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Vol.3. No. 3. April - June 2010





Barrie Darke
Bruce J. Berger
Chad Norman
Christian Ward
Chuma Nwokolo Jr
Claire Askew
Colin Gallant
Davide Trame
Gary Beck
Ivor W. Hartmann
Katie Metcalfe
M C Hardwick
Michael Conley
Minna Salami
Pete Court
Roger Elkin
Warren Paul Glover
George Freek




Third Prize Winner, SLQ Poetry Competition (April 2010) 


A man in a blue coat walks into A & E

and gets in line.  The Tannoy is broken; a fractured

buzz percolates.  He lifts his shirt for the nurse

and mouths My stomach has become an aquarium.

She nods and hits the button.  He strips,


taps the tinted glass that runs

from collar to waist.  The doctor kneels

and squints.  Around a tiny sandcastle,

three goldfish drift like skeleton ships.

This is most unusual, the doctor says.


The man is told to drink as much as he pisses

and avoid contact sports.  He doesn’t name them

straightaway, but after the third month

they are Sylvia, Robert and John,

after his mother and brothers.


It becomes a talking point at dinner parties.

He feels more attractive to women, though he stops

eating seafood, out of respect.  One day,

Sylvia is missing.  He feels sad.

A one night stand notices a crack


In the tank.  He goes back to the hospital.

This is most unusual says the doctor.

It is a different doctor.  I know says the man.

He is sent home with a roll of masking tape.

John and Robert seem lonely without Sylvia.


© Michael Conley 2010



Click on a link below to choose a Sentinel Literary Quarterly competition to enter


Short Story Competition (July 2010)


Poetry Competition (July 2010)


Sentinel Literature Festival Poetry Competition 2010



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Michael D Conley is a secondary school teacher from Manchester, UK.  He is currently studying part-time for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.  He has been published in several small-press magazines and e-zines, including La Reata, the Cadaverine, Angelic Dynamo and Flash Magazine.  He particularly enjoys the work of Carol Ann Duffy, Clare Shaw, Charles Simic, John Berryman and Sylvia Plath. Winning a prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry competition is the first time his scribbling has translated into actual real-world rewards.



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