Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Sleeping Beauty


I have an excerpt from my novel in the new issue of Adroit Journal! You can read it here.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Beast

There is a beast that lives inside me. The beast has dirty feet and likes to make fires. The beast is very good at making fires. If we are on a hill or in a woodland clearing, the beast will be the first one to scurry into the undergrowth and come back hefting armfuls of branches. It is impossible to be angry with the beast. It would be stupid to wake up hungover and blame the beast. Yes, the beast was the one spitting mouthfuls of vodka into the flames to watch them turn blue, but that’s no reason to be held accountable. The truth is that the beast is the most pure part of me. The beast does not know shame. The beast comes from a place where embarrassment is not a part of the general (or specialised) vocabulary. If the beast wants to take off all my clothes, I will. If the beast wants to recite witch chants and conduct improvised sermons of pagan mythology, you’d better listen. The beast is related to mushrooms. The beast is not about lust—there is another creature inside me that takes care of that, perhaps the Japanese fox-spirit Kitsune or just a fifteen-year-old girl with one hand stuck permanently in her own knickers, but it’s not the beast. The beast would rather wrestle than writhe, rather scritch than smooch (although, what can I say? Of course, both creatures sometimes end up entwined.) The beast is related to the term “cuddle puddle”. It’s not that the beast is particularly adept at climbing trees or scaling rocks; it is just that the beast has a different relationship with the concept of falling. Mornings after, the beast is adorned with scratch marks and new bruises. Again: it doesn’t matter. I refuse to blame the beast. These marks are a small price to pay for a door cracked open to another dimension of the universe. Instead, I say thank you. I pet the beast; I let it sleep long and late. It will come back again soon enough. I will make sure of it. The beast and I—we shall run through the night, hand in hand.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Catch a Body, by Ilse Bendorf

I liked this poem. Here is your annual reminder to tell people that they are doing great. To remind your friends that they are good at things. To tell a stranger that their dress is beautiful. Without asking for anything back; just because. The world is nice.

Catch a Body

Salinger, I’m sorry, but “Don’t ever tell
anybody anything” is a string of words
I would like to wrap up in canvas and sink
to the bottom of the Hudson, or extract
by laser from the ribcage of all of us
who ever believed it, who felt afraid
to miss someone, to be the last one
standing. “Tell everyone everything” is
not exactly right, but I do believe that if
your mother looks radiant in violet
you should tell her, or when a juvenile
sparrow thrashes its wings in dustpiles
and reminds you of a lover’s eyelashes,
you should say so. We are islands all of us,
but we are also boats, our secrets flares,
pyrotechnic devices by which we signal
there’s someone in here we’re still alive!
So maybe it’s, “don’t be afraid.” We can
rewrite Icarus, flame-resistant feathers,
wax that won’t melt, I mean it, I’ll draw up
a prototype right now, that burning ball
of orange won’t stop us, it’ll be everything
we dream the morning after, even if we fall
into the sea—we are boats, remember?
We are pirates. We move in nautical miles.
Each other’s anchors, each other’s buoys,
the rocket’s red, already the world entire.

From Blood Orange Review.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Doorknobs

"There are times when we can feel destiny close around us like a fist around a doorknob. Sure, we can resist. But a knob that won't turn, a door that sticks and never budges, is a nuisance to the gods. The gods may kick in the jamb. Worse, they may walk away in disgust, leaving us to hang dumbly from our tight hinges, deprived of any other chance in life to swing open into unnecessary risk and thus into enchantment."

Fuck yes, Tom Robbins! So, this is the quote that will be introducing my novel.

Incidentally, the reason I am not publishing a poem a day in April is because I am bored of not having a novel yet. How the fuck has this taken me a year already?! All this touring the continent with my dreamy band and making out with cuties and having a job and stuff is very nice, but goddammit, I am the world's most impatient brat and I want my book nowwwwwwwwwww.

 So, uhh, that's what I'm doing every day this month instead of poetry.

My draft is an ungainly beast. So far this week, I have deleted 16, 780 words. Ow! It hurts!

But it's better now. It's starting to make sense. And there are new words, better words even. For example, today I used the phrase "horseradish intent". Nice, huh? It makes sense in context, I'm sure. It makes sense even if you haven't drank fifteen coffees.

Anyway, my book has everything I think is nice. Rollercoasters & magic mushrooms & fortune tellers & a punk show mosh pit & loads of jerking off & thunderstorms & all the queer makeouts ever & a drag queen minister & hitchhiking & abortions & witchcraft &&& MAGIC.

And so many happy endings. I'm a sucker for a cute ending. Now get over here and kiss me, kiss them all!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Exhibition!!!



I'd be showing pictures from my collage career at the opening of the new space tonight! And reading a thing, no doubt. Come buy art! I'm pretty excited to be showing alongside Alex Highet, Tom Moore, Julia Rose and Damian Giambazi. Here.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Salome & Circe

This is the story of Salome and Circe, as based on these pictures in Berlin's Alte National Galerie. I do love Circe so. Such trouble. Such fun.

 

Friday, 11 March 2016

The Things We Do

A cautionary tale about what it's like to date straight men, now published at the fabulous Sundog Lit! 


Read it here.