Philip Madden has taught at schools and universities in the UK, Turkey and Poland. He has been published in several British and American small press literary journals as well as freelancing for the seminal British publisher D.C. Thomson. He is about to take up a teaching position at Bogazici University in Istanbul. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The old woman would light a fag
and then place it in an ashtray.
The pale smoke would delicately rise,
twisting itself into a blue phoenix that met nothing
only to disappear.
She would watch as the cigarette unsmoked, burnt itself away
To leave nothing behind.
And I could only watch , puzzled and unnerved