Oi! Writers of Glasgow, Scotland, and the goddamn world. We need YOU(r submissions).

Aloud Magazine Issue 03 is in the works, and for it to look as beautiful and be full of as much scrumptious literary goodness as it has been in both previous issues, we need y’all to get writing.

See our ‘Writing’ page for previously featured work and artwork, and our ‘Submit’ page on guidelines and how to go about sending us your stuff.

Good luck, we’ll bother you again soon,
Cal, Cat, Emma, Ross, Alice, and Max

Cal and Aloud, a match made in heaven.

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Young Prince Signing Off – Exit Stage Left

What a send off! ALOUD #11 was cracking, as it always is. Thank you to all who came along to participate and to observe and marvel, it’s because of you guys we’re still able to do this!

Last night was also my last night with Aloud, as I’m graduating and fucking off into the sunset come Summer. I’m sad to be leaving, but grateful for all the amazing experiences Aloud has provided me – I wouldn’t be performing poetry if not for the amazing work of Syd Briscoe and Heather Margaret St. Clair, who founded Aloud. I’m more than happy to be leaving Aloud now in the capable hands of Ross and Cat, among others.

I’d love if you could check out my performance poetry YouTube page here:

Big love you poetry fucks
– Cal (eternally coy diva roach, the Young Prince) Bannerman

The Young Prince

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Issue 03 Cover Art – Dugald Kinvig

'The Grand Spoken Word Machine'

‘The Grand Spoken Word Machine’

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Candle Wax Days – Kieran Kelly

Future stalks feebly
Prowling cowed in North Atlantic
Flinty Swells
With blistered tongue and cracked lips
But bolstered by an inhuman determination
To call in our tab
Lies impotent
Sharpening her knifeblade hands
In silence

The streets
Open their jaws
Unnecessary thought patterns devoured
Rended from our synapses
Real life all around us
Crumbles and collapses
And for one spring weekend
The earth stops spinning
On its axis

From now on it’s just the leaden hum
Of heavy bass beats
Deep conversation
And the line in the sky
That the ocean meets
Gazing out from the boat
In hazy contemplation
Laying waste to the Alexandrian
Libraries in our minds
To find respite, solace our saving graces
In dirty, badly lighted places

But these are candle wax days
Which drip, drip, drip away
Each drip drops
Collected by time
Who waits for us with a fatalistic smile
Playing patience
With Future and Consequence.

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Alba – Victoria Hamilton

I saw him in the back room.
His frail hands
And words didn’t fly,
More a float
With no signs of sinking.
They hung in the ale stained air,
Favoured Scots.
That harsh clicking drawl
Framed fractures
Of feelings and far flung travels.

I’m obliged to write in this
Mother tongue.
Adopted really
By boat men
And famine bent workers.
Verbs and nouns counted their way
Down family
Lines, abandoned towns.
The road from
Gweedore to Shettleston’s long

And the sentiment’s strong
In the snugs
And terraces my
Friends frequent.
Our sassenach names and
Emerald hearts stand apart
From the slave
Ships and bonds that built
Her foundations forced on the

Bones of an Empires song.
They made her,
My forefathers fought
Her battles.
They built her brick by brick,
Connected track by iron track
They filled her
Tenements with life,
Her ship yards
With sarcasm and laughter.

In the midst of discontent
She bore me.
Not out of love, a
Mother that
Moulded and broke me.
She bound me up and thrust me
Out, immersed
In her waterways,
She drowned
Me with poets and thinkers.

So whose pen tells her Freedom? Whose lips
Dare not speak her tongue?
She cast me
Out of the garden
To rot in her dole queues
And dank schemes.
A wandered teen
I deny
Her and all her shortbread pomp.

So this is why I write.
Not for her
Islands, oil or troops
Those bonny
Glens and low land stoops.
But for McNulty’s and
And Donechys
Who carved the rock on which she

Stood. So together we stand
Wrapped in a
Cloak of saltire blue.
For freedom
Has no native tongue,
She binds no ethnic
Glue. Our bonds
Are built in
Steel and stone
The bedrock of proud Alba.

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The Gardening Jacket – Jim Mackintosh

my grandad’s tweed jacket
shaped by the seasons
held together, filled
by fragments of him

a penknife, bone handled
the silver inlay, lost
the memories of string
of cabbages snicked fresh

loose tobacco
trapped into corners
enough for two fills
hiding from the reality
the pipe was snapped

the cobbled stitch
of a plaid patch
on an elbow worn
from fence post leans

the sweet, unknown air
folding through me
like the memory
of a piper’s lament

on the walk, solemn
paced to the kirkyard
leaving the jacket
on the shed door

for cabbages and days
of yellow broom sprigs
where drills of seed
fill the pockets with him

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Untitled – Ewan Imray

It is as if I am playing chess against a Grandmaster
one who isn’t confined by the rules
slowly, meticulously grinding me down
I am but a lowly pawn; My Queen just removed.

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the sky was pink – Johnny Owens

Arms splayed wide, across the park and right passed it all. She’s lying, almost dozing, till she moves herself up onto him, delicate china head balanced gracefully in the deep crevasse of his shoulder blade. Arms ain’t splayed no more, tight around her instead, eyes fixed tight on the trees printed across the sky, grand painting splashed across them, twigs and arms and branches and every thing. Twisted knots together.

She runs her hands across the minute blades, each with thousands of glassy beads dancing up from them all – it’s early still. She runs her hands back up him and she looks right at him and he looks back, eyes bright, and she tells him she meant every word she said, that she loves him something fierce. He says he knows, reckons it’ll be like it is forever, and he tells her – in soothing tremolo – he ain’t felt nothing like it before. She can’t quite know yet what it is, but she knows it’s something. They knot fingers, like liquid clasps, and she tells him she reckons she’s always been alone. Always alone, they were all always there, but she felt alone – that was until now, until him: pre and post.

They’ve no idea how long they’ve been there for, not that it mattered in any way, no time for time at a time like this. He tells her about a book he read a hell of a long time ago, the title evades him, it had made him feel not alone. What was it that it said. “Nothing hurt and everything was beautiful”, something like that. She says that that’s pretty, sounds like a pretty book she says. It was, mostly. She says she doesn’t feel too bad, last night considered, she feels composed and he agrees, but they’ll still need a couple of those things he’s got on script, he reckons. She reckons that too she says.

Up on a hand, she floats down his torso – through strands of hair he sees the sky and the sun, and it goes on forever – she rests her head on his stomach, hand gently grazing the skin of it – skin on skin, atoms on atoms, dragging gently apart – and he realises only now how cold she really is. As she does all of this, all of it, he smiles to himself and – as though perfectly predicted – he feels her own smile against his skin, warm with reassurance.

The morning piles itself on, heavy light streaming across unburdened eyes until they’re forced to abandon what was so comfortable and shift weight. He feels the morning dew soak through cheap denim and cotton; she feels morning dew soak through aged cotton and denim. She sits upright and cocks her ear, asking if he can hear it too: laughter, children in the distance. He says he can, she asks if it’s the same, she asks if they can hear it, and he sits upright and wraps his arms around her once more.

They sit in silence, listening intently to the distant laughter, and it bubbles and rises, and the wind rushes by for only a second, and something rustles the trees surrounding them, and the laughter rises slowly once more before it fades and settles. And the sky was pink.

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