shot glass
Issue # 4 May 2011
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Philip Madden has taught at schools and universities in the UK, Turkey and Poland. He has been published in several British and American small press literary journals as well as freelancing for the seminal British publisher D.C. Thomson. He is about to take up a teaching position at Bogazici University in Istanbul. He can be contacted at

Philip Madden

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Fish Eyes

I am standing up to my waist in thick, muddy water
the colour of your concern
while you wait like a bus stop.
Stiff and straight, hard and cold.
Your dead fish eyes notice nothing.

The waters around me ripple
gently almost,
the surface is broken like a hand pushed through plastic.
The gaping maw of something dark and terrible looms before me.
I scream as my spine turns to ice , kicking and thrashing the water

I fall back into a briney embrace.
I see an obscure outline wriggle away under the water.
I am trying to scream for help , my voice hollow and desperate, my mouth full of dirty water.