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Published by Fire Agate Press, 2018-01-03 07:42:43


Poetry, art

Endpapers: Brian Sloan
Cover: Emma Cownie

The series of paintings I am doing at children living in the area has have
present is called "urban minimal" and is dropped markedly since the increasing
very influenced by American painters. number of HMOs started to swamp
Brynmill. This has had knock on effects for
I include below some of the writing for my sustainability as families normally sustain
recent exhibition which clearly describes communities with services and business
this style and the subject matter and catering for these families.
artists that inspired and influenced it.
My exhibition looks at the visible signs of
I also include 8 paintings from the this "hollowing of community" by looking
exhibition which was called "Hollowed at the time when students are not here,
Community" and hope this suffices for such as in the summer months. It is in this
your magazine feature? absence of students that I have attempted
to catch this ghostly silence, this funereal
"Hollowed Community” quiet. In streets suddenly empty, devoid
of cars, elderly people suddenly appear
My exhibition explores the theme that the on the streets, as if from hibernation and,
community of Brynmill in Swansea has most tellingly, the sparse number of
become "hollowed" out by the children start to play in the streets and
proliferation of Houses of Multiple parks but so much fewer than before. It is
Occupation (HMOs), which house an ever as if the community is in a temporary
burgeoning population of students mourning in this sudden quiet and the
attending Swansea University. HMOs in area looks more spacious, as it breathes
many streets constitute in excess of 50% out in the summer sun. This is I have
of the houses. This ever increasing painted, and documented, this lull before
transient population has had a the next wave of erosion.
devastating effect on the sense of
community in Brynmill. Families and

In this space I am reminded of those Urban Minimal
American realist painters who paint the I wanted to capture this temporary calm
quiet, the spacious and the still and revere of summer in paint. So I started to take
a certain treatment of light and colour lots of photos of the local area with an eye
such as Edward Hopper, Jim Holland, John to using them for the basis of paintings.
Register, Frank Hobbs as well as by My “rules” for composition and painting 1.
Contemporary Minimalists such as No cars 2. No People 3. Bright light. There
Christopher Benson, Leah Giberson, Tom must be shadows – at diagonals if
McKinley, Micthell, Johnson, Jessica Brilli possible. 4. Simplified forms – there must
and Emmett Kerrigan. I aim to bring an be little detail in the final painting. I
American sensibility to a Welsh urban wanted to explore the interplay of the
landscape in my “urban minimal”* geometry of shadows and man-made
paintings, to contrast their sunny structures – the tension between the 3D
optimism with our cold reality. buildings and the 2D shadows. Simplified
blocks of colour."

Bernard Street Bus Stop

Former Post Office

Glanmor Glamour

Piet's Lane

3 poems by Colin Dodds

(Spill-O and the Momentarily Unspeakable)
A bad tour guide, it intercepts
Spill-O’s final-most seeming escape
and returns him to the old dead end

With light, heat, moisture and growth
the kaleidoscopic reincarnation of summer looms high
as an office block, boils like a tidal wave

Inescapable, it peeks
through the foliage of heterogeneity
the criminals, geniuses and underground dragon wranglers
to reveal a face that no booze will blot
no holy text reinterpret, nor forced march
into strangeness overturn

Spill-O knows that face
and its lowest inhabitable name
—unpronounceable only
as long as he has the strength

(Spill-O at the Anhedonia Buffet)
The greatest trick the devil ever played
was wearing a button-down shirt untucked
to hide how much weight he’d gained

Perhaps the living surfaces of day
do at least refract the divine
But Spill-O wanted as much light as he could handle
Anything less than a fatal dose would not do

Freedom swings past
with its own disproof in hot pursuit
Delight’s still a plague
and Spill-O’s prayer is to become bored with even this
and in disgust go on living

Every revelation
becomes a fresh obfuscation soon enough
and vice, sadly, versa

But they each work for a moment
And he’s the type to confuse momentary relief
with deathless truth, and to call a predictable cycle
an evolution

The much-assaulted mystery purses her lips
impenetrable once more

by dint of the thing Spill-O hadn’t accounted for
—how tired he’d become

tired enough perhaps to renounce
his obvious connection
to his fellow man
for starters...

(Spill-O’s Winter Treaty)
A winter so long the city landmarked snow banks
Ice on the river and peanut butter in the fridge
Christmas trees on the curb
too cold for chess or drug dealing in the park

After a long day among denizens of a towering fantasy
the imagination turncoats, gimmick realtors and lost-game hunters
Spill-O hangs by tired fingertips from a ledge of dice
illegible ice, boot-printed slush full of acid flashbacks

Old heavy coat from another life
Always broke, always getting by
Still in the game, still quick in the gut with it
Still dribbling bright whiskey on notebook pages
Hope enough for a haircut

Sliding into the minor-character fate
presaged by trees growing only to not reach the sky
and the ugly drinkers in dive bars
on the edges of a cosmic ghetto

Shirt from a fled friend, shoes from a moment
he thought he was rich for the thousandth time, wrongly
Haircut like middle management in a Soviet wrestling company
Spill-O scries the sidewalk—faces leonine, lupine, anodyne
Every skin and surface either camouflage or bluster

It is perhaps only because someone better
told him there’s an eye under every scab
that Spill-O bounds from subway to sidewalk to bar
stamping heel to pave
like an interplanetary dignitary stamping a treaty
holding and being held in long glances
trying a tired hand at a pain he takes for granted
like a skell trying a locked door, just because

Rain on snow—a cacophony of kindly ghosts
he doesn’t believe in
Eyes like wallpaper, eyes like sandpaper
Ice cubes like the busted knuckles
of a snowman who couldn’t pay up
Snow banks like the wads
of scar tissue in his ankles

Nostalgia gives way to charmless cold
Dreams amortized and discarded
Beautiful like the wake
a sunk ship leaves

Colin Dodds is a writer. His work has appeared in more than 250 publications, been
anthologized, nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, and praised by luminaries
including Norman Mailer and David Berman. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife
and daughter. See more of his work at

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What black deep you made
Robin Wyatt Dunn

what black deep you made
wracking augury
what news
tell me straight
I haven't any patience for it
I can't make sense of the breeze

the land and the sea
no longer free me for the mourning morning news

what news
what gorge and giant muse
what gorge and giant muse, boy
which block and rise
which giant mountain
rising from the sea

tell me its name
I heard it in dreams

girls and boys are screaming

the names of small gods
swarming round their faces

little sparks of light
fairies and spooks

rising silent over the end of the day

whose day is ending

whose garden cooks the light
whose majesty is it
that stakes the silent water
stirring me to rise
and mate

clock and caraway seed
black cheese and stinky poems
swarming about
steaming about the sea

I won't see
I won't see the name
unless you tell me

whisper it to me

each syllable
each moment

lingers me to keep

lead me to your keep
no wonder nor fame
no light nor name
I won't keep it

I'm already free

imprison me within you, love
it's light

lighter than rain
longer than low tide
each hour we made

how much further can I go?
do you know the edges of this thing?

the thing of the time
the thing of the time of it
rocking and rolling us over the face of the black mirror
locked and ocean

no longer ocean

no longer me

want me for the null and void
the bull and boys

crow me for the dawn embrace
the longer poison and the longer stay

each year discus
slow storming bright
murdering the ocean of light
around your face


tell me where I took you

those things I remembered

the writer summoning words
no longer alone
nor exactly in company

plastic and patient for the long draw out

draw me out, cousin
I've been needing you

needing you for the work to see where we meant it and made
where we taught the stalwart water how to weep

weep for me
keep me inside

write me blue over the chalk and sky
black under my feet

give me the order of your sleep
I need it

give me the passion twisting you to right
I'll bury myself in it

looking for fish

what word for the shape of it
not sphere or cube

some kind of fish
masking the dip and creep
masking the long night's sleep I dreamt of you

shaking about my face.

we're leaving again
all of the names we knew

looking for the black dot
under the water and cloud

looking for the tree you brought
I'm building it out of the silent ground
but I can't do it fast enough

no writer is enough for the boatmen

boy, tell me to sleep
I'll follow orders from you
just cover my eyes

everything I knew I want to bleed into the water

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in the Carter Administration. He lives in Los
Angeles. He is a member of the intelligentsia. He holds three degrees and drinks coffee
(lattes included) and thinks that being intelligent is a good thing and talking about ideas

3 poems by Hadaa Sendoo

A Corner of the Earth

Dawn with silence colored
Like a gazelle, with blood
On a burning land

The wind’s coming back
Morning dew, dripping
And I stand on the grass, with roots

A horse and a poem

I’m proud that I have a good poem
It's like a good horse, all warmth
and deep feeling from his eyes.

Perhaps this, my last creation,
I’ll be riding it to travel
through this whole world.

Night of the steppe

The moon
sweetly falls asleep
with mother's blessing

and the whole steppe
is mapped in the milk pail
as if a nomadic little boy’s dream

Hadaa Sendoo (b.1961) is a 21th century great poet. Sendoo recent collection of poems
include “Sweet Smell of Grass” (Persian 2016), “Aurora” (Kurdish 2017), Mongolian Long
Tone (Georgian 2017), and WENN ICH STERBE, WERDE ICH TRÄUMEN (German 2017). His
poetry book has translated into Norwegian,Russian,and Spanish. Since 1989, he has
published 15 books of poetry and in 2006, he founded the groundbreaking World Poetry
Almanac, which he continues to edit. He has won awards for poetry in India, USA, Canada,
Greece, China, and Russia, including the Mongolian Writers’ Union Prize. Sendoo’s
influence transcends national borders and ethnic. He lives in Ulaanbaatar, capital of

3 Poems by C.S. Fuqua


Shadows seep
between plastic blinds
at the end of day,
ooze across the room
to the judgment chair.

He laughs
and immediately reconsiders
the thoughts that caused the outburst.
He stretches, joints popping,
muscles burning, knees past buckling
yet still spitting life and desire
to set him on a path
he’s pounded thousands of times before.

Today, he anticipates the shadows,
allows them to envelope, to caress,
to whisper names and dates,
to hint of promises yet to be filled
and those that will never be.


That’s why I never let her
tell me nuthin ’bout family.
I didn’t want to know.
She’s gone now,
and you don’t need to know.
Only causes problems,
wantin’ to know everything—
for what?
I never let her tell me nuthin.
And now no one says nuthin.
I ain’t sayin’ nuthin neither.

Aeroplane exactly what the accused celebrate.
Without volume, how would anyone
I recognize superiority?
The one to gauge true importance
The dream’s as real as memory, within this plugged-in rabble—
flying low into Waikiki, the only one who could—
down the Likelike, curls in silence within her blanketed
skirting up Nimitz, carrier,
banking, climbing, eyes closed against the din,
engines screaming sleeping.
toward mountains
we’ll either clear or slam into. III
The kid in the seat beside me
with iPad and smartphone, Miracles of physics flash
redundantly immersed a thousand yards below.
in electronic tomfoolery, The serving cart fills the corridor,
is oblivious to reality, passengers leaning with anticipation
the jet pointed into wind and dust, of shining red lips,
accelerating into something of soda, nuts, cookies, pretzels,
bigger, wider as though lightning strikes
than even computers imagine. at the convenience of the self-absorbed.
The cart rattles past.
II The plane jolts
on pockets of air.
Travelers in the layover lobby The captain’s voice urges
jockey for USB plugs and power. calm, patience, and trust in
Locked into social media, the compassion of computers
no one speaks to anyone, to see us securely home.
only accuse with a glance
those with devices louder than their

C.S. Fuqua’s books include White Trash & Southern ~ Collected Poems, The Swing ~
Poems of Fatherhood, Walking after Midnight ~ Collected Stories, the SF novel Big
Daddy’s Fast-Past Gadget, Hush, Puppy! A Southern Fried Tale (children’s), and Native
American Flute Craft, among others. His work has appeared in publications such as Year's
Best Horror Stories XIX, XX and XXI, Pudding, Pearl, Chiron Review, Christian Science
Monitor, Slipstream, The Old Farmer's Almanac, The Writer, and Honolulu Magazine.

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