Poem: Outcast

First published on Patreon on 2nd July

I love this poem. I don’t know if it counts as my best work, but I love it. It’s very queer, because of course it is, and references Christianity, because of course it does. I love it because whilst it’s about love, about loving while queer, it’s not about romantic love. I love it because it’s about loneliness and loss and hope. I love it because it makes me a little uncomfortable.

My heart has slowed
Well
Stopped
Remembering to move muscle
Expand lungs
Shed skin
It’s a lot when my mind is fixed on
Xem
On the way xir breath is
Just a little too even
And xie blinks every
8.2
No
8.3 seconds
On the way xie
Stands out
Blends in
Pink painted lips and
Biker boots and
Poppy red sequins
Xir hair is grey
A perfectly imperfect buzzcut
It smells like cheap shampoo
And almond oil
So unlike Mae’s
Impossibly black
Rose scented
Corkscrew curls

It works in a city like this
It works to remind me of home
Where the winds peel you a new skin
In red or gold or copper
Where the sky is
The grey-black of wet concrete
Where rain falls but once a year
And persimmons come thick in wintertime
We knew a hundred words for dry
A thousand for hot

I start breathing again
Light and slightly asymmetric
Each exhale around
0.6 seconds different
To the last
The devil is in the details
So to speak
Xie hasn’t learned the details
I want to teach xem the details
To learn how xie was born
And died
And cast out
And born
To tell xem how they clipped my wings
Crammed my soul into a
Wattle and daub shell
And expected me to survive the cold

It has been an age since the last
Since the Trials
Since the hunt and the
Fear and the
Freezing water
Since those of us with
Perfect dark eyes
And blink quick steps
And smiles fit to steal a soul
Mae was confident
Careless
Taught me how to survive on more
Than the memory of
Basalt and sulphur
Refused to learn
How to dream of fire
Without smelling like smoke

I make myself known
In the way that we know
I hope we’re a we
I am seldom wrong about kith
But it has been so long
Xie sees me
And turns to look
Not bothering to smile
The air shimmers around xem
Tastes like acid rain and black ash
We are a we
I’m sure of it
Xir dark
Wide
Unremarkable face
Is shuttered closed
Displaying nothing
But I am older
I can see xir
Heartbeat stutter to nothing
Smell the salt spray
Suspicion and hope
And I breathe a smile
Xie is careful
Fearful
So might just survive
Live long enough that we can become
Kin
Or something like it
Xie is silent
And still
Like I am still

I hold out my hand
“Hi,
I go by Chi these days,
How long since you were left?”

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Mercury with MoonPark Review

In the middle of last year I submitted a prose-poem to MoonPark Review. It was rejected. After picking myself up and dusting off my bruised ego, I noted that my rejection included an offer to submit again in future. So I logged that away and knew that when I had a better piece of short prose I would submit.

Then, late last year I wrote a story/poem/monologue called Mercury. I took it to a workshop where it was torn apart by the facilitator. After once again picking myself up and dusting off my bruised ego, I used the critique I got to almost completely rewrite it.

I submitted the new and improved Mercury.

It was accepted for their summer issue.

I highly recommend going back through prior issues too. There’s some good stuff there.

Thank you Mary Lynn and Lesley for giving me the encouragement I needed to submit a second time and for publishing this piece.

Find Mercury Here

 

First posted on YouTube 21st May 2018
I seldom write horror, but I really enjoy is when I do. When You Find Her is a warning not to trust everyone who claims to know you. Understanding is not the same as friendship.
And recording it is an excuse to break out some blue lipstick and go a lil goth.
Also available as a booklet on Etsy
£2+ patrons over on Patreon have gotten access 2 weeks before everyone else

Performance Poem: When You Find Her

Lipstick Stains with Djed Press

Sometimes you forget to read the submission guidelines properly. That will almost always result in that poem you so lovingly crafted being immediately deleted because editors simply don’t have that kind of time. But. once in a blue moon it can work in your favour.

Djed Press is an online magazine publishing creative work by PoC in Australia. I didn’t notice the “Australia” bit when I was submitting so I crafted my bio and cover letter, selected my pieces and sent them off.

Thankfully, their editor Hella was not only patient enough to read my pieces, but kind enough to publish me.

You can find Lipstick Stains here.