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.
Continue reading “Light Above the Stratosphere: A New Poem by Shaina Clingempeel”
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”
Continue reading “Yes, Thank you Ensign: A New Poem by Liam Bell”
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
Continue reading “Remember Breton: A New Poem by Mary Jacob”
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.
Continue reading “Two Poems by Michael Dante”
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
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.
Continue reading “Broken Things: A New Poem by Bill LaBrie”
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?
Continue reading “Three Poems by James Nixon”
This project maintains an interdisciplinary approach, interested in all matters textual and visual. Poetry is a specialism, but we will also be looking to feature travel/life writing, critical pieces and articles, and some short fiction. We have a current interest in textual work being presented in conjunction with photography or a sequence of photographs, but will also accept individual pieces of writing and photography in their own right. Alongside this we would be pleased to hear what informs the practitioner’s work and their interests. This content will be gathered with a view to producing a regular e-zine.
Work which has been previously published or is currently under consideration elsewhere will be accepted at this stage. The author will retain full rights to their work. The project is seeking to be a space where individuals can show case their work and ideas freely.
With this in mind, all submissions will receive an individual response, as we hope to enter into dialogue with new or up and coming writers and photographers, and will subsequently offer feedback and discussion of their work.
We run a further blog at: http://long-exposure.tumblr.com/
Submissions and other enquiries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use ‘Long Exposure Submission’ as your subject, and send work either in the body of the e-mail or as an attachment. We are looking for a maximum of 6 poems or photographs or 2 to 3 prose pieces per submission, although photography submissions may be negotiable if the work is an extended sequence. You can also include a short bio detailing your work to date if you wish.
We look forward to reading and viewing your masterpieces.
What happens when words and pictures interact? How do texts and images help us understand ourselves and the world, and what is their value today? What can they tell us about aspects of our lives such as history and identity, both personal and further afield? What do we draw from them, as well as put into them?
These are some of the questions this project aims to explore.
We are looking to receive and discuss new, original or innovate writing and photography, keeping a very broad and open focus. The project aims to be a platform for new and emerging writers and photographers to present their work in a creative and encouraging environment, with the material gathered going toward the production of a regular e-zine.