Sex. Way. World. Why. Wet. Wonderful. Weird. Oh no—not weird! We can’t have weird. Weird is out. Weird is unnatural, unnecessary, uncreative, ungodly—and unbelievably good. Weird should be sent to camps and beaten to death. That’s why it’s not acceptable, why we drive it underground and hide it in Freudian slips, lace, leather, rubber and sit on it as it squirms against the skin. Why we sneak out of the office to master/mistress/beloved pet/large fruit (delete as appropriate) and indulge our greatest secret thrills.

Perversion insists upon a norm—a line in the sand; a dictum writ in water that lasts about as long as it takes to actually think about what it means before sneaking off to meet Madame Palm and her five lovely daughters. The fact that our pain and pleasure centres have more crossed wires than a 1950s telephone exchange doesn’t help us in being logical and dispassionate about what in the end gives us a bigger hit than a kilo of sugar-coated magic mushrooms.

Essentially, sex is at the root of our behaviours—the urge to go off and inseminate; the urge to catch and keep the alpha male; the urge to possess and kill. This is why we as poets have at the wellspring of our muse sex and her warped offspring. Whether the poet talks frankly of bodily fluids and the disposal thereof, or whether it happens to be relationships and the beginning or end thereof, or just talks about trees in Maine that have a strange fungal coating, at essence the poet is talking of, at, around, against or in spite of sex. There’s no getting away from it—the gonads prove to be the ink of subconscious creation. The Muse has nads aplenty.

In this issue we hope we have found a selection of poems that take the ‘ex’ out of ‘sex’ and make a topical, strident and hopefully pleasurable addition to the world of literary onanism we all fertilise with our essence.

We set the bar high. We’ve now taken it down and are going to chastise you a little with it. Lie back, think of [insert country of origin] and enjoy!


Special thanks to Jee Leong Koh for his contribution as featured poet; and to R. Nemo Hill, Pat Jones, Katy Maslow and Julian Mendez Perea for their help with the artwork for this issue.