Mansour Chow

Co-editor of The Alarmist. I need to have a shower, get dressed and leave the house in the next fifteen minutes. Will I manage to do it in time?

Platform 1 (Highbury & Islington Station)

I want the pretty, tall brunette girl
who kissed the shorter man
with balding hair and goofy teeth
on the forehead several times
whilst on the northbound Victoria line
to do it to me instead.

I’m becoming resentful
of less than handsome men
with pretty girls.
They should give a man like me hope
but they sting me with disappointment instead
and I do not know why.

This is the last train home
and I will have arrived back
on faithful stories
that continue to serve me well,
because deep down,
I have nothing interesting
to say about myself
so I must resort
to the tried and tested gems,
pretending that these aren’t stories
I’ve told more times
than I count on two hands.

A moment of peace.

A moment of peace.

Pain

Pain has imprisoned you
merely by suggestion.
Memory an event
telling you why
you should
(plausibly and rationally)
fear.

Pain does not need you
to be anywhere near it
in order to cripple you:
to bind your legs,
knot your muscles
and twist your tongue until it’s tied —gobstopper, stoppedgobber.

Pain laces our drinks,
spices our foods,
sneezes on a crowded commuter train.
It is ever present
(even when it’s only in the past)
because it’s always in the future
(even when it does not exist in the present).

Pain exists like Schrödinger’s cat.
No, it is Schrödinger’s cat.
A radiated, poisoned corpse.
A possibly perfectly healthy cat (only when unobserved),
which is to say
that it is never a healthy cat,
and it was never a healthy cat,
which is to say
you were once a healthy cat,
only for a moment,
but memory and linear time
will radiate and poison you
until death.

Monkey Business

I heard of a study in which capuchins were introduced to the concept of money and forced to use it.

When one of the monkeys tried to steal all the money and lock all the other monkeys in, the experimenters shook their heads and said, “Naughty, naughty monkey.”

When one of the male monkeys gave a female money for sex, the experimenters shook their heads and chastised them both, saying, “Naughty, naughty monkeys.”

Doesn’t this all seem quite familiar?

Stress

His stress a joke candle
Its irritant flame
Coming back to burn him
Again and again
Every time he thinks it’s gone

He couldn’t even finish writing a suicide note before he found the ink too arousing to continue.

When he tried to commit suicide, the thought of jumping and the fact it was a two syllable word led him to masturbate in tears whilst on a ledge outside the 14th floor of the Adolfo hotel in London.

He later said about the incident, “Even my tears and sadness are sexy, which makes me feel even sadder, which turns me on all the more.”

Preview of The Alarmist: Issue 4
“Blowing the stereotypical literature model out of the water”
Popshot Magazine
“Plenty of variety, freedom, fun, irreverence, and ever-expanding talent.”
It’s Nice That 
“The Alarmist, a literary magazine that looks and reads like no other. Flashes of colour, beautiful illustration, esoteric typography and superlative writing make this a magazine to watch out for.”
Rough Trade
“The Alarmist strives to release only work that excites. They collect pioneering writing of all forms and release it in a beautifully formed biannual edition.”
Annexe
“The editorial is short and sweet and the design is great and immediate. This magazine seems made for short and powerful.”
Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum
“Possibly the most irreverent new literary magazine I’ve seen.”
Dazed and Confused, Issue 39 (listed as one of the top three young literary magazines)
“This is a fascinating, intriguing, gorgeously designed and refreshingly unpretentious literary journal, and is pretty much perfect for anyone who fancies themselves a thinker but hasn’t lost their sense of humour.”
Newsstand
“The Alarmist goes from strength to strength to strength. Creative writing that oscillates between deeply emotive and downright mischievous might sound oppositional but, by the time The Alarmist is done with you, you’ll wonder why this approach isn’t already huge. Special mention goes to the increasingly witty, increasingly gorgeous design and layout.”
Foyles

Preview of The Alarmist: Issue 4

“Blowing the stereotypical literature model out of the water”

Popshot Magazine

“Plenty of variety, freedom, fun, irreverence, and ever-expanding talent.”

It’s Nice That 

“The Alarmist, a literary magazine that looks and reads like no other. Flashes of colour, beautiful illustration, esoteric typography and superlative writing make this a magazine to watch out for.”

Rough Trade

“The Alarmist strives to release only work that excites. They collect pioneering writing of all forms and release it in a beautifully formed biannual edition.”

Annexe

“The editorial is short and sweet and the design is great and immediate. This magazine seems made for short and powerful.”

Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

“Possibly the most irreverent new literary magazine I’ve seen.”

Dazed and Confused, Issue 39 (listed as one of the top three young literary magazines)

“This is a fascinating, intriguing, gorgeously designed and refreshingly unpretentious literary journal, and is pretty much perfect for anyone who fancies themselves a thinker but hasn’t lost their sense of humour.”

Newsstand

“The Alarmist goes from strength to strength to strength. Creative writing that oscillates between deeply emotive and downright mischievous might sound oppositional but, by the time The Alarmist is done with you, you’ll wonder why this approach isn’t already huge. Special mention goes to the increasingly witty, increasingly gorgeous design and layout.”

Foyles

Isolation

I dress my wounds
in the alcohol soaked
bandages of solitude.

It stings a lot more
than friendship,
but this way
I cannot become infected

Bowling
from Issue 2 of The Alarmist.

You can buy the last few copies exclusively at Mapile.

calveropoetry:

I have a poem being published in the 4th issue of The Alarmist, a UK literary magazine full of art, prose and poetry. You can check out a sample of the issue or pre-order a copy HERE. 
Needless to say, everyone else is much better than me. If you don’t believe me at least see for yourself.
Hope all is well my lovely sluts.
Much love,Calvero

calveropoetry:

I have a poem being published in the 4th issue of The Alarmist, a UK literary magazine full of art, prose and poetry. You can check out a sample of the issue or pre-order a copy HERE. 

Needless to say, everyone else is much better than me. If you don’t believe me at least see for yourself.

Hope all is well my lovely sluts.

Much love,
Calvero

A Wasted Challenge

I remember exactly when I burnt it.
I should have ran some cold water over it
but my shower wasn’t working.
By the time I filled a bucket with cold water
and poured it over the burn,
it was way too late.
Three years too late,
and the damage was already done.

Women see my deep-set eyes as a challenge,
but I am an impossible task -
a never-ending game of monopoly.
I can’t get out of jail,
and I resent the people who visit me there.

Please give up on me as fast as you can.
I am Sisyphus’ boulder
but you are not Sisyphus.
I am Excalibur’s sword
but you are not Excalibur.

I am the bin-bags
left outside your neighbours’ home.
The ones you complained
to the council about,
cursed to be filled with rotten & rotting waste
and nothing more.