Issue 12

This edition of Junction Box comes to you from storm-battered Crickhowell. As I write, the trees are thrashing about outside the window, rain hitting the roofs at all manner of unlikely angles. February in Crickhowell has been a riot, the river swelling and falling like a demented bellows; houses wrecked, their innards scattered over the mud and twig spattered streets; the old bridge with a huge bite taken out of it. Storm after storm, this winter, flood after flood. All over the world, floods, fires, landslides, pollution-smogs, aeroplane-borne pandemics. If one was religious you might be thinking of last days, but eschatological anxiety is no longer the preserve of the religious. Now every undeluded being is their own John of Patmos; you only have to stick your nose out the door to see...

‘In Dreams I’ve Had Of Falling’  Suspended reading & constricted writing   In Dreams I’ve Had Of Falling is a project merging poetry and Shibari that I have developed with the multidisciplinary artist, Nik Nightingale. In this essay I will unpack its experiential roots and highlight their relation to my poetic process. In the past few years I have worked between poetry, visual art and performance, particularly exploring the relationships between visual and spoken forms of text and the performativity of reading. This has led me to create a variety of textual objects that function as three-dimensional scores. These objects require specific gestures to be activated and, once activated, continue to determine my movements throughout a piece. The development of...

      the intersection where voyeurism  meets the sick-fugue     we must unplug ourselves unconscious at delta   we met in a sick building trouble all over the face   the men gathered and tweezed the blood fluke from the house girl’s throat   the cat performed a protective function soaked up the gamma, theta, delta   it will be years before I understand how to redress the failures   at the bridge at Waterman’s quarter we were warned   the war is not in the air it is deep in our bone marrow   downstream. in the reeds careless with our bodies   weeping & welting it was a turning on myself   an unworlding of heartache an...

BLOND REX Blond Rex, what Illuminati confirms a bloodline exfoliating in seats of power, back acne weeping in Gucci shirts? What Illuminati, laminations of Jesus’s face, nominations for shortlists, where money multiplies money like a woodlouse nest? The road to excess leads to the palace of business, Illuminati knows it, confirms, conforms. Bonus Rex in the business lounge, cutting a tape on a social housing experiment, The Groucho at two, Miss Nebraska at eight. Because if it doesn’t grip : cut it; if it isn’t yours : twist it; if it has a mind : fuck it. If it doesn’t fit in the hand, in the bank, in the ass, then corrupt it, spit at its name, tweezer its tiny beating heart until the corpuscle pops. Pour another, take it out to the expanse, put it on expenses, drive it to the velodrome...

The animation Onychophagia is from a series that emerged from my creative exchange with poet Lesley Saunders, part of a wider project supported by a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales. Its frustrating when at times as an artist you feel you know yourself too well and you can predict the character of what you are about to make. Working with other artists in a way that you can talk to each other through your own particular language – be it words, music, image – can really help at such times, and come up with surprising and exciting results. Lesley and I exchanged poems and images in response to each other’s offerings over a set time period; it was not only a matter of translating words into images and vice-versa, more a conversation… that created quite dark fictional...

To read Sarah Crewe's poems click here: Three Poems     Sarah Crewe is a working class feminist poet from the Port of Liverpool. Her first poetry collection, floss, is available from Aquifer Books. She also produces mazie, a DIY zine of music reviews and poetry. Her poems have appeared in The Common Zine, amberflora, para.text, Cumulus, Datableed and the And Other Poems website. She has a MA in Poetry as Practice from the University of Kent.        

  Skies in Flight of Tree, 1-5   1 Sky in breadth but no range in store, moreover there are trees     narrow assistant tallness, poplars wedge a sky’s suspense   As skies drum onto land they bounce off horizon     the shock is trees absorbing (rescaling) the derision   find adjacent filter: one telescopic flown speck is another haven speckled   earliest ascension was sky in trunk, not yet peeling the earth   from one spurt (foliage) to another, the hurt is sky not yet in grain for launch   Headless stalks are no better prickles before windowless sky      streak it along a tree’s brushway for actual take-off   Rarely at any world-search, the sky...

‘Channels’ is a sequence about shore lines on opposite banks and how they correspond.  The focus is geological and marine, political and personal.   It begins with the Bristol channel – Wales and Somerset.   Politics and poetry are interwoven, especially post Brexit, when the channel can be both division and common waters.  Geology and coastal contours have influenced the language and layout of the poems, as have the movement of the sea and waves.  Eroding cliff strata due to global warming and life in rockpools are amongst our chosen locations I have been working in collaboration with Tilla Brading and with poets in South Wales.  These are opportunities to explore both sides of what can be a political and linguistic, rather than a geographical divide, where the natural...

Note to the Reader My poems have been informed by poets who have used characteristics of the Welsh metrical tradition in English to explore a Welsh cultural identity. The strictness of cynghanedd varies throughout the collection. This represents a diverse modern Wales. Cynghanedd is an oral tradition and is often read aloud to an audience. I wanted to experiment with that tradition by sign posting where stressed, Welsh nasal mutations and soft syllables appear in the poems. I do this through capital letters, phonetics spelling of words, and the use of subscript to indicate unstressed words and superscript to indicate stressed words. The collection from which this section has been taken has been split into three components: poetry and footnotes. This is intended to embody characteristics...

Antony John’s poetry has appeared in magazines, pamphlets and anthologies, including Erotoplasty, Tentacular, datableed, Leg Avant (Crater), Jawjaw (Gang Press) and Antologia Bilingue Po-Ex (G0 Ediciones, Chile). His poems have been published in two collections, most recently KENYA which followed his first book now than it used to be, but in the past (both Veer). Click here to read Three Poems by Antony John        

Martin Langford, from Kenfig Hill, is a skilful storyteller. He’s lived a colourful life, mixing with an enormous variety of people. He has also spent time alone – solitary confinement and as a rural recluse. In 1981, following eighteen months on remand, he received a four-year prison sentence at the Old Bailey for marijuana smuggling, He takes his interests seriously and with a large dose of caustic humour. The same with his approach to art. He has invented a semi-automatic, silvery drip-flow, quick dry, freeze-hold technique, the secrets of which he refuses to divulge. This much is known: Step one: he takes a sheet of paper and applies a slowly flowing liquid mixture. Step two: tilting the paper, folding, holding steady – now concave, now convex the mixture runs, spreads, stains,...

Over-rated On Thursday night my wife and I went to the annual concert organised by our local Chamber Music Society, though neither of us could remember why we had bought tickets. The programme was advertised as Mozart followed by Brahms, but just before the start of this ‘musical feast’ a chap in red trousers got up and announced that the musicians had decided to play the two works in reverse order, Brahms first, followed by Mozart. You can imagine the stir this caused. Well into the first movement of the Brahms much of the audience still looked perplexed, and some never seemed to recover at all from the confusion. The musicians, able professionals though they were, played with a studied lack of emotion, very little attack and a complete absence of dynamics, no doubt in deference to...

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