MARK STUDIN is a former civil engineer and stay-at-home dad. His poetry appears in The Literateur and Transect Magazine. He lives in Ithaca, New York, USA.

NATHANEAL O’REILLY was born and raised in Australia. He has travelled on five continents and spent extended periods in England, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and the United States, where he currently resides. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in nine countries, including Antipodes, Australian Love Poems, Cordite, FourW, LiNQ, Mascara, Postcolonial Text, Prosopisia, Red River Review, Snorkel, Social Alternatives, Tincture, Transnational Literature and Verity La. O’Reilly is the recipient of an Emerging Writers Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. He is the author of Preparations for Departure (UWAP Poetry, 2017), Distance (Picaro Press, 2014; Ginninderra Press, 2015) and the chapbooks Cult (Ginninderra Press, 2016), Suburban Exile (Picaro Press, 2011) and Symptoms of Homesickness (Picaro Press, 2010).


Elephant Ride

Having ponied our clams
we, aaah, clambered to the howdah
“…to The Pachyderm-Mobile!” so to speak
(in extinct, but high-spirited, terms)
to await our mechanical sherpa while we slurppahhed our chowdahs

Manhattan me, Boston thee

Then the beast began to waver
perception awhirl – tummy, aquaver – condition… grave, graven…
the great trunk gone spastic, guts churned emplastic
(and there was always the elephant)
all anticipating…

….a pause… strange teeter to our totter, peristalsis mutable (spasm inscrutable?)
dazed, I tried to right myself by reciting Latin names of butterflies but could only picture
the moley left temple of that swarthy sword swallowing semi-Circassian, Weired Lyle
(or was he wholly Hungarian?)
either way
all of this was nothing like the park by the dammed lake when we were kids
eating cold chicken paprikash, feeding the ponies
five dollar bills from dear Uncle Mann, our bestest “across the board” racetrack fan

Anyway, I tossed my clams, red-skinned spuds as well
by now shaken, stirred, a frothing slurry of hell
(no desistance)
on the ground, far below your furbelow, the crowdahs squealed and pointed
à la Satan’s Enlistments (cum party corozas and festal corndog kazoos)
their motley-dappled big tops seeming to yell

The Empathy of Distance… sucker!

But, calm to the heart, “Be good” you said, without real insistence
offering me your empty styrofoam bowl
for further assistance


Kerzen Nacht

Gather your burden
as the eyelet draws the curtain, a collet its arc
as the dog breathes in to bark
or this kerchief rides our silvering scars

Hand to lip, moist fingers hush the wick
eyes drawn to a rude loft, the landing light
foot to stair, hips joined by the dark

and the sight, of a broken sash, thumbprint of ash
on my neck, gletz of gold in your gray iris
silver reflections in a pendant shard

derram ehtni rekam eht*

Each slips off the other’s seem – seeled gleam –
bares mercy to the merciless
as moonlight collars the beam

                                                                                          *reverse writing on a holey screen

                                                                                                                                        Mark Studin




Packs of Americans plod past
conspicuous as an unzipped fly

sighing and dragging excessive
luggage towards chain hotels

bulging bodies stuffed into ill-fitting
work-out clothes and running shoes

barely accustomed to walking
accents blaring like sirens




Andy watches over
the gallery mouth
slightly open black
eyes straight ahead

cheeks sunken hair
standing straight
up spiking and falling
over black eyebrows

ears shadow-hidden
his green face lunges
forward out of darkness
surveying polished concrete

walls floors stairs
observing visitors
arriving to gaze
upon his image

                                Nathanael O’Reilly 


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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