Issue Three Cover October 2015MAYHEM - Issue Three

Editorial - Tracey Slaughter

In the beginning was the ache. Before a word could be scratched on the paper, before a vowel sound could be mouthed, the writer knew the ache, felt its hum under their ribcage, sensed its rhythm catching in their breath, weighing their steps. And the ache hurt. And the ache thrilled. It was what they longed to say, lodged and looming in their body, before it could be said. And the writer learned to open themselves to the ache – to nurse it in their belly, sleep in its shadow, blink in its strange glare, yield to its drop in temperature, run with its spike in heartrate. And the ache started stretching, a fine line, a thin sentence, joining the page to the solar plexus. It was slow, it was risky. But it was the point of writing any words at all.   > full editorial

Contents

1. D.A. Taylor

Forget
…forget the mercurochrome drum, the long Senecan bath, the first fluorescent aches…

2. Indigo Smith

Kissing (or the tale of why you shouldn't be 'best friends' with a boy who is in love with you, ever. Let alone twice.)
…the walls were already plastered with images of BDSM-style fashion and photocopies of naked, water-colour fairies…

An open letter to an old friend
…you fancy yourself as a femme fatale. You leave red marks around the filter, as you suck thick smoke…

3. Kay Ramsbottom

Marion, née Gerard
…I thought of you drinking and smoking your way through the pregnancy. I’m sure you loved your dog more…

Childhood
…fingers sinking into warm red squishy paint lined up in white buckets…

4. Mark Anthony Houlahan

Still life with beer and a karl maughan painting
…the painting remembers flowers over and over and over and over…

If this was a Plath poem
…a found poem by consent finds language anywhere it may be lying waiting…

5. Karl Guethert

O-Week Eulogy
…felled before semester’s start/The dudes all share a round…

From Me to Me
…she’ll write a letter, a numbered list, telling you that you’re not her boyfriend…

6. Helena Dow

Chronometer
…she stands by the mirror/to hear from the rival’s mouth…

7. Melody Wilkinson

Delinquent English Major
…I don’t mind reading about sex/but this is not what I wanted…

8. Lee Kimber

Who is Nana Kip?
…the girl looks into the nurse’s face to see whether she is telling the truth…

Her Hands
…pressing each ball flat with fork tines/handing us the spoons to lick/air warm…

9. Renée Boyer

The Scarlet Brocade
…well I believe it’s common knowledge that I prefer to write naked…

Ars Poetica: Viscera
…poetry bites, just hard/ enough to break/ the skin…

10. Alicia Gray

The World Is What You See
…if I stick my tongue out far enough, his little pink head greets me with a surprise of existence…

11. Liam Hinton

You Do Your Best Theatre Offstage
…I already used all the God I got/you'd be an animal after the transaction…

12. K-t Harrison

Theoretical Fringe Benefits
…he iwi tahi tatou?/Nah bro’…

Once Upon a Pretty Girl
…you are the girl who wants Manu – because I’m too old – to pose with you while you take a beauty-and-the-beast selfie…

13. R.V. ten Hove

Fleece
…he dregs the wine for clots of blood/hid in the magenta fluid…

14. essa ranapiri

It's their Wedding Day
…pink flowers dangle over the lip/of the glass jar/ginger hair and observation…

MAKEDAMNSURE
…you wrapped my neck in nylon you found by the rocks at the wharf/and attached tiny shells…

15. Katarina Barker

Before I Left
…sometimes I watch back the three second slow-motion clip…

16. Fabian Tipene

Yellow-Gap-Grin
…you could fall asleep/inside the barrel of a gun, I bet…

17. Alison Robertson

Percussion
…sunlight shafting through trees/woody and bright/a giant xylophone…

18. Hunter Martoncik

Blue
…she rubs joints between her fingers. A different set of stars plague her…

19. Conor Maxwell

Carmen Sandiego
…it's all about finding love in Bar 101 and having a brief, drunken sexual relationship…

20. Jane Forkert

Should I tell you that you have your cardy on inside out?
…foot tapping in time with your desire…

21. James Warner

Scratching Memories
…I remember/yellow nicotine fingers with a red faced fuse…

22. Brittany Rose

Parachutes and Daisies
…a voided love note/a red Crayola heart…

23. Jeanie Richards

Today
…the ashtray full of late night butts/and thick yellow toenail clippings…

24. Hamish Ansley

This is your brain on depression
…sitting across from some poor bastard in a plaster exoskeleton as he tries to scratch an itch…

25. Maryana Garcia

Return to Sender (or To Me)
…I’ve since discovered/the symphonics of words/listened for trills and plosives…

26. Shelby Managh

The Body Is
…the body is/held together with super glue/a bag of skin/with the weight of/shadows and keys…

Goodbye
…pulling the shades on your dress/riddled with mud fights and daisy chains…

27. Te Rina Ransfield

Before the Battle Begins
…hours pass, puku tremble. Ringawera are preparing a kai that could easily feed a platoon…

28. Rachael Elliott

Mother's Garage Cleanout
…red zip for keeping/I leave the snakeskin behind…

Nailed
…I bend backward/break/below the quick and blood becomes my hair…

29. Carmen Penny

The Beginning
…nobody told me I couldn’t cut away the feeling of his hands…

30. Hannah Dewhurst

Looking for Hannah Leigh
…Hannah Leigh is a label hand-stitched into a baby’s face…

31. Beth Pearsall-Peters

The Grandmother Speaks
…she was leaving a trail of salt water that dried into crystals on the pavement…

How to remember dreams
…floating, her life contained in the curve of a wooden moon…