Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Café Place San Michael

by Jon Stocks

From Fitzrovia to Paris
By way of self confession
And dream like embrace of darker Arts.

You tread warily on cobbles
Festooned with dancing Africans
The oily footpaths of St Michael
Filled with doe eyed femmes fatales
Backs arched in subtle exposition.

(Away from the rat-boys
The sink estates
The post code murders
Of your northern home)

Still a kind of truth resonates
In the café where afternoon yawns
Soporific lattes cool, pages turn
And muted discourse in the haze
Of stupefying August heat
Is like hosepipe drizzle on summer lawns.

Flesh out the thought-scapes of this City
Think of this.

They caged the Jews right here
They dragged the Jews like dogs
To meet their sticky, seedy trains
A one way ticket with the rub
Of flesh on flesh; ankle deep in piss.
A grim collusion, no one speaks of this
The hidden subtext of the city
The streets that ooze invisible blood.

Lets think of now
In my home town,
The teenage gangs
Nihilistic with impotent fury
Another faceless corpse to go
Sugar with your Cappuccino?

Ours not to reason why
‘In Shanghai they see a hare in the moon’
I said
‘And dream of Apocalypse’

© 2009 Jon Stocks

Jon Stocks has had work published in magazines worldwide and have been nominated for the Pushcart prize, an American poetry award. He has also received a citation of special merit from Bewildering stories magazine. Recent work has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in magazines including Candelabrum, The Coffee House magazine, Coffee House, Pennine Platform, Littoral, Other Poetry, Manifold, Poetry Monthly, Harlequin, Tadeeb International (translated into Urdu), Taj Mahal review, Avacado, Involution and Interlude.

He is currently working on a first novel and also writes short stories, winning the Carillon magazine short story competition.

A small number of poems are currently being transformed into short films as part of a film poetry project. His poem, "Alicia's Diary" was recently performed in Sheffield Cathedral as part of a Multi-media poetry presentation.

Find more by Jon Stocks in the Author Index.

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