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Anchor 5

#32: The world mostly gone


journal of found poetry and art

Use these arrows to move through the issue. Thanks.

in memory of Mike James, former editor, contributor, colleague, friend. 

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In Memory of Mike James – As It Ought To Be 2024-02-09 20-45-56.png

Ute Kelly

Dear Earth

a cento pantoum

I wanna be a florist. Or a gardener.
I feel compassion for felled trees
and long-distance love letters;
our distant cousins.

I feel compassion for felled trees.
Please do not touch
our distant cousins.
Neither you nor I will remember.

Please do not touch:
This is my word.
Neither you nor I will remember.
While we watch / We can’t yet mourn.

This is my word.
Tell it to the birds.
While we watch / We can’t yet mourn.
For how much longer will this land be known?

Tell it to the birds:
Care is a form of resistance.
For how much longer will this land be known?

Even a wounded world holds us.

Care is a form of resistance:
remove high heeled shoes.
Even a wounded world holds us
in a place between stillness.

Remove high heeled shoes
and long-distance love letters.
In a place between stillness
I wann
a be a florist. Or a gardener.


I collected these words while visiting the exhibition Dear Earth at the Southbank Centre in London in July 2023. In order of appearance:

Young boy in Cornelia Parker, THE FUTURE (Sixes and Sevens), 2023.
Souad Abdelrassoul, MeYou And The Journey, 2022.
Himali Singh Soin, we are opposite like that, ongoing.
Daiaro Tukano, describing two new works for Dear Earth.

Words on exhibition floor.
Deena Metzger, in Andrea Bowers, Eco Grief Extinction Series, Even if I Return, Neither You Nor I Will Remember, 2022

Ofélio, Yanomami leader, in Richard Mosse, Grid (Palimi-ú), 2023.
Otobong Nkanga, Until Then.

Jenny Kendler, Tell it to the Birds, 2014-2023.
Imani Jacqueline Brown, Follow the Oil, 2019-2022.

Otobong Nkanga, quote on exhibition wall.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, quote on exhibition wall.

Instruction to visitors of Cristina Iglesias, Pabellón de Cristal I, 2014.
Otobong Nkanga, In a Place Yet Unknown, 2017.

Ute Kelly lives in the North of England. She has had poetry published in a few different places, including the 2022 Ginkgo Prize Ecopoetry Anthology. A found pantoum was selected as one of the winners in the UK Poetry Society's Members' Poems Competition in Winter 2023.

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Abbie Day

37 Vogue Editors Share the Best White T-Shirts

I fell in love the same way
I used to do as a teen in the ’90s except
a little bit more sophisticated:
night out, perhaps a bit of draping.

My mid-rise boyfriend taught me the eternal
combo: surprisingly delicate broad shoulders
and summer.

The proportions are hard to get right
if you are the kind of person who, like me,
can be paired with just about everything
from Marlon Brando to Kendall Jenner.

There are two things I consistently look for:
friends are such a thing. It’s easy to love
then seamlessly transition to not
wearing anything at all.

The other is a nice dinner with a divisive topic,
or red wine, just as good as the day I got it,
the silky soft top of my head after a few washes.


I can’t resist seductively cool,
so naturally, I’m drawn to all the women, obsessed
with how they look in a muscle tank.
There’s something comforting about boys –
plush, no-fuss, practical, how they quickly
become the hero. If I had to choose one,
it would be whatever, baby.

Here’s the twist: I absolutely love everything.

Source & Method

The text in this poem is taken from a Vogue article of the same name. By splicing verbatim words and phrases relating to materials, brands and styles, I aimed to map the often gendered language of fashion onto a theme of sexuality. The close relationship between clothing and identity lends fashion journalism an emotional intimacy and specificity of experience that just seems to work in a poem. 

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Abbie Day is a poet from Cheshire, UK. Her poems have been published by Fly on the Wall Press and the Mead Gallery, and she was a 2023 headline act for Overcoat Poetry. Abbie holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham and is currently working towards her first pamphlet, a lavish wardrobe of interactions between clothing and the body.

Sara Lynne Puotinen

The world mostly gone

The world mostly gone,
I make it what I want.

I empty my mind. I stuff it with grass.
I’m green, I repeat. I grow in green,

burst up in bonfires of green, whirl and hurl
my green over the rocks of this imaginary life.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high
in the clean blue air, are heading home

again. (Isn’t sky-blue brighter than any sky
you really see? Canned sky, Crayola blue.)

The sun is the yellowest squash. More yellow,
I think, of course more yellow.

A shiny switch plate in the otherwise ongoing green
flickers like a match held to a dry branch

and the whole world goes up in orange. Orange
as pumpkins in a field humming.

I write a line about orange.
Pretty soon it is a whole page

of words, not lines. Then another page.
And that orange, it makes me so happy.


Source & Method

Due to a degenerative eye disease, cone dystrophy, I am losing all of my cone cells. As a result, I see color in strange and unreliable ways. Lately I’ve been looking to poetry and how other poets imagine color for guidance. This cento is comprised of lines from the following poems: "Psalm with Near Blindness"/ Julia B. Levine; "Becoming Moss"/ Ella Frears; "Paean to Place"/ Lorine Niedecker; "Oread'/ H.D.; "Green"/ DH Lawrence; "Wild Geese"/ Mary Oliver; "With A Song"/ Christina Pugh; "Forsythia"/ Ada Limón; "First Leaf"/ Lia Purpura; "Autumn"/ Linda Pastan; "Colors passing through us"/ Marge Piercy; "A Rhyme for Halloween"/ Maurice Kilwein Guevara; "Why I Am Not a Painter"/ Frank O'Hara; and "Orange"/ Wendy Cope.

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Sara Lynne Puotinen lives in Minneapolis near the Mississippi River Gorge where she conducts experiments in writing while moving, moving while writing, and doing both while losing her central vision to an eye disease.

Amy Marques

Reading in Salvador Dali Style

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Source & Method


The source material is the novel One on the House by Mary Lasswell (copyright 1949) and the erasures are done directly on the book pages using mostly acrylic, but also some watercolor and bits and pieces pulled out of my office trash can!

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Amy Marques has been known to call books friends and is on a first name basis with many fictional characters. She has been nominated for multiple awards and has visual art, poetry, and prose published in journals such as Streetcake Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal, MoonPark Review, Bending Genres, Ghost Parachute, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Gone Lawn. More at

Daniel Lehan

One word of warning

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The text and image are from Paris To-day by Eric Whelpton, Rockliff London, 1951.

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Daniel Lehan lives in Dungeness, Kent, in the south of England, a hundred yards from the English Channel. His erasure books and texts were recently exhibited at the University of West England.

Irina Tall



Collage, paper, gouache, paper

Irina Tall (Novikova) is an artist, graphic artist, illustrator. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in art, and also has a bachelor's degree in design. The first personal exhibition "My soul is like a wild hawk" (2002) was held in the museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In her works, she raises themes of ecology, in 2005 she devoted a series of works to the Chernobyl disaster, draws on anti-war topics.

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Emily Tee

For my father who lived next to the North Atlantic

Salt off the sea whets the blades of four winds.
You might think that the sea is company -
The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass.


Since you left the house its emptiness has hurt
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
You've gone, I am at sea.


Though reined by strings, strict and invisible
The sure green world goes topsy-turvy
Within new limits now. Arrange the world
As we climb out of our familiar landscape.


All I ever did was follow in his broad shadow
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.
The curt cuts of an edge through living roots
Closing this chapter of our chronicle.

Source & Method

This cento poem is constructed from individual lines from a variety of poems in Seamus Heaney's first collection, “Death of a Naturalist”, and two lines from two poems only but they are not adjacent in this piece. I've adjusted the punctuation in places for flow. Most line starts were capitalised in the original and I've made that the case all the way through for consistency.

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Emily Tee lives in the UK Midlands. She writes poetry and flash fiction, focusing on the natural world and ekphrasis. She's recently had work in Ekphrastic Review, Visual Verse, Free Verse Revolution Lit, Scavengers Lit, Poetry Scotland, and several anthologies.

Nina Nazir

Alchemy Soup

Figure of Eight

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Source & Method


Alchemy Soup: Pens & watercolour on paper (from The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri). Figure of Eight: Biro, gel pen & watercolour on paper (from The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid).

Sometimes, words jump out at me and prompt a phrase that
 I forage for in the text. I often find what I'm looking for. I then paste the text into my sketchbook and plan the image for the background, which I complete using ink, paint mediums, biro, and gel pen.

Nina Nazir (she/her) is a British Pakistani artist, poet, and teacher based in Birmingham, UK. She's had work published in The Ekphrastic Review, Unlost, Free Verse Revolution, Messy Misfits Club, Ink Sweat & Tears, and Visual Verse among many others. When she's not teaching, she's making art or making poems. Other than that, she is never not reading. You can find her on Instagram: @nina.s.nazir and Twitter: @NusraNazir.

Scott Stoller

War is Art (cento for Anne Boyer)

As the ghost of Keats said,
in the Des Moines Hilton ballroom:
I know scarlet from crimson,
and I know war is art.
There’s value in it,
in total misery,
intoxication, divinity and beauty,
a luminous violation of gold dust and undoing,
litanies of laments,
cantos of carbon and blood,
an unlimited palette of miracles,
many and often and everywhere,
in the periphery of our vision.
It’s a GPS for the cosmos.
Every failure contains universes.
One should no more condemn a “bad” war
than condemn a “bad” painting or poem.
War is for anyone.
Understand the math.
It’s the only party we got invited to.

Source & Method

Anne Boyer’s letter of resignation as poetry editor for The New York Times, four blog posts from her blog “Mirability” and her conceptual poetry chapbook “Art is War”.

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Scott Stoller’s work has appeared in numerous online and print journals and anthologies including Unlost, Weave, Right Hand Pointing, and Best Contemporary Tanka. He resides in the Chicago suburbs.

Anthony Ceschini


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I borrowed text from Issac Asimov's The Caves of Steel using 3D Paint.

Anthony Ceschini has been writing fiction for a decade with varying degrees of personal sucess. He trues not to take himself as seriously as the craft. So far, so good?

Garrett Phelan


(Girl’s writing on photo of 4 masked gang members throwing signs)


I am 15
I am MS 13
4 life.

My baby is 20
he is MS 13
4 life.

I am 15.
Fuck 18.
I could be
0 tomorrow.


Source & Method

I found a crumpled piece of paper on the floor in the cafeteria of a city high school where I taught. The piece of computer paper had copied photos of masked MS 13 gang members throwing signs and writing scrawled in pen beneath the photos. Her boyfriend was circled in pen. I kept the paper because the words were so powerful and painful—and surprisingly poetic. I took the scrawled writing and shaped it into a poem, with short lines to go with the possibility of a short life.

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Garrett Phelan is the author of the chapbook Outlaw Odes (Antrim House) and the micro-chapbooks Unfixed Marks and Standing where I am (Origami Poem Project). His poems have appeared in numerous publications including Harpy Hybrid, Slipstream, Potomac Review, Connecticut River Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Third Wednesday. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

Bob Lucky

It Is No Effort for Me to Confess

The other one called Borges is the one.
I know his name like the taste of coffee.

It would be an exaggeration to say I live
so that his literature can survive.


I am quite aware that all things long
to persist in their being, but I recognize


now my life belongs to him.


Source & Method 

I imagined another “I” in Jorge Luis Borges’ “Borges and I” and found the poem to describe that relationship. The title also comes from the story, translated by James E. Irby.

Where Do We Go When We Go to Sleep?

one’s utterly lost in the night
stretched out or curled up under blankets
in reality once upon a time and again later
people collapsed to the ground breathing quietly
and one of the watchmen brandishing a burning stick
said someone must be here

Source & Method 

Poem found in Franz Kafka’s short story “At Night,” translated by Tania and James Stern. (page 481)

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Bob Lucky lives in Portugal. He is the author of Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018), and My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019).

part 2

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