Junction Box

An Irregular Magazine More about Junction Box

In a society whose creative instincts seem increasingly in thrall to business-centred principles of production and valuation, hampered by the demands of professionalisation, marketing imperatives, outcome measures and the specious like, it's refreshing to know that there are still some rough-edged, improvised, human-centred pockets of resistance to such trends. What a difference they make, these ebulliently bricolaged apparitions. In the poetry world alone, think how much has been contributed over the years by small mags, liliputian publishing ventures, independent reading series etc., in financial terms most of them probably utterly unviable, set up by people for the love of the thing, the excitement of getting into the mix. There's no doubt that the texture of a culture is profoundly...

(Editor's preface: this new series showcasing independent creative enterprises begins with Swansea's Elysium Gallery, for the good reason that over the years we've watched them grow and seen how much muscular effort, moral grit, good humour, adaptability and willingness to take risks they've brought to the task. Gradually, they've managed to sink roots into the Swansea cultural scene, not to mention the international art-scene, but they've retained their suppleness, their lack of pretention and their vital connection with grassroots practitioners. Much of the following has been transplanted from the elysium gallery website, the address of which can be found below).   elysiumgallery is an artist led, not for profit, social enterprise comprising of 60+ studio spaces and a contemporary...

fey is a collection which combines wayward translation and poetic essay to explore (and resist) representations of the female body in some of the various iterations, in Arthurian texts and more broadly, of the figure of Morgan le Fay. fey (adj.) from Old English fæge meaning “doomed to die, fated, destined,” and “timid, feeble,” or from Old Norse feigr, both from Proto-Germanic faigjo, from the Proto-Indo-European peig meaning “evil-minded, hostile.” 1. Fated to die, doomed to death, at the point of death, dying. 2. Leading to death, deadly, fatal. 3. Accursed, unfortunate, unlucky. 4. Feeble, timid, sickly, weak. 5. Disordered in mind, like one who is about to die. 6. Possessing magical, fairy-like, mysterious or unearthly qualities. 7. Affected, whimsical, over-refined,...

Most worthwhile pleasures on this earth slip between gratifying another and gratifying oneself. Some would call that an ethics. (Nelson, 2015, p. 43) I want to attempt to map out the potential for taking ethics as a constraint in order to create experimental poetry. Specifically, I want to look at how biomedical ethics can influence how poets think and write about illness. My poetry repeatedly asks what is gained through a bidirectional exchange between poetry and science, and so it embodies the ways of knowing and thinking about science that a character I will call my interpreter taught me. The following discussion will attempt to imagine the space between gratifying the reader of poetry and gratifying my desire to honor medical ethics. This involves some serious play with life,...

"You know that bit there. One shoe. By the meaty estuary, and it's all... trickling. Where the two smells meet. Detergent. Round the back of the ASDA. And he's inhaling the vapours of the chicken shop. Extractor. Reverse cursing. Words scratched backwards into whitewashed windows. Closing down. You follow the lead in his hand and there's a dog on the end. The dog is wearing the man's glasses. Not novelty glasses, not dog glasses, but NHS glasses. You know that bit, by the bin. And it's overflowing. Another shoe. With the octopus men, and they are grappling with cow carcasses. Red all over them. But why are they wearing white overalls anyway when they could be wearing red, and it wouldn't look so...you know? That bit there." In September 2016, Floating Island Gallery organised a series of...

The Making of the English Working Class is a performance which re-contextualises the books subject matter. It becomes a new product of labour. It is both cause and effect. It is process and repossession. It is reclaimed and reconstituted. It is destruction and reconstruction. The subject of the book has been re-purposed. It has been turned into an object of its own imagining. It has been sanded, filled, primed, and painted. The pages no longer turn, the words cannot be read. It is a blank slate, a history waiting to be (re)written. What is more important - the process, or the object? Maybe neither? In it's former state as a book did it have greater value, and if so, to whom? I am a painter by trade, and I have often thought about how I might bring that work into my creative practice....

Stephen Emmerson, Family Portraits (if p then q, 2015, £12)   Dark-blue hardback. No cover, no dust jacket. Gold lettering on spine. Thick cream pages. Enclosed a small brown envelope labelled in typewriter print: “pills”.   The book is divided into sections labelled mother, father, sister, brother, lover, son, daughter and self-portraits. Each section contains 9 pages, each one blank except for an empty rectangle and the title underneath (e.g. Portrait of the Mother #1, Portrait of the Mother #2, etc.).   The first page of each section instructs the reader to take one of the pills in order to see the portraits.   Portraits of the Mother   Let the pill dissolve on the tongue. Dry, tasteless, a bit cardboardy. A blank flavour. Consuming...

site the tent as a mondrian   marlow moss   a jewel   bordered neo plasticism   structured   by the arms of a drummer-non-drummer critiqued&dictated   a boy   is an abstract thing is a realist thing a girl   is an excellent performance of gender   on a campsite the girl   must be a fairy  the girl   must filter gender from the sky   chiaroscuro   from lips   an apple pressed pink silver   flat footed cleopatra   reptilian informant semi ethical decisions   on future eating programmes red mohawk   brocken spectre   broken flight    burning embers buzzards   amicable vultures   reverse intent swimming in a river air   swimming in awareness realisation   all fears     manmade         llandudno to...

WHISPER ‘LOUISE’, by Douglas Oliver (Reality Street, Hastings, 2005). I wrote this essay – or amplified review - about Douglas Oliver's WHISPER 'LOUISE' over ten years ago. It was part of a series on writers who are my contemporaries or near contemporaries, and with whom I feel some creative empathy: Lee Harwood, Chris Torrance, Graham Hartill, Iain Sinclair, Barry MacSweeney, Jeremy Hilton, Elaine Randell, and, from the American side, Gary Snyder. The series was called 'Poetry Talks', a title popular in China since the 11th Century, indicating literary writing that's 'anecdotal and informal in style'. To myself, however, I always thought of it as 'Our Lot'. The Douglas Oliver essay was not published anywhere at the time.        On re-reading it, Oliver's stance and writing...

My Dead Holiday. Paul’s Story. I dreamed my genesis in sweat of sleep, breaking Through the rotating shell, strong As motor muscle on the drill, driving Through vision and the girdered nerve. Dylan Thomas – I Dreamed My Genesis * Groups in prison are unpredictable in many ways – sometimes things interfere with men attending, due either to their own priorities, the demands of the regime, or when there's some threat to security. When they built the spanking new wings, they somehow forgot to put in enough teaching rooms, so I need to block-book the room on Wing 2 every Wednesday afternoon. This week I have three guys lined up for a group session, chosen because they're young and enthusiastic. I'm excited myself because it's been a while since my jokingly named "Avant-garde...

Proposition: ‘I’ will never be ‘I’’s own person as far as speech events are concerned, or, language is an elsewhere 1. Speech events precede ‘I’’s arrival whether ‘I’ likes it or not 1.1 It follows ‘I’ cannot speak of an ‘I’ which exists prior to its orientation across and as a speech event 1.2 In the first place ‘I’ must accept the impersonality of the speech events across which ‘I’ has blindly staggered; in the second place ‘I’ must accept ‘I’’s dependence on these speech events 1.3 Language is not a here but an elsewhere 1.4 ‘I’ yearns for independence from the speech events which carry ‘I’ out 1.5 ‘I’ is a condition of striving and an ugly occupation 1.6 Perhaps ‘I’ does not express very much except the...

Each time an ant is lost, pay attention. It is as stray money, hair in bread, an individual word, snatch of speech, parts of a larger understanding. Once I found one crossing a page of my book as I read in the car as we submarined the Channel c/o Eurostar. Although moving, this ant was dead—it would never find the pheromone-trail back to its mother. The lost ant is searching for its poem, it comes adrift when it crosses the noncrease knee, able to unwithstand the tide of information with clogged feet. I repressed an impulse: to drive home to release it onto the paving-stone-crack from whence it had climbed. Being in a tunnel made me think of the ants’ dwelling, how urban ants depend on crumb-droppings, how each spring tiny cones of dug-out clay are left outside our door. There is a city...

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