Stephen C. Middleton


Stet — un-make an old mistake

      wherein fresh
      now, forever,
      the acid test

Zest then

      the whole story
      the consistency of phlegm

      don’t demand clarion
      you understand
      just the possibility of

      but now knives / blades
      crisp through
      no longer morning

      icy shades
      less blessed

Can I get a fresh…
Can I get a fresh…?

Chain Gang Shuffle

…and it stops the
    off the cuff

synapses in chain gang shuffle

miming action
slows the anecdote

medication constricts throat
aphagia chokes the telling

blurred pages

and voices
as if through a megaphone
or an old blues 78
through static

these distances…
alienation accentuated

    and by this
    lonely moan.

Stephen C. Middleton is a writer based in London, England. He has had 5 books of poetry published, most recently Worlds of Pain / Shades of Grace (Poetry Salzburg) and A Brave Light (Stride). He has been in a similar number of anthologies, including Paging Doctor Jazz (Shoestring). For several years he was editor of jazz & jazz-related poetry magazine Ostinato (poets from U.K, U.S, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, etc) & the related Tenormen Press, producing limited edition, illustrated books of music orientated poetry. His live work includes readings, stand up comedy, performances with musicians, & storytelling. He is currently working on projects (prose & poetry) concerning mountain environments, ecology, jazz, politics, blues, outsider art, & long-term illness.

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