Undercurrents Welcome to issue 7 of Spontaneity! We are all about ideas, about the interplay between short stories and photography, poetry and flash fiction, music and visual art. Everything here connects to something else, so click on a piece you like, then get beautifully lost – and if you want to be a part of it, get in touch!

— Ruth McKee, editor@spontaneity.org.

To Touch the Sky by Eleanor Hooker A reach to the Mountaineer, we gybe round, stay upright, despite the squall squaring up from the Hare.   Running before the wind, the boat ahead broaches, recovers, death rolls by the lee, and over-canvased, upturns.   Rescue roars past. The wind is perdition’s bellows just howling for hell. Clouds blacken for a God waked Sky as we race to survive.   Detonations behind us, our crew says, are two masts snapped, two more over with a gust. Sue and I struggle to   synchronise helm and sheet. Our crew cries, I’m afraid, I can’t do this… She climbs the … Continued Read more

Swimming at Knock­vologan Beach, Isle of Mull, February by Seth Crook Cold water for the swimmers. Credit to those, unlike you, who stay in for at least five minutes.   Credit to those willing to shout “you don’t notice after a while,” shivering, regretting, but not giving in.   No credit to the old fishermen who didn’t learn and flopped around, although they had their reasons.   Or rather, one: too chilly. Numb. But we mustn’t complain. If the Atlantic gave a hug,   thousands would be here, spread out like lug worm casts, slumped and heapy on the sand —   instead of only us, naked, and that lingering Dutch … Continued Read more

I bPáras/In Paris by Gabriel Rosenstock/Thomas MacDonagh Sé seo m’fhásach-sa is táim anseo liom féin Ina lár is níl aithne ag éinne orm. I mo thost mar a bheadh seabhac i gcéin Sa spéir ghorm.   Ní labhraím le héinne ó mhaidin go hoíche Mo ghnó féin á chur i gcrích, An slua callánach thart orm ina mílte Gan sos gan scíth.   Buaileann clog mór an tSorbonne Mar a bhuail anseo fadó Siar in aimsir Villon A scoir láithreach dá ghnó.   San áit seo is sneachta ag titim ón spéir Leis féin ina sheomra cúng – Ceithre chéad caoga bliain ó shin Le Grand Testament … Continued Read more

Kartina Zembla, or, Glimpses of Another Country by Yvonne Marjot (From the exhibition at An Tobar, November 2013)   What if there were other lands, whose cartography was a myth, whose character could only be guessed via hazy glimpses through tiny windows, seen through other people’s eyes? What if that is where we live?   This particular spot on the map, marked with a brass- Headed pin, in proper nautical style: this point On the trail. Here be monsters, glimpsed at dusk; Fragments of colour, hard-filtered, tangible: Driftwood fantasies of goblin and shark, edged images Taken by remote cameras, out of the corner of the eye.   A woman of salt, … Continued Read more

A Mouth with Two Sides by Toirdealbhach Ó Lionáird Mag and Sheila await the return of their Italian hairdresser Sergio who has nipped out the back for a smoke. Sheila: Hi Mag! Is there any sign of that fella coming back? Mag: Shur he only went out there a minute ago Sheila. Sheila: Wouldn’t you think he’d try one ‘o them new-fangled smoking machines, you know the electric ones, and be suckin’on it in here instead of keeping us waiting? Mag: He could I suppose. Have you tried one? Sheila: Shur why would I and I not smoking any more? Gave ‘em up forty years ago last November as … Continued Read more

Dominic Stevenson’s The Northern Line by Ruth McKee Dominic Stevenson’s debut poetry collection The Northern Line, is at times earnest and cajoling, caustic and indignant but running through it all is a vulnerability that makes it sing. You could read it in one sitting, as if you’re listening to a close friend in intimate conversation on a train journey home. If you’d like your faith restored in the role of poetry in the modern world, then this collection is a good place to start. I asked Dominic what led him to the title and concept of the book. ‘It’s called The Northern Line for a number of reasons. Firstly, … Continued Read more

No. 5 Raglan Road by Gráinne McHale On a cold night, I met Miles on the stairs on my way to bed.   “Want to go to Eddie Rockets with me and Billy?” I didn’t know Billy then. Dead on my feet I said yes.   When I came down the steps behind Miles I felt the walls hum then the air and then I saw Billy.   Time stood.   The world opened its coat and took me in an embrace.   Billy was in the world.   Read more

The Tomb of Lebeau by Joe Bedford It is still unclear as to how Monsieur Lebeau came to hate the building at 33 rue de Nostalgie. It has crouched innocently at the edge of the harbour square for at least three hundred years, squatting there in the coastal sunlight with its timber sagging slowly towards the water: a simple structure, inoffensive to its neighbours, even betraying a little humble flair. Its reflection, though lost to most in the anonymity of the terrace, continues to shimmer over the waterscapes of Boudin and Monet. It’s only flaw, perhaps, was to embroil itself in a mortal feud with one of … Continued Read more

Getting out into the night by Rozz Lewis The hotel was covered in a green ivy that looked like it had nearly managed to suffocate the whole of its front wall. Liz tried to avoid the ivy that hung down over the front door but it still brushed off her. She adjusted her eyes to the lighting inside. She was still flicking the feel of the ivy away when she saw the reception desk towards the back of the hotel lobby. A young girl sat behind it, tapping at a keyboard. She did not look up at her guest and Liz should have read the situation better. This … Continued Read more

The World of Under-Table by Lorraine Carey He is shouting again and I am under-table peering out between legs to yours standing in ruby plimsolls.   His keep moving, moving to his shouting plodding black leather, mud caked – laces greying, fraying. Yours unmoving, whispers “please”   His stopping, smacking, thumping, whacking. Your feet flying. Your body sailing, slamming door. Your blood-soaked face sliding into view.   You crying hands praying. Blotted out.   By that.   Head looming, eyes looking, grabbing legs. You wailing.   It’s all wrong, it’s upside-down.   He drags me, rights me.   I am flailing, sailing.   Read more

Stolen by Cath Bore In the dance hall he takes Helen into his arms, her hair smelling of apricots and soft against his cheek. Such sweet grey eyes, they make his wits quicken and sharpen like morning frost. He knows he should mention that the top button of her cotton print dress is undone but sneeks a peek instead, humming into her hair as they dance. The lights come up. That’s a shame. He prefers the lights dimmed, low and gentle. Feet trot on tiles. Heels click out of time. The mashed potato, the shag, he knows all the dances, wants to do each … Continued Read more

Blackbird by Martin Swords i.m. Seamus Heaney 1939 – 2013   The Blackbird is no more In sweet Glanmore And yet still The songs he sang Sing on and echo Rebounding and redoubling Far beyond the Wicklow Hills Mossbawn to Moscow Navan, Nullarbor In Athens, Ashford and Athy The song is heard Trilling, growing, soaring.   Listen. Read more

Fireworks by Abigail George I feel like a volcano when I wear this dress. The innerness of the ghost dress is made out of metaphysics, evaporated moths, gauze, and yes even a numb wound, the memory and desire of Jinny, Rhoda, Susan, neuroses, rain returned to silence. Rwandan butterflies, measured with a rose garden where I scraped my knee, nostalgia, hem it in (and yes, my legs are matchstick skinny). I look beautiful in it. My anatomy says so. He waves at me. Of course, I remember you I say. We take to the floor at the church hall moving fast, then faster, and … Continued Read more

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