Eimear Laffan; Contiguity



It’s winter.


Schopenhauer describes how during this cold season

porcupines nestle together

to find warmth

only to experience

the pain of one another’s



The dilemma presupposes

an optimal distance

and so the animals move

back and forth

in search

of a bearable closeness.




I didn’t know

at certain times in the Arctic

there is no horizon,

nothing to separate

earth from sky.


You didn’t tell me.                                                                             




I am only wanting

to reconcile (inside my skin),


to arrest the tissue

of language.                                (Oh I know this desire will return to haunt me).


One of these days

one of these I’s

will spy

a well-lit street sign


and reclaim the throat.




The weather hardly matters. 

What matters is this:

a morning is no longer

a missing, my skin

no longer subject

to spines.


Last night I saw a cat in my sleep. The dream book urges caution, declares cats to be gentle when they want to be.  Oh dream, you are beyond late to this party. Perhaps my unconscious was biding its time, recognising my inclination to disregard detail that refused to sit comfortably inside my carefully constructed story.   


How do I say I am culling a residual

that is alive in me?


How do I say I am mapping

an incessant egress

as I stare at the coffee

sand acrylic canvas

to remind myself


what materiality is made of? 


And if I say I do,

how do I?




In the bottle green library, I run

my fingertips along the spines

of books that have been touched

by more hands than will ever touch me.


Desire nascent beneath the crust.


Inside the sealed glass of my body

the red line of mercury once more poised

to rise, to ground

the circularity. 


The smallest shift speaks eloquently.


See the variety of blues the sky expresses

any leased day.


Look. Just look. 




A single photograph doesn’t speak

like a sequence. Resonance

has its own mouth, its own tongue.


No spots of time rest in the accretion.


The surface of memory effaced,

how the pumice grates hard skin.


Only the softness remains now:


early spring,

the first runnel reacquainting

itself with the fissure,


to fill it in.


Here now is where articulation begins.



Eimear Laffan, Tipperary born, lives and writes in the mountains of British Columbia where it is, of course, snowing. 

Cara McCaughey: Which one wins/The one you feed




Cara McCaughey graduated from Belfast School of Art in 2014 having studied Textile Art, Design and Fashion with particular emphasis on embroidery. She is inspired by stories and the flora and fauna of Northern Ireland. Her work consists of screen printed, heavily hand embroidered repeat patterns which are inspired by her self-written narratives. She strives to blur the boundaries between art, craft and design with her highly illustrative style of drawing fused with her historically inspired hand embroidery.

Ariel Dawn

Nine Storeys Above Inner City
Torn dresses, sarongs and bedclothes hang over autumn, shadows of stone churches,
clock above market, sunshine alien lights of an operating theater. Close my eyes
and I shrink, grow, small as pen nib, then ink spilling from swollen lids. I have lived
here for months and the room is still confused with whiskey boxes. My love
left me a linen nightdress and diary. Covers my lap, distressed leather, it opens,
hemlock forest where trees bleed and I float between lines (paper cuts before the end
or even the stars), it closes with belts and metal and long pin on a string.



Ariel Dawn lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Her poems appear in places such as Ink Sweat & Tears, Ambit, Paper Swans, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and are forthcoming in Elbow Room, Canthius, (parenthetical), A Furious Hope. She is studying Tarot and finishing her first collection of poems.

Ben Ryan




Ben Ryan is an American but lives in Killarney, Co. Kerry. He is a visual artist, illustrator and printmaker. He studied with the American Academy of Art in Chicago in the early 90’s. He then went to work as a scenic artist producing backdrops and murals for the advertising and film industries. He is an independent artist looking to freelance.

Ben tends to pull ideas from various sources such as film, music, literature and history. He is currently working on a graphic novel and preparing for an exhibition in the autumn.

Patricia Fitzgerald: Labyrinth




Patricia Fitzgerald studied Visual Education and Communication at Dun Laoghaire College of Art & Design (IADT) and also holds an honours degree in Philosophy and Sociology from University College, Dublin. She hosts workshops and retreats both in Ireland and abroad on the Mindful Art of the Mandala & Meditation.  She practices mindfulness techniques daily in her own life and holds a professional certificate in the Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness.

Mary Keane: Devil’s Den

The image was originally created to accompany a piece of music Mary wrote, which in turn was inspired by a myth surrounding a dolmen called The Devil’s Den.  It is located in the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire not too far from the sacred naval of the neolithic world, Avebury.
The legend of this Dolmen is found in A.G Bradley’s ‘Round about Wiltshire’ (1906) in which he writes of a demonic rabbit with lurid coals for eyes who appears on a full moon and sets about toppling the great cromlech with the aid of many white oxen.
Mary Keane is an Irish artist working in illustration, music and film.  Her work tends to be a form of nature worship often pivoting around the uncanny.