Dissections logo scissors body by Deena Warner


Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner

Dissections logo pterodactyl by Deena Warner




Art A Hearse in the Alley by Will Jacques
Artwork: A Hearse in the Alley by Will Jacques

A Reply to Thomas and Geoffrey

Jack Nunn

April fooled and schooled in lies
With butter coated styrene ties
Which link our countless endless heads
To timely nooses, tiny threads
Are timely cut by ancient hands
Retirement plans and strands of forming thought
Begin to understand what we’ve been taught
Is lies of double-forked deceit
the path there’s paved with past repeats
And in bare feet the heat still melts
The past illusions I have felt
Perception breeds deception’s child
So bathe a while in sweet deceit
and bands of ever grasping hands
Will carry you to endless sleep.

Part I

My dreams have all been lost to me
Their tattered thread still spread
and weave the chords of faded
wants and needs as hope still bleeds.

It seems that all I once wished for misfounded
hopes on foolish sand
which ebbs of tidal lethargy have
filled the imprints where I stand

And were those infant joys so pure that
Life must spill and waste them all?
Distilled hopes fill the aching heart
As nothing’s left (save drink and darts)

My TV fills a whole in me and plugs me where
I seep my dreams
It feeds from sleep as I seed it with waves of static

And on a beach of whitenoise waste I stand and face
The empty sky as hours of life fly out and I,
Alone begin to whisper that perhaps
my dreams are not my own
Perhaps the infant joy I had was washed out like
Every other thing
I’m left a shell of faceless doubt and filled,
With noises, shouted out
from screens and speakers all controlled by moulding forces
all unknown

Part II

I’m educated by the sin of idiots
Whose discipline is signed in triplicate
Of hate and ignorance but fate
Stands tall among the weak
And we like sheep are herded still
We fill our holes and are content
To learn, although our truth is bent
and burned by those who think
that truth is sent through manifested lies
in facts acquired from sponsored science
accumulated upon racks of scholar-laboured
scribbled crap which signifies the backward step
of human knowledge – LOVE IS DEAD –instead
we’re fed the wireless dream from
streamed pre-programmed writing teams
A collective single mind, approved to brainwash
All mankind with money fettered
Hopes and fears, which sneers at love
And hates and jeers at all the rest
(unless it’s of a self-interest)

Part III

Oh thank you master, I have been
So privileged to eat your bread,
My head is yours, you own it now.
I am your servant til I’m dead

I’m really honoured just to breathe
Your climate cooled conditioned breeze
For which you burned a fossilled tree
And sent it down a wire for me.

Oh thank you master, here’s my wage,
I’m mercifully privileged to have the right
To own a fridge and keep in it
just what I like

And one last thank you, this is it:
To thank you master for the shit,
Which thou hast flushest far away
Into the sea so gulls may prey
On what I left and did not want,
My waste is their entitlement.

And gosh! Did I forget to say,
Oh thank you master for the day
You taught me I need ought to pray
For inner wisdom brings no gain
To mass consenting ‘born agains’

Born to love and loathe your values!
‘I hate white’ and ‘I hate black’
Fantastic now I have my right
To choose to say just what I like

I love this free democracy –

Where smiling faces pick my tea
With fair trade fingers – just for me
Oh how I love democracy

I thank you master for my vote,
So I can gloat at tyranny.
Where they’re provided with one leader
We’re provided with all three.

Greed, Ignorance and Hate;
To guide us through these darker times

Oh my sweet master, who should I
Vote for to save me from these violent crimes?

But oh, master, you have saved me
Even from this dreadful task –
Just read your papers, watch your TV,
This is all you really ask.

But one thing master, is there some-
thing else I should be striving for?
I have bought my HD-TV
(Took the hinges off the door)

It’s just quite lonely, sat in silence
In a room full of my friends,
Listening to random slogans,
Received with holy reverence.

I’m sorry master,
I shouldn’t question

Yes, there’s more worse off than me
I will not forget grandparents
Or how their war set us ‘free’.
I’m wearing poppies for all to see
How vital violence is to me.

Yes I know there’s people starving,
Oxfam adverts let me see.
Intermittent guilty flashes
Help me know that I’m aware
That giving money helps the problem
(And it shows my friends I care)

I’m to blame and should feel guilty
For the things I here receive.
I’ll let you know that I am happy –
I’ll help you to ‘keep the peace’.

But one last thing my watchful master,
Could I please just see your face?
I don’t ask much, but this would help me
Understand your hidden grace.

Thank you! Thank you! So where is it?

All I see is mirrored glass –

Surely somewhere you are watching
As my life will slowly pass.

Oh MY Master – please – where are you?
Don’t leave me here to think too long.
Life’s too lonely in awareness –
Take me back to drink and song.


The Sleepwell

Jack Nunn

Let me dip into the sleepwell of dreams
Where lucid, vivid spirits play.
Let me slide and tumble and fly
To where the muddled thoughts live.

I’d like to talk and meet and whisper
To the dreams and ghosts and of life
I’d like to ask them all they know
I’d like to see what they could show.

They’d show the things for which I crave,
The things I lost along my way,
The subtle hints of yesterday.

They’d show me things which I could do
They wouldn’t show the darker side,
They’d let my mind race through the new,
While over it their spirit guides.

And when I leave them,
I’ll want more.
I’d follow them into the core.
But if I tried (inside I know)
I’d never feel the same warm glow.

So if a glimpse is not enough
Is a glimpse not far too much?

But now at least that they have been
And shown me all I should have seen
I’ll know I’ll sleep with calm sweet dreams

For now I’ve met these dream sellers
And the mind swellers
And the past dwellers
Now I know what haunts me.


Frozen Bone

Jack Nunn

Frozen bone.
Posing under halogen – it's locked alone in stone.
I know, now that I’m older,
That's it's just plaster resting near my feet.
Though an impression of an impression still impresses me.

The dart-like pose and arrowed head
Stirs up deep fear from sedimentary genes,
Existence bent on hunting life,
An all consuming creature in my mind.

It's blind now to our gentle footsteps,
Lightly thudding rubber over head.
Small children gasp in practised shock at their own half imaginings.

Yet if you take the time and look,
And really look for quite some time,
It terrifies.

Precisely engineered by Time's dark hand and Nature's claw.
No wasted parts,
Each bone and sinew honed for streamlined hunts on Barrow’s Soar.

But in truth, what really scares me when I see this splayed out corpse –

                is me.

If this amazing beast could glide through life so easily, with such clear design and purpose –
Then it’s unlikely it wrote poetry.

So what will future archaeologists say of me?
“Another Homo Sapiens – male, a human with some missing teeth”.

Our bones give small impression of our thoughts and actions in this life,
And poems rarely rest in stone.

I'm jealous of this plaster cast.


The Magpie Tongue

Jack Nunn

We are passing on this Magpie tongue
Which has picked out the best
And left the rest to fester on

It speaks with generation-aged old sounds
And caged with rules – constrained – its
Plumage clipped to fit a battery pen.
Plucked into a featureless freak
And, save its beak, the rest has gone.

It weeps for Beauty,
Vacuum-packed – exported out
In favour of the duller composites
He's shipped to outposts
Where he cries his song
To endless armies of the dumb

– it's lost –

And all they can recall is vagueness,
AUTOMATIC sense and meaning’s
fenced in strict vocab,
Too few words sown in growing minds
prevents the questioning ones a roam.

The Great Fire Wall of China speaks a multitude of sins to me
Yet the Magpie flies on over it,
And we pass on so proudly what is nurtured still,
We pack our learning halls brim full with all that fit – to sit them,
Teach them, show them with a smile, this song we caged
For all our sakes, and dusty pages
Only serve to catalogue our Totem tongue,
This mighty, grand convenience,

And through this spills a flood-burst of uncounted thrills,
An ancient rush to crush the concrete dams in minds of mindless manikins
And ever-turning meels on wheals fead prescribed facts
which leed them all to act as one collective mass

Yet through this language pass a thousand thoughts distilled in ink
To nurture thinker's thoughts to Think!

And humble though our Magpie be
He hatches in his nest
The seed of sacred cells of babel-beings
Yet centuries away

And, this first step will surely see
Our own Magpie dethroned
And flown the nest to fly sky high

and see the first stone laid
of this new towering city.

Swaggering and scorning above all previous creation.
The last thing our Magpie will see
Before he dies in the final minds
Is the crow’s nest of a new rough beast atop the Tower,

And looking down
Our Magpie sees the vein of filth in every life,
all in his name, and feels this foul corruption
seed inside him and ignite death's flame
Then, in that instant, die in shame.


Underground Prayer

Jack Nunn

Let me not be spotted. But sit watching.
Quiet corners nurture nature’s gentle creatures.
Locked in frozen ocean, our ship is trapped.
No breaker scorched horizon flickers smoky hope through whisping sky.
I'll fly the flag of solitude and sit, retired in wooden room, a lamp and pen. A bed.
The monstrous swirling sound surrounds my mind through thundering tubes.

A pistoned prisoner shot through perspextives,
blinding dark,
electric blue flashes as if to show to you the glimpse of strangers,
separate lives on parallel lines.
Life’s purpose never clear, intention always near and pathway curved.
So gather nerves and bite the lip to enter it, or sit outside.

Lost to the cause on distant shores. Drifting dead wood.
And dive deep into black oblivion,
head first in the ecstasy of ignorance,
chance hurtling past your head and fragments dreams rushing past your ears,
subtle whispers screamed from falling stars,
burning up around me as I dive too,
gaining life in every plummeting instant,
burning down,
shooting through dark swallowing clouds to the ever nearer frozen ground.

Let me begin,
let me start,
let me take form and motion,
give me strength and power to flower through the night
so as I might catch the first kiss of dawn on my bruised skin.
Let it begin.


The silent whisper in the mind.
The darkening place where sight is blind.
The endless tunnels, thrusted wind and clasping hands together.
Something unites in black chaos.
Two hands.
Both mine.
Read my mind, tell my heart, and answer my underground prayer.


Nikki Purrs

Michael Johnson

Soft nursing
5 solid minutes
of purr
paws paddling
like a kayak competitor
against ripples of my
60 year old river rib cage -
I feel like a nursing mother
but I'm male and I have no nipples.
Sometimes I feel afloat.
Nikki is a little black skunk,
kitten, suckles me for milk,
or affection?
But she is 8 years old a cat.
I'm her substitute mother,
afloat in a flower bed of love,
and I give back affection
freely unlike a money exchange.
Done, I go to the kitchen, get out
Fancy Feast, gourmet salmon, shrimp,
a new work day begins.


Family Portrait

Fiona Sinclair

This old carrier contains the remains of
a jumbled family jigsaw whose puzzle
lies in the tale-tell outline of vanished lives.

A few of you went underground, lay in wait,
until distracted hands digging in drawers
disinterred eyes that still could not be met.

Time travelling back through tiny windows of history
even faces estranged by youth
remain as potent as their owner’s presence.

Strange suddenly to find this platonic version of you
surviving untarnished in the memory of a friend,
here you are entirely innocent of the people you became.

Slower than growth, some of you are allowed to
creep back, given temporary lodgings in shadows.
House ghosts whom we must learn to live with.

Website maintained by Michelle Bernard - Contact michelle.bernard@anglia.ac.uk - last updated May 27, 2009