Poetry
John McAuliffe

Editorial

“I had finally arrived at the place / where nothing is written.” So Joshua Weiner, an old friend of The Manchester Review, writes in one of the terrific poems we are glad to publish in this overdue new issue. At a reading in Manchester last month, Michael Hofmann and Igor Klikovac discussed the increasing sense […]

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Joe Carrick-Varty

Two Poems

Eagle River, 2017 Home one morning to find my hat and gloves hard with frost on the spade handle. Maybe you’d take my silence for a green the sun gives to the shadowgrass. And, as you boil the kettle to melt the drain I’d watch a whole life come and go in the very place […]

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Ian Pople

Three Poems

Crawl Space   The railway track divides where the road slopes up beside a genteel,   Georgian terrace. Where do we doubt what it means to follow,   what it means to lead, like water settling behind the swimmer,   as if the body encroached, wanted to talk, then spread its sleep?  

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Thomas McCarthy

Three Poems

QUEEN OF THE MAY It was Fr. Sydney McEwan who crowned us with blossoms That day in Cappoquin, a day I slipped off the vortex of childhood And found myself at your feet, you hardly more than thirteen And I thirteen and worn down with the weight of my father’s Humanism, his teaching me that […]

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Phillip Gross

Two Poems

Writing Into the Lines ‘I want my funeral to include this detour.’ Michael Longley, Detour. We come apart. In time. The nerve-knitting that we call an ‘I’ unravels. Which of you is at home when I ask, Where do you want to go today? We’re going nowhere. I hardly know if it is your or […]

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Norm Sibum

Three Poems

The Doings in a Small Backyard The tulip tree in my old landlady’s patch Of semi-private paradise, every blade of grass Fought for, used to lord it over the garden blooms, Its trout-bright blossoms showing off, she gone away                             to rot in a home as she waits to die. Yes, our summer is history, —the […]

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Karen Wheatcroft

Three Poems

An Economic Value sonnet (with no Volta) for Joseph Beuys to tallow-cream slabs of animal fat.   to moulded chalks & life-sized stacks of felt.   to a reconciliation with brown.   to kerosene burns, honey, horse-hair roughs.   to blankets soothed by blanket-stitch & the gentle invitation for body.     to everything the colour of Crimean steppes without the […]

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J.S. Westbrook

Three Poems

Thoughts of a Dry Brain in a Dry Season Noon is my darkest hour for it absolves me of my shadow. Now to water the orchids and straighten the postures of dolls in seaside rooms. The protagonist won’t not wake from the coma. No man is an island but he can be stranded on one. […]

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Sheri Benning

Kelly Wiens

Kelly Wiens (1978-2018) For the long-limbed dance of you,              your hair in my mouth, rye-and-coke breath, drugstore shampoo,                           baby-powder sweet stink of you.                                                          The nicotine buzz,                           ice off the lake, jump in, eyes shut, nose plugged,                                        freshwater-on-skin scream of you.                                                  Bar-closed drive home, 2am, Highway 5,              Quill Lake, Watson, Englefeld. In the rearview, you: passed […]

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Joshua Weiner

Three Poems

The Seventeenth Blow After years of instruction, application, effort, and further study of the masters; after years of slow but steady progress in my so-called art and modest success that comes from isolated acts of recognition paid me by those who took an hour from one day; after years of worry and wonder at the […]

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Liz Quirke

Two Poems

At The Funeral Home Cut to an ebony dais; the five of us blocked as points on a compass in our new accidental ordinance of importance. Beside the undertaker [with folder, pen, pressed shirt, comfortable noose/ matching tie, the very fine cut of gentleman] we rank as follows: Sister1-Mother-Me-Brother-Sister2- until back to the undertaker once […]

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Ian Fitzgerald

Commercial Interests

Commercial Interests The trolley beds are covered right down to their wheels. They’re comfortable. What a great idea having these at work. The other workers watch us through the glass as we talk while holding hands. Is this what I really want? Well maybe. I’ve only known her a few months but she seems really […]

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Leo Boix

Two Poems

The Ballad of Mamá Pochita After Batsheva Dori-Carlier A decomposing house at the edge of memory, falling                                                           into an abyss. Nothing is like it used to be. Her face is a double mask from the afterworld. Del más allá y de aquí. Her broken back, a cracked ruin. She is also at the end                                                           of […]

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Ruth McIlroy

Three Poems

Theme [ gathered                          not gathered] how you have lived in my house like an assassin as if hardly here as if innocent of a blade I can only be one with a heart once you are gone you say don’t let me down I reply I will never let you down

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Kathleen Helen

3 Poems

Prayer to dune and dun potatoes leaving like Margaret’s summerfall beginning this year preparing for the next                          we’re on our knees                          with seasons                                                     overtaking flowered onion ha ha wall the oso easy rose on our knees humbled by the seas relocating plinth of lawn purple aster paling, emigrating from the inner bay […]

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Serhiy Zhadan

Two Poems

The Man Who Drowned Himself   (from “Self-Murderers”)   when you looked back your footprints were floating on the waves like dead fishes   the road was too long slowly you started to sink into the water like a knife into butter   and parallel to you the lead ingots of your footprints descended to the […]

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Iain Twiddy

Two Poems

Telemachus We were at Grandma’s house for the last time, my mother, sister and me. While they slept I read, under a blanket, on the edge of the camp bed. The slow glow of the fire imprinting the flickering plain before Troy. I read of Telemachus and his men beaching in the sandy light of […]

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