Friday, 31 October 2014

The Boy Princess

Excerpt from something recent. I'm totally back to finishing a short story a month, and it feels damn good.

Everywhere it is autumn, the leaves are capsizing, and yesterday I saw the boy princess in the woods. He was squatting beneath a stone bridge, throwing pebbles into the stream, while I watched from the other bank. I like to watch him balance. His thighs are sturdy—meaty, in fact—but I could see the muscles quivering underneath the skin. A pulse in the neck of a baby bird. His garter had began to unravel, and the dirty end of the lace was lapping in the stream.
    I didn’t want to disturb him. The boy princess is a paper sack of contradictions—part brittle sugar-glass, part thick, sure flesh. The pebbles made an empty thwack when they hit the water and I thought of wishes and wells. If I could be granted three true things by the wish master, what would they be?
    To be the stream, nuzzling at that grubby lace? No—
    To be the garter, quick against his thigh? No—
    To take the boy princess in my mouth and taste him, so sweet and slick he hurts my teeth. My rock candy.
    The wish master gave me none of these things. I left the boy princess to his pebbles and reflection, and climbed over the rocky banks towards home.

Monday, 27 October 2014

cleaning

I clear the detritus.

I thought about doing it yesterday, but yesterday my bones were loose and my skin was a delicate net webbing holding all the toxic cat tongues inside.

I tended to myself gently. There were cheese boards, nap times and gif-based pornography; I amused myself with flash fiction and cartoons. Brief things, suited to my attention span of the day.

I asked for things from the ones who like me. Send me filth and affirmations in the mail, please. Come over here and drag me from this slippery hole. 

The far-away boy sent me adorations in caps lock. My butt, my skin, the cutest things. The closest boy came over and swept my floor. There were feathers everywhere, shed by glamorous beasts in the night. A glitter of broken glass.

We watched psychic reality shows and ate ripe brie, and I let myself fall and be caught. I trusted in the universe. Sometimes I am bruised and spent and slaggy, forgetting my chat of the night. Sometimes that’s okay.

“You are the cutest wreck,” he said. “Sit down,” he said. “Let me take care of this.”

I am not used to being taken care of. I protest, I stand up: “Let me be worthy of your attentions.”

I am trying to remind myself that I am. That this liking is sturdy, not fickle—none of it will dissolve in the night. I don’t need to prod and test these gums. The answer is yes. It always has been.

It is two days since the party and today I clear the detritus, wash the boys’ party dresses, and make myself pumpkin soup. I indulge in small kindnesses. I sweep the bathroom floor.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

SAND

You can find one of my poems in Issue 10 of SAND Journal, online here or at any of the fine bookshops of Berlin!

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 Sazeracs 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.

Right? 

 

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