Ian Copestick

Won’t You Come?

Won’t you come with me, knock on the door
See the other side of the ouija board
See what’s on the other side of death
What happens after our final breath

What happens when the darkness arrives
Once we’ve finished with our lives
Are we reborn, reincarnated
Or is it all gone, just wasted

Just to rot under the ground
Hope I get another go round
Knowing all that I know now
In another life somehow

But of course, that will never be
Things never go that way for me
I’d return as an amoeba, just one cell
And it would serve me right as well

David Boski

A Piece of Paper

I walked into the apartment
and she looked at me steaming,
holding up a piece of paper
and said: “what the fuck is this?”
“I don’t know, what is it?” I replied
genuinely confused. “David, you wrote
a poem about your fucking ex!” she
shouted. “I don’t know, did I?”
I asked as I reached for the paper.

“Oh, this is old, who cares, and why
the fuck did you read it to begin with?”
I said. “I needed to use a notepad, and
I found it, and you’re writing poems about
having sex with your fucking ex” she said
as her eyes began watering and she became
even more hysterical. “Who gives a shit?
it’s not even flattering; I talk about how bad
the sex was, who gives a fuck!” I said raising
my voice, growing frustrated with her theatrics.

Eventually after some more shouting, back and
forth, about a poem I had forgotten, we made peace.
I crumpled up the paper and I told her I wouldn’t write
anymore poems about any of my exes, and that’s exactly
who she is now too; so, I guess I lied.

Niklas Stephenson

Going for a swim in puke

Swimming in my own pool of puke reminded me of masturbation
because her throwing up on me was love.
Why else did she do it?
That’s what she said: “It’s love, baby!”
and I wanted to drink the entire universe
and puke all over the stars,
the earth and drink puke to puke it out all over
my ecstatic body
and then smoke a cigarette of puke
because I love them.
And her.
And you.
And myself.

Shot By Baker: Discord Kitten

Paige 5

Model: @discordkitten
Artist work: @gloom.kitten
Photographer: @shotbybaker

Water Coloured Matrix

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can something that represents nothing in particular be so eye-catching to look at?”
 
Well, art is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it, as explained by artist, model, and featured muse of HST’s 2020 calendar, Discord Kitten…
 
Admire her evolving work on her insta page @gloom.kitten

SBB: How did you start making art?

DK: I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. My mum taught me the basics, and it’s been a pretty big part of my life ever since.

SBB: What is the role of the artist in society?

DK: I think artists are there to share truths, and make people think. To share and spread beauty in all its forms, in a world full of hate.

Paige 10

SBB: Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?

DK: It depends on the piece, to be honest. I am quite impulsive in my choices, but my intuition leads me pretty strongly when I’m giving a creation my all.

SBB: How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?

DK: I actually work mostly on really nice, thick paper. It allows me to use many media types on the same piece. You go through many emotions while working on a piece. Happiness, warmth, joy at seeing it come together, stress, frustration… haha. It’s always worth it though.

Paige 1

SBB: Is there a piece of artwork you’ve created that you’re most proud of? Why?

DK: There are a few that I love, but proud of… Hmm. Not so much. I struggle to see them as accomplishments. I just get a bit neurotic if I don’t create regularly. Usually I’m turning my concious thoughts off and letting my hands do what they want.

SBB: How do you know when a work is finished?

DK: If I’m ever unsure what mark to make next, I stop. Sometimes I come back to it in a few days and realise it’s finished. Sometimes I come back knowing which direction to take it in. Gut feeling, I guess.

Paige 6

SBB: What is your most important artist tool?

DK: For me, personally, I couldn’t live without my mechanical pencils. Every time I’ve got one in my hand I get inspired. So lightweight and versatile. Usually making such lovely lines. Either that or my Van Gogh watercolor paint palette.

SBB: Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

DK: Access to caffeine and natural light.

Paige 4

fin

Robin Ray

What a Difference Fool Comma Makes

I’ll blow up, America.
Seasons of posturing kaput.
Obscurity eradicated from my
dictionary, name carved on
sidewalks, Wikipedia entry in
braille. Television regular.
Pepsodent-whitened smile on
the cover of People magazine.

I’ll blow up America.
FBI on my trail like hellhounds,
hands trembling, throat too full
to swallow. Shackles, interrogations,
Public Enemy No. 1. Hangman
salivating like a hyena at the gallows.
May get unwanted kudos from ISIS,
won’t ever witness a sunrise again.

I killed, Eleanor Rigby.
No more living in a dream.
Standing room only, rafter-
quaking encores, tinnitus-inducing.
applause. Temporarily blinded
by eager flashbulbs. Management
pleased. Contract renewed for a
fortnight. Finally, headliner.

I killed Eleanor Rigby.
The Beatles, particularly un-pleased.
An icon erased. Friends, family.
public, disappointed. Constabulary
reigned me in, fed me swill when
generous, changed my name to
Solitary Con, where I’ll spend the
rest of my forfeited life.

I ate, my love.
Rice pilaf Caribbean style, even
microwaved, Michelin-level cuisine.
Thoughtful, her remembering me,
she, suddenly called to work. Sun
won’t set on her generosity. That
tune she hears? No fantasy. Just
me singing her praises.

I ate my love.
Recipe on loan from the head chef
at Le Bistro Borneo. Should have
marinated longer, still gamey.
Fricasseed next time? Maybe paired
with chianti. Goes best with red meat.
Hannibal would know. He was my
guest for dinner.

 

J.J. Campbell

proletariat

ever since i have
been an adult, i
have preferred
cats over dogs

i’m pretty sure
this makes me
a communist
to most people

actually, i’m just
another of the
proletariat that
has a dream

wondering if one
day the princess will
include me in her
games of love

that maybe one day
the neon will let us
rise to a celestial level
where pain can no
longer touch these
broken wings

but, who am i kidding

i think there is a bit
of heroin left from
the night before

oblivion can’t get
here fast enough

i put out a little
milk for the cat

in my fantasies,
she’s the one that
cooks up the shots

 

Alan Catlin

Strawberry Blonde

Busty blonde from a bottle
buys cosmetics from CVS
store flashing a wad of bills,
serious cash, acting casual,
tells the thin pixie cut girl
behind the counter,
“The boys would like you,
you’ve the face for it.
Nice, trim athletic body.
Seriously, ever think
about it? Dancing, I mean.”

“I’m too flat chested.
Don’t know how to dance.
I’m not flash like you.”

“It’s just a pole, some hot
rock music and moving
like you mean it. Work out
a routine. I’ll show you
around. You can make
some serious cash. Tax free.
More in a night than you
can make pushing keys
in a CVS drug store in a month.”

Two weeks later, the new
girl is talking to some sleaze bag
in a polyester suit that was
never in style about making
movies. Who knew? CVS
stores as stepping stone to
the stage and screen.

 

Anggo Genorga

My Self-Styled Lost Weekend Cheap Imitation

Yoko’s the wife stayin’ overseas. Harry Nielsen
can be my brother whose bitch I fucked as he
believes. Ringo can be the dope runner living
in my house, always tryin’ to get inside my head.
Keith Moon’s his wife gone wild and ballistic with
our dirty laundry and I’m with May Pang, undressed
on a queen sized, her legs nicely spread wide
and still wearing her stupid fucking glasses.

 

(Midnight Lane Boutique, August 2015)

Scott Manley Hadley

talking to a friend about our polyamorous friends

One of our friends says
‘They will end up as killers,
Like Fred and Rose West,
This is how they started.’

In shock at his words and the venom with which he says them,
I tell him that Fred West used to eat onions as if they were apples,
A fact I heard on a podcast.

But the friend continues his disapproval
And says
Over and over and over again
‘Well, me and my girlfriend
Aren’t bored
Of fucking each other.’

I do not think
My bisexual polyamorous friends
Are bored of fucking each other
I think they are so
Excited
By sex
They want more of it.

Fred and Rose West
Had a homemade neon sign saying “cunt” above their bed.
They lived in Bristol.
They were good at DIY.

They are nothing like my
Tasteful
Middle Class
West London
friends.

Sex
Is not
A moral failing.

Killing people
Is.

But if we’re getting Catholic about it,
Envy’s just as bad as lust.