[Poetry] — James Mcloughlin

Dress rehearsal

In new shoes
I walk
the leather clean
me lighter
a zephyr

and in new coat
I speak as
a new man

from a sweeter
wearing summer on
his back

as Spring comes
into its own
reels itself

the blossoms
changing their costumes
are I
seeking redemption
through change.


show me
the people of this town

in robes
monks or nuns
show me

the yawning stone

bowing to the
sky, the
great ceiling

show the
mimicking the idea
of transcendence

celestial ideas
from the throat

as they talk
of this and that
show them

show them as
their ancestors
were, show

them to me
as I sit
outside the bubble

for an answer
to the chain

of questions
that never seems
to end.


Nothing soars here
but flies under the radar, obscured.
Things grow below, sure:
little thickets and shoots,
prying the lid
and tide-basted shells from
faraway, with coal from the deep.

The skies are quelled
or quelling
and you can go for miles
without seeing a footprint,
not even your own.
It’s like a building erected
to preserve empty space

like our cavernous chests
the retreating sea
the uncertain sand
the incoherent echo
on the mewing breeze,
all is suspended.


James Mcloughlin was born and raised in Merseyside. His first book of poetry, Encore, was published in 2011 by Valley Press. Since then his work, both fictional and otherwise, has appeared in The Cadaverine, Sabotage Reviews, Liverpool Noise, Penny Shorts, United Press and others.

James is creative editor of New Critique and tweets @McloughlinJA. 

All work is the rightful property of the author and is distributed with their permission.

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