The Golden Age of Staples
The Stationer takes the sun outside his shuttered door.
Dust films the geometry sets and nibs in the window.
Flash Gordonite ballpoints orbit the day-glo price stars
like a future set aside should this one fail to work.
We talk of trade, the need for rugged brown envelopes,
Jack Linsky’s classic Swingline Speed Stapler Number 3.
He mourns the bulldog clip, put down by health and safety,
the success of the coated drawing pin over brass,
how lever-arch filing will return victorious
because humans need to feel the thickness of their lives,
refolding the facts year on tax year into A4,
to place themselves on reachless shelves or in choked attics,
mini Pharohs to the family and Inland Revenue.
He’s kept the enamel hole punchers in his stockroom
for a parade day like this when the punters file back
from diaphanous conferencing in the iCloud.
This much he will share but only if you buy something.
-Mark Fiddes (published in his collection ‘The Rainbow Factory’ (Templar)
the beauty of the myriad-coloured pens in clear packets
the stacks of notebooks in various designs
the colour of the rustling paper as one turns them over
feels the texture of handmade paper, felt, tissue
the calligraphy with ink on paper, breathes beauty
the smell of a newly minted book as one opens it
I stand stationary, as your sharpness rips
my paper heart in two, the red oozes out
colouring my life,
the cathartic lines fill my book.
Bios And Links
Mark’s second collection *Other Saints Are Available was launched by Live Canon last May.
His first The Rainbow Factory was published by Templar Poetry in 2016 following the success of his award-winning pamphlet The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre. He is a winner of the Oxford Brookes University International Prize, the Ruskin Prize and Dromineer Festival Prize. He was placed third in the UK National Poetry Competition and runner up in both the Robert Graves Prize and the Bridport Prize. His work has been published in Poetry Review, POEM, The New European, The Irish Times, Magma, Aesthetica, The Moth and London Magazine among many other titles. He lives and works in temporary Brexile between the Middle East and Barcelona.
Mark’s new poetry collection *Other Saints Are Available is published by Live Canon.
was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow. Her poems and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications, including the National newspaper The Scotsman, The Grind, Visual Verses, New Voices, Gutter, Bangalore Review in India and Steel Bellows in the USA. ‘From Madras to Milngavie’ was her first poetry pamphlet. She has served on the committee for the Milngavie Books and Arts Festivals and on the Scottish Writer’s Centre Committee. Her work reflects her dual heritage of India and Scotland.
Author of ‘Twice Born’, ‘Bombay Baby‘ and ‘Boxed In’
Available on Amazon and Kindle.
Her website is http://www.leelasoma.wordpress.com
has been writing poems since he was 17 and has still not learned to give up. His poems have been published in The Brown Envelope Anthology, and magazines (Horizon, Writers & Readers) most recently on XRcreative and forthcoming in the Deronda review. His poem ‘ripped’ was long listed in the Rialto Nature & Place competition 2021. In August 2021 he took part in the Postcard Poetry Festival and the chap book that came from that is available at the postcard festival website. https://ppf.cascadiapoeticslab.org/2021/11/08/dave-garbutt-interview/.
He was born less than a mile from where Keats lived in N London and sometimes describes himself as ‘a failed biologist, like Keats’, in the 70’s he moved to Reading until till moving to Switzerland (in 1994), where he still lives. He has found the time since the pandemic very productive as many workshops and groups opened up to non-locals as they moved to Zoom.
Dave retired from the science and IT world in 2016 and he is active on Twitter, FaceBook, Medium.com, Flickr (he had a solo exhibition of his photographs in March 2017). He leads monthly bird walks around the Birs river in NW Switzerland. His tag is @DavGar51.