The International Literary Quarterly

February 2010


Rose Ausländer
Charles Bernstein
Amy Bloom
Jean Boase-Beier
Carmen Bugan
Moira Burgess
Larry Butler
James Byrne
Jim Carruth
Neil Charleton
Ronald Christ
A.C. Clarke
David Dawnay
Patricia Delmar
Des Dillon
Anne Donovan
Gerrie Fellows
Cheryl Follon
Ronald Frame
Hazel Frew
Rodge Glass
David Goldie
Jane Goldman
Martin Goodman
Siobhan Harvey
Beatriz Hausner
Kusay Hussein
A.B. Jackson
Kapka Kassabova
Velimir Khlebnikov
David Kinloch
Micaela Lewitt
Zhimin Li
Gerry Loose
James McGonigal
Gerry McGrath
Donal McLaughlin
Kate McLoughlin
Andrea McNicoll
Willy Maley
Peter Manson
Laura Marney
Ernst Meister
Lina Meruane
Edwin Morgan
Ewan Morrison
Laura Muetzelfeldt
Hom Paribag
Mario Petrucci
Clare Pollard
Sheila Puri
Claire Quigley
Elizabeth Reeder
Alan Riach
Dilys Rose
Suhayl Saadi
Sue Reid Sexton
Bina Shah
Yasir Shah
Jim Stewart
Zoë Strachan
Chiew-Siah Tei
Valerie Thornton
Anthony Vivis
Marshall Walker
Zoë Wicomb
Xu Xi

40 Glasgow Voices

Volta: A Multilingual Anthology
(One poem: 82 languages)

Issue 10 Guest Artist:
John Hoyland RA

Founding Editor: Peter Robertson
Deputy Editor: Jill Dawson
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Hollis Clayson
Sarah Churchwell
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Beatriz Hausner
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Jeff Barry
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Five Poems by Cheryl Follon  


A Love Potion Concocted Together with Leaves

Careful, careful – as mother’s recipe said –
add in the something leaves,
one at a time is best;

snip-snip the Seven Sisters’ rose
like it was the littlest toe
of your lover in bed.



According to Nemesis’ erotic handbook
      The Night and the Perfumed Rose
written in a dripping cave
sometime in the fifteenth century
somewhere in the foothills of old Greece –
a buttered bowl of honey’s what you need 
mixed with chicken stock to make a soup.
      The thing for the lover of all lovers –
to pluck the thick gold honey
from the thick of the locust tree
with a long thin barb
and your five fingers spread out for balance. 


Travelling Eye (Looking Down Summer)

Past St Peter’s and Desire Street, past
the red love heart shaped hibiscus
and Uncle Earl in his cast

sipping a cup of coffee, past
the hanging gardens,
then turning left, past the Gasthouse.

Past old Nellie knitting a sock, past
the red phone booth
burning in the sun

(that’s been kaput now
for almost three weeks) past
the melons; you’re nearly there, nearly there.

Past the little restaurant on the corner,
owned by the French man,
and where they’ll be cooking up

pumpkins and raisins,
coriander and cinnamon
and plums and ginger to stuff in pastries.

Over the high walls into the secret garden
off Ursuline Street,
where my friend and me

shattered our soft knees
trying to net fruit,
or catch lovely ladies bathing in the nude!

Past all those wooden shutters – green
and yellow and blue
shut close-tight

in the middle of the day
and all whilst the sun is blazing!
What the devil is going on behind there? –

Homoerotic love affairs, horrible marital
breakdowns, arguments
and lots of red hot sex!

Well that’s our guess,
and this little place
stinks of donkey’s dung all the year round.

Past the house where they brew damson gin
in long classy thin
lovely bottles, past

the Man with the Glass Eyes
and his big polished trombone;
ah you’re nearly there; it’s almost in your reach.


Hair and My Grandmother’s Ring

O Mother used to cut it with a knife
         taken from the butcher’s bag
or the hatchet from the stairs.
I’d sit in the chair
and let her cut it back;
I suck from a dish of green-tops and beef.

My old grandmother’s plaited up my hair,
         thin as a sapling.
She’d smear some Glory on
with the flat of her old palm
and turn her wedding ring
three times for luck and sometimes four.


The Dog:  A Tale of Love, Bad Love and Longing


Then devilish, rooting for pearls –
her trousers, gusset, blouse –
her cuffs – a scent – cunty! –
rises up through the lot.
She’s been seeing Major Cott
on Fridays and Sundays
for seven months straight now.
A dirty, blousy, wayward girl.


I plough down, upend, career –
a cold and scentless thing,
like glass –
geegaws, a diamond ring –
things she’d snaffle and stash
from her ugly old man.
She’d gladly live in a caravan
a million miles from here.


An endless line of snout –
I’ll sing to you and push
my body through the seven
zones of palpable pleasure:
toadstools, minerals,
mossy turds,
sweet-peas, semen and blood.
I’ll root and rout them out.


Of course there’re tales to tell –
these back up pell-mell.
A cleaver crashes skulls –
well, one time, yes.
The woods a hush-hush place
as that grave was dug
and the body flopped in.
The wallet went straight down the well.


By nine the window’s up
and a big bun’s cooling.
Sign:  Ready when you are.
The Kansas man cleans up,
shifts a rag and cup.
He sorts his hair in the mirror.
Sign: Ready and waiting.
He clutches his bag and comes.


Her hair, well what’s to say?
That’s white gold spun
through the fingers of Homunculi.
It’s sweeties, herbs –
saffron, maybe – it’s weeds.
Sometimes peppery,
throwaway candies, a plum
on a dish in the sun.


The skin, well that’s a tale:
a fairy tale, all that –
corn and spice and sugar.
(A fairy makes nice things
with pretty things inside.)
They bet to find its peer
in the woods-floor hut
but they’re drunk, and fail.