ISSN 1551-8086
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   poets list
   Francisco Dominguez & Aire Celeste Norell
   Marie Lecrivain & Angel Uriel Perales
   Sheikha A.
   Steve Abee
   L. Ward Abel
   Carl Abt
   Han Adcock
   Elizabeth Addis
   Aderemi Adegbite
   Adeolu Emmanuel Adesanya
   Neil Aitken
   M.I Akande
   Shahd Al-Shemmari
   Lynn Albanese
   Nicole Alexander
   Alaina Renee Alexander
   Gwyndyn Alexander
   Scott Alexander
   Inalegwu Omapada Alifa
   Maureen Alsop
   Rafael Alvarado
   Steven Alvarez
   Keiko Amano
   Veronica An
   Amy Anderson
   Kristine Anderson
   G.D. Anderson
   Zack Anderson
   Lori Anderson-Moseman
   Grace Andreacchi
   Renae Andruse
   Arlene Ang
   Roger Angle
   Stephen Anstay
   Azure Antoinette
   Theresa Antonia
   Aurora Antonovic
   Maria A Arana
   Carlye Archibeque
   Joseph Armstead
   Feral Artist
   Baron James Ashanti
   Charlene M. Ashendorf
    Askew
   Gregory Austin
   Shawn Aveningo
   maeghanne ayers
   Goodness Lanre Ayoola
   John-Patrick Ayson
   Jim Babwe
   Sophie Bachard
   Vasile Baghiu
   Bridget Bagne
   song-hue bahk
   Michael Baker
   Prerna Bakshi
   Anna Balint
   David Banuelos
   Jared Barbick
   J. Mae Barizo
   Peter Barlow
   Matthew A. Barraza
   James Barros
   Jeni Bate
   Jonathan Beale
   Richard Beban
   Gary Beck
   Gary Beck
   Lytton Bell
   Hakim Bellamy
   Michele Beller
   Laura Bellotti
   Stefanie Bennett
   Hayley Berariu
   Lawrence Berger
   Kevin Berger
   Mike Berger, Ph.D.
   Tom Berman
   luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal
   Catherine Berry
   Nick Bertelson
    Besskepp
   Mary Rose Betten
   Cheryl Beychok
   Gwendolyn Beyer
   François Biajoux
   Jarvis Black
   Heitham Black
   Beau Blue
   Rose Mary Boehm
   Bonnie Bolling
   Julie Bolt
   Lek Borja
   Cristogianni Borsella
   Gerald Bosacker
   Amanda Boschetto
   Wendy Bourke
   Jack G. Bowman
   Jennifer Bradpiece
   Bob Bradshaw
   Marcielle Brandler
   Peter Branson
   Sumiko Braun
   Adam Bresson
   Quiana Briggs
   Jack Bristow
   paulo brito
   Alan Britt
   Michelle Brodeur
   Lynne Bronstein
   Charles Brooks
   Adam Levon Brown
   Leah Brown
   Deborah Edler Brown
   Jason Sanford Brown
   zoey brown
   Bob Browning
   Sir Mark Bruback
   MC Bruce
   Jeffrey Bryant
   Kate Buckley
   Robin M. Buehler
   Ron Burch
   Graham Burchell
   Maria Rose Burgio
   Betsy Burke
   Matt Burns
   Richard Burrill
   Tony Bush
   Zachary C. Bush
   Elissa Calvin
   Joseph Camhi
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Velene Campbell
   Don Kingfisher Campbell
   Neil Campbell
   Dana Campbell
   Luis Campos
   Janine Canan
   Lyn Cannaday
   Pasquale Capacosa
   Joey Capone
   Hélène Cardona
   Britton Laine Carducci
   D.J. Carlile
   Julia Carlson
   Alicia Carpenter
   Jonathan Carr
   Patricia Carragon
   Oscar Carrasco
   Jared Carter
   Michael Aaron Casares
   John Casey
   Lisa Castro
   Rachael Kelechi Caulker
   Nika Cavat
   Michael Caylo-Baradi
   Steve Ceniceros
   Michael Ceraolo
    Cerise
   Robert Cesaretti
   Cheryl Chambers
   Lita-Luise Chappell
   Shibani Chattopadhyay
   Lisa Cheby
   Beth Cheng
   Ralph-Michael Chiaia
   Juhi Chowdhury
   David Christensen
   Terry Clark
   Darice Clark
   Phil Clark
   Terry Clark
   Charles Claymore
   Jeanette Clough
   Kim Cochran
   Ed Coet
   Tobi Cogswell
   Megan Coker
   Bruce Colbert
   Karen E. Cole
   Merrill Cole
   Christopher Coleman
   Larry Colker
   Beverly M. Collins
   Christiane Conésa-Bostock
   David Concepcion
   Christiane Conesa-Bostock
   Brendan Connell
   Alice Constantine
   Jack Cooper
   Flavia Cosma
   Rachel Coventry
   R. Paul Craig
   David Cravens
   William Crawford
   Natalie Crick
   Rosemarie Crisafi
   Carla Criscuolo
   Chris Crittenden
   Benjamin Crowley
   Susan Culver
   Joe Cyr
   Jim D Babwe
   Morgaine d'Abney
   Karen Corcoran Dabkowski
   Daniel Daian
    Dalton
   Catherine Daly
   Iris Dan
   Marie Lecrivain & Daniel Gallik
   Dan Danila
   Michelle Daugherty
   Piper Davenport
   Kathrine David
   Gareth Davies
   Holly Day
   Frank De Canio
   Gregory De Feo
   Steve De France
   J de Salvo
   J. de Salvo
   kumari de Silva
   Pijush Kanti Deb
   Shalla DeGuzman
   JD DeHart
   Diane Dehler
   Aurelius Demarco
   Darren C Demaree
   Gloria Derge
   Chris Derrico
   Lea Deschenes
   Maurice Devitt
   Theo Diamantis
   Mike Dias
   Martin Dickinson
   Edward J DiMaio
   Mark Dixon
   Peggy Dobreer
   Rosemarie Dombrowski
   Francisco J. Dominguez
   Linsly Donnelly
   Lisa Helene Donovan
   Kevin Doran
   John Dorsey
   Marvin Dorsey
   Marvin Louis Dorsey
   Laura A. Lionello & Douglas Richardson
   Doug Draime
   Donelle Dreese
   Dale Duke
   Jawanza Dumisani
   Henri Dumolet
   Max Dunbar
   Robin Wyatt Dunn
   t. joseph dunn
   Tyler Dupuis
    Durenda
   Walter Durk
   Douglas Dvorkin
   Ron Dvorkin
   Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
   Alfie Ebojo aka alfie numeric
   Elisabeth Adwin Edwards
   Patricia J. Edwards
   Sabrina Edwards
   Miguel Eichelberger
   John Elison
   Julian Ellis
   Neil Ellman
   K. Eltinaé
   R.M. Engelhardt
   Margarita Engle
   Jon Epstein
   Sufi Erter
   Eli Eshaghian
   Michael Estabrook
   Alexis Rhone Fancher
   Richard Fein
   John Feins
   Emily Fernandez
   Melissa Fischer
   W.S. Fisher
   Jamie Asae FitzGerald
   Amelia Fleetwood
   Jake Fleshner
   John Jay Flicker
   David Flynn
   Arthur Charles Ford
   Liz Fortini
   Sesshu Foster
   Heather Fowler
   Clint Frakes
   Sarah Francois
   Amélie Frank
   Amelie Frank
   Alex M. Frankel
   Allie Frazier
   E.L. Freifeld
   M. Frias Frias-May
   Suzanne Frost
   Delia J. Fry
   Elliott Gabay
   Steven Gabriel
   Timothy Gager
   Daniel Gallik
   J Gamble
   Ishmael Garay
   Jerry Garcia
   Daniel Garcia-Black
   Gabriella Garofalo
   Vince Garofalo
   Yvonne Garrett
   Nelson Gary
   Donna Gebron
   Ulrike Gerbig
   Janice Gero
   Ursula T. Gibson
   Rebecca Gimblett
   Tony Gloeggler
   Steve Goldman
   Vesna Goldsworthy
   Melanie Gonzalez
   Jeffrey Graessley
   Allison Grayhurst
   Jeff Green
   Timothy Green
   Jeanie Greensfelder
   Rhoda Greenstone
   Amos Greig
   John Greiner
   John Grey
   Summer Griffiths
   Danielle Grilli
   Brian Grillo
   John Grochalski
   Wendy Grosskopf
   Andrew Grossman
   Ro Gunetilleke
   Kenneth Gurney
   John R. Guthrie
   Debashish Haar
   Erik Haber
   Hedy Habra
   Tresha Faye Haefner
   Matthias Hagedorn
   James Hall
   Tom Hamilton
   David Harrington
   William Harris
   Matt Harris
   Dawnell Harrison
   J. Alana Hauenschild
   Kari J. Hayes
   KJ Hays
   Ann L. Healey
   Eloise Klein Healy
   Jessica Healy
   Jim Heavily
   Dan Hedges
   Paul Hellweg
   Samantha Henderson
   Jack Henry
   David Herrle
   JD Heskin
   Kenneth Hickey
   Jerry Hicks
   Marvin R Hiemstra
   Ed Higgins
   Carlos Hiraldo
   Sherri Hoffman
   Guy Hogan
   Ali Hosseiny
   Dave Houston
   David Howard
   Eric Howard
   Nate Howard
   Bryon D. Howell
   A J Huffman
   Hunter Lee Hughes
   Roger Humes
   Trista Hurley-Waxali
   Elizabeth Iannaci
   Thea Iberall
   Armine Iknadossian
   Gedda Ilves
   Alegria Imperial
   Victor Infante
   Victor D. Infante
   Augustus Invictus
   Susan Irvine
   Alexandra Isacson
   Natalie Itzhaki
   Amber Jacob
   Scott Jacobson
   Larry Jaffe
   Sonika Jaggi
   Emmanuel Jakpa
   Matthew James
   Andrea Janov
   T.A. Jennings
   Ivan Jenson
   Dani Jimenez
   Alex Johnson
   Michael Lee Johnson
   Tao Jones
   Lois P. Jones
   Strider Marcus Jones
   Georgia Jones-Davis
   Jasmin Jordan
   Quentin Josephy
   Liu Jue
   Ruth Juris
   Gene Justice
   Gary Justice
   Pete Justus
   Mikel K
   Scott C. Kaestner
   Sheema Kalbasi
   Peycho Kanev
   Rachel Kann
   Jay Kantor
   Paula Sfier Kattan
   Russ Kazmierczak
   James Keane
   Gretchen Keer
   Aaron Keller
   Collin Kelley
   Kamuran Kelly
   Raud Kennedy
   Bernard Kennedy
   Kathleen Kenny
   Stephen Kerr
   Hari Bhajan Khalsa
   Just Kibbe
   Jerome Kiel
   lalo kikiriki
   Robert S King
   Franklin Lafayette King
   Ashley King
   Sofia Kioroglou
   Rusty Kjarvik
   Kenny Klein
   LeAnne Kline
   Julia Knobloch
   Deborah P Kolodji
   Tracy Koretsky
   Edith Kornfeld
   George Korolog
   Dimitris P. Kraniotis
   Thomas KrÀmer
   Mark Krewatch
   Chris Krueger
   Amanda Krut
   Gerard Kuc
   Donna Kuhn
   Christopher Kuhn
   Len Kuntz
   Craig Kurtz
   Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
   Daniel Lambert
   Anthony Langford
   Donald Langosy
   Ray Lanthier
   Phillip Larrea
   Phillip Larrea
   Kasandra Larsen
   Wolf Larsen
   Ethan Latham
   Lisa LaTourette
   Marie Lecrivain & Laura A. Lionello
   Marianne LaValle-Vincent
   Kevin Lavey
   Judith A. Lawrence
   Eric Lawson
   Richard Leach
   Marie Lecrivain
   Anne Lecrivain
   Noah Lederman
   Pete Lee
   Kevin Patrick Lee
   Emma Lee
   N.M. Leepsa
   Alexandra Leggat
   Laura LeHew
   Gary Lehmann
   Sharmagne Leland-St. John
   Kevin LeMaster
   Michal Lemberger
   Kim Leng
   Roland Lesterin
   Tiffany Lettieri
   P.A. Levy
   Martin Lewis
   Cheyenne Lewis
   Anthony Liccione
   Cynthia Linville
   Laura Lionello
   Zachary Locklin
   Jessica Lopez
   Harold Lorin
   Tess. Lotta
   B.D. Love
   Adam Lowis
   Ron Lucas
   Andrew Lundwall
   Rick Lupert
   Suzan Lustig
   Radomir Luza
   Stosh Machek
   John MacKenna
   Sarah Maclay
   Stefanie Maclin
    Magdalena
   Gary Maggio
   Holly Magill
   Anthony Magistrale
   Marieta Maglas
   Suvi Mahonen
   Donal Mahoney
   Robert Maiolo
   Kelly Ann Malone
   Michael Malota
   Shahé Mankerian
   Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
   Chris Mansell
   H.E. Mantel
   April-May March
   Rick Marlatt
   John Marshall
   Agnes Marton
   Francis Masat
   Anthony Mason
   Lee Mason
   Hyatt Mason
   Johnny Masuda
   Mira N. Mataric
   Ellyn Maybe
   Michelle Mazzetti
   Mary L. Mazzocco
   Ted Mc Carthy
   Austin McCarron
   Terry McCarty
   Paul McConnell
   Brendan McCormack
   Deborah McCreath-Akbar
   Catfish McDaris
   Bray McDonald
   Karen J McDonnell
   Matt McGee
   Allen McGill
   Afric McGlinchey
   Terance James McGunigle
   David McIntire
   Cat Angelique McIntire
   david mclean
   Isobel McQueen
   Fernando Meisenhaulter
    Mephistopheles
   Corey Mesler
   Melissa Michaels
    Mike the Poet
   Scott Miller
   Richard Lee Miller
   Robert John Miller
   Hany Haggag Abdl Mobdy
   Richard Modiano
   William Mohr
   Sonnet Mondal
   Jason Monios
   Leslie Monsour
   Amanda Montei
   Patrick Mooney
   Greggory Moore
   Carl Moore
    Albert Lee Moran
   A.J. Morelli
   Christopher Mulrooney
   Frank Mundo
   Barbara-Marie Mundt
   Augusto Munoz
   Mark Murphy
   Craig Murray
   Kristine Ong Muslim
   JL Nathan
   Nimah Nawwab
   Leslie Maryann Neal
   Jason Neese
   Raghab Nepal
   Robbi Nester
   Mindy Nettifee
   Martina Reisz Newberry
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   Scott Nichols
   keith niles
   Dave Nordling
   Aire Celeste Norell
   Steve Norwood
   Laura Nye
   Toti O'Brien
   Charlotte O'Brien
   Suzanne O'Connell
   Katie O'Loughlin
   Peter O'Niell
   Tom O'Reilly
   Akor Emmanuel Oche
   A.J. Odasso
   Rita Odeh
   Kirsten Ogden
   Daniel Olivas
   Maurice Oliver
   Marc Olmstead
   Philip ONeil
   Nzingah Oniwosan
   Chika Onyenezi
   Nina Orlovskaya
   Sergio Ortiz
   David Ishaya Osu
   Scott Thomas Outlar
   Holly Painter
   Lizbeth Palma
   Heather Palmer
   Greg Patrick
   Miss Natalie Patterson
   David E. Patton
   Tim Peeler
   Steve Pelcman
   Angel Perales
   Alice Pero
   Angela J. Perry
   Helen Peterson
   Brenda Petrakos
   Adam Phillips
   James G Piatt
   Rebecca Pierce
   Gareth Pike
   James Pinkerton
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   Shannon Prince
   Stephany Prodromides
   Hattie Quinn
   Octavio Quintanilla
   Beverly J. Raffaele
    Raindog
   Catherine Rajca
   Steve Ramirez
   Mauricio Alejandro Ramos
   Vishnu Rao
   Ingrid Rattay
   James Rauff
   Kasey Ray
   Bili Redd
   Brian Redfern
   Marie Rennard
   Luivette Resto
   E.W. Richardson
   John Richmond
   Francisca Ricinski-Marienfeld
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   Lillian Ridgeway
   Dee Rimbaud
   Elijiah Rios
   Cat Risinger
   Ariel Robello
   Ebi Robert
   John D Robinson
   Paula Rodriguez
   Nydia Rojas
   Daniel Romo
   Emily Rose
   Rina Rose
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   Poet-broker Rosenthal
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   Cody Rukasin
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   David W. Rushing
   Maryann Russo
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   Howard Sage
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   April Salzano
   Bryan Sanders
   Lisa Marie Sandoval
   Cecile Sarruf
    Sasparella
   Ethan Sassouni
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   Lorraine Sautner
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   Peter Schwartz
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   Justin Scupine
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   Anthony Seidman
   Anthony Seidman
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   Dahn Shaulis
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    smzang
   Kate Soto
   Ghetto Speare
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   Matina Stamatakis
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   Julia Stein
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   Alex Stolis
   Karr Stratynberg
   Kevin Stricke-9
   Keith Stump
   Daniel Suffian
   Annette Sugden
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   Mani Suri
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   John Duncan Talbird
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   Jonathan Taylor
   Mark Taylor
   Allen Taylor
   Paul Kareem Tayyar
   Alene Terzian
    The Unarmed Man
   A. Thiagarajan
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   Lynne Thompson
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   Kari Thune
   Sarah Thursday
   Ilona Timoszuk
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    TJungle
   Chrys Tobey
    tolbert
   Imani Tolliver
   A. TOMIC
   Anthony Torchia
   Mary Torregrossa
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   Tri Tran
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   Alain Marcel Treadaway
   Pedro Trevino-Ramirez
   Ben Trigg
   Paul Tristram
   Maja Trochimczyk
    Troy
   The TruthHearse
   Tatiana Tulskaya
   Yelena and Roman Tunkel
   John Turi
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   Amy Upham
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   Brenda Varda
   Luis Rubio Vargas
   Carmen Vega
   Ms. Veronica
   Papa Vic
   Clee Villasor
   Ajise Vincent
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   Rev. Dave Wheeler
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Phil Clark
December 2009
   

 

Villages

    I had been the first person to settle on a plot of land, a lovely little vale in the Wiltshire countryside in between Bath and Chippenham around sixty years ago. Back then I was seventeen. My father had always wanted me to inherit his farm and continue the tradition of working and toiling his land without any respite, just like many of my forefathers had done, but I wasnt interested. I had an unquenchable thirst to work relentlessly on something I could call mine, something I could say Id developed from nothing, a farm of my own or even a settlement, a village maybe. Thats what I did.
    My father disowned me over the decision. He had said to me the night before I left that Id been brainwashed by the fancies of literature. He had given me Knut Hamsuns The Growth of the Soil to read as a fourteen year old. The story of Isak, a man, like him that had worked tirelessly on a farm and had accidentally developed it into quite a lucrative little empire, however the money had never phased him, all he wanted to do was work his land and provide a decent life for his family.
    I evidently interpreted the story differently to how my father had, and indeed how he subsequently thought Id read into the narrative. I told him Id grow up to be a successful landowner, he merely cursed at the suggestion and told me to never darken his doors again. One morning in the early hours I packed a few things up, some clothes, some food and a small array of handheld tools and I crept out whilst everybody was sleeping. My father and I never spoke to each other again.
    I walked for miles, until eventually I discovered a small vale, it was beautiful, it was bare, it was green and its mid-summer colour was emphasised by the blinding sun that was uncontaminated by the constriction of any cloud cover. It was a glorious day. I decided that that would be my own little steady rolling slope of purpose and perfection. Initially I built myself a hut; I chopped down trees and purchased corrugated metal, screws and roofing tiles from the nearby town of Corsham. When that was complete, I worked and worked and worked the land, cultivating, sowing seeds, rearing cattle for a hefty price, but keeping a couple aside for milk and cheese and constantly visiting places like Box, Neston, Easton and Notton to sell my wares. I would always consider who had called these places these ridiculous names.
    My labour continued for decades, practically unhindered, apart from the time I had to pay eight hundred pounds to the authorities for land rights. That was a minor drop in the ocean however considering what I have now, sixty years on, when my family and I look down from the top of the subtle vale and see a conglomeration of abodes and shops that make up a quaint little village comprising three hundred residents. And whats more, its all mine.
    As always silly beaurocracy reared its ugly head and got in the way. I had learnt that you couldnt just name a place and that was final, instead you had to attend a kind of raffle with other landowners to determine what your land would be called. For sixty years of steady ramification of construction and small time development and, of course working the land I had always put the naming of the village on the back-burner, so despite it being a sizable village, it had no name.

                *******
    So today I feel nervous. I travelled here to Bristol last night and stayed in a nice hotel (Ive got the money to bed down in lavish accommodation). Despite the nerves I had a great nights sleep, I was overtaken by a red hot tiredness that one can only really experience in a smart hotel. Despite this Im missing the village already. I received a letter last week giving me information about the function and the seven other participants who will be relying on a bowler hat, a screwed up piece of paper and pure chance to determine the name for their settlement. The sun isnt out; the skys bruised so that only adds to my unease. I always have had a propitious character.
    I walk in to a small room at the council offices. I recognise two fellow landowners, Mark and Ben; we smile at each other and I sit down. My mouth is dry, my legs feel weak. At the head of the table is a bald guy, the official, the referee, the chief.
    Are you Albert Crest? he says.
    I nod, swallowing no saliva.
    Alright, we can begin, he says, continuing, Now then I take it you all received the letter informing you of the rules. Just to be on the safe side, Ill re-cap. You will take it in turns to pick a name out of the hat, whatever name you get will be the name of your place. I will then write it down and it will be official. It will be sent to London and installed on the national register. Is that clear?
    Everybody nods.
    He continues, Just to make it fair, I have your names in this hat next to me. Ill pick a name out each time, and whoevers name I chose will then pick a place name.
    Here, here, Ben mumbles.
    Well begin. The chief enthusiastically buries his hand in the hat of people names, shuffles about a bit as if hes felt something untoward and then picks out a piece of paper, unravels it, looks up and recites the name, Jake Benedict.
    Jake, a rotund man in his fifties nervously gets out of his chair and quickly picks out a screwed up piece of paper, he straightens it out and shakes his head, despondently clutching the table. Fucks sake, Thrushers Bush. Thrushers bastard Bush.
    A couple of giggles ensue and the chief says, less of your language. He then writes it down in his big book.
    Jake sits back, looking gutted. I realise for the first time where all the crap place names come from.
    Right next, Sid Silvestre.
    For the next four people the place names are just as bad, Bishops Itchington, Ugley Green, Farfside and Cacklock. Its not a good day. On and on the names are called out, it looks like my name will be one of the last. Ben gets called. He bites his nails and then reaches for the hat.
    Yes, Woodstock. He nods his head, scanning the room.
    And then the chief calls out my name. I furtively hover above the hat and pick out a slip of paper; I feel the sweat gather heavily on my brow as everybody looks over, intrigued as to the next name to be confirmed. I look at it; all feeling is drained from my every limb. I sit down, putting my hand over my mouth, shaking my head, reluctant to speak, reluctant to confirm what my village will go down as in The Ordnance Survey Map of Great Britain.
    I dont believe it... Gastard.
    Is it bad? Mark says, still worried because hes yet to be called out. What is it Albert?
    I adroitly turn my head and snap, Ive just said it, Mark. Gastard.
    The chief writes it down, I notice a few smiles. My blood begins to boil. Marks the last to get called out. I pray to the good lord he gets a shit name. He takes out the one remaining slip of paper, opens it, his face showing no emotion, his face like ductile iron. I look over to him.
    What did you get?
    He lifts his head, Hey?
    What have you got?
    Whats what?
    Come on, dont fuck about, you know what Im getting at. What place name did you get?
    I dont want to say Albert, its not good.
    Just tell us. Everybody agrees, eager to know what the last remaining place name is.
    Mark attempts to stall time by taking a sip of his drink; I snatch the piece of paper from him. My eyes widen. You fucker. Little London?
    He unconvincingly screws his face up and nods slightly, Bad isnt it?
    Dont even start, yeah, dont you dare even start.
    The chief writes it down, I look over at Mark:
    I dont believe it Mark, whats your settlement, about four houses, it isnt even a village, its an Hamlet and you get a name like that and I have to go back to my village of three hundred people and tell em its called Gastard. Im going to get lynched.
    Jake, the rotund man pipes up, What about me? My settlements nearer a thousand and its called Thrushers Bush.
    I start up again, ignoring Jakes comment, Sixty years, man and boy Ive toiled on the land, building, working every hour God sends, and for what? For it to be called Gastard.
    I get up and leave in a huff, Im in a daze, no, it isnt even a daze, its worse than that, its a nightmare. I walk out onto the streets, clutching with resentment the slip of paper fate evidently handed me. Sixty years Id worked on that small pocket of rural England and now this. I feel cheated and I start crying, wondering whether I can ever bring myself to return to the village of Gastard.

copyright 2008 Phil Clark