shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Jim Newcombe grew up as the last of four siblings in the heart of the English Midlands before migrating to London, where he has lived for the past eight years. The family culture he was sired in meant that he was raised among the pictures of Arthur Rackham and Charles Tunnicliffe and anthologies of poetry which he learnt by heart. He developed a love of natural history and particularly enjoyed birding in the Derbyshire countryside, where he would recite to himself for hours at a time. His mother, a librarian, was able to satisfy his passion for eclectic reading, although being a staunch Catholic she refused to bring him Nietzsche's books when he requested to read them as a saturnine adolescent. Visiting London as a young man, he experienced the Stendhal Syndrome before Holbein's 'Ambassadors' and began weeping. He once famously levitated while giving an impassioned recital of Keats's 'Ode to a Nightingale' in Covent Garden's Poetry Café, authentic literature projecting itself into him with stereoscopic power. He has written three volumes of verse to date, A Shake of the Riddle, In Fidelity to Silence, and Songs for Lucinda.

Jim Newcombe


Barren Tender

I have tried to paint her face from memory
but no success has come in capturing
the ghost that lights the lamp inside her eyes;
the contours worm in their fragile mapping,
no pigments crushed for paints expel such dyes.

A work of art stems from the inner eye,
but no seed or stem of art contains the sap
from which grows the fruit of living day;
and who am I that dare to touch or tap
the ghost within her smooth and milky clay?