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The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts and Media - Latest Content
Lifesaver - Short Story by Jacob DeCoursey

Once, when I was little, I tried to fix my stuffed animal’s scuffed eye with a Sharpie. I slipped and left a giant blot over its glass retina. My favorite toy. So I tried to add more black to cover it, more and more corrections, until it was completely blind. So I cried. And then I put it into a box which eventually became a mystery underneath my bed.

Tonight’s venue was a refurbished church which homeless-by-choice punksters had renovated into a sanctuary. The final band was packing up their gear when the lights came on while the floor of kids in studded-denim vests began moving like a swirl of bubbles in a murky sea, fragments of the whole breaking off and floating towards the exit. Those who came here, they dreamed of a freedom I couldn’t understand: of hopping trains and sleeping on park benches and sharing cigarettes with toothless...


Dan Riley - Walk the Other Way - EP Review

Dan Riley is a man of many talents. Not only is the Lancashire-born troubadour a poet of some renown—having found a platform for his work in publications as sophisticated and widely admired as this one—he’s only gone and dropped a five-track EP of easy-listening alternative folk and smooth pop-rock that’s pretty much all hits and no misses. And the whole thing’s available for you to listen to immediately. Well shucks, this must be your lucky day.

Evocative of a host of great forebears from The Beatles through Pink Floyd and John Martyn, “Walk the Other Way” is a pleasing traipse through summery emotions with Riley’s earnest, crooning vocals running the gamut from plaintive and introspective to hopeful and energized, but always imbued with a vigorous, pleasantly-contagious optimism. Here’s a man who...


Outsider Art Gallery
Erotic Blackout: Flower - Erasure Art Blackout Poetry  - by Vanessa de Largie

Erotic Blackout: Flower - Erasure Art Blackout Poetry  - by Vanessa de Largie

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The Last Agent - Short Story by David King

I travelled 30,000 light years and slept most of the way. Insect dreams of sex. That’s what hypersleep does to you. Fucks you around big time. Arrive not knowing if you’re human or some kind of slug on two legs. Stagger down white transit tube whole line of men women children insects waiting behind clear plastic walls yelling screaming give me give me flicky fluck bam bam want hotel cheap tacti tacti me you flicky fluck cheap. Then empty white room, passport control officers in black. Your business, sir? Try to remember. What did they tell you? Takes days to recover. Some never do. You see them crawling down alleys, hands out, gills hyperflating puh-leeze mister you give a damn? Well, I did, but couldn’t afford to. Like always forever. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

I was there for a reason. They don’t...


Mindfulness: a Postmodern Form of Procrastination by John Latham

There is a consensus that procrastination is negative. We live in an era where productivity is celebrated. When grand metanarratives like Marxism are widely scorned, the idea is that workers should put in long shifts. The call for work-life balance is seldom heeded as the British economy continues to underperform.

Nonetheless, the trouble caused by overwork has not escaped the attention of the state. People are often diagnosed with stress or related mental health issues. What’s left of the National Health Service is having to pick up the pieces. Furthermore, the DWP is obliged to deal with lots of people who have been unable to keep up with the excessive demands of their employers. Unfortunately, there has been insufficient emphasis on helping people to recover. The pressure to get people back to work is often perceived...


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   “Anarchy in the UK: The New Underground Cinema”
     – Jett Hollywood
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I Have a Terrible Desire to See Your Waste Disposal Facilities - Flash Fiction by Dermot O'Sullivan

Why are we so ardently attracted to the waste disposal facilities of other human beings? Or at least the holes: mouth-hole, nipple-hole, asshole, vagina-hole or cock-hole. It seems not to matter. With some negligible exceptions, we only truly like to suck on areas of the body that may at any moment leak some unpleasant fluid onto our tongues. Any section of the body that does not fulfil this prerequisite is deemed unworthy of our attention. What strange creatures we are!

In fact, so pronounced is our species’ preference for holes that we consider those who do not share this strange perversion to be perverts themselves. Think of the Peeping Toms, the toe-lickers, and knee-suckers of this world. We reserve for them nothing short of disgust. Indeed, we castigate them for their nauseating habit of nibbling upon feet, while we calmly and joyfully...


Tuath: Youth - E.P. Preview

Fresh from the nuclear fallout of last week’s yearly feast-day of being drunk and Irish—frenetic Letterkenny punk-rockers “Lunch Machine” come out all guns blazing with the video for their latest track, the appropriately named “Paddy”. Filmed at 2am in the morning after the day in question and published online immediately, this chaotic frenzy of cramped late night sessioning is a pure and beautiful testament to the art of gonzo film-making. You can practically smell the booze fumes radiating from your screen.

Have a look and listen and then be glad the madness is over for another year...

“Paddy by Lunch Machine”...


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Scum Gentry Poetry Hole
Renewable Energy: Cora Sherlock’s Excellent Suggestion - poem by Kevin Higgins

“Over 15,500 human remains incinerated to heat UK hospitals over 2-year-period. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10717566/Aborted-babies-incinerated-to-heat-UK-hospitals.html #800babies #outrage @amnesty” – tweet by Cora Sherlock of the Pro-Life Campaign

We must stop giving it away for nothing
—our greatest natural resource—
the Department of Finance estimates
Tallaght Hospital could heat itself
entirely on foetuses properly burnt
in one of those state of the art
energy efficient furnaces that are
all the rage in Sweden.

Within the lifetime of this government
every hospital in the country could be fuelled
by the unwanted contents of visiting wombs.
The minority of cranks aside,
the average foetus would be delighted
to make this small contribution towards
society’s continued warmth.

And when the ban on contraceptive devices
is re-introduced; every last diaphragm,
IUD, cock-ring, and bit of rubber
ribbed for your pleasure incinerated
in a field outside Ballinspittle,
after a blessing by Mother Teresa,
(specially flown in from
the black beyond)
and the conception rate soars
back towards
the traditional twelve
pregnancies per lifetime, two thirds,
we estimate, resulting in terminations,
we can start talking
about the export market.

Economists say the uteruses
of the greater Dublin area alone
could light the living rooms
of a medium sized British city,
such as Bradford.

Education is key.
To get the lady parts of the country
conceiving as they’ll have to,
every pubescent girl,
on her fifteenth birthday,
will be shown her way around
the first twenty pages of the Kama Sutra
by a fully qualified curate
under the age of seventy.

This policy’s success
will abolish talk of deficits
and oil prices. Instead,
we’ll debate furiously
whether to blow our vast surplus
on a few thousand more
unemployed tin whistle players
with the hint of an English accent,
or free nose jobs and tummy tucks
for the wives of the wealthy—the biggest
plastic surgery project in world history
since NASA’s unsuccessful attempt
to build another Joan Rivers.

Kevin Higgins’s Song of Songs 2:0 - New and Selected Poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in April. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, and The Daily Mirror. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland.”

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Scum Gentry Poetry Hole
Everything Matters - poem by Elisabeth Horan

I told you once I loved you.
It matters somewhat now—
not because of how I feel,
but because I have to be there
when you die. I have to know
when you go. It cannot be
after the fact. The loss,
the noise, all distance
between. The memories,
which lose power, fade away:
gray scarves at cocktail
hour. You, are my keepsake.
I, a witness. A kindred
someone who knew your spirit;
Knew the words to write
of you. I will sit
beside, keep watch while
the grams drift away,
an angel arrives, the eyes
go inside, frozen fingers,
rigored cold in my
clamshell hands—warmer
than the bath I later take
alone, with your ghost,
who is funny, yet appropriate
and melancholy.
He doesn’t even care that
I’m a woman. A widow.
He holds me close
as I mourn you—dead,
yet something stirs
me, more... alive.

Elisabeth Horan is a poet and mom from Vermont. She is a messy minded feminist and ecobitch. She loves animals and nice people. @ehoranpoet

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