Provisional cover for the upcoming issue, featuring Haiga art work by Gabriel Rosenstock and Ion Codrescu. Submissions for our Eastern poetic forms specialism as well as other textual and visual work remain open. See our submissions guidelines for further details.
The Haiku Edition
The Haiku has become a widely used daily exercise to keep us working with language, its syllabics offering the challenge of condensing and paring back an observation or train of thought to its essentials.
It is also a form which connects with common place or spontaneous observations, such as those on a daily commute, and lends itself to capturing them sharply and without superfluous description.
It is this ability to capture that Long Exposure wishes to explore for the next edition.
We will be looking for submissions of traditional Japanese forms such as Haiku, Haibun, Haiga, and Tanka, and other textual or visual work which shares its philosophy.
Alongside this the magazine will also include the usual range of new writing, photography and visual art across a broad range of styles and themes; submissions of all are welcome.
View our submissions guidelines for further details.
All submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I cannot find myself
in a threatening form with bird’s head. I stand
naked on a beach.
I was of two selves
and met my other self walking
towards me down a familiar street.
Art’s created from heart’s blood.
I paint Self Portrait in Hell,
a blood vessel bursts in my eye.
My relationship with Tulla ends
in violence and I lose a finger
joint from my left hand.
I do not know which to prefer,
the truth and anguish of art,
or the anguish of each day.
I’m sitting by a window,
my disfigured ‘hand of destiny’
Another portrait in another room,
the space behind me shining through
my physical body.
Eyes of fire glow in the window pane.
I smell the resin
from the tall pines in the forests
of my childhood.
Each moment the door shuts.
I carefully measure the slow decline
into infirmity and old age.
I’m staying at Asgardstrand Hotel.
I walk with my hazel stick among
the violets and primroses in the perfumed
brilliance of spring.
The sunshine glances
off the south face
of Hardangerfjord. My mountain of mankind
rumbles in the distance.
Now the waterfall’s rushing
in my ears.
Bio: Eric Nicholson is now retired. He worked as an ESOL teacher and in other fields of education. Now in his retirement he enjoys countryside conservation, writing and walking. His work has previously been published in www.neutronsprotons.com,www.literaryorphans.org and www.emptysink.com. He blogs on http://www.erikleo.wordpress.com
More of Eric’s work is forthcoming in Long Exposure, Issue 1.
Image: Self Portrait in Hell by Edvard Munch, oil on canvas, 1903. Property of the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.
It sits in your studio, in water
this piece of another world,
this slice of not-so-still life
you dug with your spade.
It confuses the bees
this island among paint pots
and brushes; they linger
in its leaves, while your fingers
faithfully trace its living lines,
feverishly catching its essence
before its greenness falls
in on itself and dies.
It is a mini kingdom, supplanted.
Its small subjects, marooned,
look out on an ocean
of sunlit plaster and pine.
You wet your brush with its sea,
colouring in grey outlines;
steeping soul into the paper
replica – setting its sky on fire.
you can almost hear a siren’s distant howl
his cigarette is fresh and will take a while to smoke –
she will stand and wait for an answer
their window is closed against the night air,
noise and car fumes – they prefer their own temperatures
and aromas, half undressed or dressed
her perfume stronger; she wears a black skirt
and bra for heat rather than warmth – the red mask
hooked on the window frame is for a perspective
to see through any party masquerade
that has been or is yet to be – while
both sets of eyes are locked together
they see each other with the same expression – question
whether resolution will arrive before dawn
Bio: James Bell has published two poetry collections, the just vanished place (2008) and fishing for beginners (2010), both from tall-lighthouse. He lives in Brittany where he contributes articles and photography to an English language journal and continues to publish poems nationally and internationally. His recent print appearances include Tears In The Fence, Elbow Room, The Journal, Shearsman, The Stony Thursday Book, Under the Radar and Upstairs at Du Roc.
The label on my suitcase …
… reminds me I do not belong.
Outside, sky darkens over a line
of could-be-anywhere mountains.
Electric light casts shadows around
plain walls, plain carpet, plain curtains;
and the chair with no cushion
where I drop my wrap; perch
on the king-size bed, careful
not to rumple its dull coverlet;
turn sideways from my Buick
parked by the window. Wait.
Anticipate that knock at the door.
(After ‘Western Motel’, Edward Hopper, 1957, Yale University Art Gallery)
This pocket mirror
from across the Pacific
closes like a clam
to hide its pearly finger-prints.
It fears it will forget
the green rice fields,
rice cakes, burnt rice-water,
jumbled, jingling, jabbering
and song birds.
It is caged now,
and so it closes.
When I pry it open it reflects
only my own face back;
it does not sing anymore.
Bio: A native of the Los Angeles area, Carissa is currently earning a Bachelors degree in English at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. She hopes to teach junior high English while continuing her writing career. Her work has appeared in FIVE Poetry Magazine and the Larcenist Literary Magazine. She was also the third place winner of the Blue Mountain Arts 22nd Annual Poetry Prize.
Aged 15, I was chosen with others,
all worthy, serious and well mannered,
to accompany the harvest produce to
a hospital for ex servicemen –
The Star and Garter, Richmond Hill.
A girls’ school with a thousand pupils
must have given a lot of marrows and such –
I don’t remember much of that.
We’re taken to a ward to meet a few.
Long rows of beds down either side
neat and white as false teeth,
arranged with military precision,
Men, bedridden since the 1940s
stare up the ward with dead eyes
at the apparition not seen for 15 years
of young women in school uniform.
The nurses, all angels
with starched wings clipped to their hair
tell us that some men have been here
since the ’14 – ‘18 War.
My shocked brain photographed the scene.
In a trench of shyness
I cannot get over the top
into no man’s land –
the space between us.
Next year, I did not volunteer.
Part of Long Exposure’s ‘Looking Back’ project, for National Poetry Day.
Bio: Elizabeth Lee’s poetry is varied. She is a member of a writing work shop run at Aberystwyth University’s Art Centre, and occasionally reads at its ‘Chinwag’ open mic event.
In our dampened lake-side spot,
hidden by a ceiling of ashen pines,
we stuffed ourselves inside our souls
to fall in love. In a bed of earth, of ice,
and frozen land, we found a chilled delirium,
light above the stratosphere, propelling upward,
unhinged within a hell we called our heaven.
With coffee mugs colder than our limbs,
we sat in wait for the earth to shatter
so we could make it. For shards
of glass from that fishbowl cave
to soar through the air,
come frighteningly close,
and evade us.
I found myself on a Friday, to no avail, found out I used to be Pope in a past life and a French working woman in another. I felt no different. All there is are my lungs guttering water. I asked
politely for air, to no avail.
I controlled a whole religion, swathes of confidences
and I controlled the chickens, and the sun rise.
Fixed it so when I speak the day dawns and the chickens lay
on one word: go. And men march for one word: god. My banner the one they fly under, and my mouth gives tongue to his thunder. “Only a cock crows, coco-ri-co coco-ri-co and a flash of lightening”
White paste, skewed lips, hospital green
you have been drained of blood
your heart clenched tight around your throat
your hair is an oil slick, a shield, a shadow
the line down the centre of your face
jags left and right, dodging bullets
your ear is a walking cane
your shoulders an encampment
asteroids your eyes
Part of Long Exposure’s ‘Looking Back’ project for National Poetry Day.
Bio: Tracey Walsh has recently had work featured in Long Exposure. She tells us about the background to this poem:
Walter Walker (an uncle of my dad, also Walter Walker) enlisted in the army in 1915, aged 17 (he told them he was 19). He was killed in action in France on 14 April 1917. The image shows one of several documents, found when researching the family tree, that deal with the ‘admin’ of his death. Another form sent to his mother, Harriett, asked her to choose a personal inscription for his gravestone in the war cemetery in France (We Shall Meet Again).
Four of Harriett’s children served in the Great War. Walter’s brother, Edward, died a year to the day after him, 14 April 1918. He has no grave, personal effects or admin forms, just his name inscribed on a memorial stone at Loos, France.
Suddenly the ants burst out of their burrow
in a race to find food. The burning surface
of the sand shimmers and insects blow
across the shadows. An ant stops on its axis,
spinning on the spot to map the pattern
of polarized light that scatters across the desert
dune. The scout’s armoured skin- like a modern
alloy of silver, copper and zinc. Delicate
interlocking plates shift with mechanical
precision, supported on needle-sharp legs.
As if wound by a magical key, its mandible
strips off the wings and limbs of a red-
eyed fly, struck by heat stroke. The fly twitches in the hot Sahara dirt,
and like terrible clockwork unwinding- the ant too grinds to a halt.
In preparation for National Poetry Day (2nd October) Long Exposure is drawing on the theme of ‘remember’, requesting submissions of new work in response to photographs or images which document history, both personal and otherwise, and which allow a shift from the present into another space or time. We feel strongly that there is a depth and variety to images, especially those of our past, which is able to bring something unique to light. We are invested in the value of poetry and believe in its capacity to make concrete the experience of remembering, of being taken back, of recording or re-recording our impressions or responses. Our histories can provide luminous material for poetry, and it is the writing of this which we wish to encourage and bring forward, as well as the links between picture and word.
Poems are welcome in any style or form, although they should adhere to the standard submissions guidelines. As always if the image which has inspired a particular piece is available we would love to see how it and the text are interacting, so please send them too; otherwise we would welcome some further context to gain an insight into what encouraged the writing, and why it matters to you.
All submissions can be sent to email@example.com. A selection of submissions will appear on our sites as part of our engagement with National Poetry Day.
‘You should always be taking pictures, if not with a camera then with your mind.’- Isaac Marion
Webbed garden spider
strung badminton net fashion
your luncheon is served
Bio: Tracey Walsh has been enjoying life since early retirement in 2013. Indulging a lifelong love of crime fiction by starting a book review blog, she has also discovered a new interest in photographing local Lancashire countryside and wildlife. This is Tracey’s first attempt at poetry since school days.
I wept at the cloud-shore when I saw fractures,
fractals of burnt orange and yellow splitting my home,
under a pale blue moon slashed with black scars
far darker than anything but imagination.
She – they – were safe. But home…
that was sheer memory now.
Continue reading “Frontier’s End: A New Poem by George Sandifer-Smith”
I champion the broken things:
Old-town busted concrete aprons
In front of renamed stores.
The quiet, soft, lurking decay
Slowly overcoming the catalogs left
On the floor of the abandoned ranch.
This is the straightening of the line:
The gentle, slow return to mean as
“New” and “improved” fade.
Sink your hand into the loam
the rasp and scrape of buried pebbles, bits
of brick, mortar, snail shells, nails
from a lost house of a lost century
to slide by your hand. Allow
the slugs and earthworms.
Allow the dirt.
Sink to your wrist.
The earth will grant you this, it is heavy
with last night’s rain, the earth is wet and waiting
and you are not an interloper, you
are standing on the bones of your grandparents.
Close your eyes.
Your eyes are in your fingers, in the dark
tunnels your fingers have made,
flushed and throbbing
with the red light of blood
as you slide by other times
and grasp for the remnant you need,
the hard cold thing in the sandy ground
covering your family’s dead,
the dark hard thing that’s waiting to be found:
the last bulb of the purple crocuses
that you’ll replant next fall in cooler earth.
Bio: Brooke Baker Belk has been writing since age 9, when her poem “Cat” was published in her elementary school’s magazine. She still writes about cats. Brooke is interested in English in all its forms; she studied Anglo-Saxon (Old English) in college, and thinks of poetry as a sort of excavation, one in which the bones of our modern language can show up unexpectedly and beautifully. Further thoughts on poetry live at brookebelk.com. Brooke lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband and her cats.
after Paul Nash.
In the time it would take for the light from the moon
to evaporate the oceans we could begin to
pile up an island with the collected dreck of wars. Downed
planes, tanks like evacuated beetles and other
chewed vehicles would provide rigor mortis foundations.
The island would be looking as if it was badly
tin foiled. Then we could skim the globe, lifting bits up
like finger nails – acned sabres, tobacco
cannons and mistakable buttons. But after the obvious
litter how do we then reclaim all the flint
axe-heads for some placement? Do we include found pots
and pans once loved by men more than
pikes and javelins? And what of the articles of the innocent –
was the trunk of sleeping schoolbooks never
opened after a certain siren? Were the child’s ditched
bike and the winded radio still tuned
to a mother’s favourite station forgotten beyond a rupture?
The field is gone, buried beneath future
Rubble of convenience and commerce.
Stalks that once drew bird and game
Draw gamers and the budget minded.
It wearies a memory to replace
What is here with what once was.
Natural overcome, replaced with synthetic.
Creation’s groaning is nearly audible.
I have no right to chatter,
It was a borrowed field.
The farmer passed on his debts.
Someone must pay. So the land and memory do.
Bio: Mark Hutton lives with his family in the mountains of Tennessee (USA). He is a writer, poet, avid blogger (intheperpetualruins.com) and clergyman. His writing ranges from fiction to theology/spirituality, farms and food to justice and conservation. Most days he can be found writing and consuming too much coffee or out in the woods.
What experience is created when the textual and the visual function in sync? ’Alchemy of Water’, a collaborative project between poets Tony Curtis and Grahame Davies and photographers Mari Owen and Carl Ryan, published in 2013 by Gomer Press, strongly informs the concept behind this project as a whole. The book lays both elements side by side. Each concise, imagistic poem is a direct reaction to the picture reproduced on its corresponding page. This allows the reader clear insight into their interaction, a dialogue between the Welsh landscape and two of its prolific writers. Here, Curtis senses the pull of national identity in the movement of the south Wales tide:
Dawn over Swansea Bay:
the wet sand is filling with sky.
The boat’s chains are a rich and heavy necklace.
Those rust-ochre links will tie you to this place
whatever the rise of the tide,
whatever the blue-grey weather brings,
whenever the sea sings in these chains.
The sparseness of Curtis’ language, the use of sibilance and its subsequent musicality, intimately crafts a broader semantic resonance to the image. Each poem presents how emotional content can be derived from the landscape and how it has been pictured, also acknowledging the continual draw of its specifics and uniqueness. The interaction between word and image, in any manifestation, is what this project aims to continue to explore.
in the long lines out
mired in engine oil and mayonnaise
hidden beneath cheap buckets of sand
left to my own devices, I dance
on street corners for heavy metal roses and fat men
I share drinks sin verguenzas de olvidados
I learn the nuances of silence
how words can be left out to form
a more perfect skyline
and everything is in love in the absence of a witness
flies mating midair
squirrels and pigeons furiously chasing each other
force or yearning
too much or not enough
like the winds at the end of summer
on hungrier days, when the cool rains come
I ache and creak and groan like pregnant trees
I sink into the yellow wildflowers that smell of spiced pie crusts
I roll my tongue in yearning like honey
and mingle with the dry fallen leaves
like the winds at the end of summer
Bio: Irene Zimmerman has been writing and wandering in the moonlight for a very long time. She is both a native and continuing resident of Brooklyn, NY, where she works as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. Surprising as it may seem, Irene is completely in love with her career.
Other than being alone in the woods for days at a time, she enjoys American Football, Folktales, Potatoes and Tango.