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Showing posts from May, 2010

Recent Issues

Well, here are a few recent issues of magazines that I thought I'd flag up, and no, not just because I've something of my own included in them, which in several cases I don't, but because I've subscriptions to many poetry mags and journals for the simple reason that, in many ways, they're the lifeblood and engine rooms of new writing and, on this slightly gloomy looking Wednesday morning, I'd like to encourage you, dear Wasteland reader, to consider subscribing to a new publication today.

First off, the latest issue of New Welsh Review dropped with a satisfying thud through my letterbox the other week, and aside being excellently produced (nothing superficial about enjoying the look and feel of a stylish book or magazine with high production values, and to be honest, NWR holds its own against most books, never mind journals), it also contains plenty of engaging new writing, including two new poems from Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, fiction from Nii Ayikwei Parkes, p…



When it comes, and I know how it comes
from nowhere, out of night
like a shadow falling on streets,
how it waits by the door in silence –
a single black thought, its empty face –

don’t let it tie you down to the house,
don’t let it slope upstairs to spend
hours coiled next to your bed,
but force the thing out, make it trudge
for miles in cold and wind and sleet.

Have it follow you, the faithful pet
it pretends to be, this mutt
like a poor-man’s Cerberus,
tell it where to get off when it hangs
on with its coaxing look,

leave it tethered to a lamppost
and forget those pangs of guilt.
Know it’s no dog but a phantom,
fur so dark it gives back nothing,
see your hand pass through

its come-and-go presence,
air of self-satisfied deception,
just as the future bursts in on
the present, its big I am, and that
sulking hound goes to ground again.

The Catch

For you, the catch wasn’t something caught –
not word or contender, attention or fire.
Not the almost-missed train, or the sort
of wave su…

Chris Morris's Four Lions

There can be weeks when I find very little to engage on BBC2's The Review Show (formerly Newsnight Review, though the name change seems to have accompanied nothing more than the sickly new colour scheme of its redesigned set), so it was a pleasant surprise to see Chris Morris, Britain's foremost satirist and creator of series The Day Today (1994) and Brass Eye (1997), featured on the show this week, having finished his latest project, a darkly comic film about a bunch of hapless, amateur terrorists based in Sheffield.

I'd almost forgotten about the movie, having last read about Morris's current project when I stumbled across a letter, "The absurd world of Martin Amis", in the Guardian a few years back, in which Morris takes the bestselling author to task for "prowling the thickets of his research [into Islam and terrorism] like a demented flasher".

But as Morris's first film, and given his reputation for dealing with difficult topics (such as drug…