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Rebirth Through the Poetic Lens with Susannah Dickey, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Joanna Nissel and Erin Mcintosh.

Rebirth Through the Poetic Lens with Susannah Dickey, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Joanna Nissel and Erin Mcintosh.

The Hologram by Susannah Dickey

I wonder if in the future we will all exist as holograms, glitching on circular consoles. People, evolved to just flickering pictures of themselves, lacking integrity. We will exist in our own tiny prisons – the bars our incompatibility with the world. My skin like light drizzle, unable to touch. Our words will live on beyond our squelching bodies but they won’t be nearly as profound as we like to think. Perhaps somebody will compile a pile of me in a corner somewhere, like discarded bonsai trees. Scavengers will forage for items of value:

-Anything good?
-Another whiny girl hologram.
-Put it with the others.

There will be multiple me’s to say the things I need to say on repeat, but I won’t be synced and nobody will hear my conclusion over the discord of my own chirping. 

If you are watching – I am a – this - I am – If you are – are – you – watching – I am – you are – I am – you – this is – all - I am – without - you

But perhaps it won’t matter, as nobody will be listening. Everybody will be too busy saying what needs to be said. 

I suspect every time I feel light headed the world’s collective energy has been stretched thinner, that people are becoming less and less with each new birth. Perhaps this is why I seem to myself like a bad drawing of my mother, traced onto an old tissue: the first law of thermodynamics. My loneliness dismantles me, piece by piece: the second law of thermodynamics. 

At night I dream around you. You said if you could be an interpreter of dreams you would say ‘Maybe the house is just you’, ‘Maybe the electrical storm is just you’, ‘Maybe your mother is just you’, ‘Maybe the cat who follows you home is just you’, ‘Maybe the smaller version of you is just you.’ 

to scream, but there isn’t a body to scream with. Maybe the see-saw is just me, or maybe it’s just you, but if that were the case I might not wake up with my face like a Rorschach test. If it were you I would want to be caught, to face whatever it is that comes after I get caught.

The etymology of integrity:
To be a whole,
(you make me whole)
the condition of not being marred, of not being violated.
(The condition of not being married – I offer, then regret it when you pretend to smile).

Nobody knows how to be sinless, now,
but in your eyes I seem sinless.
In your eyes in your eyes in your eyes

If you are watching – I am a – this - I am – If you are – are – you – watching – I am – you are – I am – you – this is – all - I am – without - you

-Shut those things off, will you?
-I don’t know how.
-God, I hate the future.


Susannah Dickey was born in Northern Ireland and is currently in her final year of a BA in English with Creative Writing at Queen's University Belfast. Her focus is on surrealist prose poetry and her work is being published in The London Journal of Fiction, Funhouse Magazine, and 'The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017' Anthology from Eyewear Publishing. She was also shortlisted for the 2016 Live Canon International Poetry Competition and recently won first prize in the Verve Poetry Festival competition. 


BSE by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

They do not speak about the disease
that killed the steer, only disposal specifics:
an eight-by-three patch of ground,
half a bale of straw, fuel and disinfectant.  

It smoulders for forty hours: old rubbish
they tell the nearest neighbour, exactly
one crow-fly-mile away. Its charred legs stick out
like branches after a forest fire.

The farmer digs a hole with the shovel
on his crawler, uses bailer tines to hoist it in.
The earth settles and by Spring, toadstools appear,
their heads bald and moist as baby mice.  


Elisabeth Sennitt Clough lives in Norfolk with her husband and three children. Her pamphlet Glass was a winner in the inaugural Paper Swans Pamphlet Competition. Elisabeth's debut collection, Sightings, was published by Pindrop Press in December 2016. Recently, she was a runner-up in the 2016 Mslexia Poetry Competition


The Changeling by Joanna Nissel

The Changeling In churchgrass after school,
we fingered daisy ends
into slits in the stems
we cut with our nails.
Made tiaras.

Somewhere above us,
behind the panes of stained glass,
my parents talked over the rules of uniformity.
They measured grass into lawns by the half-inch;
weighed up the benefits of fitted shirts and trouser legs
over skirts with collars and ties.

Meanwhile, we mounted our daisy chains
on graves in the shapes of crucifixes.
It kept them safe
so that my parents could see
what good girls we’d been.
There’s nothing suspect in a flower,
Georgia said.

We ran through holly and hazel
beyond the church boundary.
Found ourselves among the wild flowers by the river,
and –for once alone–
we allowed ourselves to tip the petals down
and drink the dew with outreached tongues.

Back at the church gate,
my parents looked at us as if we were paintings
that were ever so slightly crooked;
as if they were unsure
what needed setting straight.

n the half-dark of the car ride home,
I imagined forests growing over the roads.

I reached for tactile limbs that grew behind the window
and met the cold, unrelenting slide
of palm against glass.

When the car stopped outside our fence,
I feared what would happen
if my parents tried to drag me over the iron gate
onto manicured ground.


Joanna Nissel is from rural Sussex. She studies Creative Writing with English Literature at Bath Spa University. Joanna recently won the Les Arnold Prize for the most outstanding second year student.


Declaration of holiness by Erin McIntosh

I anoint my palms with oil
       my wrists my heart my sides   like
I am Jesus.     The sun
is up against a wall     – so
am I.

my birth was an anomaly
too. inimitable being

a word for someone
   like God.

The loss is unspeakable
and her love for me
     imperceptible –
     waiting to be
     intercepted, like a game
of American football, pumped up
on steroids, something other-than-

Left hands are not filled
with promise and left eyes
the weaker of the two. Leaving me
no choice but to wander

lusting: sprayed and an affront,
miserable without spectator.
    watch us – we are first
           of our kind.  naming,
gardening, raking in.

       The wanderer: he
who strays      misleads, misguides
(My left thigh is 200 grams
of protein.)

I couldn’t be real
     this couldn’t be real

In the following order: love,
             grief. The hardest
always coming in
My cup running over. All
the days of my

dreary without any sense
of losing
      and finding. and losing
           I can keep
going on like this.

I am yours forever. By the sea,
again – found.
            it’s only a matter
of time before this
too is lost.


Bio-Erin McIntosh is a writer and actress currently living in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared and is forthcoming in various journals including Two Serious Ladies, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Bone Bouquet, Lavender Review, Cleaver Magazine, Gravel, Hawai’i Review and Vending Machine Press.

Dublin Dreaming with Kerrie O'Brien.

Dublin Dreaming with Kerrie O'Brien.

Slow Dancing in the Tropics with Clark Zlotchew.

Slow Dancing in the Tropics with Clark Zlotchew.