Issue 14
Ian McGuire

MR14 Editorial

Welcome to Issue 14 of The Manchester Review. This issue features our usual mixture of exciting, high quality poetry and fiction, from both established and emerging writers. We are particularly pleased to be able to feature, alongside all the great writing, David Summers’ wonderfully deft oil paintings. David, a long time Professor of Art History […]

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David Wagoner

Two Poems

On Waking Up Your first question, not yet, not quite yet being        awake, is not quite out        of the question or your mouth and isn’t the fictional where am I? of old stories,         but as one or more of your eyes         confesses and re-admits light as a matter of […]

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Chris Andrews

Three Poems

The Jennifer Arthur last seen at a posh college dealing ironically: first to go. The Peter who wore out his supports and said, while I tried not to fidget, “They’ll share their words of wisdom, even give you money, but time? Not so much.” Louise who discovered a talent for big and dirty simulations. Paula […]

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Sarah Corbett

Two Poems

(E Major) And she was                             Grist to his mill And he was                             Grit to her pearl And she was                             Salve to his burn And he was                             Soil to her furrow And she was                             Touch to […]

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Erinna Mettler

MILEY CYRUS FAULT

so heavy my head feels like a bag of bricks we used to say that after a night on the town bottle after bottle of CRYSTAL line after line so high we always came down with a bang waking up with a head like a bag o bricks our dingy curtained room migraine bright let […]

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Robert Cremins

The Lady Captain’s Prize

Seán and Deirdre were in their sixties now. He’d taken early retirement from the bank and she no longer gave piano lessons, though she went out to golf with such regularity that an elderly neighbour, Mrs Furlong, could not be dissuaded that Deirdre Brennan had a job. They were still Mass-goers, but now went to […]

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Anne Marie Kennedy

Benevolence

Because time is an unfathomable thing I can’t tell you how long I’ve been here, basting in shame, under the mother’s eaves for eight or maybe ten days? I am six or seven again and beholding to her. I know not to give cheek nor answer back. Monday to Thursday it’s the dry end of […]

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Guy Mitchell

My Dad’s American

We go up into the grey tower of the concrete stairs and you can smell the carroty smell of everybody’s sweat. I have a drink from my canteen. Wham! Somebody punches my back – water chokes up into my nose. Stephen’s grinning, but he’s so fast he’s already back in line with Indeep and Michael. […]

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Theodore Worozbyt

Stirrup and Anvil

I think my hummingbird has a transistor Radio in its heart, that it’s turquoise, and Picks up all the marbles from the garden, To pile them along the windowsill As though such things ripen. His spider Thread tongue shines, sugar-glazed As he drinks from the feeder. Where best to wrap an Ace bandage Is not […]

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Anthony Caleshu

To be an Epicurean

Pleasure is the alpha and omega of a blessed life, our first and native good, for that reason we do not choose every pleasure whatsoever.               Epicurus 1. The last time I abandoned you was at a ball game in between innings with a hotdog in my hand and a hat on my head.  […]

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Josephine Corcoran

Two Poems

Holiday   Spilled purple on the cliffs like wine and green as if peppermint chews have melted down a gas fire, white person pink light, full as a teardrop, my heart clawed from wet sand smashed into pies.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Eric Rohmer fell on my towel to explain the inevitability of going […]

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Peter Sansom

Sofa

       ‘Here the heart May give a useful lesson to the head’        — William Cowper, The Task, Book VI, ll85-86 Horsehair. In the 70s in a one-up-one-down shared with George (upstairs), who ironed his curly hair straight and favoured the cravat of Edward Fox in The Day of the Jackal. Back- to-back on the […]

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Maria Isakova Bennett

Two Poems

Value             Reflections on Joseph Mayer, at the Walker Art Gallery The jeweller reckons up his treasures – lets the words, proof of life, slip to silver goblets. From his window you watch the clock gauge Lime Street station. Departures trouble arrivals – there’s an ache in each welcoming kiss. Silence blooms through you like […]

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Luke Samuel Yates

Two Poems

Some Whales He is still wearing shorts and flip-flops in the office although summer ended for good three years ago now because it also wanted him to stop. He eats his soup like his bowl is a teat. He drives a small Japanese car with a high seating position. He has an ergonomic mouse and an ergonomic […]

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William Bedford

The Lamplighter

i.m. Florence Winifred Bedford 20.10.1915 – 09.09.2008 He brought that warm glow the children liked, soft light for jump-the-chalk and pitch-and-toss, the giggling swirl of humbug heaven then kiss-the-girl-and-run-away. In Dunlop Place, Sam Carter was your champion lighter, a beaming glow-worm from dawn to dusk, lighting the dark as you ran home. ‘Light’s ghost,’ you […]

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Gail McConnell

Twenty Three Fifteen

Twenty Three Fifteen Don’t look at the sun.        * This is the last thing that you tell me before you leave. Or one of the last things.        * You could look at it through a colander. That’s another.        * The thought of standing in the garden with a colander on my head […]

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Andrew Fentham

Au hasard Pantomime

And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?                   Numbers 22:28 I              And the donkey is beaten again. It does not […]

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J.T. Welsch

Two Poems

The Desert The desert is in the heart of your brother. Your brother doesn’t even read poetry, but keeps the desert’s book, with that dumb title, where you’ll see when you next scrounge dinner. But the desert’s just one of these kids who make bad jokes at a poem’s expense, you say. Your brother sticks […]

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Catherine Field

THE BABY IN THE DITCH

THE BABY FOUND MIRACULOUSLY UNHARMED IN THE DITCH TALKS ABOUT THE TRI-STATE TORNADO OF 1925 Don’t bother huddling in the dusty basement. Save your batteries for the TV remote, your candles for the wake. All those stories you’ve heard— how the southwest corner walls, built true by honest men, will hold while all else flattens— […]

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Kate Hendry

Progressive Heart Failure

Another conversation about death: ‘You can stab your heart – you won’t feel it – the heart’s autonomous’ he says. I twist my daughter’s abandoned pipe cleaner into a blue, three-petalled flower. My father’s heart is doing its own thing – racing blood around his body too fast, forcing him to lie down. Only he […]

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Patrick Warner

Two Poems

The Tightrope Walker The bearded grind-organ lady’s Quaker-bearded monkey, depressed elephants, sedated lions, insouciant ungulate dromedaries and belligerent camels will tomorrow be ushered into confinement. With these will go the washing-machine-cum- bisected-jet-engine that spins, that basin of sticky wisps, spun stratosphere that collects on a dipped stick to make edible pink insulation. Stacked like ark […]

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James Ryan

Talking to Strangers

‘The sooner the new motorway opens the better.’ I hesitated, holding back the impulse to say something about what we were doing, something like; We can’t just arrive into the hospital without talking about it. Eventually, I said ‘Rachel’. Just that; Rachel. like she had locked herself in a room and I was trying to […]

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