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Issue Two

Jacob Armstrong


Thought Fog


The fog is think, and thin,

an ephemeral obscurity

swathing the landscape.

It doesn’t spread, but rather dissipates,

sharpening once-faded skeletal branches

bringing forth colour drained before,

an overexposed photograph.


It lingers on the air, the vague taste clouds

my nostrils, the cool, the indecisiveness

heavy on the tongue

and light.





It’s past twelve

Saturday night

and I’m trying to be rebellious.

Well, Sunday morning to be exact.

I am sat on my bedroom floor

wearing slipper socks, writing.

That is the extent of my letting-my-hair-down.

It’s short anyway.

I had it cut Friday afternoon

with the diggers

and Oscar Pistorius on the radio

and a crappy

inbetween snow and rain.

Both my clocks are wrong.

One is 45 fast:

The other is somewhere

between 10 and 15 slow.

The walls of my room

span time zones.

To me, that is rebellion.





On the land there is an emptiness.

Steel carcasses, drained,

stripped from the earth by rust and iron claws.


Where once its fluid core streamed black, carbonic blood,

people get drunk, stumble the streets

born of welded muscle and sweat.


The world is paler.

The scent of fresh-hewn coal, of engine oil,

no longer blooms on the air.

I long to taste the ripe stagnation

of iron dust, pitch powder.

In my lungs there is nothing

but the sterile air.


I can’t feel as my forefathers did,

brush my hands across a ship’s great hull,

feel the coalface crumble.

My hands, unmarked by work, are forsaken:

my hands, unmarked by work.

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