Dating Profile Identification by Josa Young

All of
Sapiosexual
Queer
Questioning
Demisexual
Cis Man
Androgynous
Genderfluid
Non binary
Other
Single
6ft
Still just wants to climb in my pants
Nothing really changes
Sigh

Josa Young is a novelist and copywriter. Her two novels One Apple Tasted and Sail Upon the Land are out there somewhere being read. She was a decent poet up until puberty, and has taken to verse again as all the creative frenzy of childbearing has faded.

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Walking the Dog by Maurice Devitt

I knew he wanted a walk
when he brought in his lead,
pointed at the watch on my wrist
and started to bark.

He wasn’t particularly choosy
which route we took,
once we passed the bejazzled poodle
in number 14. They had history,

not all of it good, and even now,
she re-buffed his advances,
sitting inside the gate, checking
her nails and preening

her latest coiffure. The park,
a treasure trove of loose dogs,
was likely to offer more success,
and here he could afford to be picky,

turning up his nose at mongrels
and bull terriers, finding a shih tzu pretty
but superficial and setting his heart
on a cocker spaniel, come-to-bed eyes

and floppy ears. Coy at first,
the barriers quickly dropped and
what passed between them
was both romantic and breathless.

I’m not even sure if he caught
her name, although when we went
home, he scribbled something
on the wall above his bed,

then settled into a chair, happy to have
the rest of the day to himself.

In 2016, Maurice Devitt was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and shortlisted for the Listowel Poetry Collection Competition. Winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015, he has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. A guest poet at the ‘Poets in Transylvania’ festival in 2015, he has had poems published in various journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

 

Forbidden Swan by Maurice Devitt

I have never seen a swan
smoking after sex,
but suspect they do. How else

can we explain
the nervous pacing on the tow-path,
wings touching hidden pockets

to check for matches
or the slow draught of air
to mask a throaty cough?

So maybe
after fumbled congress
in the privacy of a hotel room

– webbed feet
snared on carpet pile –
the cob lights up,

pads to an open window,
tips a wing and looks back
to see a crumpled napkin.

(previously published in ‘In Other Words: Merida’ – Mexico)

In 2016, Maurice Devitt was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and shortlisted for the Listowel Poetry Collection Competition. Winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition in 2015, he has been placed or shortlisted in many competitions including the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Over the Edge New Writer Competition, Cuirt New Writing Award and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. A guest poet at the ‘Poets in Transylvania’ festival in 2015, he has had poems published in various journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Mexico, Romania, India and Australia, is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group.

 

Intercity 125 by Joe Williams

I didn’t foresee
That carriage B
Would alter my life
In such curious fashion

And who even knew
That the 10:52
Could ever have been
The scene of such passion?

We entered the station
To great consternation
Our deeds were the subject
Of much speculation

But I don’t regret
And I’ll never forget
The good times we had
Before privatisation

Joe Williams is a writer from Leeds and the creator of Haiku Hole.  In 2015 Joe began performing on the poetry and open mic circuit to inflict his work on a wider audience.  Some of them claimed to enjoy it, so you can blame them for encouraging him to continue.

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Tell me by Finola Scott

(with thanks to WH Auden)

Tell me

the truth about sex.
Can you do it by email or text?
Is it best to stay pure
or better play whore?
Oh tell me the truth about sex.

Must I have thighs very tight
which grip for a day and a night?
And what about sweet and gentle,
what if it isn’t consensual?
Oh do tell me the truth about sex.

Tell me the facts about boys.
Do they want all their girls to be toys?
Does there need to be lots of noise?
Is it alright to google his name?
Oh tell me how to play this game.

If in leather or rubber I’m tied
does that break the rule for offside?
Can I really say no
will he ask me to go?
Oh tell me, I do need to know.

Finola Scott‘s poems and short stories are widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Ofi Press, Raum, The Poetry Shed ,The Lake, Poets’ Republic.She is pleased to be mentored, this year on the Clydebuilt Scheme, by Liz Lochead. A performance poet, she is proud to be a slam-winning granny.

 

A New Beginning by Norman Hadley

When the Wilsons judged that they were halfway through the marriage,
they hired a jobbing surgeon-friend
to sever their heads
to sew back on
but swapped around.

They spent their second twenty years
apologising for a million insensitivities
but the sex was fantastic.

Norman Hadley is an engineer and mathematician who writes poetry, short fiction, children’s fiction and cycling-related nonfiction to keep all the hemispheres occupied. He’s produced five poetry collections so far and frenetic participation in Jo Bell’s “52” project has generated sufficient material for five more.

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Liaison by Leanne Moden

I wait for you all afternoon; my flesh is moist with sweat.
The sheets are silk beneath me but I cannot have you yet.

You slowly slide in close to me, our splendid limbs entwined,
And though I cannot say it, I am sure our love’s divine.

My skin ignites with perfect lust and all my fears, I shed,
And as we writhe, a voice exclaims, “Hey you! Get off that bed!”

Though love’s a gorgeous, peerless thing, context is all, I fear.
Perhaps meeting in John Lewis was not the best idea…

Leanne Moden is a poet from Nottingham. She has performed all around the UK, including sets at Trinity College Cambridge, the Nottingham Poetry Festival, Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Royal Albert Hall and Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

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sex in the year 2075 by James Woolf

“hello travis – i’m elaine
we photo-eyed – the aeorotrain?
quickie text beam to your brain – remember me?”

“my dear! of course, so pleased it’s u,
those eyes, that smile, all shiny new
is there something that u want to do? – enlighten me”

“just read your thoughts about my thong
u seem to come on pretty strong
at least u turned this womb-chick on – u fancy me?”

“i marked those thoughts as – NOT FOR OTHERS
(mind-book settings clearly buggered
must get to that before my mother!) – come visit me”

“well now i’m sure u feel this way
i could atomise at yours today
then we’ll act dirty, what d’u say? – please answer me”

“suppose my dear we could have sex
but have to change my x-ray specs
can’t see through any clothes from Next! – what use to me?”

“had just the same with my last pair
could not peek at all at boys down there
only saw stray curls of hair – u’re flashing me?”

“just realised cannot play obsceners!
am not attached to working penis
my latest one is at the cleaners – forgetful me”

“that’s a bugger, travis, shoot!
could pick a prick up though en-route
know of a place that sells some brutes – u yessing me?”

“no – let’s pass on all groin-based relations
not keen on shop-induced gyrations
could we just have a conversation? – that’s suiting me”

“what kind of girl d’u think i am?
u want to talk with no wam bam?
is this some crass insurance scam? – u’re kidding me!”

“why does a natter so offend?
just want to get to know my friend
u womb-chicks drive me round the bend – old-fashioned me”

“u sleazy and pervacious prat!
‘just a natter – just a chat!’
didn’t married people once do that? – quit stalking me!”

James Woolf is a writer of short stories, scripts and adverts and occasional poems. ‘R V Sieger – additional documents disclosed by the Crown Prosecution Service’ was highly commended in the 2015 London Short Story Prize and will be published this month. Ambit magazine will be publishing another story later this year. He was shortlisted in the most recent Fish Flash Fiction competition. Prior to this, his plays have been produced in various off-West End venues including The King’s Head Theatre, the Arcola and the Theatre Royal Margate. Two radio plays have been broadcast including ‘Kerton’s Story’ with Bill Nighy, Lesley Sharp and Stephen Moore. He also write adverts for Black and Decker.

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Under the Hummer Tree by Simon Pinkerton

The Hummer Tree,
Sacred pillar of our school community.
Site of countless hummers.

All-season hummers.
The Hummer Tree bare
And party to blue-lipped, quick, cold-trembling hummers.
New growth, new blowers and blowees.
Hot, sweaty, teenage-fumble hummers,
Welcome cool shade and relative darkness
So as not to showcase the hummer too much,
Or get too hot.

And of course, dry, scratchy leaves falling on my head,
Both heads,
All the heads,
Giving head hidden from the Head
And her Deputy Head hummers.

No matter the season it was always
Cool to be given or to give
A hummer under The Hummer Tree.

(originally published by Mad Swirl, February 2015)

Simon Pinkerton is a humour and fiction writer, very famous and drives a very elegant posh car (Hyundai) and lives in a sought-after area (a shed near Heathrow airport). Please read his writing at McSweeney’s, Word Riot, Minor Literature[s] and other sweet places.

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