“Hull Window” and “@sheep” by James Bell

“Hull Window” and “@sheep” by James Bell

Hull Window

You’re a meteorite’s birth
the way you breach my heart, forbidding
all regulation of oxygen.

The frozen oceans of Enceladus
warm above the arc
of your growing smile.

Tandem movements as we circle
thinking we’re in apogee.
They use us to define units of distance.

My tired face crystallising like
the underside of rocks. Someone decides this worth
as less than abundances of gold.

I learn that I want to live
in the line between astro-
and metaphysics.

Walking in vacuum –
ideas, moods, words
all sucked in and silent.

I see souls whose partners
find no joy in their hobbies –
a plastic toy discarded in the car park.

At 5am I wake
and search for you
long enough to remember why.

Pushed at the pavement side,
it ripples through me and
I don’t know where it’ll end.

Polyester shakes against
a windless, starry sky.
Some claim it’s an untruth.

I think out here
I should be able to find heaven,
or something like it.

Cosmic recession
will takes this all

Not searching for answers,
particularly. They come and go.
Older, I need constants.

You squeeze me somewhere soft
and I break off a melting chunk –
garbage in orbit.

Raised champagne glasses
to the hull window. Inches
from something fatal.

Haunted with thoughts
of this failing at any moment –
missed signals as my bones rip.

The constant I can’t place
or ever know,
is the one constant I rest upon.

I finish my telling
and your eyes,
they crease with laughter.


Morning mist hugs the feet of Lothian mountains.
They call to their friends, deftly, talk solidified
in wintry air. A velvet melody there
I fear goes unheard. I want to stop the car
and ask, What would it be like to be blind?
He’s panic-stricken and searching for parents, who shift snow
with their noses. Is there catharsis in losing your freedom
and everyone in it? How it is to slowly unsee every face once engrained
like chiselled words on a tombstone? What thoughts do you think
in order to warm yourself?

James Bell is currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he spends much of his time researching the effects of digital culture on humans and obsessing over the very notion of nostalgia. He graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2013 with a BA in English & Film. His work has previously featured in nous magazine and The Metric, and can be found posting at jamesfrbell.tumblr.com

Category : Issue One June 2016 Tags : ,