Steven Earnshaw



if a dozen subjunctives were here
to listen. Listen! If this

were all, this flitting from
to side to side



Cistern 1

‘The acid-bath of truth’, writes Pursewarden
somewhere, a comminatory note
sent from the purlieus
of a de Sadean garden,
us manumitted, released from our anglo-saxon
into the porphyritic dusk –
God ever the humourist in this city
of the fragrant hero, fourth volume,
unwritten – fringeing the interlinear,
dusting the catamites with purpureal light
in a slow, cistern-drip of oneiric desuetude.




I thought that things improve

I see time’s mackerel grey beneath the pool
of mackerel grey beneath the pool of mack
erel grey us see the time of mackerel grey
beneath the pool of time of grey and back
beyond before the time itself began
to track the ticks and tocks of cellular clocks
that lead to fishes, birds brightly coloured
as if the core of time exploded time
once time was overwounded Catherine wheel
from which the human heart extruded steel
of mackerel grey among brightly coloured



The Vacuous Twat

I went into the wrong toilet

That epiphany of frozen cars

You don’t vote

You vacuous twat





Steven Earnshaw’s short story collection, Memory Clinic, was published in 2016, while a non-fiction book, The Existential Drinker, will be out in 2018.