"It's how August would feel if it could feel anything." (Yves Olade on Grazioso)


Yves Olade is a contributor to Half Mystic Journal’s fourth issue, grazioso. He is a history student who lives in the south of England. He’s been featured in Kingdoms in the Wild and published in the Rising Phoenix Review, Bombus Press, the Horn & Ivory zine and L'Ephemere Review. He's also self-published a micro-chapbook called Bloodsport. An avid documentary fan, he loves mobile games, evenings, and flowers he can’t name. More of his poetry can be found at yvesolade.tumblr.com or on twitter @yvesolade.


We asked three of our Issue IV contributors to share with us their personal definitions of “grazioso”: how it is formed, where it has been, what it could be. Here is Yves Olade's vision of the dream-bright waltz – the soft-stained song – the place where sunlight settles & nothing really hurts…

When so much of your life is characterised by hurt, thinking of what doesn’t hurt can be another type of pain. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe, ochre yellow and golden. Bright like pulling a splinter, or stretching your back, or crying through a tragic piece of cinema—a feeling like your body settling back into itself. Catharsis. A feeling like twilight, a fever-bright dusk, standing by the rosé in the wine aisle and falling apart for reasons you can’t name. How all these things are so necessary & so gentle, and you feel the earth, wide and sedate beneath your feet.

It’s amber and marigold and honey. It’s how August would feel if it could feel anything.

I think of September as crimson red and burning, and the fall between the seasons as honey lowered into steeped tea. Something gentle holding just below the surface. The memory of a sweet taste in the back of your throat. Stepping out of your way to feel the crunch of falling leaves. Art on the walls. Stacks of used paperback books. A thousand kind and tender pleasures. Yet, it’s also a bolt of fear. The last slide of a rising elevator. Feeling featherlight and reckless as you realise that you’ve fallen in love. Grazioso is the apricot and the pomegranate both. Mercy all the more welcome after a touch of pain.

I’ve heard songs that dance in strands of amber and merlot, songs that a soul might sing, if it sang. Writing “Another Name for Distance”, I pulled on the threads of a thousand glowing moments—moments bright enough to be blinding, to be hazy as summer dreams, restless and salt-stained like a fever. Some nights I dream about dancing to a song that almost follows me out of sleep. Some nights I don’t dream at all. What I mean is, that there’s a harmony to the world that sometimes slips through your fingers. The scent of thunder. The feel of warm, warm rain. I could have danced all evening, played all night. I could have moved to rhythm of the wind through trees like a lover might.

I spoke about lethargy, I meant forgetting. I meant everything orange and glowing and gold. I meant falling and falling and falling. I meant a gentle daze. A yellow blur. Euphoria in the song of a sunset in summer, in the smooth glide of a blade of grass in your hand that reminds you of the softness of someone’s palm. I meant melody & strings, rhapsody & joy. Like wall barley, crumbling naked at a touch. An open sky.

Grazioso feels something like that.


Yves Olade's poem “Another Name for Distance”, along with twenty other pieces by contributors and three columns by the Half Mysticteam, are compiled in Half Mystic Journal’s Issue IV:GRAZIOSO, a volume of work full of the rare kind of light that never drowned anything, the kind of light that knows only song.It is available for preorder now.