bright & dark matters

Suddenly, in the centre of Amsterdam, the picture for my cover 0001 is a ‘cut out and keep’ booklet of prints and poetry. The first edition featured Amsterdam during 2018 with images taken by Rodrigo ‘Troito’ Troitiño, as well as the writing of Ben Blench, Raphael Gancz and Vanessa Inggs. Special thanks to Marcos Gemal who sparked this idea.

— Amsterdam, 2018.

When I’m back in town

When I’m back in town

A Looking in View

by Raphael Gancz

There they go

happily hopping turning the corner

a constellation made of

specks of dust stuck to a glass

a cloudy recollection passing by

squeezed between two memory lapses

a moth entering a room

or was it already there

hidden behind the curtains

coming to terms with its fifth

and last week of life

three over the butterfly

in an upward spiral a rising vertigo

perhaps in search of knowledge or

the sepia taste of paper

and they keep going

an immobile parade of houses

lucid dreams on the subject of flying

thrown out of the window

hitting the pavement

writhing like fish

Seek out the capitan’s best jenever (Dutch gin)

Seek out the capitan’s best jenever (Dutch gin)

It’s the end of a tunnel

It’s the end of a tunnel

Into the light

by Ben Blench

These days, pretty much the only thing

that never fails to cheer me up

is riding my bike.

The overworked crank might click like a cracked knuckle,

and the front rim’s gone all loose-spoked and wonky,

but still, it gets me where I need to be.

Pressing against the pedals, leaning into the corners.

The hollow clink of loose cobbles under my tyres.

The street sings me its song, and I surrender to it.

I wish we could flow like that again.

It used to come so naturally, remember?

Before our baggage straps perished and snapped,

before we chipped our paintwork with carelessly swung locks

and let the rain rust our forks.

These days, our chains, stretched and slack,

slip off their rings when we drive them too hard.

Squandering our strength when we need it most.

Remember the time you called me from the train?

Some guy down the carriage was giving you the creeps,

so I came out to meet you at the station

and we set off home together.

Our hearts, cogs and gears whirring along,

side by side through the tunnel,

coming out of the dark, now, and into the light.

The Jordaan area in Amstedam is full of delicious surprises

The Jordaan area in Amstedam is full of delicious surprises

It was a brief encounter at Oud-Zuid where my heron friend posed for a few shots

It was a brief encounter at Oud-Zuid where my heron friend posed for a few shots

Go smoking in this area — Amsterdam

Go smoking in this area — Amsterdam

Fabulous and raw

Fabulous and raw

Window shopping

by Vanessa Inggs

Half past six.

The turn of a key.

A light winks hello to night’s advances.

Shadows grow. Darkness leans

a little closer. Footsteps slow

on cobbled stones.

The shops are closed.

The windows, open.

From the outside, looking in,

daylight casts one backward glance —

a last reflection chafes the glass,

mirroring the brusque frottage

of synthetic silk on painted skin.

Unblinking eyes

an invitation to fulfil

shadowy desires.

Tight-lipped and grimacing

the street anticipates

unsweet release

of post-apocalyptic kisses.

I extend my arm.

You look right through me.

The perfect facade.

From the inside, looking out,

hollow cheekbones blush

at your indifference as

frigid wrists resist

the crush of solipsism.

Night knuckles neon-fisted

through a last defence of

padded shoulders and

notched lapels.

I hold your gaze but you,

you only see yourself in me.

Some fashions never change.