HENRY KING studied at the University of Glasgow, and lectures on English literature at Malmö University, Sweden. His translations from French (with Andrew Rubens) have been published in Benjamin Fondane: Cinepoems and Others.” 

IRENE CUNNINGHAM  has had poems published In Between Hangovers, Picaroon, The Poetry Cafe, South Bank Poetry, I am not a Silent Poet, Former Cactus, Riggwelter, The Lake. Her website and blog can be found at

KELLI SIMPSON is a poet living in Norman, Oklahoma.  Her poems have recently appeared in Riggwelter, and After the Pause. 


Quo Vadis?
       John 21:18

On the road southward when the sun was low,
Christ met Saint Peter as he fled from Rome
and led him where he did not want to go.

Last night, we found the Church of Domine Quo
Vadis, dimly lit as a catacomb
where shadows played round candles burning low.

Tour guides, grandiloquent as Cicero,
circle each piazza. They ask us where we’re from,
offering to lead where we don’t want to go.

We get by with the dozen words we know,
but speak in tongues back in our upper room
lit by a streetlamp in the road below.

Still, I resist the argument (although
it’s plausible) that faith is like a poem.
It leads me where I do not want to go.

At the airport, we take a last photo
before we board. The plane that will fly us home
taxis to take-off with the cabin-lights low,
and brings us where we do not want to go.

                                                                         Henry King



Road to Philanderer Central & Cupboard Love

The devil set his spine low, pushed sultry
with a woman. They tangoed up, crawled down,
Latin-danced in tangles of slippery eel.
He slipped in the groove: mano-womano
oh oh oh, twitched his lips, swallowing the trail
that led him by the nose in hypnotic
glidings. She lent him her bones, lay on him,
trailing satisfaction in carelessly
dropped curls to sail into the room. Time slowed,
went on forever…such a fairy tale.
A government of thorns grew around them,
disallowed the old dance, fashioned shadow
cabinets stuffed with folders drooling rules.
The devil set his spine low, pushed sultry.

                                                                    Irene Cunningham




This is what a miracle looks like –
my daughter’s hair turning darker.
And this is what a miracle tastes like –
a little chalky on the tongue.
I never dreamed that I’d get old.
Now I pray that I’ll get older
and have a little more time to hold her
till neither of us is so young.


Before the Earth

the earth
there was blue
and you

the peppermint lick of your kiss in the breach
of me

between my thighs

the weight of my breasts in the scale of your hands
the lengthening

the wide
wild blue

before the earth

                                             Kelli Simpson


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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