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A Magazine for

Julian Colton / James Lock / James Holden

by Now Then Sheffield


Dead or alive for the princely sum of
four promotions and kitchen dining set
Once renowned
for #servingkingharold.
[Status update] Time Team conclude 1066,
trumps 1067.
Balloons burst everywhere.


Please return in any condition. Last seen
in the faded blue jeans
Of Cobain, Layne and Buckley,
circa the winter of 1996.
Live Long. Oh, generational trend.
You loyal dog.


Will take any hand under 35. Prosthetics -
no offence - will not be accepted.
Temporary, Ideal
hand to hold, as seen on blessed summer
night first girl first love
first Laura.


Required for re-emergence into cosmic light
of next death delivery.
Must be able to both soar and dive.
Not forgetting ability to approach the sun
at reasonable distances.
Father son teams not accepted.


Must contain huge reward. Multiple dollar signs please.
With accommodating translation into the language of yen,
rupee and pound sterling.
Slogan stands:
Money doesn’t matter as long as I’m wanted.
Money just finds me.
Bold picture to be taken
from prior, bold times.


Must be able to take believable credit for creation,
credit for process and must work
on credit at -
as yet ill-defined terms.
Must be willing to see big picture,
heaven as Bermuda,
vast hope for future
and slight irony,
given current attendance
at the temple of physical fact.


Required: Firm grasp of the abstract treacle.
Must recognise 10 nuances in any given
intonation or phrase,
remembering silence has its own sentiment.
Must demonstrate ability to bemuse and reflect
the love light bending our backs,
groins and relative facial expressions,
both in times of joy and
or coitus.
Finally, Wanted Poet
must consider wanted poster,
essential to modern living.

James Lock


You can’t feel everyone’s pain
Yet I felt his, enough to make you cry

When they scraped the cat off the Macc Road with a spade.
‘But it’s only a cat,’ they said behind his back.

Try telling him that, a cat for company
Through winter’s falling snow and rain

Lashed at black Pennine hills’ Millstone Grit house
Black as the nightshift cat

Crawling over cold slag and coal
To kill the smallest mouse and vole.

Purring distant galaxies in its eyes
Bluer than Blue John in Blue John mines.

Kinship with his dust, bone and brain
This clever cat pawed open hook shut doors

Survived removal from red brick to green fields
A city cat, a country cat, two of nine lives.

Could never have a cat like that again
He never would, up until the day he died.

Sorrow – the price for loving something
For being alive. Thinking of the cat, he cried.
So did I.

Julian Colton

Speed Run

Controller select,
Level select,

[Start the clock]

Cut the cut sequence,
Stick forward and run,
Strafe right, strafe left,
Shoot the door, reload.

This is a life fully optimised,
With all the idleness taken out
Of my idle pastimes.

I dream of the fastest runs,
Of perfect acts of intelligence;
Of worlds co-opted,
Of all objectives met.

Looking down eliminates lag time:
It avoids unnecessary eye contact
And frames, those parergonal pixels.

Through the door,
Strafe right,
Strafe left,
And exit.

[Stop the clock]

Cut sequence commences, credits roll.

James Holden

by Now Then Sheffield

Next article in issue 80

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