OPEN PEN

Issue Eighteen

a free short fiction magazine – home of open literature featuring

The Jungle by Josephine Bruni, Answering Zeus by William Kraemer, Way To Go Donald by N Quentin Woolf & London Short Story prize winner Oh No!, A Bank Robbery! Fuck! by Foye McCarthyDCb2tdCUIAQ7eFJ

I have a special dealer who keeps my Open Pen fix topped up. I’ll be waiting a while for Issue Nineteen but not too bothered as Issue Eighteen has been floating in my bag for those advantageous, peaceful moments to pause. Open Pen editor Sean Preston gives guest editorial duties to author of The Many, Wyl Menmuir. He starts off proceedings with much heart and passion on the political landscape that currently floods our psyches with that uneasy feeling and the distorted reflections one has been forced to endure of late. “We need fiction that reveals us deeper truths than those of which the news is capable” He sees the strength and conscious changing power of writing stories “Writing is about the closest thing we have to telepathy” There are plenty of stories around when we need to escape and even more to help us connect again in these complex times.  If I am looking for the latter, I know I can find it inside the the pages of Open Pen.

It took a park bench in the sun to hold me still enough to finally finish The Jungle by Josephine Bruni in one hit. Previous attempts where stifled by life’s regular interruptions, trying to find solitude at work, being distracted by a lit up android. My imagination well whetted – I think I read the intro six times – each page brought one deeper and deeper into the mind of Subhashini and her stoner enhanced neurosis and love of African Violets. So absorbed, she has become a creator, a little god in her world of black velvet, notched wavy flowers and purpley edges with “leaves perfectly heart shaped like a love song“. An offer of stronger genes in her family from Violets from outta space via an offer from an online chat room changes her world. Josephine writes with exquisite pace and empathy, that lets the reader enter her world of obsession and devotion.

William Kraemer has come up with a hoot of a fiction about a guy who makes up the titles of fake books for movie sets. These empty tomes are his triumph, a meditative fantasy world of amazing possibilities. Pensive Gout by Louis Cardel and A Thousand And One Inches Of Twine by Elissa Dal Santos a couple of favourites.

Way To Go Donald talks of the connection with the POTUS and potentially dying in a fairground accident. It is an uncanny metaphor, having myself escaped from a broken seat belt on the wild mouse unscathed, I get his drift. The only thing you can do is white knuckle it, and consider what might have happened later and how on earth it got clearance to be there in the first place. Part of the furniture at Open Pen, N Quentin Woolf’s pieces are always a mind blast.

Taking the finale of yet another wonderful issue is London Short Story Prize winner’s brilliantly funny Oh No! A Bank Robbery! Fuck! by Foye McCarthy. An Irish kid named Sean loves stories about people who shoot each other. The high expectations and literary selections of his mother are being quashed by the “pew, pew, pew, pew, tshhh” books he wants to write. This delves into another fantasy that gets caught up in a real life adventure, giving him the plot and ending he so desires, gaining answers of the warm and fuzzy variety. Much fun inside his fevered thought processes.

Look out for Issue Nineteen which should be out any tick and at a stockist near you (UK residents have the best chance) or subscribe via Open Pen

 

 

Open Pen Reviews

Joseph Ridgwell – Mexico

Ridgwell and Pig Ear Press join forces again and produce hand-stitched beauty.

Time to check in on authors who regularly get radared here at Urban F HQ. I’ve had this little burgundy book for a while now. After six weeks off work it’s amazing what you find in your notes and hidden journals around the place. A sketch of a volcano, lists of strange encounters, overheard conversations, personal dreams and a short paragraph on Joseph Ridgwell’s, Mexico.

Having been familiar with Ridgwell’s classic road novel Burrito Deluxe, also set within a Mexican backdrop, I couldn’t resist this little gem on offer from Pig Ear Press. A kind of mini Burrito… with less chili. Shaped like a British passport, its gold embossing tells of hearts belonging – at this particular moment – somewhere else, somewhere exotic, somewhere away from the fuzz. Back on the Beach Of The Dead, our favourite miscreant Ronnie is waxing astronomical with wads of philosophy between sips, snorts and swings. “It’s like everything’s dead, even the stars are stillborn“. Back on the prowl, the boys begin looking for more fun before Armageddon, in which, Ronnie & Joe experience some tender and unlawful moments.

Mexico is another taste of the writing style and stories you’ll get from a Ridgwell release. The difference between this and other snippets and short stories is the sexdefying splendor of the print job. All this artisan book binding, handmade paper, embossing and personal touches has this printer’s daughter weak at the knees. It ain’t long, but its quality counts for more. If you are a supporter of the small press revolution, then seek out similar gems from this publisher, if you are new to this rebel lit fiend caper, than this would be a great start to your collection and the many adventures of Joseph Ridgwell.

Book Review Joseph Ridgwell Reviews

Worse Things Happen At Sea

selected poems by Martin Appleby

There was a moment of disappointment when I missed the first run of Martin Appleby’s Worse Things Happen At Sea. An extra five poems in this special edition though has me feeling right chuffed and glad I got in on the second chance run instead. Martin has been slogging away with his lit zine Paper & Ink for many, many issues now. Ten if you’re counting. In fact, he has cemented himself well and truly inside the ‘lit zine trail blazer’ category. It is still lo-fi, full of real heart and unique edge skaters of the literary underground. It has been such a pleasure to get each issue all the way down here in Sydney, opening up the great curtain to new writers and friends all over the world.

Martin has a coy approach to selling himself, though proud and strong when championing all the new voices in Paper & Ink, but he shouldn’t be worried. This is fun, straightforward and passionate. A few of the poems here have snuck inside some P&I classics, so it is a treat to get this cache of thoughts in a well stapled bundle. Dedicated to all ex girlfriends, past and future, After You Left is a fitting start. Stale cigarette smoke and yearning. There is loads of chat on cider, his dreams, regrets, bands, his love of Bukowski, the perils of being a vegetarian via his classic poem Don’t You Miss Bacon and of course boxing.

There are hints of unresolved childhood melancholy but that only seems to have shaped the writer into the strong, resilient man he has become, that strength revealed in Everything. Martin is a rebel who quickly senses the rebellion in others, especially writers. Half way through you start to feel some of the accumulated years of experience shed and drop to the floor. Ten Years is a ripper of regrets he would never have missed. Martin’s humour is dry and honest and extra cute at times with gems like Poetry Is Hard With Kittens, Rejection, Shit Jokes and another fave I’ve spied before Dreams.

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There is the awkward beauty of Nights Like Those about ‘silent sex so that my parents didn’t hear‘ that just makes you smile and reminisce in the wake of similar scenarios. The title poem means a lot to Martin. You can tell, ’cause it’s permanently inked on his wrist, Self deprecating, a reminder, its meaning he will never outgrow. There’s been plenty of rumbles like Why Is Your Moustache Shorter Than The Rest Of Your Beard, another story in his ‘war against myself‘. The one poem that truly reaches me and makes me so happy to have had Martin cross my path is the wonderful The Only Religion I Need. “I have danced on sticky floors, in shitty pubs with bands playing solely for me” mate, we pray at the same altar.

Worse Things Happen At Sea is available here. Check out the back catalogue of fine releases while you are browsing the shelves. Look out for calls for words for the next Paper & Ink Zine release, one that will surely be up many of your dingy back alleys, PUNK! Get scribbling. Submissions here.

Martin Appleby Paper And Ink Zine Poetry Reviews Zines & Journals

YAH! Rock Und Roll

Filthy Broke Recordings’ third anniversary release from

Bradford sound-meister Dean Cavanagh

yah

 

Like the UK and the USA, Germany was very much a part of the late sixties mental awakening. Political art movements and a new sound collided forming a unique musical revolution. Enlightened youth born into their post war mess formed absolute brilliant bands, taking a new path, away from the more classical forms of music and folk entropy, the sickly hop of Schlager pop finally fizzling out. Foreign press conveniently labelled these bands under the moniker of Krautrock. A simple way to define the lineage, giving the impression that they all sounded the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The bands from this time were extremely varied, with influences forming strong, modern and unique sounds. From the beautiful mind of Florian Fricke, the mad anarchic hippies Amon Düül, the rip it to shreds clangs of Amon Düül II, the textural rhythm of Tangerine Dream and their mellow panning of sound across our skulls, the ambient electronica of Cluster, NEU! So much weird chemistry that just worked like CAN, Kraftwerk and my kings, Faust. For me, music from this era was much more intellectual than the sex god rock from other continents who seemed to use their instruments more as a substitute for their schlongs. These bands seemed more serious, theoretical and exploratory, audiences rubbing their chins more than they danced.
With Dean Cavanagh’s latest YAH! Rock Und Roll, one can’t help but feel the spirit of that great electronic birth. It is one of my favourite eras to delve into and what Cavanagh has done here is made a soundtrack to his discoveries and unique take on spilling sound into this ambient flow, a homage to the harmonia of its time. Take Dungeness Bank Holiday. It opens with a Liebezeit pounding, hypnotic monotony holds you, the repetition becomes comfort, a sweet mind control without chemicals. What’s so exciting about this is the experimentation, its hints of avant garde, jazz sensibilities, the way instruments become like a dialogue. Bopper reminds me of the great experimenters, everything is an instrument it’s just the way you use it. What sounds like a persistent door to door salesman with a chaotic finger never falters. I swear the whole thing could’ve melded without breaks. Here, these time old professional fades just felt like slaps to wake me from my trance. Each track is so freaking good, tempo trills to top up the high.

Like the brilliant Big Knee which breathes down your neck and goosesteps down your spine. Synth-licks purr into your ears, sticks beat you while a slick horn sends you into mind blowing ecstasy. There is no way I can get up after such a knee trembler but the bpm ignites your thighs with enough energy to groove again. They Died With Glitter On Their Brothel Creepers pneumatic pulse just wrecks me, its havoc a menace of beauty, our own electric current unified. Rumble In Berlin motors down the straße, Trabant muffler burns with a relentless and comic power. Gay Traitor with all its harmonics, reverb and sting becomes telepathic, while Frippant is a head candy of distortion. The perfectly titled Jonny Reeperbahn snares with a broody angst and divine finish to one of the most exciting soundscapes I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling upon.

Cavanagh’s experiment may jar some sensitive folk, but extinguish your molotov’s and remove the cloth from your ears and float. YAH! Rock Und Roll has an exciting spirit and nothing like the pap one is spoon fed daily via shopping centres and bad television. We relive in isolation, hopefully this is the start of the swing back, a trajectory to enliven movements, ignite the underground and bring it to the forefront again. Start listening.

 

 

 

 

Dean Cavanagh Music Review

Glove

The lone glove on the ground is universally bonding. Who does it belong to? Why is it there? Where is the other?  Questions fuel a writer’s inventiveness. The glove on this cover is by no way a writing prompt, for me it simply represents the imagination, the beautiful, the dark, the unknown, the funny, the angry, life affirming stories that are inside us all … and possibly the creature who hides beneath the grate scratching in my underground carpark because he lost his other glove! Who really knows, it’s just a guess.

This zine is new on the scene, but the mastermind behind Glove is not. I’ve been inadvertently following editor Ian Cusacks‘ work for years via the Great British zine train that I seem to have an eternal ticket on. Hand Job, Paper & Ink and the now defunct PUSH and their branch lines have been hurtling my mind to great publishers like Tangerine Press, Burning House Press, East London Press, Murder Slim Press, Pig Ear Press , Blackheath Books and short fiction magazines like Open Pen . These all include the standout writers from the zines that I cherish. My writing connections already satisfyingly endless. Glove had its first issue launched at the beginning of the year. This birds latest carry round tome for those C-pXcYeUMAA7SEhmoments when all things electric fail me. Moments when ones mind needs sustenance away from the permeating light of devices. I knew this issue would be filled with high calibre word blasts from the names on the contributors page.

We start with Michael Keenaghans Thief Taker. Michael delves into the personal side of cop and ‘chavenist bastard’ Jack, as he copes and battles the juggling of business and pleasure. Michael’s storytelling is laced with grit and heart, personal crimes weave in and out of the turmoil of being on the job 24/7, a kick it in the guts beginning. In this issue, Cusack’s goal it seems, is to fit this fat with as many authors as possible. After this story, it becomes devour time. Stock Car Racers by Gwil James Thomas takes us to a place of early memory, as “the weekend warrior” finds time to escape and find their bliss. We start to understand the myriad number of ways we entertain ourselves, our reward for time spent away from our true loves and our true selves. Gwil’s poetry collection Gwil Vs Machine has many more perfect moments and recommend you get a copy in the second print run of it via Paper & Ink Zine.

Terence Corless is a constant of the zine lit fiend circuit and rightly so. This, a taste from his upcoming novel Quarter Life. Some of the characters that Terence pulls out are right scrotes. Seems Terence has had loads of experience cause the characters and circumstances he pulls the reader into feel very real with that numb, no consequence terror of friends we have left behind. Don’t know much about Governor Scott Walker or Wisconsin politics for that matter, but author John Grochalski surely gives me plenty to ponder with his dedicated poem america the beautiful (or) moloch for too early in the morning. Such beautiful, maniacal venting has me pounding my desk with yes! The defeat in his second piece widening gyre, is heartbreaking, there is a surrender in the words, sharing the frustration inside the pus of politics.

Independence Day Party by Christopher Iacono at first feels no way celebratory. A letter is cleverly dissected by prose that reveals and twists over the lives of Joanie and Richard. Tragic and bizarrely joyous, Christopher Iacono has more work to read via cuckoobirds.org . Josephine Allen’s The Life and 21st Century Nudes smack right into me. Her truth and empathy stings, “my sexuality isn’t just seen, it’s smelt and touched and heard in the tiny moments in between” Whooshka! I am becoming a huge fan of her writing. Joe, Me and The Theory is Jason Jackson’s piece. I know Jason shares my obsession with heading out with new ways of seeing via his photography. In this piece he has me pondering the Fibonacci sequence as he asks what makes a great photograph. Interspersing his love for music, and heroes on the wall “It’s hard to tell whether he’s about to ask if you want a drink or a smack in the face” when you are talking to Strummer it would surely be even bets. These experiences shape our path, the questions only he can answer.

When I see other zine editors in other zines I get such a buzz. You feel their feet on the table, that relaxed – ‘this is for someone elses gathering kinda vibe’ instead of that awkward –  ‘It’s my party and I’ll write if I want to’ feel. I’ve spied a few through these pages so far. Hi-Vis Publisher Jim Gibson shares a candid moment from his youth or that of fictional acquaintance Greg, in Greg 4 Kelly. Small town first love memories, simple, its melancholy brushes light – not quite “She walks in beauty, like the night” …thanks LB – more a solid ownership of regrets and decisions amore in a small feral town. Joe England, he of PUSH, 5 Managers and his new word venture C.O.N thrilled me with a brilliant piece on snogs and office gossip. His writing in The Letter is as tender as it is hard core, Joe can obviously do more than gather the greats onto pages. Paper & Ink Zine editor Martin Appleby lets his beard down with a couple of treasures that may or may not come from his poetry release Worse Things Happen At Sea. Dreams and In The End We All Become Our Parents Whether We Like It Or Not both lament decisions, changes in our priorties, but only one mentions a heavily tattooed dwarf. Glove editor Ian Cusack of course deserves to put on his writing jacket and give us two belters Ballybofey which is an out of time mind stomper that has me thinking Ian has been smoking his belly button fluff while Shopping is a lump of text that forms a photograph of suburban surreality, unlimited in its chilling or mundane ending, you choose. Delighted to find more ways on how to find his work.

The contributors continue. Mark Beechill is beautiful gloom and reflection with Ghosts and Pebbles. It has more of a micro fiction feel hiding inside a poetic coat. I will definitely seek some more of his poetry that he has released from his den of obscurity. Pretty sure I’ve read Ian Parris before, can’t put my finger on where but know I dig his style of story. A Tripadvisor nightmare, boys on the prowl and very much out of their comfort zone. Parris has a great honest flow in his story Holidays In The Sun. The reader becomes trapped inside the cogs and thoughts of four lads with two things on their mind, booze and broads abroad. What goes on inside these heads is fast paced smarts that tickles as much as they repel. Ford Dagenham posts a poem or pic a day on his blog Hatchbacks On Fire. I have said before it is an essential fix of mine to read everyday. The two selections here are not from his brilliant poetry release A Canvey Island Of The Mind so I feel another book may be forming if this is the magic that Ford is exposing here. “I was on a wild ragged drunk. I was in a teflon bubble” boils Fuckup POV In Hiatus. Barking In The Streets reminds me why his imagery and thought processes become addictive.

Anna Wall I read with fresh eyes and excitement as my skin goosed by so much beauty. Adultery and The Bricks That Built The Kiln, two different relationships, lust perils, the understanding of mistakes and the chemistry of comfort. A regular at Nottingham’s Speech Therapy, if I ever was in town I’d be there in a blink. Keep Calm And Carry On by Emily Richards recites the loner armed with a beautiful optimism. Her breath of humour ignites as she tries to impart her good heart on Patrick the homeless fella round the corner. This is a delight. Diving into her blog Poetry In Pink with my next cuppa.

The truth emitted from Rob Plath‘s single entry And Nothing Else Fills reveals often all is not what it seems. With many releases revealed via his website, they will surely be on my reading radar. It is quite challenging at times scanning through such a variety of styles and emotional states in one sitting, sometimes you have to stop still after one short story or one single poem. At the Border Crossing Between Hello And Goodbye by Ron Gibson Jr had this effect. Too much to process to just pass over to the next. Fortunately I have read Jared A Carnie’s work before, his taster here Geography dwells on the traumas that our land amasses. His novel Waves is one I hope to get to read one day. Love a good spy story and this short, Wolf Orff’s The Reckoning (For Elif Bateman), seems like a snippet from a larger saga and sets a great premise complete with hand knitted bog roll covers. Also check out Wolf’s amazing collection of discarded and abandoned bits and bobs via his blog just a treat.

These glimpses of the great under heard via Urban F is an easy way to record writers I should never forget. Topped and tailed with these outbursts of feelings reminds me of their style kinda like Guy Pearce in Memento using photographs to remember, I use reviews to recall my life of reading. Writer Chris Milam though will need to be ‘post-it’ noted on my computer. His story Garbage Man is so intriguing. I had heard about archeologists knowing how rich a family was by the size of the stem removed from an asparagus stalk. But the effort of discovering more, via this ‘trash voyeur’ is an amazing uncovering. He knows everything about the lives he rips into. Holy hurricane indeed, I want more stories by this guy.

Unfortunately, as with all great small print runs, Issue One has sold out *pass the tissues* which also means everyone better get in quick once issue Two is announced. Submissions for Issue 2 are coming to a close but more contributions are always welcome via iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk

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Strungballs by Mike Russell

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Ordered and mesmeric. This family’s interactions can pause to an extent that almost becomes non existent. Do they exist only if all is involved in the conversation? An eerie language that connects time, memories and moments described to the second. So aware of time, of measurements, the foundation of their lives. This seems to be all they have except for Strungballs. One can hear the buzz of boredom in their ears. What do they have besides every boys dream. The most sort after accoutrement with all its status, dangly strings and models. So coveted one must remove a piece of flesh for, again and again until nothing really holds you together.
Reading this short story has one’s imagination suffering as we plod through the minimal and awkward silences that is their lives. We peer into it and can’t help being pulled into its trance and rhythm. It sounds unpleasant but that is good storytelling.
Ten year old Sydney is undergoing a rites of passage, done with a beautiful vision on the perils of materialism and human conditioning. His leap into a different spirituality that he discovers via room 333 and new friend Albert is a beautiful awakening. Where the body and his fears are non existent, triggers the spark for knowledge and realisation of his individuality. Unknown king of the inquisitive, he very quickly questions doctrine and all the whitewash and begins the great unlearning. Sydney is on the search to find himself.
All cultures are full of strange stories, telling them is in our dna. This sci-fi dystopian fable is a gem. I wanted it fatter though, a little more filler could of helped us hold onto its message more. So although, it is a quickie, I enjoyed the imagery. The proud father whose dreams of his son selling or promoting Strungballs is paramount, the melancholic suppressed mother in a backdrop of tears and fears, white, black and red, flesh & robot nurses is vivid. The slow minimalism perfectly empty. The reproduction anatomy lesson in the middle jarred a little, though amused enough. If that particular imparting of fact was extended into a psychedelic touchy feely fun parlour I would of enjoyed the trip a little more and a little longer. Overall, I got to know Sydney and wanted to see how his quest would end, so this taste of author of Mike Russell has me prying into his world. Strange days indeed. You can purchase Strungballs and check out many more stories and Mike’s empire via his website StrangeBooks

Mike Russell Reviews

Hand Job Zine An Anthology

handyA stark cross in the brickwork. This is England and Hand Job have been exploring the best from the underground for 10 strong issues. This its final before they head into the heady territory of publishing via Hi Vis Press ‘Publishers Of the Unbound’, with many projects already slotted for the ink treatment.Blazers of the do-it-yourself ethos, this gang of word renegades are ready to share their finds and like minds, voices breaking out of an uninspiring age. They are part of the new awakening. The more I read from the many publishing houses that I have been introduced to via Hand Job and friends, the more I realise I have nothing in common with the popular. I am absolutely proud of this fact. I love the reality I have chosen, that is celebrating a part of the shaping of unheard and underheard voices of Britain, all in the comfort of my little nest in Sydney. I lived and worked in England for many years. It is very much a part of me and my loved ones. The only reason I started Urban F and reviews was for the sole purpose of staying connected with a place very dear to me. The people, the towns, the language, the humour. In doing so I have miraculously entwined myself with some of the most brilliant writers, comfortable in their talents, choosing to be original, rebellious and beautiful, with many ‘did I really just read that’ moments. I like the trust one develops with independent publishers, Hand Job wont give you a bum steer. They will sniff out all the bad, the profiteers and schemers.

This line up is the best of ten issues. So here I am again, with paper in front of me, a comfy chair. Silence, the day passing inside someone else thoughts. Yessica Klein “an excuse to jump momentarily into someone, the contours of their past”. It is this and a poet’s eye that we build ourselves by reading and exploring our responses. Thomas McColl goes the ‘sad tale, hard lesson’ road well with 50p and the his new creation myth, the very funny and weird Han The Headless. Regular Hand Jobber and Glove Lit Zine’s Ian Cusack hits the page with his matter of fact solid text. His faustian wet dream had me in shock. A thick retelling of close encounters on the motorway is amazing. He does misogynistic psychopath with so much flair you can’t help being torn. This is a hit with a brick tale. There is the compelling short stories from Amy Victoria Gray which seem to dissolve into each other. The Great Pyramid Of Tower Hamlets and Council Estate Ghost walk through concrete realities, she writes out of body of stark monotony, her story telling is heady and unique.

Terence Corless teases back and forth in a daydream with a taster 2nd Weekend from his upcoming novel Quarter Life. His second contribution Big Bruv is an eulogy of the living. A life encapsulated, his shortcomings forgiven. Miggy Angel smacks out four pillars of hard hitting sublime beauty with The Door, Alchemy, Life On Mars (Bars) & The Plastic Detox Mattress. His urban creative is endless, Burning House Press and The Arsonist Magazine just one part to keep an eye out for.handy-2

Holly Watson shines out of the page with two treats Jackie’s Marvellous Medicine and The Lie. I’m addicted to Holly’s storytelling, her funny light bending in our day to day, her take on family observations and growing up in Coventry has me reaching for the ventilon, keeping my smile on well after the her stories finish. Her Coventry Conch blog page is my favourite remedy when life starts to stink.

Shame by Ben Williams is a heart wrenching story on bullying, when children pack and encourage, roused by cruelty you understand how the right interference and a simple gesture can steer wrong intentions.

Regular at Hand Job central is Dean Lilleymen. More extracts from his novel Billy And The Devil. Check out his performances, recitals of passage on his fantastic website. These snippets will hook you to tackle the whole story and guide you to links to purchase. Another piece plucked from The Gospel According To Johnny Bender, a snapshot from the Edendale carnival is a smirk away from being uncomfortable, and is a definite on my reading list this year. There is also a piece called Diference = Exchange that is a knockout, “tricked by her own singularity in a meadow of same” Rise Up! indeed.

On to our host Hand Job president Jim Gibson. Thrilled to be seeing more of his work around the place, both these  pieces An Essay On Woodcarving, Nature and the adrenalin kicks of Romance, has me paused and re reading to feel the atmosphere and mull over the sentiment again and again.

A couple of quickies from Joseph Ridgwell that at first glance would have you topping yourself if the blade was handy. It spits and hisses after a bad night on the booze, it’s vapour a mood changer. If New Year Blues has an opposite it would be serene observations and psychogeographical waltz of Wardie Bay Blues, and its lilting bliss.

Wonderful to see Gwil James Thomas on a new page. My main encounters have been poetic, this time Gwil tells the story of ‘how I’d meet Diego, the world’s greatest coach driver’ This is the same trip where beautiful prose materialised for some of the pages of Gwil Vs Machine available via Martin Appleby’s, Paper And Ink Zine offshoot. Gwil makes us all comfy, he tells it like we are all sat round a table sharing sangria, sunrise travels, reminding us all we have so many stories to tell, this one perfect and simply told.

Martin Appleby whose work has appeared in many past issues of this brilliant literary zine has the final page, Burger Man and Shit Jokes is punk word beats and past loves, funny, melancholic, straight up thoughts with no pretention. The accompanying picture has me pondering Martin’s finds.

Though the words are at the heart of Hand Job one must mention how their design just keeps getting more sophisticated no doubt accentuated by the artful eye of Sophie Pitchford. After gazing at the photography and layout of this Anthology issue, one gets a taste of what exceptional results the posse at Hi Vis Press can achieve.

This anthology is like a grown up version of itself. Ten issues, The layout, images, strong short stories and sublime poetry is planted perfectly. You can purchase this, back issues and follow new projects via Hi-vispress .com.

 

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