Monday, 22 August 2011


Does anyone want to? Pictures/music/words/film/challenges/postcards/cartoons. Etc. I could do with the impetus for productivity and also, it's really really fun.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

some good things

I am feeling dapper about writing at the moment, which is fortunate, because the world of work seems to have taken a hiatus: cancelled copyediting projects; children no longer in need of a tutor; online interviews that tag back and forth and haggle and confirm, before disappearing one morning into the internet abyss, never to answer their emails again.

I am a little tired of 'competing' in an 'online marketplace' as if writing was a scrap to the bottom dollar. I am sick of people asking me to write articles at $3 for 500 words (minus agency fees and exchange rates and withdrawal costs) and looking at Bangladeshi copywriters who charge $1.11 an hour. I am bored of chasing jobs to prove my worth and businessmen who will haggle and chip away at my fee and then hand me their eBook to edit where they discuss how they made six million dollars last year (clue: by haggling and chipping away at the money they give to anyone for anything).


It's not all bad because really work is only the thing that keeps me in liquor and holidays, and once the schools are back there will be more teaching to teach, and a nice boy has promised me rent-free living in exchange for kisses and lazy takeout evenings in exchange for soup.

The other nice thing is that I have become quite ridiculously domesticated and have been making all manner of foodstuffs, in a hoardy, winter-is-coming kind of way. Like chutney and bread and whisky liqueur with brambles from the marshes. I have discovered the cure for all internet malaise is to pummel some dough into quivering submission, or to ride my bike to the fields and forage for berries and come home with scratches and nettle stings on my skirted knees.

As well as this, there are also words and writing, of course.

Recent projects:

Reading poetry to the good people of Resonance FM, drinking whisky in the radio studio, talking about masturbation in bookstores.

Writing for photographers to take pictures of my words and making words of photographers pictures for New Jersey's Conveyor Arts.

Finishing a poetry chapbook and sending it to potential publishers. Watch this handcrafted, fingerfolded space.

Being asked to read at the last ever Golden Hour in Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. Actually, this kind of makes me ecstatic and gutted and many other things which will likely remain inexpressible until I am sitting drunkenly amongst some of my favourite people, remembering all of the last four years of tour. If it wasn't for the Golden Hour/Forest Publications/Ryan, well, everything would be very different for me as a writer and person and there will be tears before bedtime, and gin, I'm sure.

I have also been feeling good about positive rejections. There haven't been any acceptances recently, sure, but I'm trying to aim higher y'see and only send to places I really really want to be in. And also take rejections with a nod to try harder: either try harder to make the writing better, or try harder to research where I'm sending things and only put them places they belong.

This month I have heard: "No, but...

...we were impressed with the very evocative imagery in both of them"

...Although I liked the writing, I'm afraid this piece is not quite right for us"'s a well-crafted and well-told short story. Unfortunately ... this piece is simply far too much in the so-called "literary" style for us to really have much need of it."

This is a distinct mark up from "We've read it carefully. Unfortunately, we didn't feel it was quite right for us. If you have something else you think is right for our magazine, please feel free to try us again in the future."

Also, another small good thing: I'm learning to make cheese.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Resonance FM

I am going to be reading poems/talking about poetry on the radio tonight!

9.30pm on 104.4fm.

Tune your dials.


Friday, 12 August 2011


“Please don’t,” I implored. It was too early to think. I was sailing through a dream of the Gypsy captain with rugged fingers, stitching partridge feathers to the underside of the canoe. I petted the feathers as if they were the shaggy coat of a squalid dog.
They curled around my fingers and we shook small hands.

The door buzzed again, yanking me harder from the wallows. I was hurtling back to normality in a flurry of tiny realisations. In a flurry of gnats, or snowstorms.
I could feel a kink in my spine; somewhere a dog barked.
And again, louder.
A hand placed itself in the cave of my back and shoved.
A voice hissed, “LOOK.”
My treacherous eyes opened, and I lay in bed, awake.

I didn’t want to be woken. I’d been waltzing a filth match with the boys from Beirut, I’d been tumblestiltzken, head over heels. There was candy cane sugar corn handcuffs in the dream, softer than the venus flytrap’s velvet tongue.

“Please don’t,” I asked the day and it heehawed back, no sympathy for the swatches of my sleep.

I didn’t want to be woken. But the world oozed in to oil Morpheus’ palms and I slithered from his grasp and it was morning. I was catapulted from the snug. I woke up. It was daytime and I was lost to my dreams.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

RIP Hotel Chelsea

I spent one night barefoot running through your corridors in a crimson silk ballgown, playing kiss chase with a camcorder, placing polaroids on the walls.

We had black eyes for the boys and bourbon for the girls. Champagne and powder, lipstick, neon. A bathtub for sleepover sudsing. Bedsprings for leapfrog. A walk-in wardrobe as empty as an envelope from a love letter thrown away in spring.

Can you believe the sign, can you believe we’re here, doesn’t your heart feel like a velvet drawstring purse full of rubies, tripped and spilling on the floor?

I wrestled in evening gloves for the very first time and six months later, the teeth marks hadn’t faded: six months tattooed with a postcard from a past self, signed wish you were here.

Long before I let my heart break its ankle running down the stairs, I was on a balcony trying to lasso the Empire State spire with a smoke ring. I was clattering down a stairwell windswept with giggles.

I let the histories trample my own corridors on their slipshod feet. I believed in all the clichés. I ran so fast the modern world hadn’t a hope for my coattails.

I love the Chelsea Hotel. This news made me sigh.