Get a cuppa and a cookie (or two). Have a read of some of my work…Some of it is free 🙂
As Linda Was Buying the Tulips – Unthology 9
My mother twitched with sex. It’s the only way to describe it. She’d drift by a man and he would itch, crackle with static. Women feigned oblivion. No one stops to think about that, what that must be like. For your only closeness to be of the body. Her career, friends; they were all a result of her external self. Or so she’d tell me the nights I waited for her step, finished with homework. Her fingers would comb through my hair, nails creating shivers on my scalp. Merlot stained the commas of dry skin on her bottom lip as she closed her eyes and murmured to Joni Mitchell. The hiss and warmth of vinyl like cashmere over the brute roar of the city, a scabbed roasting tin and strained mugs in our sink soaking up the afterglow of her night.
Burning the Ants – The End
She is brought in as though she's already dead, straight, delivered on a nice trolley. Sign here, please. Their father has apparently very important work up in Dundee. He has a lot of work in Dundee lately. They're opening a new branch, their mother says when they sometimes meet in the kitchen. Her fat cheeks are pitting. When the man has gone and Emma is all plugged in, the girl follows her mother into the kitchen. She’s making a whole worktop of tuna mayonnaise sandwiches just-in- case. Cut into triangles, their shapes echoed with kitchen towels folded over the same.
The girl wants to hug their paling mother, thin as a watercolour painting. If she does, she knows instinctively that their mother will either break, or that she will stand, straight until the girl lets go. Just bones and duty.
The Imaginary Husband – Unthology 8
There’s a certain time for an affair. It is when the world is looking the other way. When you feel you could hear brittle leaves twitch, scarab-like, over dormant concrete and convince yourself that no one will know. As the light turns up, you feel the stirrings of that clammy disappoint in yourself, as if you’ve come too soon. But you haven't even fucked. An affair will never work in the full light of day.
– This isn’t us, she says.
You watch her fingers flex, she turns one palm over as if checking tarot cards.
You mirror each other on the bed, knees up, a bubble of space between you like the ones in the alcohol in spirit levels. You remember when you were each other’s and this would have been okay. How this is staining that.
Extract from ‘Echo’ in Tarot, Spectral Visions
I will inhabit your shape, rehearse thoughts,
revisit places we walked, practice your
voice in all its gravity
let it echo in the well of my chest
swell with the taste of your sound
in my throat
We did not hear the ticking, puzzling
over linguistic invasions: ‘Why packs
of chips, not packets of crisps, sis?’
And I nod and I log it, just thinking, because
You talk; I listen.
Killing Daniel – Unthank Books
This time Fleur imagines it like this.
He bursts out of brown water. Sucks air. The tension in the
teenager’s face relaxes; oxygen, life, momentary relief. He is not going to die, not this second at least. But he’s forced under again. A boot – or is it a trainer? – on his chest stakes the teenager underwater. His hands slap against the boot, scrabbling at the leather and the bare leg from above it.Bubbles fizz out the boy’s nostrils, jetting upwards, desperate for the surface. Eyes stinging, he sees a smudge of black on a calf hard as limestone. A tattoo.
4’33 magazine – http://www.fourthirtythree.com – ‘Semaphores’
Black and Yellow
In the gaps between my anger, it seeps. Sitting on a train, yellow platforms of our memories flashing between tunnels of black. Eyeballs straining from the brilliance of us, back there.
‘Look,’ a girl says, in a cartoon voice from the seat behind me, ‘You know it’s starting. You have to go to the hospital.’ I saw a young man reflected in the window, hands circling one another.
The bird was wedged sideways in Possum’s mouth. The cat’s fur was fluffy at the back like a tulle skirt. His green eyes blinked at Rachel through the French doors.
At first, she didn’t realise it was still alive.
‘I want to take you home and fuck the shit out of you.’
He raises his eyebrows.
She bites her lip, eyes wide. She catches his fingers – they’re sweaty – and yanks him close. She laughs.
‘Lace.’ He kisses her neck. ‘Missed you.’
I find her in the snow, my little girl. Her limbs are stiff and straight, the pretty pinkness about her feet that I love still making a faint blush of rose in the white. As the neighbour’s children pat-pat-patted a snow Buddha, serenely erecting a portly monolith on the area that was once the road, I scoop out the white in my garden, and try to dig a place for her in the earth. But it is too hard. The trowel bit the ground. She is so frozen that I am afraid I will break her.
I wasn’t in Fukushima when the nuclear disaster struck, or the tsunami belched through Honshu. I was, I calculated later, after receiving the photograph, fucking some girl an ocean away. I’d obsessed over her since the start of the first year. The one with the bright lips and fingertips. My girlfriend was in what’s now known as the exclusion zone.