this winter will be a distant memory but the cold
will have set into our bones, the marrow deep in our
femurs will have wires of frost running through it.
We will lie on beaches, feeling each individual grain
of broken rock and crushed shells below our bodies,
feel the breeze rattle through our pores and sinews,
as we bask and attempt to inject starlight into our veins.
We will have started the process of relearning to speak.
The alphabet will not come naturally, we will start over
with simple sounds...
I’m moving house this month and I released a pamphlet, so it’s all been a bit frantic. Still, here are some things I’ve enjoyed engaging with this month.
Vanessa Kissule writes about how poetry should be for everyone and how it is a transformative break:
Poetry stretches our ability to process the abstract, to reconcile with that which is and simultaneously isn’t. It is the wonderland in which contradiction is not just accepted but welcomed. There is a growing appetite for social media content that stokes nuanced response over dramatic spikes of dopamine or cortisol....
‘Welcome to C-Mart. I hope you have a wonderful visit. My name is Cindy. If you need any assistance, you can just call my name and I will do my best to help out.’
Her voice was sing-song and floaty. She sounded genuinely pleased to serve your every whim. Cindy’s voice always made Matt’s heart feel dense, like a black hole. He avoided her semi-transparent eyes and stared resolutely at the floor. To acknowledge her was to submit to an endless barrage of adverts.
As Matt shuffled past, the hologram started speaking again.
‘It might interest you to know that...
This website’s domain is my name, it’s my face on the front and I type the words. It lives to promote my work and is essentially a a massive ego trip. But I saw this tweet the other day:
🌟 A challenge 🌟
Who will start a blog or website and feature a writer a month and also post their own work and photos?
Promote yourself and other writers at the same time. Maybe you’ll start an online mag (start small and keep it manageable) 🖊 💻 #gauntlet thrown down
In an effort to make something positive come out of this year, I have created a small pamphlet of poetry called Refraction. It features ten poems about swimming and the peace I find immersing myself in water. (There is another, secret meaning; trying to find moments of calm in a relentless, chaotic world.)
Here’s a cover:
and a peek at the first poem:
It’s available for pre-order now on my shop. Currently it is being printed. The cost is only £3 plus p&p, so less than a pint or...
Taken from Crack Magazine, October 2019.
Above are my journals and notebooks from the past 15, maybe 16 years. Piled up like that it feels quite impressive. If you had told me to fill so many books straight away I would have thought it near impossible.
The compulsion to write things down is often seen as a way of preserving the ephemeral, keeping a record of the time gone past. But looking at the pile, I am reminded of all the millions of thoughts I chose not to write down, and all the ideas I scrawled down and never developed. Only...
We have seen millions of years
stacked upon another in sediment
history etched into the stone,
outlines and skeletons of creatures
beyond imagination who used
to claim this planet as their own.
We have wandered far from light
covered our hands in ochre dust
and pressed them into the walls
to leave a mark for those following.
We have roamed away from our home
plains, seen towering trees that are
the earth breathing, lakes turned to
rock by angry gods, high mountains
where they sit...
When I ported this site over and recoded it, I looked through old posts. In 2016 I made monthly link posts where I recommended things I enjoyed. Later, I moved this to a now defunct newsletter.1 I thought I would bring back recommendations, changing the format a little bit. So here are some things I’ve enjoyed.
Blair Braverman On Getting Rejected a Lot (and Liking It). This is excellent advice that I feel I learn over and over again. Worth reading and refreshing.
I finally got round to reading Why I’m...
Komorebi (木漏れ日): the scattered light that filters through when sunlight shines through trees
Surrounded by the long grass swaying in the breeze, the office seemed forever away. Helen could hear the gentle babbling of a stream somewhere nearby. Far up in the sky, a bird of prey hovered, looking for dinner. She felt the warmth of the golden sun on her face. She needed this.
This morning had been a busy one, with four hundred and seventeen emails landing in her inbox, most marked urgent and needing immediate action. As she had waded through them, another fifty three had arrived.
The way Helen saw it, every department had their turn in the fire...
From the always excellent Laurie Penny writing in Wired:
It’s hardly surprising that so many of us are processing this immense, unknowable collective catastrophe by escaping into smaller, everyday emergencies. A crisis you create for yourself, after all, is a crisis you might be able to control. Frantic productivity is a fear response.
I recommend reading the whole article. It identified how I felt at the start of the crisis. I attempted to ignore the outside world and settle into big projects. I learnt to code, rebuilt and redesigned this whole website, wrote...