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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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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Hand Job 10

There is a lot of spirit in this issue. I’m sensitive to these things and this seriously vibrates with the stuff. Poetry, photography, short stories and performance, all here. I slowly peel back the clear plastic sleeve to see who’s inside. Hand Job Issue 10 gave a call out for all things a little…um, strange. An ‘Occultist Realism’ theme. You know, something Alistair Crowley could peruse while dunking biscuits in his tea. Jim Gibson and Sophie Pitchford searched far and wide on this one. No stone circle was left unturned. The tin foil hat brigade reject slips were sent out quick, leaving them with a stellar bunch of writers to accommodate the page. CmmNHI7UEAAmKfbSo, we start with Granton Leviathon. I grab my blanket and get stuck in. Like Renwick’s grandchildren, I stare up into the old man’s face and let the tale unfold. ‘Tell us of the Granton People eater’ we whisper. We are all ready for a candle-under-the-chin story, but my ears are settled on what is going on next door. Magdelena is frustrated. Promises of a new home, a new life back in her homeland once they save enough money is not coming quick enough. So she kicks her no good husband out into the cold night. A lighthouse and a six pack is his destination. Will he meet the monster himself? Of course! No one writes domestic squalor with comic accents quite like Joseph Ridgwell can. Funny, edge of your seat and nasty, his Granton Leviathon is a great start. Another component of this surprise package of a zine is the bonus poetry performance CD of artists who have been in this and past issues. Joseph turns on the mic and bursts out first with his do-it-yourself, no airs, no graces, just himself and some chintzy back up tapes. It has all the clunks and amateur fades of a bitter bingo caller. I dig it muchly. 8mm is all tequila and mucho macho, and reminds me of his brilliant novel Burrito Deluxe. He spins a few on this bonus CD, Arose From The Dead, The Kiss and Satan’s Garlanded Pimp, all with cheek, irreverence and fun. I’m excited because I have Raif Mansell in my ears at the same time reading him. I remember other poems of his when I was catching up on the evolution of Hand Job. Bang On is a lesson in synonyms and love ‘the moon was hanging with the sun in the sky‘ a touching poem of a father and daughter, and the influence from all that surrounds them. His soft delivery exactly what the title suggests. A Waiter In Kingston Upon Thames just as thoughtful and hopeful. The Holy Hydron Collider is next forming a weird synchro as I can hear the popcorn festival of Angels & Demons on the background telly as I type. So its links to the Hadron Collider and the god particle is pretty fresh in my mind. Ben Williams confirms that these scientists’ gods are in for a bollocking, theories fly by like short stories, their own gods dangling from their keyrings. Time for some photography and Hand Job‘s own Sophie Pitchford nymphs it in the buds and brambles of nibbled mushrooms and shows us some nature shots. We ask the forest for answers, we see them in the trees and soil. Onto The Shine Of John Donne where ‘everything glistened like the inside of a drunk God’s puppet-theatre’ I’m an avid follower of Miggy Angel‘s work. His poetry, photography and collaborative ventures are exceptional. This metaphysical story on the stairs glows like a dustbin fire and tears into you. No truer tale could teach as much. Besides hosting a premiere performance poetry night called Speech Therapy every month, Miggy is also editor of the wonderful ‘not for profit/for prophecyBurning House Press community. It is a must to explore this supportive and encouraging project. Azeem Ali’s symbols and simulcrae have me staring for a while and ready to tackle Dead Witches and that old chestnut fear of being different. Cody Yeo brings the rituals of both parties through a tight dialogue and brings to the fore the truer evil. Ian Cusack’s The Wicker Man is as mad as putting a toad in your mouth. I love its cantakerous rant. Terence Corless never stops impressing me. So pleased to read his short story Gladys. An intriguing, mystical, sad and joyous mind bomb of a story. Bonus thrill is his aural contribution Taking It In produced by Penny Ashdown with Music by Matthies -LS. Thoughts swallowed when the sensurround kicks in. There is a cool abstraction by illustrator and collager Blair Frame, his contribution If Death Can Fly, So Can I swirls with everyone’s own meaning. Dean Lilleyman reads like a hallucination with Moon Burns The Sun. A ritualistic trance into another realm, shifting shapes raw and instinctual, in and out of his own night sweats. The poem Changeling by Michael Murray skips inside its folkloric beat ‘with crumbs for dreams and a blob of butter where my heart was’, loneliness is a strange creature. Thrilled to see a piece from Dean Cavanagh. This poem I’ve read dozens of times. Like a casino floor of Dante’s that’s been closed for renovations. The dice man’s reflection twists in a modern fury of randomness and manipulation leaving me with a beautiful fear, a calm inside an uncontrollable future. Yvette Robinson and Jennifer Skip’s photography looks like a switched on absurdist revival. Closer investigation reveals a deeper meaning on gender, body image and the media. Their photography from promotion during The Festival Of The Body held in Leeds in March stops me in my tracks. More words and Michael Murray is resurrected inside the vivid world we enter in dreams and vice versa. Onto the world of a cashless society. Paul Case’s story of Mr Fitzjohn’s frustrating transformation in The New Bank shows the futile circle we get ourselves into. The pages now thinning I see Jason Jackson’s name. His childhood once again reminisced. A haunting of Worms so perfectly recalled, where dream becomes real becomes dream, just perfect. The words keep flowing as I pop my headphones back on and get all snug inside Holly Watson’s (The Conventry Conch) The Carboot story. This has me in stitches. Later, she has Nanny Pams Jeans on. Holly sounds exactly how I read her in my mind. The sweet, straight delivery of her own prose has perfect comic timing. She just has to share more of these aurally. Holly is getting quite a fan base with everyone I share her work with. Listening to her read is just a joy. Hollow Hyms – Captain Of the Rant Vs Hair Explosion blasts nice bass beats between a spleen let loose, waxing on the homogenisation of our world, his passion wilted with frustration. The orchestration around the strong lament is enough to take this to the level of an extraordinary recording. CmmNDXPUIAAtSWpIan Cusack pops in between lunch and records this exclusive Universe Of Life. Having read Ian over the years, it is a delight to hear the strength and nuances on the lines he has cooked up. He is a great story teller, his no thrills intros like calling the next patient inside his surgery. Poisoned is grim, but what a story, I adore this CD so much, hands free, all ears. Dean Lilleyman’s I Get Into Town Early, is a piece from his novel Billy & The Devil. I have heard him recite many pieces before, usually uncomfortable squirmers, absolutely fantastic. His latest The Gospel According To Johnny Bender has been launched and ready to check out. Meetings And Tales by Yessica Klein and read by Anya Oderyakova flies over your mind. Words rest where they are needed. Line by line, the delivery is mesmeric. Lay on the grass, let the light in. This is a beautiful collaboration. When I first heard the collaboration of We Bleed Ink I was gobsmacked.  The poetry of Miggy Angel (Words/Voice)  combined with the brilliant sound sculptures of John Freer (Instruments/Production) are mesmerising. Freer’s audio poise is sublime and if they don’t release all the pieces they have in their back catalogue soon this emptiness inside me will remain forever. Their audio piece, The Saint, strolls the pavement until it has the guts to spit the truth. Finally something slips onto the ground. A folded A4, Jim Gibson residing on each side. These two pieces highlight his own skill with prose. You become the observer inside the melancholic haze of childhood, black and white moments. A great way to end this fantastic package of lit and performance that Hand Job has produced. Limited edition so get your hands on one quick.  Also out RPM – A Micro Zine and Children Of Snakehill, all available here.

 

 

 

Dean Cavanagh Dean Lilleyman Hand Job Joseph Ridgwell Miggy Angel Poetry Reviews Uncategorized Zines & Journals

Zine Reviews by Abbie Foxton

Zine Nation

zine 1

People Make Plans by Nicole Jennelle

Her stomach is rough cut open. Paper flap reveals everything inside. Textures and a hidden message. A tiny envelope stuck to the inside opens, stark and to the point, not knowing exactly what it means, well, not yet.

People Make Plans deals with educator Nicole Jennelle’s experiences within education reform. The stomach is a fitting image for this zine because everything is churning, internalised deep within her gut. The main stories are dated and stamped with location. From New Bedford Massachusetts where Nicole grew up to Portland, Oregon and many cities in between. This is made clear via her ‘Moving Around The Country In Table Form’ with accompanying analysis “Rich people ruin everything cool”.

This is part diary, part personal manifesto. The grief from her mother’s death in 2008 consumes her. It is our first glimpse into her life, to understand some of the…

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Zine Reviews by Abbie Foxton

Zine Nation

MC Sunflower Jones

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – A Billie Holiday Pocket Reader

by MC Sunflower Jones

These teeny zines thrill me. Such a neat fit, perfect for inside a dolls hands or fob pocket. I used to make zines like this, way back when I used to run with scissors. So its size I feel immediately taken with. Subject. Ain’t Misbehavin. Jazz siren, Billie Holiday gracing its cover. Big magnolia bursts like a bullet hole, black and white, pages stapled and unaligned so charming. You feel other things being done while this was made, it is relaxing to hold. A little bit of magic for the eyes to get lost in and the ears to remember the honey dripping. “Her haunting voice drifted through the small nightclub” Miss Holiday starts up, “Southern trees bear strange fruit” I can hear the protest, fear and tears. Dierdree Prudence & Steven Hughes Purkey popped this one out…

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