Our Story and Poem of the Month for July have been chosen by Mark Say:


Story of the month

Top story goes to Poking a Snake by amavisti, best described as a slightly sleazy love story. It conveys the way some couples maintain a strong emotional bond and a sense of loyalty to each other despite immoderate behaviour and keeping secrets. I suspect a lot of marriages survive because of the moral in the story.

A couple of others deserve a nod: The Last Game of Numbers by ice rivers, a boisterous and convincing story of the end of boyhood; and The Listening Tree by Jennifer Skinner, a lovely slice of reminiscence and romance.


Poem of the month

I’m giving this to The Essence of Quintessence by Scorpio88. It’s a strong evocation of the shallow nature of consumerism and how it becomes tangled with distorted notions of esteem. I like the way it uses upmarket brand names to quickly build a picture and the pulsating rhythm in the language, especially with the slight shift in the final verse.

A couple of others I really liked: A Most Punctual Man by onemorething, a sharp picture of the complexities within a dark psyche, and a clever twist at the end; and Cheap7 by denni1, a brief, funny and quite perceptive snapshot of a woman at a tense moment of her life.