the rotary dial

best new poetry in form

Weeds are not supposed to grow
but by degrees
some achieve a flower, although
no one sees.

From the May Issue


Mottoes from Schnitzler

Talking is negotiation. Strike the deal
and go your way. Leave no grounds for appeal.

Innocence is a form of nagging. Lose
the pathos but be careful what you choose.

Sweet young bodies. See how they revolve
in the firmament. Zoom in and dissolve.

Cruelty is inevitable in the end.
A lover once can never be a friend.

What goes around comes around then goes.
The other side of your face. Your eyes. That nose.

Cynical? Me? Is that my eyebrow raised?
Certainly not. It’s just me looking dazed.

Would you prefer desire? Or call it lust?
I call it vertigo, or plain disgust.

Let’s break up the line. Let us instead stroll
around the park and talk about your soul.

I prefer a motto to a top hat. I prefer
an indiscretion. Leather perhaps. Or fur.

I’m going to sleep. I’m off to dream the light
inside my head where it is never night.


George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He was brought up in London and studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. His poems began appearing in national magazines in 1973 and his first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979. It won the Faber Memorial prize the following year. By this time he was married with two children. After the publication of his second book, November and May, 1982, he was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Since then he has published several books and won various other prizes including the T S Eliot Prize for Reel in 2005.