Cover Image by Donghwa Lee


November Juliet


The sting of nautical dawn broke through the linen billows

As you slept,

All that we were – fossilized in sheets –

Heralding November, November Juliet.


I remember Quebec

The compass points of your hands







Your chest wet rock

Lowering anchor – depth 200 to 220

Then suddenly 2000 feet.


Below the photic layer we travelled;

Reaching Abyssal, Hadopelagic, Benthic zones


You, my very own thalassology.


But then came


– November


– November Tango Uniform.


Vessel overdue.


You lost yourself at sea, you



Vessel overdue.


Lost even to the dioptric, catadioptric, bull’s-eye prisms of the lighthouse eye.


Vessel overdue.


Encased within your very own Bermuda triangle, your very own enigma, carried away by the Gulf Stream with nothing but


– November, I’m sorry. November Juliet.


One night stanza


Starts with a laugh, the flick of a switch,

The growl of a zip

Elicits the charge.

A desert of pours

Undressed and impressed

Convex of you, concave of me,

Fingers traversing, a trajectory.

Engorged and absorbed,

Alive at the juncture,

A fleck on the

Chain of demand and supply,

Short breaths and a sigh

Disgorged at the zenith.

Flushes and smirks itch at the air

Emanation of sweat and coarse gratification,

Amplified bodies await the partition

Artless and uncertain.

Gauche lingerie litters the floor

– like fall out –

Splintered and suddenly shy.

Transaction signed for,

Parched, and forgotten,


To the juncture

Le contrate de carnem.


Adore her


(A Ghazal)


Answer this, because I too want to adore her;

Did your heart beat faster the first time you saw her?


I want to feel how you felt when your eyes first met,

Did the world fade away in the languor of her


Laughter? Did it feed your ears like ambrosia,

Ringing out like a promise you’d get more from her


Than I could ever give you? What about her lips,

Did you know from the taste that you could adore her?


Does falling for her feel like flying instead of

Drowning? Would they change the laws of physics for her?


And do your fingers paint sand dunes onto her skin –

Erasing my touch as your body explores her,


Does her breath melt onto your neck like mercury?

Does her name colour your dreams as you call for her?


How about her soul, does it burn as bright as the

Stars that burned from your eyes into mine before her?


Or do those stars burn harder now? Brighter, now that

You’d go to war for her, now that you adore her?


The Mathematics of Love

3) Assume that love is a triangle

With Intimacy, Passion and Commitment poised at its points:

You are told that Passion + Commitment is illogical – point less

You are also told that Intimacy + Commitment breeds a love without fire, void in its obtuseness and blunted.


If Passion + intimacy = ‘romantic love’

– A pointed love, penetrative and piercing, producing an acute pain that oscillates between x and y, a love otherwise known as the eventual destruction of the self –


Calculate the probability of successfully joining all 3 together in straight lines.




The difference between

Full fat and skinny. Love and





For the tallest boy

On Earth, who ran a mile from

His heart but taught me


how to love. Whose name

Tastes like honeyed ignorance,

Summer and the sea.




The mirror stares back


The mirror stares back;

Bones resist tracing paper

Skin. Blunt eyes glitter.


Corners of parched lips

Rise up like marionettes,

And brittle nails twitch.


Weary organs sigh,

Instruments grown tired and stale –

The mirror stares back.

Madeleine Pollard

Madeleine Pollard

Madeleine is an English Language and Literature student at Oxford University. She finds poetry a refreshing contrast to the numerous critical essays that she write for her degree, and has been inspired by the creative atmosphere at Oxford to become more adventurous with her poetry.
Madeleine Pollard

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