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 August Issue



In time the photographs might have acquired
the static pathos of another age
because it was. Not found on any page,
they yield to memory, condensed, rewired
to fit a single frame of Kodak black
and white. Here now the family on shore,
as nuclear as any speck of wrack
kept centripetal by its atom core:

a father planted like a Tudor king,
his frown just hinting at a camera lost;
a mother on a break from worrying,
proud of her legs but shy, her fine hair tossed;
one son still young enough to play the fool,
the other poised to enter boarding school;
a daughter out of sight behind the lens,
pressed into service to make cheap amends.

Her precious Instamatic saves the day
and Adriatic azure turns to grey.
Released, each figure spins towards decay.
Back then the French for snapshot was cliché.


Brian Stanley was born in Madrid and educated in French until high school. His poems have been longlisted for The Montreal International Poetry Prize (2011) and published in The Literary Review of Canada and Encore. He lives in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.



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