Friday, 24 October 2014

kicking leaves

I will go for a walk today and kick leaves. They're asking for it: these clumps of orange clouds who've given up on the trees. At least they have the decency to blush. So: I will go for a walk and kick things, and laugh at myself for being the girl that I am. I’ll go shopping. I will get drunk in the afternoon. Just a little: not so much that you'd notice. But still. I will leave the house behind, leave the worries about whether I am doing all of the right things. Which of us could ever keep up? I will have a daydream about a cute girl with a fat lip. I will promise myself fishnets. Oh and sazernas and laughing gas. I will give myself something good. Today, I will record church bells and play them back in the toilet. I will learn to wear earrings. Maybe I’ll just push paper clips through my lobes. Stationery is my heart's truest desire. Punctuation. Today, I will pretend the leaves are library books and I will borrow them from the parks and fill my bathtub. I will bathe in russet bubbles, which will stain my thighs. Leonard Cohen will be in the bathtub with me and we will talk about autumn and Leonard will ask me "Jane, is this your favourite time of year?" and I'll say "I think so, Leonard. But then again, I always do." He will pick up an armful of leaves and start lathering them into my hair and autumn will dissolve into a crackling amber froth. I will sigh into his fingers in my scalp. All my worries, all the things I have forgotten to do, will leak out into the bathtub. I will relax. Lying back between Leonard Cohen's thighs, I will concede that everything is right with the world. We will have squat tumblers of thick cut glass and Leonard will pour out two fingers of brandy—each—and we will raise them and clink. "Here's to the season," he'll say. "There's no need to worry at all."

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

w i g l e a f top 50 (very) short fictions 2014

My short story, Mermaids, was chosen as one of the top 50 short fictions of 2014 by the lovely people at wigleaf! You can read the rest of the winners here.

Black & BLUE

The REVOLUTION issue of Black & BLUE is available for pre-order now!

You should buy it.

You should buy it because language is an uprising and who doesn't want to fight the good fight with words?

You should buy it because I am in it talking about jerking off—because self-love is totally revolutionary, you guys—and when the revolution comes, you're going to want to be on the side of the lovers.



Tuesday, 14 October 2014


It’s not hard. You just have to sit and start doing it. It’s simple once you do. The routines will build themselves. Practice will slip into your body; practice will seep into your bones. This will become normal. Forgetting will feel strange. Days without words will begin to feel like lost bin bags, rustling in the wind and spilling their contents on a grey Cardiff beach. Your heart will twitch and paw at descriptions; “listen,” your heart will say, “I want to explain.”

“Writing practice softens the heart and mind, helps to keep us flexible so that rigid distinctions between apples and milk, tigers and celery, disappear. We can step through moons right into bears.”*

I make a habit of doing this same thing, again and again, so that eventually I can start each day by loosening the muscles that hitch logic to my brain. I step off the precipice into hieroglyphics and photography balm. I carry pocketfuls of sherbet and climbing ivy. I am not afraid to fall; all that lies between me and the void is dinosaurs.

The man in the grey top hat likes to argue. “It is hard,” he says. “It’s almost impossible.” The man in the grey top hat believes in waiting, insists that all these things are coalescing. Let time do its toil. You are allowed to be a lark in summer; you do not need to believe in squirrels. We have forever. Harvest, and wait for the moon.


He is right—things are settling. He is right—wait, and all these days will sink to the bottom and lump together. But do you want your foundations to be sediment, are you ready to build your world on silt? There is a temptation in the riverbed but…

Don’t you want your foundations to be pomegranate and radio static? Wouldn’t you like to hitch a leg up to the orbital path of Mercury’s moons? Aren’t you bored of trying to say the right words, the ones that build a sturdy boat? Aren’t you ready yet to fall?

Practice. Routine. The same thing, again and again. Hitching words out of the throat. Sit and start doing it. The rest takes care of itself.


* Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Not dead yet

Words. It's been a while. It's partly because my brain keeps skittering around the same loops << boys – lace – teeth – skin – cannons – go – boom >> and there are only so many poems a girl can write about jerking off (this is a fib). It's mainly because I've been taking a break from the words in order to send things places, and it turns out the places want to publish the things, and everything is working out damn fine. I have pieces forthcoming in SAND journal, Camroc Press Review, Black & Blue, and Make Out Magazine. I have a cutie who's skipping out of one life in favour of the hitch of my breath and the softness of my skin. I have a new all-riot-grrl-all-cello band and there are two day-glo movies in production where I take a starring role. New old friends in the city. So many Arabic feasts. And it's almost seven years since I didn't die in that house fire, and I wrote a story to celebrate my resolute aliveness, and you can read all about that at Litro here.

<3 Ericka and Jonathan, so very not dead yet

Thursday, 2 October 2014


I dreamt of boys in lace
I took my velour blade
I hacked the scruff
he came
unravelled in my teeth
bits got stuck
I licked my
kittenish mewl
I dreamt of girls in candour
muffled laughter
I woke with sherbet
fizzing beneath my gums

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Toilet Walls

Sometimes, when everything is right with the world, I kiss the toilet wall. I close my eyes. I mouth "I love you" to the wall, but really I mean it to myself.

Love is a simple business. All I really want is something close to my face.

When everything is right with the world, I become a fool. I get lost on the cycle from work — these familiar streets choked with swoons and skin. I emerge from daydreams slick and uncanny. I kiss toilet walls.

My own, and other people's. Other places'. When everything is right with the world, I have perfect trust in the purity of cool white tiles.

The "I love you" is an incantation to protect me from germs and judgement. Love, sometimes, is a hex.

On a good day, my scabs are amber-studded jewels I can't help but harvest. I hide them around his room so that when I'm gone, he'll remember. My grossness. My finery. All the torments of my skin.

Gary Indiana is on the floor saying PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT and I do not want to be protected. Everywhere are roses suspended in salt water, blushing and translucent. Sometimes, I feel the world can see all the way through me.

But the stuff inside is sweet words carved on toilet walls and sometimes, everything feels right with world. I am a simple creature. I unlatch the door and let them peek inside.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

654 Radio Stations

The most romantic thing a human can say is,
    “I want to be of your attention.”

No. Wait.

The most romantic thing a human can say is,
    “I woke tonight dreaming of you.
My dick was already thick and hard in my hand.”

Today, I am a filthy bathtub waiting for the gush.
    My needs are plug holes gacked with hair—

Did I ever tell you I would suck and drain
    until I swallowed your whole                

your gemstones / your cracks / your tongue?

The most romantic thing a human can say is,
    “When I make out with myself
you are often there. My wank is not fickle.”

I am less trouble than my cherry-stalk reputation.
    More predictable than menses.

I stick a hand in a wet dark place and
    reach for the dial with slicky fingers.

Static hiccups. White hacking. Tuned to channel you.