Issue 1

Bill Manhire
Two poems


There were too many feathers in the portrait.
My wife wasn’t a bird!
I spoke to the artist, and once I had said my bit
he removed the things I found absurd.
Now I could see the electric toaster in her lap.
There was smoke, and she was stroking it.


The smoke seemed feline
and so I spoke to him again.
Remove the toaster, I instructed.
Think of something else.
I gestured with the gun.

Her feet were too far from her body.
The hay was tidy, and the sky was black.
I gestured with the gun.
He took it out and asked me for his fee.
Then he left our part of the country.