Issue 22







Dan Eltringham




I fucking love you months


— Jeff Hilson, In the Assarts



So having ended, he from the ground did rise,

And after him uprose eke all the rest:

All loth to part, but that the glooming skies

Warnd them to draw their bleating flocks to rest.


— Edmund Spenser, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe







Where mutability is the prime

& principle of flux where re-

-construction is at work change

is always loose & constant: temp-

-orary as blossom. When not in

the knowledge quarter I am not 

on the steps of Regent’s Canal. So

much alteration going on revolves

faster than the year flinging up lonely 

interior walls dreaming of the shelter

of their own roofs and thermal cladding

all before the first bud of untimely spring. 






Sprung from unhomely weeds

the insulated exo-membranes

of the living machines add clout

to my case for one day living in one.

Under-floor heating is just the best way

to spend your time magma welling

up from the deep core & toasting your

toes. When not in the knowledge quarter

nor am I in Granary Square but I don’t

mind much in high winds & driving

rains nor thought of such repose when

it’s hard enough just to turn the bars.






When the weather turns press hard down

on the knowledge quarter & it splits lay-

-ered cupronickel parts of the Johnson

sandwich. Why not allow us to manage

your vacancy? As if in answer Shelley’s sky-

-lark shot into my brain and out mine ear,

a server serving whom? Hover a mouse

over cursory zones of encouragement

plucked from the reduced shrub margin

by a passing hawk nearly zeroed in

on its object: a lethal agent hunched furtively

like someone at an ATM over precious digits.






Money as psychologically experienced

hard round & finite in the pocket cannot ad-

-mit of distended growth from a single

seed as rates soar & dive, a fish-fixed

gannet. Or scurries away with the most 

generic of available verbs. Or about to stoop

from the middle air with closing pinions

it gives up & grows suddenly weary, it peels

away like Zapata turning back from the capital 

though sure of victory, called south by the planting 

season. Mayday. Corn over history. And who’s

to say at the end of the day they chose wrong?






Election being anyway the wrong frame

for such observance. Work on defining

its borders and you miss the picture

bigger than any given window. As Merino

profits sent Columbus to Mexico. You can

hear the italics rustle through the leaves

here careering wildly down the track across

the frame into Career Prospect View;

but a view carries less weight than a visit,

or a visit is an accumulation of views,

a stack of picture-postcard prospects piled

up in a forgotten corner of the search field.






On Yucatan earth I feel the axis tilt

the longest daystar rises through the

stone arch. Back in the quarter I chuck

it over my shoulder where it shatters

asphalt crystalline shards surefire

puncture of fondest hopes. New sward

opens tree-lined canvas walks, banners

wave in summer breeze. Yellow benches

sprout, all quickens into something I can

believe as pressure dives to storm-gauge.

Remember then the three ways to be justified:

left, centre & right; works, faith & election.






Everyone’s running it fine to those margins

now, emergency faring at tether’s end. Bare

& boring August save us your modesties

& hie ye to the fields & bring in the corn,

weedy month. But don’t fret: soon

the historic Midland goods yard will

be sensitively transformed into a food

barn serving ‘street’ food, ‘angry’ fries, meats

‘pulled’ from an irate pig. A barn for stock

& husbandry, feral carry-on/carry-out harvest

of once-burnished metal. Only forebear that cant

until you know what the surplus is and where it is.






Sure that’s eating but damn I just love

using things up for example butter milk

eggs and non-dairies too the best bit

is throwing away the packaging, an ecstasy

cycle of just the right amount. But look

you don’t always need to be putting stuff in,

topping it up: an inadequate instrument it

keeps going on till it doesn’t two clocks in time

ticking. Assume it’s functioning fine nor fear

of minor ills, feel ordinary pride in prosaic

legislation, get half-drunk just for the ride home,

break the spell & make the choice: time or money?






Willet plumped for saving both to finish

off his round of golf basking still in daylight

the year dislocated as it ever was Diminishing

the Cost of Light, rationed stuff, solar disc antient

instrument of time & times, the only real science.

Good for tourism retail & sport, Daylight

Slaving Time lets workers photosynthesise

in leisure hours; in rural Chiapas little heed

is paid to Standard Central Gulf Time: the calendar

round nestles in the Long Count a squirrel’s dray

in the bole of an ancient oak burrowed out by

any number of minor borers, branches barely sere.










Dan Eltringham is writing an AHRC-supported PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, on poetry and the commons.  His poetry and translations have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, The Goose, The Clearing, Intercapillary Space, Alba Londres 6: Contemporary Mexican Poetry and Scabs are Rats Zine 4, as well as in two chapbooks, Mystics and Ithaca.  He has published critical work on R. F. Langley and Sean Bonney, with work forthcoming on Peter Riley and Peter Larkin.  He is currently putting together his first full-length poetry collection and co-edits Girasol Press, a (very) small letterpress that publishes experimental translations between English and Spanish.