GLOVE 2

DKfTiilV4AEcPF6Ian Cusack’s Glove smacked onto the zine scene harder than a Gilly’s ton.  This second slap of fightin’ words has initiated another pen duel. To tackle the work presented here and inform the word insatiable’s why Glove is the kind of publication you should support.

Firstly, my favourite conch Holly Watson takes out the honour of setting the story bar high. I have been frothing at the mouth over Holly’s work in other zines and whenever I get an opportunity to share a new blog post or story of hers, there is never, ever any trepidation re the quality and humour that will appear. I seriously want a rainy weekend, a packet of penguins and her back catalogue of adventures all in one place. Someone please tell me that is happening soon. I cannot fathom why this writer is not being snapped up and shared. Her stories are straight out script like, I see the movie, I see the franchise, call Mike Leigh! In this story, Holly needs the help of Nanny Pam’s keen eye and style to procuring a fancy dress outfit to knock all the other Spice Girl wannabes for six. This diarised table of events is a funny, tender and tragic tale of growing up in Holly’s world. Superb as always.

There is no real order of placement in Glove. It’s the kind of zine thats style comes from  random fits and this works well. Dani Devotchik’s Alcohol found its place, tucked in the bottom of the page, though stands out strong with its message. Wes Cooke teases his way through Art Brute, Roy MacBeth’s aka ‘The Finsbury Park Fauve’s’ latest exhibition. Major crack ups to be had here as Wes sets the scene with its tantalising mockumentary approach. Bloody brilliant.

Little poetic breaks are our light refreshment but Between Wear and Tyne by Jason Jackson is by no means lightweight. This is a wonderful reminisce of life before being born, womb memoirs and catching ‘more distant, future notes‘, its message lingering and magically pondered.

Hands Thegither is written in Scots and lilts with a brilliant pace. The story builds from an encounter at a play, when a non applauding punter riles him up triggering a wave of words and emotion. “See, the world’s been pissin me oaff for a while noo an Ah dinnae really ken whit tae dae aboot it” The applause is loud from me, adored this story from A.G.Kayman.

There is a perfect calming inside To spend an evening easy by DS Maolalai every stanza filled with the ordinary, imagery of a simple evening, drinking beer with an old friend. Spine tingles a plenty when I read Mary by Carl Taylor, with his flash of great style and suspense, taking me to my own dark and warp to fill in the gaps and ending.

When I was last in the UK, I was held like gunpoint to watch my uncles favourite show Pointless. With open mouth I tried my best to fathom the concept. To win, one must choose the least correct answer that a group of people would choose on a given subject, like lets say Medieval Popes. Firstly, you gotta be up on your popes. Secondly it is seemingly unavailing, surreal even, hopeless, but my rellos love it, laughing between brews, crumbs spat everywhere. PJ Smith uses this televisual phenomenom as the backdrop for his captivating story on family, drugs, the need for connection and the cult of personality. Bonza stuff.

Half way in now, and surely you can see the value. Time to get word winded by the brilliant and prolific Ford Dagenham. I threw out my jogging shoes today does the collapse under the weight of his strange everyday. Gwil James Thomas is back inside my eyes with Solitude. The life of a writer, torn up with the need, but craving the other. Lucky punters get a good taste of a favourite. Here is a choice cut from Billy And The DevilBy The Time I Get Through The Shop Door by Dean Lilleyman. This barney between Billy and his boss Norris whose head is “jut-jutting like a fuckarsed chicken” has his sights set on stuffing up his day. This story kicks bottom. If all these literary licks have finally tantalised, look out for the exorcised release via Hi Vis next year.

If Terence Corless is testing the waters for content for his novel, the 17th Weekend better be part of it. In just five paragraphs he took me just to the moment of boredom and as I thought ‘what’s he up to here then?’ THWACK! Take romance, tragedy and a cliffhanger in a shot glass and light it! The chills down my shoulders still reverberating. As does Deborah Baird’s Victim and the nasties endured during break ups.

Onto some bloke called Cusack who goes full on nutjob at the barbers. His inner rant cathartic, funny and borderline real. Adam Steiners Jellyfish surfaces with beauty to then plunge into silent bubbles of truth. Walter Otton is a clever manipulator. His story Supermarket Samaritan has you questioning heroes in an instant, its plot lingers. Tim Baldwin’s Letter De Cachet is rich and evoking. Myself imprisoned by its imagery, read over and over, an architectural possession of thought.

Joseph Ridgwell’s silver tongue can’t help flickering. Too Old To Pull It Off is the stark truth re an old flame and bonus piece The Female has him climbing family trees uncovering ironic tragedies. Ridgwell’s style is blushingly honest, no skeletons in his back catalogue, though he will add extra meat to all his bleached bones, Ridgwell is what he is, upfront and delightful. All the rewards of his closed doors will hopefully be revealed in the new year.

You Should Be by Steve Campbell is chilling. When Hypnopompic meets Hypnagogic the terror is tantamount to post traumatic stress disorder, so real and excruciating, as it takes turns entering in and out of husband & wife. Really chilling, emphatic to its horror. Jamie Thrasivoulou’s The Best of A Bad Situation is still sitting on my desk, and re read. So it is a delight to bump into him here. Bin Day/Autumn/Terraced Streets is a fitting contribution for now and anytime really. His eyes and ears attuned to what’s going on around him, in the moment, a polaroid of his suburbia.

The pages have thinned now, but I know Michael Keenaghan will be fat with menace and reality. But instead I see a welcomed vulnerability but still very real. When your guard is down it can invite good and bad. Our futures prepared, Michael flashes black and white from “a hell of mistakes, regrets, disease” to “the funfair sounding across the green“. The secrets we keep exorcised for all “the dirty dark secrets of mankind”. The same reactions, same scenarios, the healing begins.

Little word stompers are all through this issue. Joseph Albenese’s What We Offer, the defiant fearless ecstasy of Scott Wozniak A Final Bit Of Romance, the evocative unease of Jared Carnie’s list of New Things in the House, Ally May’s mindfulness in Westgate Road, Jim Gibson’s mind trickery of Mottled & Katie Lewington GB, who has us questioning is it people or place that shapes identity.

What a great batch of writers, bloody brilliant.

Only a few issues left of Glove #2

Glove #3 is OUT NOW

£3 UK, £4 EU & £5 R of W

40 pages of outsider prose & poetry by 32 writers – PayPal to iancusack@blueyonder.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review Dean Lilleyman Ford Dagenham Glove Gwil James Thomas Joseph Ridgwell Reviews Zines & Journals

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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