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…

Suddenly/Not Suddenly

Kevin Jackson


Bubble wrap lives
Mirrored faces facing mirrors
leaving little space for meanings
An overlap of openings
firmly closed
keeping all in,
like girdles used to,
hold-back inconvenient
Or try to
People move about
and their mobiles with them
Shadows move about
and their motives with them
Hands shape
and reshape spaces, juggle

live wires
stronger for seeming wireless
A cat’s cradle but this not for sleep
Leaking inside-out

eyes weigh mine,
they are bound with black edges
found wanting
The hiss of coffee perhaps
or a bus approaching signals time

KEVIN JACKSON, based in Nottingham, has been writing poetry “that dares to care” for over ten years, with a steady record of publication online, in journals and anthologies in the US and Europe. His most recent publication is a collection of poems called Touching you. He’s also recently been published by HCE Magazine, in the Words for Walls project run by the University of Nottingham and in Over land, over sea, the Poems 4 People anthology in solidarity with refugees. Kevin is a member of the DIY Poets collective in Nottingham and a keen performer on the spoken word scene. He blogs at https://kevnjacksn.wordpress.com