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Preview: the red ceilings

the red ceilings

Updated: 2018-03-06T16:30:06.194+00:00


ANTIHERO ~ Rupert M Loydell


ANTIHERO      time travel historical memory           work your magic bloodline melodrama      liar's web           work your magic unauthorized walk in the park      (never thought i would)           secret rhythm           silent proof      familiar gone missing [...]

DERAILMENT ~ Rupert M Loydell


DERAILMENT in the land of love & famine there is a wild wind blowing      she closed her eyes      viewed fireworks from afar      turned herself inside out      went walking with the beast one last question will you still hold me      in the dark?      i have found my nervous system           am tragically unsound         (you take away my heart) [...]

DOWNRIVER ~ Rupert M Loydell


DOWNRIVER improvised shimmer      oblivion song           chromium water      fluoride kiss charcoal landmarks      remain so i am tired of giving up     flooded lungs     drowning belief           only so much what      strange animal songs suggestions for walking alone           the long sun gone      can't see the sky [...]

Hold ~ Anna Frances Conway


One,You congratulate yourself Two, The invincible kicks inThree,The sting kicks in Four,Bell jar rumbles Five,You hear that fist muscleSix,You wonder if you can staySeven,Nothing is on fireEight,Your insides are on fireNine,You forget what fire isTenYou consider it, teeth monster in your head —breathe in. [...]

Gone over ~ Tim Youngs


That bare patch
where you stood
playing catch

is still there
brought to mind
by the knock

on our door.
A child for
his ball back.

Soirée ~ Tim Youngs


The plastic coaster:

its pattern obscured

by cigarette burns

and Mother’s anger

Drift ~ Tim Youngs


red spots
on Dad’s white Cortina

in our Bedfordshire driveway

blown from the Sahara

with home counties rain

Tim Youngs’ poems have appeared in several print and online magazines, including The Interpreter’s House, The Journal, Lighthouse, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review and Staple

Minds Under Arrest ~ Paul Waring


they chart choreography
and mechanism of moves             
then thunder down doors
at the dark side of dawn
with barking mouths and feet

it's in their dna
to remove fibres of yours
distilling essence for clues
from every nook and cranny

scour your sink for germs
from scrubbed hard drives
of mind   words and images
lurking deep behind eyes

strip search sheets for signs
of wrong dreams  examine
soiled linen of thought take
some away for questioning

On Nights ~ Paul Waring


Darkness draws curtains
in bible black ink. Bat clouds
suffocate corners of sky

as another canvas dies
moon magnets drag corneas
of shuttered eyes towards sleep

where memory knits
rows of experience
that scarf into morning.

Memory Thief ~ Paul Waring


the past slips in and out from
cubby-holes of consciousness
keeping the known
from the knowing
dropping clues
onto tips of tongues
agonisingly close to recall        
details shredded by thieving
magpies of memory, now
abandoned like party guests
waiting to be introduced.

Paul Waring, a retired clinical psychologist lives in Wirral, UK. He once designed menswear and, in the 1980's, was a singer/songwriter in several Liverpool bands. His work has been published in Reach Poetry and will feature in forthcoming issues of Eunoia Review, Amaryllis and Northampton Poetry.

Poem ~ Buket Ozgel


I have an imaginary dog.
He is only around in the presence of dark souls.
The moment I hear the woof woof sound,
I produce a bell from my pocket and show that
it is not good to condition oneself
to sheer animosity beforehand.

Save that I do not ring the bell.

 Buket is Turkish who is now writing in English.

None ~ Buket Ozgel


That is your mouth
That is your chin
Your pretty chin
Your kissable chin

Those are your eyes
Diffidently looking around
Then staring into my heart
And those currently blind


3 Sonnets ~ Akaky Akakievich


A Sonnet to the Siren AuroraHigh Heeled Sandals, Small fangs, large mouthEspecially total from the harping on control which thrusts out over the grainAnd still will flatten the mighty not yet set to fill out over the musty plightWas a chance to gather up the taunting from her not covetous prompt ekeOf the chilling but perpendicular sapping can be to truly hide the recent saneOf whomever is a trill of the perpetual stalked along the roadways is tightThat blinking has elevated the toast of the more so her shoes were not weakFrom the same mountainous ravished by the storm of the fluent pushed pastThe resident must prevail over the alterations have seemed to resist the wombWhich centers on the wasting of the mere perilous how it can be the saltyOf each of the rather mere figurines are a proud until there is no more fastOf the larger side of her mouth must be prepared to envelope the eager tombThat hastens a filled with the rapid ease is not the reach to distill the bulky A Sonnet to the Siren BellaSomewhat pregnant, black boots, black leggings Seems to have forgotten much of what she remembered to be the startThis captivating the grievance from about how you could tell each flippantTowering caught between the stomachs of heartaching and just to realizeThe scintillating has pushed past the tunnels of what can heap on a dartTo the frequent exercised and moments were most forgiven with a distantCalming allegiance was there to attain the leggy smarter for her to idealizeHere around the flocked to contain only the hapless victims were a solidEnough relentless and poured onto the framework was still to meager overThe eating away at the bulbous filled to assume the milky presence knows allThat seems to bite into the hardly made for her size was the leftover and pallidTo continue the running about was not a faster race to heed the flow moreoverCan restrict the actual pagan testing is present to find most of the shattered fall A Sonnet to the Siren Bethany Excessively tall, headbands, extreme jealousy Positively elated by the mere chance of the beholden to a stretch mustMake the lasting endurance pale with the gleaming headway made choiceTo flounder about the streak of the mildest forms of revolting kind of spotsHave dreaded her extreme height with the lure of a castle and not a thrustWhat else can have to remain with the revolved and so petty it can be a voiceWhich matters most to the heeded and starlit convention knows not the blotsWhatever can handle the dignity of another to surround the really meekIs the cheeky foremost proud enough to conduct like the hibernated of whatHas entailed the frosted over emotive stance takes not a verily stood to easeThe reign of who was the headbanded and proud with the masterly so sleekIt can prevail with the windiest of the sorrowful here it can blame the shutOf what is up to stand over her sleekest memories have proudly made the tease Akaky resides in Pittsburgh, PA.  He writes only Sonnets. His current cycle, of which these are a part of, is a cycle about Sirens. He has  also written cycles of Sonnets about Witches and Goddesses. A number of the Witch and Goddess sonnets have been published during  the last year in various publications.Akaky enjoys fast cars and listening to Mozart and Bruckner. He also enjoys 19th century Russian and French literature. [...]

Disaster ~ Sally Barrett


Forget it
I said
To, said
He and I
Cried and
Wept and said
Fuck you
Then I don't
Care any
More but I
Did in
You should leave
He said
I don't want
To said
I and he
Grew cold
And frosty.
He said please
I can't
Cope tonight
No I
Won't I said
Let's sort it
Out I
Said. I can't
He said
I don't trust
You. And
I shouted
Please I
Love you so
Much but
He looked far
And said no.
I walked out
The door,
The door that
He paint
Ed and I
Slam it, I
Shut it
I'd taken
More care
With the love.
I went to
The pub
I hadn't
Drank for
Years and I
Knew it
Wouldn't help
So I
Turned and walked
To the
Park. It was
Dark and
So lonely
I sat on
The swing
and swung for
A while
And I was
Scared but
Not because
Of the
Dark in the
Park but
Because I
Had lost the
True love
Fuck I said
Fuck it's
Bad now this
Time and
The tears rolled
Like salt
water and
I thought
What should I
Do now
So I phoned
My friend
And said help
Ok she
Said come
Round and stay
Here if
You've got
No where
To go. Thanks
I said
But fuck I
Said. She
Said I know
But she cared
Even though
I hated
Myself and
My life
And my fuck
Up world
And I knew
It was
My own fault
Which made
It all a
Lot worse
He sat in
The room
Head in his
Hands and
Thought what did
I do
Wrong. Oh god
He said
I can't take
Her back
That's the end

Water Horse ~ Sally Barrett


Beautiful light brown
beer water with
white froth
racing down stone stairs
like a waterfall

Running water,
where have you been,
And what's the rush?
I'm sure you'll get there
You're not like
wild horses at all
More like liquid poured
From a giant drip tray

Sometimes, I wish
I knew more
about physics.

But physics
cant tell me
why ghosts
might be
time glitches.
Not yet anyway

So, water,
run if you like,
but there's no hiding
only dispersal,
And that process
I can't remember
the name of from GCSE.

Sally Barrett lives in Manchester though is from Leeds originally. She is currently working on a sequence of poems about the experience of voice hearing. She enjoys reading female poetry, classic literature,THE NEWS and Facebook. 

Five poems ~ Andrew Taylor


Receipt ink fades the porter’s chilled correctly though served in a pint glass ponytailed jogger uses the canal bank 6.23 p.m. not fully dark


Red chief 4016 take an apple from the breakfast table wrap in a napkin save it footpath near the station echoes yellow line burst of photos


Daffodil scent tyre dust in alloy grime drip tap drop gutter clouds roll west to east insect highway luminosity border flowers rail clang


Scared to jump sparrow aire de la Baie de Somme 10.56 am short sleep sky trails cross further south quieter roads colours change sun warms


aire Des Haras refuel automation exit route we visited 8 months ago new species on the wing where we sat with early morning breakfast tea

Two poems ~ Sarah Bernstein


    a graph
We don't begin at the beginning
But somewhere in the middle
And that is,
I mean that is not,
Zero point


you must speak
ill of the dead.
the comfort zone
of no voice.
This is a partial

SARAH BERNSTEIN is a New York-based violinist, composer and poet whose work incorporates
improvisation, vocals, electronics and original text. She is known for her fiery multidisciplinary
performances, and has garnered international acclaim for her distinctive recordings. Nominated "Rising Star" in the 2015 and 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll, she is a recognized innovator in forward-thinking

Open for submissions


Delighted to announce that we will be open for submissions again as of April 1, 2017 until December 1, 2017. We look forward to seeing your work

High Tide ~ Steve Smythe


Draw a line in the sand:
one side scribe those things you
love about me, down the other
those you don’t.    

Take care the once-blank column,   
which now goes on and on,
is closest to the breaking waves,
and what remains from our heyday

is not washed away
after I have gone.

Steve Smythe started work as a reporter on local newspapers, before earning a living in local authority public relations and communications for twenty five years. He started writing poetry two years ago and is a founder member of the Manchester (City Centre) Stanza poetry group, as well as performing regularly on the burgeoning Manchester spoken word scene. Steve now works with young people who are in care, and is writing a novel. He lives in Stretford. 

The Noose ~ Amy Huffman


around my neck is featheredwhite.  As nightdescends, it hackles high,glows.  This                    nameless devilin a church of despair  -- mine signals its desire to the moon.I am the loon who will payfor a stray bullet’sace.        King,           three,                   ten,              allspades.  I am playinggin with the gods.  I know I can’t win.                    For starters they haveno [but all] hands and eyesthat see through stone.            I intone a meditative chant, an attempt to counter this prolonged night.  Minutes tick like years (or vice versa), as steel-eyed still awake, the corner of dawn                                                             cracksa smile, offersno hope              of/or reprieve.A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, fourteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2500 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. [...]

I Am Blue ~ Amy Huffman


light, a special
kind of cold.
Numbing indifference
has turned my nerves
to veins.  They read
                 & uncharted.
I am a universe
of waves and wonder, full
of creatures.  (They bite.)
So do I.
              I take
strength and sense of direction.
To navigate means to give up
the ability to breathe.

6 poems ~ Howie Good


Politics as Usual An apparition of the Virgin Mary appears on the window of an otherwise ordinary house in Jersey City. Angry white men pretend that it’s only frost. Faceless angels dressed in tinsel wander through the neighborhood, a way for them to ensure that they don’t miss out on the war. Women begin to sob when the TV news comes on. “Donald Trump won’t leave us alone,” one says with a tearful shake of her head. Saints and martyrs ride a shaft of starlight down to ground zero. And those not burned up by death rays become their slaves. Life After 60 The black tulips were open for only a day when a big wind bowled most of them over.  I gathered up those with broken stems and put them in a clear glass vase and put the vase on the table. This is what life is like after 60, the wind, wet and moaning, sprouting strange new black feathers. None of us remember how, or there wouldn’t be an interrogator pushing the old man headfirst into the wall or a pool of blood on the floor moving as if it were alive. The Small Hours This is what I saw when I got home, monstrous miserable flesh-tints. Anything can happen in the land of childhood obesity. Prostitutes and clowns insist that I pay attention to them, yapping and whining and pushing against my legs. The small hours of the night are the worst. It’s nearly impossible to silence them. I ignore all pleas to proclaim the necessity of burning the museums. For the time being, nothing somehow becomes something, the terrified faces of passengers on a hijacked flight.  Black Threads It snowed up here today. Dogs became capable of filling their own bowls. You sprawled on a divan with your bare back to the viewer.  Every time you shook your hair more poems fell out. You don’t know who I am, but somehow you have been affected by things I did. Asked what the light was like, you describe a carnival of shadows broadcast in HD, just as I would. We invent the world in the instance of seeing it. The country where my family was changed into threads of black smoke doesn’t exist anymore. Bruno Schulz lived, there, too, trying to cross a crocodile-infested street with a loaf of bread under one arm.The Theater of Eternal Music Cigar-smoking angels who shoot pink waves of peace from their fingertips are full of complicated feelings. The grumpy cat has too much coffee, which has a psychedelic effect on its appearance. Some villagers worship a giant machine that dispenses eyeballs. Franz Kafka, struggling to write the first sentence of “The Metamorphosis,” finds himself constantly interrupted by loud neighbors and strange door-to-door salesmen. Flowers rise up against their oppressors. Beings made from string unravel in a railroad car. Kafka’s self-doubt pokes through his facade of positivity. A middle-aged man takes the fact that his son doesn’t want to play the flute surprisingly hard. A Cooking Show for Cannibals A simple change of a light bulb has far-reaching effects. I don’t understand why this should be so. Murderous puppet typewriters misbehave with deadly results. A shirtless tomato farmer sings a hypnotic ode to his favorite crop. In a drab city, the sale and purchase of emotions are strictly regulated, but not everyone follows the rules and a gangster has himself gilded in gold. Fishing is a metaphor for Alzheimer’s disease. An elderly man thinks he’s related to a cow. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason to despise the monkey with a helium-fill[...]

Funeral ~ Ibrahim Honjo


Before you die
Find the time
And do something about that

Consult a manual about execution of wills
Find out what obligations are entailed in the will
Don't die before that

You should choose someone
To represent you
Don't make a big mistake
To appoint somebody inexperienced

If you have somebody
Get in touch with him

If you have nobody
Don't die
Or choose someone who can carry out
Financial affairs
Leave time for consultations about responsibility

Being an executor of a will is not an easy job
But if he dies first you are in big trouble
If you have no money
You are in trouble
Without these two prerequisites
It's better that you never die
Never die

Opening for submissions


Delighted to announce that from April 1 2016 we will once again be open for submissions to the Red Ceilings.

Lives of the Saints, Wayne Clements


Lives of the Saints, Wayne Clements

Now available from the Red Ceilings Press website

Wayne Clements, writer and artist, studied fine art at Chelsea College of Art and Design, where he researched machine methods of generating text. His artwork has been widely exhibited internationally. First published by Bob Cobbing’s Writers Forum Press in the 1990s, eight books of poetry and visual work have followed. Recent publications include: Clerical Work (2010, Veer), Western Philosophy (2011, Knives, Forks and Spoons), Archeus (2012, Depart), Variant Lines (2013, Red Ceilings), and Eutropius (2013, Hassle).
Kenya (with Johan de Wit and Antony John) is due from Veer in 2016. 

chapbook [rcp cb38]
A6 36pp 40 copies
£6.00 inc. p&p (UK)