Issue 17
John McAuliffe

Editorial

The latest issue of The Manchester Review is a little late due to the volume of submissions we have been sifting and reviewing over the past two months, so that we could present the work you see before you by such a range of writers from different parts of the UK, Europe and the wider […]

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Max Schleicher

Bauhaus

Bauhaus It’s 28 minutes and the river is Bauhaus and a god lipping slowly, steadily, not feared, but worshipped for its plausibility. Each day I approach the north branch, the river is a series                             of renovations confronting me. I am impressed. I am the workman who has left new windows overnight in the grass.                                         The […]

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Tara Bergin

Three Poems

The Method Everything I do, I do in order to get something. For example: Jane. I want Jane, but she doesn’t want me. Now, everything I do, I do in order to get past the obstacles to Jane. Why doesn’t Jane want me? Perhaps she fears me. Why does Jane fear me? Perhaps I am […]

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Scott McKendry

Periwinkle

Periwinkle You’re like an Austin FX4 hackney carriage in miniature: slow and expensive these days, an oddity, like dulse or potted herrings.                                              • Between the pads of my thumb and my index I pinch the pin, then flip out your operculum. I hold that flimsy disk up to the sunlight and it becomes a-nazar-of-a peacock’s […]

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Niall Campbell

Thinning Apples at Ludag

Thinning Apples at Ludag Gone untrimmed, when the yield came down perhaps I’d think that I was rich – buckets and basins running over. But all would be small: small blushed skin small stiff core – maybe of no use unless for pickling or stewing or practising to split them open, like a clasped book, […]

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Colette Paul

Condition

My next door neighbour is a Jehovah Witness, and sometimes she puts their leaflets through my door. I like the pictures on the front, crudely-drawn waterfalls and rainbows, the human figures all decked out in national costumes. Inside it’s stuff about Jesus coming any day to smite us, with comments in the margins by Shelia: […]

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Penelope Shuttle

Three Poems

Shetland Swop I’ll swop you my wheatear for your ringed plover, my lapwing for your rock pippet, this bevy of seals for your noisy hanging cliff-garden of two thousand nesting guillemots. If you can spare me two miles of pink thrift I’ll give you a broadside of tammie nouries and all my spare bonxies. As […]

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Carl Phillips

Three Poems

From a Bonfire There’s plenty I miss, still, that I wouldn’t want back – which I’m beginning to think might be all regret’s ever had to mean, and there’s maybe no shame, then, in having known some and, all these years, I’ve pretty much been wrong. Not that being wrong means wasting time, exactly. What […]

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Janet Rogerson

Three Poems

Notes on Mary Torrance (‘Mary is Mary’) Career spanning four decades, seventy-four essays, eleven collections. Formal poems; decline in moral values. Hated free verse in Poetry ’86, ‘The devil Whitman ruined it for everyone’ and in Paris Review ’92, ‘The New York Pre-School, why no one is counting’. Her book, Beat, Stick, ‘Howl’: Barefoot / […]

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Michael Symmons Roberts

Three Poems

Cod with the Voice of a Cantor Still we send the trawlers out, although no one alive has heard the song, and no one dead will tell. Boat after boat hauls back, and captains hold their silent ground on decks of gasping contraband to listen for a note, a tentative first ‘O’ among the mottled […]

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Nick Holdstock

Show and Tell

The night before my show and tell I couldn’t sleep at all. I had told the other girls that they had no cause for worry because I was going to bring something exceptional and could they please let go of my arm. The only girl who didn’t threaten me was the saintly Zhu Chen. She […]

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Helen Cross

Days of the Dead

Tom had chosen Whitby, a pretty port on the North East coast, for our first group weekend away. He had a rather tiresome interest in nautical matters and particularly eighteenth century swashbuckler, Captain Cook, but he had never been to ‘the town at the epicentre of Cook’s early career.’ ‘Cook was the finest British explorer, […]

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Joey Connolly

Three Poems

On Latterly Overcoming Last October’s Loss for Rosa Tomalin Laugh out loud, oh lover of levity, our lingering optimism lightens our load. Observe, lover, our lashings of luxurious ornament: lilac oil, Lebanese ocarinas, legumes, oriental lanterns, oranges, lemons or limes; O listful of lissom, obdurate, lifely objects, lighting opulently like old-fashioned lamp-posts onto liveries of […]

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Benjamin Langley

Aren’t You Danny Mann?

The police officer looks like a young Ray Winstone and he might turn bad-cop if you don’t answer.               “Name?” he repeats.               “I’m not who you think I am,” you say, leaning in towards the twin-spool tape recorder.               Ray raises an eyebrow. “Who aren’t you?”               “Danny Mann. I just look like him.”               “That’s bullshit, Danny.”               “I’m […]

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Inalegwu Omapada Alifa

Another day he might have simply changed the wheel

Another day he might have simply changed the wheel Smoke mountains the will of concrete under the cluster bomb The fallout rains us birds. We kill them! We eat them! The flesh of the birds delivers word that a roadside mechanic kills a man who’s come to have his wheel replaced. He kills using the […]

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Martin Chan

My War Against The Invisibles

The invaders came like thieves in the night. No one ever saw them, no one ever knew of them apart from their effects. They showed up the morning following the night of the meteorites, which can’t be a coincidence. They came in something. Things fell to earth around there in the wee hours, and from […]

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Kathryn Gray

Two Poems

Love after Douglas Sirk Take me to the country club in my red dress. Make me locally infamous. Fix me a Martini—Dry— I am getting weepy. I almost want to die. O take me, please, to the clinic in Zurich. I’m not being ironic— I cannot see to see! You—you have blinded me! Be my […]

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Jill Jones

Divination Isn’t What It Was

Divination Isn’t What It Was The pay-as-you-go syndrome catches up with you. This morning all my tags were apathetic or empty. It was overcast, impatient and grey. I went out amongst leaf litter that seemed glum. I looked into clouds for divination. I couldn’t construe their puffy encryptions. Newsprint melted into the driveway. There were […]

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Sally Syson

Paper

I’m moving out, was the first thing Noriko said to me. As I was moving in at the same time — she’d sidestepped me as I struggled up the stairs with an armful of folders — this was a little disconcerting. My feelings must have shown in my face, because she raised a hand to […]

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Bill Manhire

Two Poems

The Beautiful World   1. You cannot reach the beautiful world. It is everywhere and nowhere. It thinks we do not know, but we do.   2. Once I glimpsed it. My sister opened the door and ran through. She vanished among the trees beside the lake. The rest of us returned to our tasks. […]

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Callum Coles

Three Poems

Search History I can’t read properly at work, I can’t shop productively as ‘adult bike’ brings pornography. I can’t browse articles edgy enough to mutter ‘fuck’ and ‘life drawing’ comes up blank but a search for ‘mature cheddar’ presses buttons I’d rather not have to go figure, though even I can understand an obvious failure […]

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John Paul Davies

The Elements House

The Elements House A gap in the woods. See the house through the cordon of trees. Hear the wind chimes. Crows. Black dog scraping at the back door. Left to the elements, the house lies in state- a mouldering woodland creature, demonstrating each stage of death. Sinew stretched to its limits, the roof folds. The […]

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Bei Dao

From City Gate, Open Up

Translated from the Chinese by Jeffrey Yang. Sounds 1 Around age six or seven I composed a musical invention: to the sounds of car horns I hummed a tune in counterpoint. Together these two sounds defined the metropolis for me. As dream became reality, the proliferating noises of the metropolis (particularly the sounds of drills […]

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Cal Freeman

The Answer to Your Question is Yes, but Not as Some Unremitting Paradise

The Answer to Your Question is Yes, but Not as Some Unremitting Paradise Once you get entranced by what birds can do in winter— stark murmurations against a grey sky, seed pods scavenged in a landscape that looks blank and nearly dead—you forget that the stone statues on the parish lawn have some meaning too, […]

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Helen Bowell

Coming from the Mill

Coming from the Mill Close to midnight, we finish the first puzzle we bought from the Arndale. For the first time since you told me, we try drowning the silence with kissing. It’s a jigsaw of a Lowry painting, and it’s pretty tough because all those half-bent spines and hats coming from the mill look […]

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Jolene Tan

A Good Visit

I shouldn’t be here, I think, when my father answers the door, his face closing over with suspicion. But after a moment, and a grunt, he lets me in. I hold out a bag of White Rabbit sweets—still his favourites, as far as I know. He takes it wordlessly and goes to place it in […]

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