On The Great Western, Mnemonic and Pink Gin


On The Great Western

Her phone, a lozenge of light,
frames the face of a boy
that is contorted with tears.
His small eyes are tightly closed
as if to squeeze out more drops.

I’ve told him I’m not interested.
But he is interested
as those tears authenticate,
their abundance speaking
of the terrible unfairness of love.



I lift the brass bell:
a woman in full skirt,
in whose folds
a black stain lingers
after my diligent steel wool
has scoured time’s tarnish.

Holding her head
between finger and thumb,
letting her swing,
I hear a sweet tinkle
under her skirts,
but who am I calling?

From my mother I accept
this not-quite-heirloom,
for she has moved away
from the burden of things
having no need, in her late days,
for the clutter and echo of stuff.


Pink Gin

Bored stiff, we attend
to the first lesson:
a swirl of bitters, smartly

A trickle of gin
from the optic’s squeeze,
clatter of new ice
from the shovelled bucket.

We are well tutored:
the genteel English drunk,
red-faced and far from home,
stops in his tracks

when the red-haired boy
from Galway
tries out bartender’s talk:
‘You know what’s good for you.’

Bitter and unsteady,
he straightens up,
with a sigh:
‘Far from it, young man.’

February 16, 2017

Poetry by Nicholas Murray

On The Great Western, Mnemonic and Pink Gin
February 15, 2017

Leila Segal brings Cuban Warmth To A Frozen January

Katherine Vik rounds up our January MIRLive
February 13, 2017

The Meme

Short Fiction by Toby Litt
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Clydach Gorge by Cage Williams

Poetry by Cage Williams
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Afters by Stella Klein

Short Fiction by Stella Klein
February 4, 2017

K J Orr To Headline Women’s Day Event

Our next MIRLive takes place on March 6th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This event will be headlined by BBC Short Story Award Winner, K J Orr, and will be an International Women’s Day Special. We will be accepting submissions from all genders but work should be […]
February 2, 2017

Poetry by Aliyah Kim Keshani

Two poems by Aliyah Kim Keshani
January 26, 2017

Poetry by Clare Pennington

Three poems by Clare Pennington
January 23, 2017
MIRlive 480

Leila Segal Headlines MIRLive

Leila Segal reads from her debut collection, Breathe. MIRLive’s Alison Hitchock shares work from her letter writing project, From Me To You. Leila and Alison are joined by five more wonderful women reading poetry and short stories.
January 23, 2017

After The Event Takes Place by Laurence Barratt-Manning

Short Fiction by Laurence Barratt-Manning
January 19, 2017

Poetry by Mark Mayes

Three poems by Mark Mayes
January 16, 2017

A Long Way Through by Matt Hutchinson

Short Fiction by Matt Hutchinson
January 13, 2017

Luca’s Trip to Havana by Leila Segal

Leila Segal shares a story from her debut collection; Breathe: Stories from Cuba (flipped eye, 2016). Leila also talks to Melanie Jones about her writing, Cuba, and small publishers in this interview. You can buy a copy of Breathe here. Leila will be reading at MIRLive on January 30th and copies of Breathe […]
January 13, 2017

Leila Segal Interview

Leila Segal’s debut collection of short stories, Breathe: Stories from Cuba is out now from Flipped Eye Publishing. Leila talks to Melanie Jones about Cuba, her writing, and its connection to her advocacy work. Leila also shares her short story Luca’s Trip to Havana. You can buy a copy of Breathe here. Leila will be reading at MIRLive on […]
January 12, 2017

January Reads

The MIROnline team have chosen the books they are enjoying this month.
January 11, 2017

Creative Writing by Maggie Womersley

Short fiction by Maggie Womersley. This story was originally published in The Mechanics’ Institute Review: Issue 10. The Mechanics’ Institute Review is an annual collection of fiction now open for submissions to all UK authors. While submissions are open, we will be posting some of favourite work from past collections. Creative Writing was selected by […]
January 9, 2017

Poetry by Vida Mikalcius

Vida Mikalcius
December 22, 2016

Holding On To Nothing by Cassandra Passarelli

Short Fiction by Cassandra Passarelli
December 19, 2016

Chart Poems by Margot Wilson

Margot Wilson’s visual poetry
December 14, 2016

The Outline of Him by Eleanor Gow

Short Fiction by Eleanor Gow