Comment, Culture, News, Prose

The Art of the Teal

by Amanda Higgin Xanda and I are on the bus heading from my home town into Oxford. The skies outside are grey, a welcome cool after months of heat. I’m wearing jeans for the first time since June! A few seats in front of us, I spot Boris Johnson’s scruffy form on the front page […]

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Poetry

‘Passage to Felicity’

by Rory Turnbull With charts, once showing routes across the sea, Rejected now (some lost, some thrown away), And ships exposed upon the ocean grey, What should we do in life’s great odyssey, This parlous passage to felicity? For, in the swell, the surf, the spiteful spray, Drowned by the water-flood, I fear we may […]

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Poetry

‘Postscript for the 1-2-5’

by Tobias Thornes Very soon they missed him, When the air conditioning leaked, And everyone complained about The smaller, harder seats. And when the new train screeched to halt Half an hour late, Few among the passengers Thought it worth the wait. But Progress wouldn’t hearken To this first journey’s curse: They’d spent too many […]

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Diary, Prose

Memories of Home

by Soo Yi Yun The heavy downpour, the brief thunderstorm, and petrichor fill up the air— down the cycling path and the memory lane called home. The rain in Oxford has been reminiscent of my home country since last week. In a tropical country like Malaysia, it is common to have downpours every now and then. […]

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Poetry

‘Gallery Dreams’

by Tom Saer Categorical return to my island the contract sees still breathing sworn on cherry blisters but now, don’t worry, I have a stronger hardback body of 8-year-old mermaid me Matchless bathing mansion waiting to show its flat excited chest a dream much closer to both of our folds At the biggest surprise of […]

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Comment, Prose

In Search of Safe Passage

The Psycho-Social Implications of the EU-Turkey Deal on Greek Islands. by Jacob Warn At the edges of Europe, there are borders you can cross, borders you cannot cross, and borders you may cross if you so wish, and to which you may or may not return. If you’re seeking refuge in Europe, the chances are […]

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Poetry

Requiem for the Intercity 1-2-5

by Tobias Thornes They’ve given him his notice, They’ve settled on a time, To disappear who forty years Has trundled down this line. The window-wipers dry his eyes, The air-brakes sigh and hiss, As round the bend once more they send The friend that we will miss. Hear him hum as up he starts, Feel […]

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Poetry

Poet’s Detention

Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art? Is this art?

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Poetry

Stay Behind the Yellow Line

by Chloe Jacobs I don’t know why bitterness is my mother tongue Why my readiest tools are sharp Biting Where I learned to be so cruel Who schooled me in dead-eye dead-pan Spoken-word violence Who taught me to pick fights Take names, break kneecaps Bite to the elbow the hand extended To feed me I […]

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Comment, Prose

Two Red Lines, Crossed

by Amanda Higgin Xanda and I have met up in my home town for lunch, since she’s passing by on her travels. It’s a typical, fairly rural town full of commuters and old people, without much left to tell you that it used to be the second largest city in the country after London. I […]

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Poetry

Lines on a Flag that Means Freedom

by Emma Gilpin Lines on a flag that means freedom, The same freedom that lets A kid walk into a shop and stand in line To buy a weapon. Lines on a page from centuries past Enshrined in a mythology That says this is freedom, This wild west, Hunger Games fantasy of a kid In […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

The White Devil: A Preview

by Christopher Hill As I walk into the Jesus College lodge to ask where to go for the play, I notice the porter flag down a student who I would later find out to be part of the backstage crew. I didn’t catch the whole conversation but it went something along the lines of: ‘I’m […]

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Poetry

Get Over It

by Tom Saer She said I should process my feelings before destroying other eyes To the point that they laugh I tried to say I wasn’t less-than-one-week-old love leftovers But maybe that wasn’t so convincing There are tears in my ear still Soft salt in the morning at least They came I think from Orphean […]

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Comment, Culture, Prose

Fragm[entary t]houghts

by Caroline Ball Imagine yourself years from now, when by a freak coincidence all recordings of the Star Wars films have been lost. All that survives are brief extracts…from the prequels. Sounds horrifying? I’m only just getting started. Not only have you lost 90% of the original material, but no single surviving clip is longer […]

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Poetry

my prisoner’s dilemma

by Michael Leong you’ve done my maths and i’ve done yours, so put your exes into my whys and back in again and let’s see where we go. follow the pencil, dot the lines and I’ll slide down your curves, my regression, unintended equilibrium decision tree yields mutually assured destruction but we’ll rest where our […]

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Poetry

If You Feel Hollow Inside

by Soo Yi Yun If you feel hollow inside, Embrace those fragments of light through your curtain slit. You will be alright – Day by day, bit by bit. If you feel hollow inside, Draw out those fragments of love From the darkest corners of your mind. They are like the dove That brings you […]

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Comment, Prose

A Piece of Equality

by Michael Angerer Political efforts to improve equality or diversity have a tendency to meet with fierce opposition from those who fear sudden changes; it is such fears of seeing the world spin out of control that have fuelled the rise of Donald Trump, Brexiters and European right-wing parties. Their policies have one thing in […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

The Lonesome West: A Review

by Michael Angerer A kitchen in the west of Ireland, home to two ill-compatible brothers, haunted by the alcoholic parish priest and supplied with booze by an enterprising schoolgirl: such is the scene that unfolds to the audience in the current production of The Lonesome West at the Burton Taylor Studio. The atmosphere of this […]

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Poetry

‘Language Acquisition (1 Corinthians 13)’

by Joel Fraser These couplets clang as cymbals These gongs resound their rhythms We crash in tearful frustration For all of our creation Amounts to no more than this: A lip-locked struggle for air And words. Must we choose? Tongues of men and angels, we can master But I know that they are jars of […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Travesties: A Review

Review by Amanda Higgin Photos by Luke Wintour A Romanian, an Irishman, a Russian and an Englishman walk into a public library in 1917 Zurich. What ensues is a beautifully crafted work, skilfully derived from complex and challenging source material. The design is fascinating, the performances are superb, but most of all my respect must […]

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Comment, Prose

Hallowed Be Thy Name

by Amanda Higgin As I come into the chapel, I click open the hidden panel in the woodwork above the hymnals and flip on the lights. In this weather it’s more of a habit than a need; the summer sun already illuminates the checkerboard floor tiles, the familiar wooden pews and the soaring space above. […]

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Poetry

‘The New Epicurean’

by Tom Saer Breathing binary air loss In a separate dream about top surgery I guess rhetoric wins in the end Maybe the water’s taking a bank holiday And your side is pierced With one collective neck and my hands around it Or maybe that was the other guy Rhythmic tarmac accompanied by the band’s […]

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Poetry

‘Worship Yourself’

by Sophy Oliver I enter on a whim So quiet and so still Deafening with judgement To be accepted by Him Here I sit and I wait In this unknown called peace Yet still feeling a fraud To be accepted by Him I do not know how long Minutes, hours or days One has to […]

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Comment, Prose

The Worth of Values

by Michael Angerer In recent political discourse, it has become commonplace to emphasise shared values whenever the more difficult questions regarding national identity and social cohesion are raised; for example, in continental Europe, the phrase ‘Christian values’ is almost bound to fall in the context of immigration from Islamic countries. Broadly speaking, there tend to […]

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Poetry

‘Other Gods’

by Tom Saer Do I forgive you for your animals in a fury of cigarette pavements? Neptune’s lieutenant rarely if ever evident acted out of nothing but a carbon paroxysm Give me a pen pot prophecy about some lighter worry something along the lines of the lines of the the sugar made me forget what […]

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Comment, Prose

Roughly Elementary

by Michael Angerer The City of Oxford has a sad reputation for its particularly high number of homeless people; according to city council data, 61 rough sleepers were recorded in 2017, up from 33 in 2016. At the beginning of February this year, the city council had to activate its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol in […]

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