lips like she did when she just couldn’t believe

something had really happened. What a waste,
I caught her giggling to herself over desert.

Only ninety-three, she sighed. Fished every day
good weather allowed but Sundays, mowed the yard

at least a little, walked to town, tinkered out
in the shed carving those little statues he loved

giving away to folks. But he tied his boots too tight
out of habit and when his foot sunk down in the bank

mud that day after the flood waters died back,
he couldn’t yank his leg out and the tide water

just come up on him probably, the Sheriff figured.
Not so quick either, they supposed, Aunt Lilly

whispered with a shiver. That’s how come your
uncle still had notion to carve them signs in that tree

he was hanging on to. He always was real good
with a whittling knife when he had a little time.



Aln Adanthanson    

998 AD
Jorn Fjord
15 year
Ana – Mother (died giving sister birth)
Sulta the Hound
Rothal – Brother (Dead by 17)
Susanal – Sister (Alive, 6)
Honson Adanthan – Father,
              Raiding two years now

Axe Throwing
Skipping stones on the lake
Swings from a braided vine
Will attend and vote at first
             All-Thing this autumn

May marry Engelfare’s daughter,
             Mildren, next year                                                              

Aaron Anderson

Summer break, 2015 AD
Johnson’s Bend Hollow
Bell County, Kentucky, USA
15 years old
Anna Lee (divorced from Aaron, Sr.)
Wolfy Boy & Snoopy
Ben (12 years old)
Jenny (9 years old)
Aaron, Sr. – Father
             Underground miner
             Arrowtown Group Mine, Inc.
Skipping stones on the lake
Rides his bicycle
Father lets him drive the truck
            to town sometimes
            without his permit
Has never kissed a girl,
            but thinks he’s in love
            with Emily Baker

                                                                Larry D. Thacker

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.

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