The Body Issue
Issue 18 1
Dear Readers, We are thrilled to introduce Alliterati Issue 18 just in time for Christmas. For this edition we asked all of our contributors to consider the theme of ‘bodies’, and once again, they haven’t let us down. Over the last few months, we have received some of our most varied and compelling work to date from a number of writers and artists living around the world – as well as in the local Tyne and Wear area. We hope you are as impressed with the level of talent on display as we are. In fact, we’re sure you will be. Once again the Alliterati team has shifted in recent months, with our chief editor Bethany Herbertson moving on to pastures new, not to mention our longterm art editor and general lay-up whiz James Ricketts. There are others who I must leave out, but please know their efforts are still greatly appreciated. Despite our modest numbers this time around, we feel we’ve embraced the extra work the magazine has demanded of us, and we’re ready to expand the team again in the new year. We can’t tell you how much we’ve enjoyed putting this edition together. Most of all we hope we’ve done the fantastic work our contributors have sent in justice.
‘The body’ is a slippery theme which could have been difficult to pin down, but thankfully our writers and artists had no such trouble, and posted some truly fascinating work for our consideration. The number of submissions was unusually high, so anyone published in here should be very proud indeed. With regards to literature, the work of Anne Goodwin and Robert Ford is particularly impressive. Goodwin’s rendering of the modern anxieties we encounter each time we leave the front door – as well as those which creep inside the threshold after us – coupled with her experimental writing style, are a joy to behold, and provide endless food for thought. At the same time Robert Ford’s preoccupation with the everyday finds romance in bus stops, and expertly treads a line between surly and optimistic. Phoebe McElhatton’s photo series, in which she uses found objects in order to reproduce private body parts is much more than novelty. It combines the erotic with something strangely anatomical, and each study is as attention-grabbing as it is amusing. There is also art work present from our editors Anna Skulczuk and Hazel Soper, who are as talented as they are industrious. Before I close – you’re probably ready to get on with perusing Issue 18 – I’d like to offer one final thank you for the continued support of our readers, and importantly, the writers and artists who just missed out this time. We hope you’re ready to try again in the new year. Best wishes, Adam Thompson
Table of Contents 6. Lydia London – Étrangère 7. E.M. Killaley – When I Was Eighteen 8. Jasmine Plumpton – Mind vs. Body 9. Antonia Cundy – Cicatrix 10. Anne Goodwin – How Can They Do That? 12. Shanna Beale – His Kiss 13. Molly Bythell – Untitled 14. Phoebe McElhatton – Peach Fuzz 16. Anne Goodwin – Rebekah’s Foreskin 20. Tolga Sedat – Untitled 22. Hazel Soper – Untitled 23. Robert Ford – D.N.A. 24. Adam Butler – Alchemy 27. Anna Skulczuk – Untitled 28. Chris Stewart – Flesh Vest 29. Heather Reid and Sarah Grundy – Untitled 30. Anne Goodwin – After Icarus 33. Ziad Nagy – All I See Is Me 34. Sofija Sutton – Belly Balls 37. Heather Reid and Sarah Grundy – Untitled 38. Susan P. Blevins – Distant Images
40. Yarli Allison Lam – It Says There Is A Dead Body 41. Robert Ford – Temple 42. Lydia London – Étrangère 43. Susan P. Blevins – Lacrimosa 44. WM Lewis – Celebrity Dream No.6 (Antonio Banderas’ Erotic Apocalypse) 45. Yarli Allison Lam – Exposure Practice 46. Antonia Cundy – Mrs Flood 47. Tolga Sedat – Untitled 48. Andras Nagy-Sandor – Untitled 49. Keith Moul – Rain On A Grave 52. Pia Taavila – Rx: Mother and Children 51. Chris Stewart – Ars Moriendi 52. Phoebe McElhatton – Peach Fuzz 54. Molly Bythell – Untitled 55. WM Lewis – Two Negresses 56. Keith Moul – Each And Every Boogie 57. Yarli Allison Lam – It Says There Is A Dead Body 58. Pia Taavila – Borsheim – Prospectus 60. Biographies
Étrangère - Photomontage 6
E.M. Killaley When I Was Eighteen he blocked the door and said, “I’m going to be stupid again tomorrow.” he knew his lust wouldn’t last the night. and I lay back on the bed, my body and his, linked by lack. when I left the next morning he protested saying, “I’m afraid if you’re gone I might miss you.” and I left before the rest of the house woke. I drew blood when I got home, my toothbrush a scalpel. I should have flossed; the memory of him was far more buried.
Mind vs. Body
I first became aware that Eliza was able to show signs of wear and tear when I was ten. She fell off the monkey-bars, and grazed her knee. When Mrs Frank put the plaster on, Eliza winced. Her nose screwed up. She looked like the squirrel that sits in the old oak tree at the end of the playground. A week later, after Geography on Tuesday, Eliza showed me her knee. All evidence of monkey-bars and squirrels had gone. I knew then that Eliza was just like me. So I invited her to join my climbing club – we met on Wednesdays after school. She nodded politely, which I took to mean a yes. Over the years of climbing club, we climbed hundreds of trees, maybe even thousands. I scraped my knees and hands so many times I thought the magic would surely run out sometime, but it never did. Eliza’s didn’t either. Like lizards with new tails we attacked each new summit with fresh palms - tiny creases already forming in our shiny new skin. We knew we were magic. Our socks and shoes, and shorts and shirts, never recovered from the wear. Their tears never healed. But ours did. The second time I became aware that Eliza was able to show signs of wear and tear was when the magic ran out. She lay, draped in heavy blankets, on the sofa that ran alongside our drawing room window, looking down onto the birch tree’s canopy of catkins that shadow our front path. The blankets that covered her were coniferous green in colour – I’d bought them to try and take her back to the trees, to bring the magic back. But it did not return. Eliza wilted; the years of climbing long ago appeared as a fantastical tale as I watched her winter season approach. She lifted her willowy face towards me. ‘Look, Johnny.’ ‘What, dear?’ ‘My knee.’ I pulled the heavy tendrils of the blankets back, exposing her knotched and knobbled knees. A shallow graze lay stinging on the surface. I reached for the medicine box, and took out a plaster.
Anne Goodwin How can they do that? How can they do that? Walk straight past as if he’s a discarded burger carton that offends their eyes. Not their responsibility; let some minion sweep up the mess. The waitress brings the menu. I take it with a smile. Costs nothing, a smile. My feet tingle as I ease off my sling-backs. I notice he’s wearing cheap black work-boots with no laces. Nothing wrong with my distance vision then. It’s a bit too sharp sometimes. Perhaps I should’ve chosen a table away from the window. I hold the menu at arm’s length. I’m forever leaving my reading glasses at work. No problem: I’ve got most of it from memory. The salads here are legendary, totally unrelated to the gobbets of iceberg and forlorn love-apples they serve next-door. But this afternoon I fancy the tuna melt. It’s breaking my diet, but after the day I’ve had, I deserve it. And it comes with a salad garnish so I get the best of both worlds. Outside, a man with a briefcase stumbles over the discarded burger carton’s legs. Curls his lip as if he’s trodden on a turd. A young woman with a fractious toddler installs herself at the last vacant table. Now there’s no avoiding the parade of selfishness out there. To anyone watching, it might have looked as if I’d crossed the road to get away from him. They wouldn’t know about my aching feet, the allure of beetroot leaves and lamb’s lettuce drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The magnetic pull of toasted ciabatta with tuna and melted cheese. It was a mistake to come shopping in these shoes, but I couldn’t have managed this morning’s meeting in anything else. They inspire confidence, a good pair of shoes, even hidden from view under an oak table strewn with position papers. The waitress sidles up with her notebook. I pull in my stomach and order the tuna melt and a latte. My gaze drifts back to the high street. How many people have snubbed him while I’ve been musing over the menu? When I’m finished I’ll go right out and put a pound coin in his box. No, I’ll give him all the change left in my purse after I’ve dealt with the bill. And the tip, of course. I stifle a yawn. The young mother doesn’t try to disguise hers. I doubt I slept any better than she did, fretting over my presentation to the board. I’d have preferred to spend my free afternoon at the gym. Relaxing in the jacuzzi to recharge myself after this morning’s trials. But the department stores were calling. If we are to have a new sofa by Christmas, I had to start looking today. At last! Someone’s taken notice. An old dear in a charity-shop coat stoops down and drops a coin in his box. Looks as if she needs it as much as he does. I could’ve gone to the gym if I weren’t such a perfectionist. Trevor calls it obsessive, the way I have to test-drive every sofa in town before I’ll make up my mind. I can’t drag him away from the old sofa to join the search until I’ve drawn up my shortlist. That’s why I had to start today. My stomach gurgles as the waitress sets down my mug and plate.
They say it can make the problem worse to give directly. There’s the risk they’ll squander it on drugs. I bite into my tuna melt. I could bring him in here. Feed him up. Why not? My heart starts speeding like it did this morning before my presentation. Cheese warmed to oil drizzles from my mouth. I wipe my chin with the edge of an Oxford-blue napkin. Must take care not to embarrass him. Serious salads and designer sandwiches might not be his thing. And what if the staff refused to serve him? People can be cruel. Better get him a ham roll take-out from next-door. I’m wolfing down my sandwich as if I haven’t eaten all day. Too nervous for breakfast; no wonder I was flagging in John Lewis’s furniture department. Would he resent my offering food when it’s money he’s asking for? I couldn’t bear to be sworn at. When you give to charity, the money goes where it’s most needed. But I don’t know any homeless charities. Not local ones. I might have seen a drop-in centre advertised outside a church somewhere, but I didn’t take much notice. I’m not the church-going type. Ooh, it’s marvellous to liberate my feet from those shoes. Sometimes you don’t realise how tired you are until you stop. Does it matter which charity you support? As long as you give. Something. Sometime. Another four shops and I’ll have my shortlist. Visitors this weekend, and Trevor’s birthday trip to New York the weekend after, so the weekend after that is when we’ll decide. I scrabble in my handbag for my diary. I count the weeks to ensure there’s still time for a Christmas delivery. Dabbing at the crumbs of ciabatta on my plate, it occurs to me that I’ve already given to charity this month. One of the young accountants is going to walk the Great Wall of China. Sponsored him five pounds. Can’t remember what it was in aid of. The waitress squeezes past on her way back to the kitchen. Her eyes swoop to my empty plate. “Was everything all right?” “Delicious.” I shuffle my chair away from the window. Smile at the young mother feeding her toddler pink ice cream. Trevor says I put too much pressure on myself. Life’s so hectic; our treats turn into necessities. I call after the waitress. “Could you bring me another latte, please. And a slice of chocolate cake. With cream.”
Shanna Beale His Kiss His kiss took me away from myself so I jumped bodily into his mouth in a fit of barely restrained passion; I wanted him so I couldnâ€™t think, but I wanted me too, at a time when I thought I needed to be closer, further inside myself his trailing hand sent shivers down my spine as though a ghost kissing my tombstone; I wanted him so bad, I gave him one hand, kept the other to myself but somehow I got all turned about thinking I gave him my power when the truthâ€” I was only spinning in confused circles.
Peach Fuzz series
Anne Goodwin Rebekah’s Foreskin “Mummy mummy mummy, look what I can do, mummy!” I turn, splashing bubbles onto the bath mat, my features ready-composed to express wonder at my three-year-old’s latest accomplishment. Dressed in nothing but his Mickey Mouse socks, his grin accentuated by a smear of ketchup Reuben makes a stage of the doorframe to perform acrobatics with his infant penis. Taking it between finger and thumb, he twists it round and round like a corkscrew. He holds it in position and awaits my applause. My golden-haired boy looks at me and waits. Some Victorian prude seems to have taken command of my face and he sees, once again, that mummy isn’t pleased. He lets go of his penis as if it were dog poo and rubs his hand against his thigh. I shake my head, willing my features into a more accepting expression and hold out my arms. “Come on, then. Let’s get you in the bath.” I don’t want him growing up with a complex. From the beginning, I’d assumed Dave was Jewish in the way that I was Church of England: religion a mere label for parents to bestow on their children before they were old enough to protest. Later, it came to represent order and security when ticking the boxes on official forms. Dave didn’t wear a skullcap or plead exemption from Saturday trips to the supermarket. I’d assumed he managed his religion like I managed my curly hair and myopia. A part of my persona that was beyond argument. An integral part, a part that might require certain adjustments – like hair straighteners and glasses or contact lenses – but beyond that, easily forgotten. Relative to questions of party politics, credit-card usage and putting the lid back on the toothpaste, I’d assumed that the boxes we ticked under religion would have little impact on our relationship. When we visited his parents in Hendon the part of Dave that linked him to his tick-box was more apparent. Yet this didn’t seem qualitatively different from his wondering if my family had shares in Specsavers. But better. Loads better. While my parents would welcome in the weekend slumped in front of the television with a takeaway, Rebekah, Dave’s mother, would set silver candlesticks on the dining table alongside the braided challah bread. Simon, his father, would pour sweet wine and bless us all with incantations of a six thousand-year-old pedigree. If marrying Dave meant more of this, I wasn’t grumbling. I’d studied anthropology and was aware of the social function of ritual. On that basis, Dave’s tick-box trumped mine. While his puberty had been broadcast with a bar mitzvah, mine had earned me a share of the bathroom shelf to stow away my tampons.
I’d assumed we could treat our backgrounds like a pick-and-mix: selecting the best from each and making up the rest. So there was no conflict between church and synagogue messing up our wedding plans. I walked down the aisle in a smart hotel and posed for photos in the grounds while the staff worked to convert the wedding chapel into a banqueting hall. Our parents joked about the countdown to their first grandchild in a quiet, understated manner. Both sides too busy with their own lives to want to take over ours. We were nervous when we went for the scan. At that stage, it was hard to believe our baby was real. Unlike many of our friends, who seemed to be trying for years, I’d conceived easily. Too easily, I sometimes felt. Were we ready to become parents? “So is it a boy or girl?” Dave asked, once we’d been assured all the vital organs were in place. I’d assumed, like me, he’d have no preference either way. But it would be a help to know. The thing growing inside me would feel more like a human being if it became a he or a she. When the technician pointed out the little squiggle between the baby’s legs, it struck me that some of the assumptions I’d made about Dave had been wrong. Still, he made a show of hiding his disappointment. Afterwards, he drove me back to work. He parked outside and switched off the engine. “You know my mother will want him circumcised?” “Don’t be daft,” I laughed, dashing off to show my colleagues the blurred polaroid of the creature that was to become our son. Once we knew that we needed to consult the blue book rather than the pink, I was ready to discuss what we were going to call our baby. “How about Isaiah? Jacob? Or Reuben?” Those Old Testament names had been fashionable for some years, and I liked the idea of keeping a link with his Jewish heritage. Dave felt there was a matter more urgent than the baby’s name. “What about getting him circumcised?” He’d just cooked dinner: spinach ravioli in tomato sauce. He had a glass of merlot. I had soda and lime. “You don’t really want to, do you?” “It’s what Jews do.” “Do we have to think about it right now? Can’t we wait till he’s born?” “We need to decide in advance. It’s supposed to be done on the eighth day.” I felt the foetus wriggle in my belly. “So young.” “My mother keeps asking.” “What’s it got to do with Rebekah?” Dave’s fork clattered onto the table, splattering the beechwood laminate with pasta sauce. “She’s going to be his grandmother.” “We’re his parents.” Dave drained his glass. Poured himself another. “Family means something in our culture.” I looked longingly at the wine bottle as I sipped my soda and lime. “You never used to have a culture.” “Now you’re talking rubbish.” “If it’s so important to you--” “Of course it’s bloody important.” We finished our meal in silence. 17
I drew his penis into my mouth, stroked the tip with my tongue the way he liked. It would be stupid to say I’d never noticed Dave was circumcised. Like saying he’d never noticed the way my hair sprang into curls in the rain. But sex was different with every partner. And the same. The presence or absence of a foreskin was just one of a range of factors contributing to the experience. And I’d never approached my love-life with a checklist. Perhaps my husband thought I should. Afterwards, we held hands as we lay, half dozing. “You want him to look like you, is that it?” “Never had any complaints about my penis.” “But surgery at eight days old!” “I wouldn’t call it surgery.” “What then?” “I don’t know. Tradition, maybe. I wish I could make you understand.” I squeezed his hand. “I suppose we could find out a bit more about it.” “I’ll ask my mother.” Rebekah phoned. “We’ve not seen you for a while. Why not come over for Shabbat?” “We’d love to but we’ve got so much on. Got to start clearing out the spare room for the nursery.” “Dave tells me you’re going to get the baby circumcised. I can’t tell you how pleased I am. Simon, too. It’s so important for a boy to know where he comes from.” “Well, yes, but--” “You’re not going to change your mind again, surely?” Her tone embraced a lifetime of Jewish-mother jokes and nothing of the easy-going woman who came to our wedding. “I thought you respected our culture. You know, when Dave said he was marrying out” I stroked my belly. “It’s the process. I still don’t know enough about it.” “It’s quite natural. Everyone has it done. Nothing to worry about.” “But what if we didn’t? You wouldn’t mind too much, would you?” A long silence, oozing with self-righteousness. “Rebekah?” A stifled sob. “Let’s not think about that right now.” “Dave said they don’t use anaesthetic.” “Of course not. Far too risky at that age.” “Won’t it hurt him?” My voice came out so small I had to repeat myself. “Will it?” Rebekah laughed. “Is that what you’ve been making such a fuss about? It’s just a little snip. Do you think I’d have had my boys circumcised if it was going to hurt? He won’t feel a thing.” I blushed to think I was discussing my husband’s penis with his mother. How could she know? Even fish caught on the line feel pain. “You’re sure?” “Trust me.” There’s no excuse these days for not knowing. I googled circumcision, and there it was. Guidance on postoperative care for men and boys undergoing treatment for a tight foreskin, and international campaigns against female genital mutilation.
Adverts for clinics competing on price, and manifestoes from so-called survivors seeking retribution. My eyes stung. I could’ve refined my search, but I was reaching the stage of pregnancy where my back ached if I sat too long at the computer, and the juxtaposition of genitals with surgery made me queasy. And there was a skirting board in the nursery calling out to be painted. It still wasn’t painted when I went into labour. Thirty-six hours of pain and confusion. At first, I was afraid the baby would die. Later, I was afraid I would. In the end, I prayed for us both to die. Thank God – or the hospital staff – that we didn’t. My parents and Dave’s parents came to the hospital to hold him and to smell him and to kiss and admire him, while I lay back on the pillows, exhausted. On the eighth day, we strapped Reuben into his car seat and drove to the synagogue. They seemed to think it strange it was just three of us. With Reuben in his arms, Dave followed the mohel into the room. I stayed outside curled up against the sound of my son’s wailing. Then we got back in the car and drove home. For a couple of weeks, until the wound was healed, I couldn’t bear to look at his penis. Dave was the one who had to bath him and change his nappy. I said it would help him bond with the baby. It looks fine now, of course, and there’s no evidence of any ill effects. He’s a normal healthy little boy who enjoys doing gymnastics with his penis. Playing with his plastic boats in a bubble bath with his mother looking on. While I’m patting him dry, I hear the phone ring. Reuben wriggles on my lap. “Phone, mummy.” “Daddy’s downstairs. He’ll see to it.” Later, when Reuben’s gone to sleep and Dave’s dishing up the risotto, I ask who had called. “My mother. She wants us to come over this Friday.” “I presume you told her we can’t?” “We haven’t been for weeks. They’ll think we’re avoiding them.” “Didn’t you check the calendar? Reuben’s been invited to a party.” Dave carries the plates to the table. “Another one! He’s got more of a social life than we have. Couldn’t he give it a miss?” “No he couldn’t. An only child needs to snap up every opportunity to socialise with other kids.” Dave shrugs. “Have it your own way.” I will, from now on. They say you don’t become a grown-up until you’re a parent. A mother. I used to think I’d earn that title by pushing my baby out into the world, but that’s only the beginning. A mother has to prove herself in how she cares for her baby, how she shields him from harm. She has to fight for this every day of his life, protecting him even from the harm no-one else can see.
Untitled Series - photography
Untitled - Video Stills
Now that I know the blank moonscape Of your face, with its dark side, its sea of tranquillity, Now I’ve lived through all its weather, Moods and phases, I can’t help seeing you And your D.N.A., scribbled like human graffiti Everywhere in this town. I can’t escape it. When I see those girls with the distracted frowns Composing their sonnets at the bus stop, Punishing the keys of mobile phones, there you are. The couple spilling insults at the corner table Stab the noxious air between them with your fingers. And it must be your swaying, ponderous gait The old men adopt on exiting the womb of the Black Bull To begin their complex negotiations with the darkness.
You are; forty-nine kilograms of oxygen, fourteen-point-five kilograms of carbon, seven-point-two kilograms of hydrogen, two-point-four kilograms of nitrogen, one-point-one kilograms of calcium, seven-hundred grams of phosphorus, six-hundred grams of potassium and sulfur, six-hundred grams of sodium, chlorine and magnesium, forty milligrams of Propranolol seven-point-five milligrams of Zopiclone and, occasionally, five milligrams of Diazepam, just to help you through the worst days. We’re thinking you’ve got Avoidant Personality Disorder. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy would be best; once a week, for one hour, after you’ve gone down the waiting list, which we predict will be, roughly, six-to-eight weeks. You won’t sleep for days on end. You’ll grind your jaw and erode enamel. A body without a clock will fall into disuse; no internal time-keeping to tell you when you last ate something. Muscles will atrophy. Fat reserves will wither and wilt. Everyday tasks become harder; you’ve weaker than you’ve ever been, half-startled from anxiety, half-awake from insomnia. You’ll become a living horror show; a shambling, groaning skeleton, upholstered in loose and pallid flesh. No, you can’t have another prescription of Zopiclone. It can be addictive. You’ll need to wait another month. The Propranolol isn’t working; we’ll phase it out and replace it with Citalopram.
I’m afraid I don’t know where you are on the waiting list. I’m sorry, that’s a different department to us. I’m sorry, we’ve had a change of staff. The waiting times have been affected, you’re currently... nineteenth on the list, it’ll be another six-to-eight weeks. We apologise for the inconvenience. Okay, maybe it isn’t Avoidant Personality Disorder. Perhaps, Emotional Dyregulation. Maybe, a chemical imbalance in the frontal cortices of the brain. Imagine - if you will - that your entire personality is resultant of a physical, neural defectiveness. That isn’t a diagnosis, I’m not a behavioural therapist, you’ll have to talk this over with them... ... sorry, no, I can’t interfere with their waiting lists. Why are you crying? Would you like any prescription of Zopiclone? Well, if the Citalopram isn’t working we can phase it out and replace it with Mirtazapine. You’ll take up painting but be too afraid to show anybody. You’ll try to exercise but be too weak, too tired to follow through. You’ll try to write something but you haven’t slept in sixty-four hours and the words just won’t come. I’m sorry, we’ve had a clerical setback. That doctor has left. We’re trying to recruit another. Have you heard of MoodGYM? It’s a self-help website with automated therapy-based questionnaires.
We hope to see you by the end of next month? The Zopiclone will probably be safe for another month. Why not try some more Diazepam? The Mirtazapine may be helping your anxiety but it isn’t doing anything to help you sleep. I think it would be best to gradually take you off that and put you on Venlafaxine. I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed: this isn’t your first session of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this is simply an informal assessment, just to be sure that this route is preferable to counselling. It is. You’ll hear from us within a fortnight. In the meantime, I’d suggest that you look into Exposure Therapy. It’s something you can do by yourself. We’ll be sending you a questionnaire for you to complete and bring to your first session. You are; thirty-three kilograms of oxygen, nine-point-four kilograms of carbon, four-point-eight kilograms of hydrogen, one-point-six kilograms of nitrogen, seven-hundred and sixty-five grams of calcium, five-hundred and ten grams of phosphorus, three-hundred and fifty grams of potassium and sulfur, three-hundred and fifty grams of sodium, chlorine and magnesium, seventy-five milligrams of Venlafaxine seven-point-five milligrams of Zopiclone and, each morning, ten milligrams of Diazepam, to see you through the day.
Chris Stewart Flesh Vest
My grandfather showed me his naked back and asked me to point out which cancer growth was the most advanced. Then he taught me the concept of ghost hands. “Tell me which direction to go, how far north, and west, and south, and east.” I guided his hands to the east side of his spine, his small, coiffured arse crack peeping above his brylcreemed trousers, and he applied the lotion in the wrong place. Hastily I gave him new direction until, either maddened with himself for his poor coordination, or me for my direction, he smeared his palm over the circle of voracious flesh until it bled. I wanted to shout stop, but this body was his; each square inch, each pink scar a testimony. I had ghost hands he pushed away.
So I take the flesh vest from off the nail nailed into the bare woodchip paper wall, and carry it bodily to his kitchen sink. There, I lather it, steep the worn material, and wring out the tired fabric. And return. My grandfather - as usual has his back turned to me. He’s peeping out through the Venetian blinds, towards and beyond the netless goal posts of Whale Hill. Towards and beyond those pylons crocheting the horizon. Towards that place he was tailored. I hang the flesh vest back up where he left it. On the wall for all to see so ostensibly.
Heather Reid and Sarah Grundy
Untitled - Performance
Anne Goodwin After Icarus He cruises through the troposphere, parting the clouds with his arms like a swimmer. Effortless: his body as light as a bride’s veil. He could go on like this for ever. Not going anywhere in particular. Just going. Far below, the regular people are fussing about their homes and jobs and families, erecting the petty obstacles they need to make their world go round. Here in the realm of the birds, whose chatter is only of the latest workout for wings and the juiciness of slugs, is where he truly belongs. On the first Tuesday of the month, I call in at the surgery for my prescription. Today there is a new lady on the reception. Her frizzy hair is the colour of a robin’s breast. She looks at my form and says, You can’t have your prescription until you’ve seen the doctor for a medication review. So I go, Okay, and take a seat in the waiting area among the out-of-date magazines. And she calls across, You can’t see him now. There are no more appointments left today. So I go, Okay, give me one for tomorrow. And she shakes her head and says, You can’t make an appointment at this time of day. You have to ring up between half-past eight and half-past nine in the morning. So I go, Thank you, miss, and head back home. Latching onto a thermal, he is carried through the blue, the air caressing his cheek like a lover. It’s all so easy for the few lucky enough to have discovered how arms can be made to function as wings. Over the houses of the regular people he goes. The obstructive people, the noyou-can’t-have-it people who, unlike him, will never experience the exhilaration of flight. If you want to know something about me: well, I’ve got two eyes, a nose and a mouth. I live in this city and my name is… No, let’s leave that for now, shall we? In the mornings, I always drink a cup of tea with a dash of milk and two sugars out of my RSPB mug before getting dressed. Then I have two slices of wholemeal toast with lemon marmalade and a second cup of tea. After breakfast this morning, I go out to the phone box to call the doctor’s. There aren’t so many public phones around these days, so it’s a bit of a walk. I’m sorry, says the receptionist, we can only do appointments between eight-thirty and nine-thirty. It’s after ten now. What am I going to do? I’ve run out of medication. I’m sorry, she says again. You’ll have to ring up again tomorrow morning. 30
Are you the new lady? The one with red hair? The old receptionist wouldn’t make things so difficult. Ring up tomorrow. She puts the phone down on me. He joins a swarm of swallows on their farewell tour of the Home Counties prior to moving south for the winter. He feels snug in the middle of the party as they fly over all their favourite haunts. Every so often one of them breaks away from the group and swoops down to perch momentarily on a selected rooftop. What’s going on? The swallows flanking him cock their heads and giggle. Didn’t you know? We’ve taken on the job of shitting on the homes of all the red-haired receptionists in the world. I’m having trouble sleeping at night. Strange noises are coming from next door, as if the neighbours are building a machine to send microwaves through the wall. I don’t feel safe enough to sleep until it gets light and then I don’t wake up again until nearly noon. When it’s too late to go out to phone the GP’s surgery. After breakfast – or maybe I should call it lunch – I collect my post from the doormat. There is only a leaflet from the supermarket advertising this month’s promotions. I take it to the dining table and study it carefully. There’s a special offer on aluminium foil. It must be a sign. I go straight out to the shop and buy ten rolls for the price of eight. I spend the next couple of days making my place safe. I roll out the foil and stick the sheets onto my bedroom walls like wallpaper. That should stop the microwaves coming through from next door. I’m so busy I don’t really notice the time, and maybe I forget to go to bed, I’m not sure. At some point someone, probably my neighbour, comes and calls through the letterbox, Stop that banging. Which is a bit much, given his behaviour, don’t you think?
Sparrowhawk, goshawk, honey buzzard, kestrel. Sea eagle, red kite, black-shouldered kite, osprey. Golden eagle, griffon vulture, bearded vulture, falcon. Toucan, pelican, Peter Pan, Superman. Can he fly? Corsican.
The noises from next door have multiplied. Banging and shouting at odd times in the night. In the daytime, a strange whirring sound, like machinery. People whispering, plotting. The foil gives me some protection, but for how long? Can it hold out until the birds come to rescue me? Perhaps I should make a fire in the garden to attract their attention. But it really isn’t safe to go outside. Best to stay indoors. There’s nobody that can be trusted. Not even you. At least I had the sense not to tell you where I live. I can’t get out to buy bread, so I make do with marmalade and crackers for breakfast. If they run out, I’m sure the birds will forgive me if I break into the nuts and seeds I’ve stored up for them for winter. 31
At night, I think I hear the birds coming. Come, say the sunbirds, we will take you to visit our mother Helios. He soars through the atmosphere, rising higher than he ever thought possible. Fireworks spangle into Technicolour just above his head. It’s beautiful, he says. I could stay here for ever. You must fly higher, say the sunbirds. Our mother is waiting. It gets warmer as he rises, cuddling his soul like his grandmother’s kitchen on baking day. Down there the earth is as dull as an old tennis ball. What can the people do to him now they are as tiny as fleas? To his right, a rocket bursts into stars, peppering his flying arm with flaming saltpeter. Ouch, he says. The sunbirds laugh. Wimp! High above, Helios sits on her throne, combing her golden hair. Come children, she calls. Swaddled by the heat, he can barely move his wings. He’s getting tired, mother, say the sunbirds. Fire infiltrates his body with every breath. Hot stings his eyes. He cannot go on. Helios lets down a braid of her hair. Catch hold, she says, and I will pull you up to our home. The golden rope swings before his eyes. Inebriated with heat, he reaches out, misses. Reaches out. Misses. Clumpo! Mongol! Idiot! Shhh, says the mother. You must show respect to our guest. Summoning his last atom of earthly cool, he fixes his gaze on his lifeline to the sun and reaches out once more. He catches it with his right, squeezes tight. He wrinkles his nose at the smell of smouldering flesh as he feels himself being pulled heavenwards. Hold tight, calls Helios. The pain shoots right up to his armpit. He gasps and lets go of the hair-rope and goes falling, tumbling, somersaulting, crashing. Down to earth. Never mind, Helios tells her children. He wouldn’t have been much of a playmate. There’s a policeman standing in my bedroom along with one of the doctors from the surgery. Sorry about your front door, he says. But we had to get in somehow. How did you know to come? I ask. How did you know about the microwaves? Your neighbours were concerned about the noise. And they thought they could smell fire. Let me see your hand. Did the birds say when they’d be coming? Not to me, says the doctor. But why don’t you come to the hospital? There are lots of birds around there. Grounded now, his arms ache with nostalgia. Down here among the regular people, his movements are clumsy, like an astronaut adapting to gravity all over again. But it doesn’t matter so much. This is nothing more than a resting point on his migration route to the sun. Be patient, the voices tell him, you will rise again. 32
All I See Is Me
Sofija Sutton Belly Balls Brownstone: The second story brownstone had three bedrooms. One of which had a thin window facing the street that let in orange light every night. This bedroom had university furnishings: a desk with a green padded chair, one thigh-high dresser, and one twin bed on plastic risers. The risers were not university issued. The taupe walls were bare save the gym schedule and a cut-out dancer from a ballet catalogue. The room was clean but the unmade bed dominated the room. Sheets, pillows and a down comforter swelled in tangles. Concealed in this landscape were a pair of pyjamas scented lightly of skin and coconut lotion. A muffled conversation from the kitchen wafted into the empty space. “You cannot let me eat anymore!” “Okay. Why? Hold on a sec, I’ll make some tea.” “The photographer is coming in two weeks. I want these love handles gone! I’ve planned it out. Tomorrow: coffee, gym and then lab. Meeting at 10:00. 12:30 ‘Pump and tone’, and two boiled eggs for lunch. For dinner: one cup of pasta with carrots. That’s it!” “Don’t overkill it though. My love handles have been driving me cra―” As the fixed heating kicked in, the radiator behind the bed rattled shifting a sleep sock so that it slid off the bed. Soon after, she entered carrying a mug, and with her free hand cracked open the window and lodged it open with a French grammar book. A crisp draft from outside mingled with the dry heat. Dust Setting: The sunlight passes through the glass into the bare room. Slanted parallelograms distort on the white brick wall and the unstained pine floor. Like the crook of an elbow, the floor wall joint collects light, paint creases, and cracks with dust and debris. Kicked pebbles and paper scraps accumulate. In the space between the walls, the sunbeams highlight floating dust particles: ruffled to swirl with placid air currents. Eventually each speck – light almond and reflected rainbows – drifts down. The collecting dust tints the wood grey as the sunlit cloud sparkles lazily in silent, human absence. Time passes and the floorboards warp with the gained weight of dust turning blue in the shadows of each twilight. Happy Eater: Our food’s here. “Alright Sandy, eat your burger now and save the root beer for later.” Across the booth her body bounces unevenly as she swings her legs. Her brow is furrowed concentrating on containing her burger in her tiny hands. How does she get so dirty?! Her pudgy cheeks are already smeared with ketchup. Extra napkins?... check. As I lean on my
elbow I run my hand over my face, tugging at the lines around my eyes. I’m tired... mMmm, my buffalo burger smells heavenly of FAT. As I take a bite, a cheese-covered jalapeno plops out the side. I squirt a mayo packet onto the tray for Sandy’s fries. Her mother is also teaching her the love of FAT. Just a treat. Nothing to feel bad about. Ah well. It’s nice after a long morning of errands... She’s been good today stuck in the truck ...Oh... there it is. She’s started humming her happy-little-eater song. Nonsensical notes bound up and down. “Hmm-mmhM-mmm. hmHm.” High – low – low. High – low – HIGH. She’s mushing her burger with sticky straight fingers so that the bun crumbles. I smile at her. Opp, she’s dripping. “Here honey, you’re getting ketchup in your hair.” “Oh no! Thanks Daddy. Do you like your burger?” “Yeah. Do you want some fries now?” “Yes! ...Hmm-mm-hmmm... Hmm-HMMM-MmHmm...” High – low – high – HIGH – low... Separation: Standing in worn underwear she looked down at her belly. She flopped a roll that was too real and substantive. Sighing listlessly, she looked up to the mirror and wished her FAT gone. Turning to sit on the edge of the bed, she grabbed her tweezers and started plucking the dark hairs of her happy trail inspecting each one for pulled roots. Raw, umber scars of past-ingrown hairs worsened her attempts at a smooth stomach. She poked herself with the tweezers, teasing the FAT as she deliberated which hairs to eradicate. Each tug twinged and brought feeble exhales of anxiety. She sank her fingers into her sides, manipulating and compressing her form. She picked and prodded until she was a ball of tender pink flesh. In this blotchy state she hunched over and gradually drove her left fist into her core. With her right hand she pulled the FAT, dragging the hip skin back while her left hand opened, took hold of, and stretched her stomach forward. The hands kneaded and played as her skin weakened. With both hands grasping the base of the FAT roll, she suddenly ripped. With a sucking sound, the entire stomach popped out and was lobbed into the air. Dropping directly at her feet, the flesh reformed itself into a lopsided ball. Roll On: The quivering ball stabilized and the jiggling subsided. She had cast out her FAT, her stretch marks, her three white appendix scars. Why? The belly looked back at the body. Waiting. Hadn’t I brought you joy? Hadn’t you held me gently? Hadn’t I made you strong and sing delicious memories? You cursed me, tore me from you and left me bodiless. Waiting. Am I still too real? Cocking her head: astonishment. Two blinks from her sunken face and skin shivers from the flesh ball then the pause changed. She looked down at a concave, hollow middle of exposed emptiness compressing into a dense darkness that went back and back,
and in and in... You, she, what I was before, looks at me now. She exhales tight air and her insides start to deflate pulling her torso down attempting to fill the void. â€“ puff! â€“ She abruptly bursts into pale blue ash. The ash clogs the air smelling thick of lavender and candle smoke. The sun-streaked mirror reflects the blue dust as it turns grey and settles into a human sized pile. With intensifying conviction, the ball begins to shiver, then to wiggle, then to wobble, and with its gathering momentum it starts to roll. Bouncing down the stairs and out the back screen door, the creature did not wish any part of itself non-existent.
Heather Reid and Sarah Grundy
Susan P. Blevins DISTANT IMAGES PRELUDE An early intimation of my lifelong love of freedom of the senses is visible in a photo-graph of me as a three year-old, lying on my belly next to my mother, breathless and smiling because I had just run round and round our garden in England, removing a piece of clothing each time I passed her until I was naked and free. Nothing has changed as I have aged, I still love to be naked. We do not change as we grow up, rather we become more of who we always were. In the timeless space beyond silence I glimpse images from the past, polished smooth by the wind and rain of time and memory. Musical terminology names these sensual moments.
REVERIE Sitting on the hot, black volcanic sands of the Spiaggia degli Inglesi, on the island of Stromboli, my lover and I sit in silence after a day of torrid heat and the buzz of others around us on this, the only nudist beach on the island. Now they are all gone, and alone we contemplate the sun as it sinks into the steely waters of the Mediterranean, stretching before us as a monochromatic exten-sion of the glassy black sand on which we rest our naked, glowing bodies. We share a bunch of succulent grapes, lifting high the cluster to see the fiery light refracted in the golden orbs, pulling each grape off the stem with bared teeth, feeling a Biblical mantle around us: timeless act, ancient fruit, the juice of life stealing down our chins and beyond, baptism into ancient rite, seculo seculorum.
APPASSIONATO Like Eve, I stand naked and alone beneath the large, contorted fig tree in my garden, and pluck the bursting fruit from its pregnant branches, ruby-red seeds spilling on my face and breasts, wrapping me in a veil of hedonistic delight as I greedily devour the honey-sweet fruit. It takes me to the Tigris and Euphrates, to ancient Sumeria, and Egypt. I have entered eternity. A mo-ment suspended in time, when past and present merge in the universe of my body. GIOCOSO Seated in a bathtub facing my lover, the fragrant, warm waters lapping our naked bodies, frosted champagne glasses filled, we tear apart the tender flesh of lobster with teeth and fingers, our bod-ies pink and glowing like the animal we eat. Its aphrodisiac quality begins to work its magic as we stare deep into each other’s eyes, imagining the hungry love-making to come, when we de-vour each other, an extension of this Sybaritic feast. AMOROSO Naked we lie on the rough grass beneath the olive trees, looking down from a promontory high above the Mediterranean. In the crisp, sugary moonlight, coins glint among the grass and wild flowers that were spilled from my lover’s pockets when we ripped each other’s clothes from willing bodies, intent only on fulfilling our carnal desires. With the voluptuous strains of Brahms drifting from our little stone house, we make passionate, wild love, placing chocolates between our lips before kissing deeply, licking it off our bodies as it melts and mingles with our sweat. Drunk on the euphoria of the moment, we tip back our heads to drain the bottle of champagne we brought with us and inhale sea and earth and passion.
It Says There Is A Dead Body
Yarli Allison Lam
Robert Ford Temple Her body is a temple, apparently. Well, good for her. Mine isn’t. Mine – if you must have a metaphor – is a bus station: Think Chorlton Street, Manchester, circa 1987, those sooty, Sinister fumes collecting in every dead-end airway and doorway; Puddles in potholes shimmer with spilt diesel that will neither evaporate Nor soak away, while the cancerous knees of sick concrete Creak under four storeys of ugly parked cars. In the gents’ toilets Of my brain, an unwashed old man with a four-pack of Skol, Sways dreamily as he chunters his mantra to the visiting passengers, Who piss nervously, before hurriedly shaking themselves dry.
Lydia London 42
Susan P. Blevins LACRIMOSA My mother lies beneath My ministering hands as with Tender love and copious tears I wash her ravaged body Now stilled in death The sad but soothing ritual of these Sacred ablutions comforts me As I make my final goodbye With love and respect Feeling still the presence of her spirit. With each gentle stroke of warm sponge I bless her, as she had blessed me Shortly before her death I thank her for her unconditional love Which upheld me for so long. Time ceases as I spend these last Precious moments alone with her The archetypal ceremony giving form To my grief, structure to my sorrow. In these moments we are neither Dead nor alive, but part of the Endless wheel of birth, death and rebirth. We have entered eternity. Appearances deceive: we are still together. I shall hold her in my arms again.
WM Lewis CELEBRITY DREAM NO.6 (ANTONIO BANDERAS’ EROTIC APOCALYPSE) Antonio Banderas standing on a box In an industrial zone deserted By all hope. His huge cock He offers to a starving man As sustenance. It is taken Inside the man’s mouth. The camera Zooms in on the head. Impossibly Dehydrated lips swell and thicken Until all definition is lost. Lips And cock become one, the box Floats apart until it’s a cross Antonio’s Pinned to, arms out wide. In that Moment, I realise we are all starving, All fraying, all deserted by hope. All Standing alone, cocks out. All lost.
Yarli Allison Lam
Antonia Cundy Mrs Flood My granny has become a body. Bodily functions, bodily needs. My father lifts and lowers; her nightdress hitches Stuck on ivory hips. She droops into the seat, Following skin beneath her: Two plastic bags, carelessly left, Fill up with rain. A little water in their bottoms â€“ Sagging wet and wrinkling. Ten pence of plastic comes to mind; She spends a penny In a pot in a chair By her bedside. What cringing horror Her mind would feel, To see her as this body.
Untitled - Drawing 48
Keith Moul RAIN ON A GRAVE In his telling, he filled gaps in history with plausible stories; Often he wanted to stop, but struggled through peopled silences, Likely barring a force of ghosts from enlivening his private horrors To his family. Do not try to know my past he seemed to say. In six months, refusing food, rendered to 80 pounds from a stout 200, He sagged to a final fetal mass and died, aged 67. I had no stomach For his image like that. I missed his funeral. I missed his life entire. Today I wake early; I hear comingled with the widening light of May A steady thump of downpour; I make my peace with a northwest rain Which, when I first arrived here, would numb my brain for hours; I exit a dream of rain pelting his grave: 2000 miles, 20 years since death, My recurring dream of rain on his grave is as close to home as I can get.
Pia Taavila - Borsheim Rx: Mother and Children Aching:
backs muscles joints memory.
knees shoulders points of view.
tendons sinews ankles pride.
eardrums earlobes earaches silence.
noses toes one skull hearts.
palms soles lungs well-being.
nails fingertips ligaments contact.
iodine ointment bandage splint cast love.
Brace: yourself. Push:
Wrap: our wounds. Admit: defeat. Prognosis: theyâ€™ll live.
Ars Moriendi - Film Still Full video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9okJZcN52Y
Peach Fuzz Series
TWO NEGRESSES (inspired by the Matisse sculpture ‘Deux Negresses’)
Two negresses Dancing or fucking It’s hard to tell Their hearts Made of stone their thighs Of bronze and fantasy If they are insulted By these representations It’s hard to tell Their eyes Are triangles their mouths Tropical pears Dancing I myself would be happy with An account like this But A negress I am not Not one nor Two negresses Dancing or soon fucking Lying like objects and Gazing like subjects On a deposed king Devoid of space If They are lost In time or imagination They aren’t aware of much Like the art nouveau clocks That tock tick pornographically Next to their pretty Surrealism They leer at These photos as if they’re Something quite real I am sure of it Two negresses Dancing or yes fucking Start a movement All straight Lines and carefully carved up Space One on top Of the other like brown apples In a yellow fruit bowl It’s hard to tell one negress That she stares from four eyes Disassembled in Tahiti Like a sci-fi terror dream That she may be Alone after all 55
Keith Moul Each And Every Boogie JOURNAL INTRODUCTION: RALPH L. MOUL, ELECTRICIAN MATE 2ND CLASS, U.S.S. LEXINGTON 3/3-8/23/1944 “The following pages are in brief, I don’t have every little thing down, such as each and every boogie (sic) and night attacks while we have all fired at planes.” “EACH AND EVERY BOOGIE” (BOGEY) “Your watch,” said the chief. The enemy was near. Specters, like June bugs around a summer light, Moved into and out of sight, sailors in and out Of night, no more. The ship listed for its turn, He adjusted for the bank to see the dawn; how boring After sixty dawns of thin, pink lines and dusty clouds, How predictable the thought of terror coming on, “Each and every boogie” dropping from the sun. General quarters, every smoky engine whirs, Greased steel churning toward lift in wind, Hundreds of men replenished, filling function, Running to the deck dance, running to graves. Some dance, he only once revealed: a sailor On the flight deck, tending the arresting cable, “Watched” the tailhook rip the wired steel until it whipped, “Watched” it more intently from his severed head: His torso, still at mock war, took it all in stride.
Yarli Allison Lam
It Says There Is A Dead Body - Video Still
Pia Taavila - Borsheim Prospectus If we should touch beneath the table, flushing up surprised, rare birds lifting, stealthy, under skin, in what barbed moment might we meet? If I should take your offered hand, lined and brown, slow to feel, to thresh and hone my cheekâ€™s parched heat, what chance might soar in these bright days? If you should leave before the birds have plundered all from craggy banks, before the rushing creeks recede, what dark, soft rain could wash me clean?
Biographies Anne Goodwin: Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, is scheduled for May 2017. A former clinical psychologist, she is also the author of over 60 published short stories, a book blogger and speaker on fictional therapists and on transfiction. Catch up on her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist. WM Lewis: WM Lewis: Lew Welch said: “We all know what we go to poetry for. We want the exact transmission of Mind into Word.” I’d also add: poetry should say something true. Big truths or small truths, it doesn’t matter, but something true. So, that’s why I read and write poetry, be it traditional, freeform, or haiku and tanka. Keither Moul: Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. Finishing Line Press has released his latest chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in November, 2015. Robert Ford: Robert Ford lives on the east coast of Scotland, and writes poetry, short stories and non-fiction on a variety of themes. His poetry has previously appeared in Envoi, Poetry Nottingham, Clear Poetry and Firewords. Susan P. Blevins: Susan P. Blevins, an ex-pat Brit, has travelled the world extensively, and has now settled in Houston, Texas, where she is enjoying writing stories based on her travels and adventures. She had a weekly column on food in a European newspaper and has published various articles on gardens in US and European magazines E.M. Killaley: E.M. Killaley won a New Fiction Bursary from the Northern Writers’ Awards in 2013 for her novel-in-progress, The Unfamiliar Land. In April of the same year, two of her flash fiction pieces were longlisted for Fish Publishing’s Flash Fiction Prize. She is a Blackwell’s Prize winner and graduate of Northumbria University’s MA Creative Writing program. Her creative work has appeared in Alliterati and Underground, and her academic writing has appeared in the Eudora Welty Review under her orthonym. She has worked with literary journals since 2006, spending time as editor and assistant editor at various publications. In 2015 she founded an online flash fiction writing community, Palm-Sized Prompts. She currently lives in Gateshead, works in a cafe, and maintains a writing blog at: http://killaley. wordpress.com/.”
Antonia Cundy: Antonia Cundy is a second year English Literature student at Newcastle University. She is also editor of The University Paper’s Newcastle strand, however it is in creative writing that her true interests lie. Not attempting to draw from anything other than her own experiences, Antonia is particularly interested in writing about relationships between people, and with oneself. Sofija Sutton: Sofija Sutton grew up in rural New Hampshire: amongst the pine, sheep, and strawberries. Since leaving her home state in 2007, she has completed her B.F.A. in painting and M.F.A. in fine arts. She has lived in Norton (MA), Boston (MA), Portland and Scarborough (ME), Township A Range 12 (ME), Venice (IT), Vilnius (LT), and her current abode of Newcastle/Gateshead. Two years ago she started writing flash fiction and short stories for her multidiscipline artworks. The writing has since evolved into a product of its own. She particularly enjoys using anamorphism with invertebrate references in magical realism to juxtapose the absurd with the mundane. Adam Butler: Adam Butler is a graduate of writing from Darlington College of Arts who is particularly interested in the concept of autofiction. He is still working up the confidence to possibly one day have the courage to consider attempting to write a novel, maybe... little progress has been made. Chris Stewart: Chris Stewart tweets @SideBurnedPoet. His filmpoem ‘Ars Moriendi’ won the 2015 Read Our Lips competition and he is currently long listed for the CYCLOP International Videopoetry Contest 2015. Chris performs regularly across the UK. His solo shows have received positive reviews at the 2013 and 2015 PBH Edinburgh Free Fringe. In 2013 he was selected by Apples and Snakes to tour on ‘Public Address II’ as one of five rising talents. He is anthologised in ‘Break-Out: A Calling Card From the Rising Stars of the Teesside Scene’ (Ek Zuban, 2013). Check out his filmpoems at www. youtube.com/zorki28 Pia Taavila-Borsheim: Recent work has been released in or is forthcoming from The Adirondack Review, Southern Humanities Review, 32 Poems, Tar River Poetry, storySouth, The Southern Review, Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, Barrow Street, The Broadkill Review and Ibbetson Street,among others. Poems have also been included in such anthologies as Deaf Lit Extravaganza, and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems 1977 - 2007, was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2008, while a chapbook, Two Winters, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Notes to David was composed from 2012 – 2015, a portion of which was critiqued at last summer’s Sewanee Writers’ Conference by the late Claudia Emerson and B. H. Fairchild. Jasmine Plumpton: I am a first year English Literature student at Newcastle University, and I dabble a little in most creative mediums with writing and photography being particular passions of mine. As our chief mode of emotional expression, I believe art in any form should aim to communicate something true and raw about human nature. For this reason, I don’t take pretty pictures. The cobwebbed corners of our 61
Ziad Nagy: Ziad Nagy was born in 1989 and is a multimedia artist. He received his BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and is currently an MFA candidate at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Phoebe McElhatton: Phoebe McElhatton predominately explores the body and sexualised imagery with a specific interest in the depiction of femininity and the female body in advertising. She uses collected, everyday objects to create comical and absurd images. Tolga Sedat: Combining her body, and flawed self-perception, Tolga Sedat uses her art to challenge traditional, classical ideals. Her studies present themes of flaws, perfection, ideals and compromise with original, esoteric results. Molly Bythell: Molly is a third year undergraduate art student at Newcastle University. Her figurative oil paintings combine an interest in colour with themes of the body. Yarli Allison Lam: Yarli Allison Lam is a postgraduate student at Slade School of Fine Arts. Her works are mostly sculptural performance pieces centered on themes of the body. Andras Nagy-Sandor: Born in 1993 in Budapest, Hungary, Andras was educated within the Waldorf School System and graduated in 2013. Since then he has studied Aesthetics and Philosophy in Hungary. His projects typically focus on the body and how it is perceived in reality and art. Lydia London: Lydia London is a final year Fine Art student at Newcastle University. In her series of photo montages entitled Ă‰trangĂ¨re, she uses long exposure self-portraits and found landscape images to illustrate a struggle in suspended space. It is a physical manifestation of both alienation and acceptance through performative bodily actions that both resist and merge into strange landscapes.
Editors Senior and Literature Editor
Art and Format Editors
Hazel Soper Anna Skulczuk
Literature Editor Kat Zufelt
Alliterati Magazine Issue 18