Brutal Poetry

HCE received a lot of high-quality submissions for The Brutal Issue – sadly, too many to fit inside the magazine! So we offered some of our shortlisted contributors the chance to be published on our website.

Keep an eye on our social media for more great writing like this, in the run up to the release of The Brutal Issue…

Cross-Section of a Stairwell

Suzanne Magee


An old building half-way through demolition
is some kind of anatomy lesson
for the working class ’round here –
concrete, grey, bare, exposed
to commuters, or anyone who’ll look.
A flayed building as a reminder:
don’t get too close.
It’ll be ripped right down the middle,
portioned out for whoever invested
more than you could match.
New high-end quarters coming soon
to where our lives used to be.
The stairs, split, waiting for oblivion,
are naked for all to see, and
they drip into thin air like
a list of last sentences you’ve had
with everyone you’ve ever known.


SUZANNE MAGEE is a writer, tutor, and bar tender from Belfast. She is working on her first chapbook.