Forza Zine is a beautiful and thoughtful publication, put together by my very good friend Rory Porter in Glasgow. The first issue is a collection of words and pictures centred around the themes of home, place, space and exile. I am pleased to have one of my poems, Times and Places i included in it and illustrated by the wonderful Liepa Kuraite.
Times and Places
How odd that you wake
up with the man you love
in a friend’s flat, but
because of your dreams
different and then
once he’s gone their
flat is sad and cold? and
you feel sad for them and
the way their toilet is discoloured.
Then, you think you’re
walking to Brixton but
you end up in Clapham, which
is just as grim
from your childhood and
you think you’ll
never get to Brixton
but then things
become comforting, and old and
to do with trains.
This day could be happening at any time from 1990 to
now, anywhere between Birkenhead and
here and it’s been 17 years to the day that
your brother was born
And you soothe
yourself that that wasn’t so long ago,
As if you could get back there,
as if you’d want to.
These two poems were published in SHELF HEROES‘ A and B zines about films, they’re inspired by The Aristocats and Bambi.
Well, we almost
had a father butinstead we havethis father figurefather away, butstill here andteaching us, sowe don’t have toknow he’s just forher, our mother,beautiful andunsuspecting orunsuspecting enough to attract aphilanderer thatus kittens wantto love.Bambi Realises That His Mum Has DiedIt’s not so much the shot that does it,but when you turn around and see thatyou might have been running alone for a long time.and when my moth-urrrrr fast forwards over death she omitsthis stagthat comes down from the mountain to declarethat all moth-urrss are transitoryand, just this once,to call me son.
Hey! My short story The New Job is in Not So Popular’s latest zine Objects.
Also in there are some great poems by Jo Hauge, who is one of my faves.
The New Job
We were just there because it was a busy time for the place, and the others had gone away, for a bit. They didn’t like me because of my habit of putting whatever I could get my hands on, in my mouth. This included things like staplers, the tickets and once the tanned, American hand of the C.E.O. Everyone laughed at me about this last incident especially.
The bosses said that if I carried on doing this they might have to let me go. I had let them down; I had lowered things. I wasn’t particularly worried about this, as I didn’t believe them for a number of reasons. I knew that they only needed us new people temporarily and that they’d hired just enough of us for the company to survive, with no-one left over. Still, it was a shame. I didn’t have many friends at work anyway because of my loud feminist critique and the way I rolled my own cigarettes. Hand to mouth.
I was paid every month for three months. In the third week of the first month I came on my period. I had to decide whether to buy tampons or breakfast for the next week.
When I was crying in the kitchen you came in and looked at me.
“Why have you got those tissues in your mouth?’
Now, I was embarrassed about everything. I tried to hug you, but you wouldn’t let me because, really, you know what I’m like.
About six months ago, my friend Louise Evans and I decided to “do a book”. She sent me five pictures, which I responded to with a poem, and I sent her the same amount of poems, which she illustrated. We called the end result Exchange.
We’ve printing them, binding them by hand, and having a super cool launch party at The Feminist Library on 13th September, as part of their Salon series.
They’ll be copies of Exchange to buy, and readings from me, Johanne Haugue, and Tracy Mathewson. Tracy will also be playing some accordion music, and they’ll be refreshments, and the library’s amazing book shop will have a stall.