Three poems by Tom Chivers

Pine release

walked into the mountains (actually
rain:   rain on path   rain on dogs
rain falling in the bay through sun

     direction of    ie. towards    the
fuming mountains   (also, on crown
of Hitler Youth til slick)   where the mist
(a kind of purple)   clung or shrouded
whatever   and (it fell on our faces and
hands)     made to stop and go left
(pine release, very wet)   at the fence-line
even though I didn’t see any military
personnel or smart bombs and correctly
identified the tiny bird that was flying
         in the storm
                         when the mountain
was biggest        (I saw a crane, you
a house, it was pouring)  on the bypass
with four lanes      two for local traffic
direction of    ie. towards

Puerta Pollenca, Mallorca
January 2010

Poem as bullet

A typographic rukus interrupts
their dense arrangement of wires;

for its own sake language was
alone on top of a cold building.

Steel performs a shedding of skin
in reverse. The snake creeps back

inside. In truth, the whole metropolis
is bleeding from the guts and gums.

To order space when we cannot even
tell the time –that seems, to me, absurd.

University of Life, mate. (Up a garret
down a side road with no heating.)

Some scrag in a poncho screaming
How’s your father? to a rookery of

knaves who’ve missed the deadline,
press execute and drop. The signal

to advance arrives, but through a process
of erasure, ritualised in stocks, fails to

register; they slump. Soon it will be 2010.
Incendiary devices are improvised

from the rotting shells of dead poets.


                 Over the border
the taken, the missing, the dead
are ten years younger, in polo necks
and uncompromising 1980s hair, stare
goggle-eyed in booths for that snapshot
their wives or mothers will keep.

                        At Metulla
the uncapped lens of a Sony digicam
nuzzles in the heat of a day; they scan
the brown hills, the silent date fields:
“I came to take pictures, to smell it…
to see where the Katyusha burned.”


'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.


Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.


At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.