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…


Simon Perchik


What you open leans against wood
that is not a door you can muffle.
Put your arm around the only sound


when you knock on this kitchen table
whose corners were broken off
straight down, still lit, letting you in


circle her mouth not yet the room
left over and listen for the smoke
around the hush from small fires.


Just died and its rain
is already snow, comforts
the obituary page


with moonlight pieces
slowly circling down
as that star-shaped lullaby


small stones still look for
– it’s this morning’s
though over your head the deaths


are hidden in silence
begging for water
that doesn’t break apart


the way each sky
is hollowed out for another
– you make a sea


for these dead, each name
a boat, sails, the spray
midair and out loud.

Website: www.simonperchik.com