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i will hold my peace when achilles' brooch
bids me
brache, bitch, not a dog more
a cluster of
gems of all
the nation / spits / gold and silver
the spit or bodkin forms a very small part of the whole.


"his buddy Patroclus"—


his best-belovéd
i wept,
my blest
you, name stitched
inside your vest
paired // locked


i am not interested in homosexuality.
there should have been a warning.


your body is produced
pettiness &
prettiness together
in his tents
his grief: dishonour
he intends—
lallies in his tents
valued honor /
the war lived
scratch out the wrong one
it right this time
his grief: deceit, self


you sit on his feet
the very dignity
your hands make the words


now play him me, Patroclus
a night alarm, arming
a scandalous copy / the root of sickness
ruddy signs
for the whole greek camp


this terrible play


love love nothing but love still more for o these lovers crie oh oh they
die yet that which seems the wound to kill doth turn oh oh to ha ha he so
dying love lies still oh oh a while but ha ha ha oh oh groans out for ha


grace notes such as Helen,
cannot be both erotic and political


your little stomach


a but but crie die doth dying for for groans ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he
kill lies love love love love lovers lies
who will i sing to now that you are dead


in the company of Patroclus
always with Patroclus
the death of Patroclus


an accusation no further
ills, ill-at-ease
rendered in the ripe tones of an injured queen


every corpse had to be cleared away
it was too much to bring yours back


a closed system
fool positive
armour sealed round your body—


play the role of woman


you are not for us;
blest knees achilles' grace
another world breezes through the tent
we hear your laughter
ornament, the pin goes in
one speck is left
dimpled ash / soot spotty
wound which they turn these the so seems out oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
oh o nothing

Charlotte Geater is an editor at the Emma Press. Her poetry has previously been published at Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Strange Horizons. She lives in London. She is on twitter at @tambourine.
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
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Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
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Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
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Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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