Page 1


kiloran : issue #5

co n t r i b u to rs Editor : Lucy Harbron

Eliza Caraher Elizabeth Corrall Rachelle Cox Sam Dickinson Elizabeth Evans Tayla Halfacre Ethan Hemmati James Huxtable Lucas Jones Maya Kearney Pippa Le Grand Louise Lennon Hannah Lloyd John McCullagh Jade Millard Chloe Myers Hope Naisbitt

Fred Ostrovskis Holly Parkinson Natasha Rainy Alice Redfearn Sam Rye Nabeela Saghir Umar Saghir Alexander Tindall Rue Tuesday Laura Turpin Beth Waite Sophie Wilson Declan WoodwardBrown


huge thank you to Josh Verdon for web design, and to everyone that helps and supports even in the simplest ways.

A letter from the editor

Everything is ours. The world revolves around you, and everything you see is tainted by that, dripping in the significant, or lack off, that you grant it. The park is holding hands for the first time, the candle you light is your comfort, your hair is you so you brush it respectively. The time spent working on issue 5 has been a time of reclamation for me. In all of our issues, a theme has never felt more personal or prevalent. As a super over-emotional, over-effected person, everything surrounding me has significance; and too often in my life, when the memory attached turns sour, what was once mine is lost to me. Albums are no longer listened to, and I change the routes I walk to avoid that shop. For the past months I’ve been working on this issue, while trying to regain things that were mine, and it turned into a battle of identity. I’ve been thinking about what makes me me, what’s mine to own, what subjects are mine to talk about. And this issue definitely feels like we were all thinking about that. The result is a collective thought on our own, individual selves and experiences. Each person sharing something of theirs; a portion of their lives and challenges and private emotions. We merged, mine to ours, ours to yours. In this issue I’d like to thank everyone that’s stuck by me patiently while I tried to regather myself, thank you to my loved ones for helping me find pieces. Issue 5 turned out very differently than planned. Initially it was going to be small, but we grew. I can’t thank everyone enough. Thank you to the people that have been part of the team since issue 1, and thank you to the new creatives I’ve met, whether it be through uni or social media. I’m in awe. Thank you for sharing these pieces with me. Now take this as your own, we give it to you.

- Lucy

{Issue #5}

Amour fou Eliza Caraher

I danced terribly, sang worse. Cut off more of my hair I smoked too much Drank in excess

Spent what little I had on nothing to show. Spoke in two tongues I lived in pure bliss. I cried tears of joy

S t i g m a - ta W o u n d s Declan Woodward-Brown

In my field of vision, I feel like the enchained African, enslaved

Daily bigotry encumbers the days; Impairs my cognition; flood of theta waves Double consciousness Creator and destroyer of self-confidence Seeing myself through the coloured White view, The Stigma-ta wounds. Remember when I realised my ‘Blackness’ It was a madness Remember being called a ‘’Black Turkish Paki’’ I cried; the statements stupidity was uncanny Reflected the irony of me being ‘mixed’ Consumed by a mental River Styx That was my first realisation, Smothered in racism, was the fact That I wasn’t ‘’BLACK’’?! I linked ‘blackness’ with a hyper-masculinity Felt as though I needed to be what I didn’t wanna be Internalized stereotypes Gnawed away inside, Made me blind I had to understand this racism shit

Or my reality cheque would be a counterfeit

Those who look like me are superficially privileged, Seems absurd, but since birth it’s been there, unsolicited Those of us who are lighter-skinned get dished out this ‘gift’ Over those who have more melanin, who’re darker-skinned It’s there, however conscious

Not just the obnoxious Oxbridge kids Racial stereotype Of the depraved, insane black man smoking crack pipes Seen as someone not like me, more like Wesley Snipes The connotations of those who’re darker are starker; This ‘privilege’ isn’t relative, Still negative I channel these raw messages Into these sentences It’s based on a denial of self These ideas need to be shelved It’s based on vilifying those of a darker shade When we’re a human family irrespective of our birth place

This so-called privilege breeds a kind of ‘mixed’ nationalism; Rank elitism I.e., ‘’ I’m five shades lighter so I’m better’’ Yeah, whatever Mentality is dangerously shaky, This ‘privilege’ No different – than those who pillaged every African village Sadly, reflected in history: Sense of ‘superiority’ is a fallacy Like Trujillo who ordered an ethnic cleansing That left Haiti decimated; The island was desecrated Self-hatred towards a darker skin colour isn’t dissimilar To the racism that upheld the White supremacy power structure Historical parallel with the ‘’house slave’’ Conditioned to self-hate till the grave Internalised the supremacist conceit Fomented vacant self-esteem Haitian Revolution saw this come back So-called ‘mullattos’ viewed as better than Blacks

Why inflict this pain? It’s insane, why do it One-upmanship breeds conflict What racism ultimately does is illustrate How we’ve been conditioned to facilitate White people, make them feel comfortable in every space Even though self-hatred from one brother to another Supersedes violence from a racist who debases the colour Don’t believe me? What about M.T.V. And B.E.T.? They glorify killing and violence Across the nation, Romanticise degradation,

And glorify Black self-annihilation.

M y i m a g i n at i o n d a n c e d Sophie Wilson

Spri n g, su m m er, yo u r h a n d in mine Lucy Harbron

22/5/17 When the day forces us to part, you to your work, I to mine, I feel the tug of withdrawal symptoms from your second-hand smoke; tingling on my lips, static into the shape of letters of words not to speak yet. Maybe you feel it too, as you kiss me on the forehead, assured that it will, eventually, seep through to my brain. Kiss the static into my eye socket; make everything rose. Kiss the static into my thighs, my neck; we keep it kinetic,

shivering with the memories, and now when I lay down I only see you, leaned against a red brick wall, waiting for you to see me.

‘I bet you know just where to stand next to a campfire. Without getting too hot, or smoke in your eye’

4/7/17 The inability to articulate burns away the writer, leaves just a girl, reduced to a child; soft and loved, tucked into the place your neck curves to your shoulder. Your eyes stare straight ahead while mine close, assured that I will feel the moon, that is what I sense inside, I don’t need my eyes. And it’s a rare occasion to find comfort in the dark, but nothing can get us, nothing would hurt me here in this open garden because it’s ours. We stumble over ways to say more than ‘I love you’. The words seem only lukewarm in a fire, the hear makes the cold breeze hurt, nothing we whisper understands, not enough. Maybe it need not be said,

already there in a carrier bag of compromise, I’ll get your favourite flavour, you tell me I taste good. Eat in our underwear, tell me I’m sweet, try again with words in the dark,

but we say enough falling asleep. Leave the door unlocked, held hands on the night watch.


and I’ll make mine

I wish to come to your ear

in your smokers cough.

and sing hallelujah, soft, slow,

I hear it when you whisper,

melt myself to your request

hot breath of the 8am sentiments,

of simple nights, simple mornings,

before we hold each other half conscious,

black out blinds that don’t work,

before I make you coffee to moisten your cigarette.

and a flooded ashtray. make yourself at home here -in me.

Burrow into the places inside me you found mirrors, replace each with a failed shot on film of pale skin in a bed pale skin in a village past town. Make yourself at home -in the up and down of my voice,

make yourself at home, here -in me, in a haven of a city back garden, still white sheet, still new promises, still fresh forever in a still early summer.

Fenix L a u r a Tu r p i n

It’s 1960. My grandma arrives in Brazil. She doesn’t speak the language, she doesn’t know anybody. She feels lost and confused. She misses Spain and her family but she’s determined to make a new life out of these ashes. She does. It’s 1961. My mother is born. The other kids at school tease her for not speaking Portuguese well. She goes to Spain once but she feels lost and confused. They tell her she’s not really Spanish. She’s a foreigner at home, she’s a foreigner here, she’s a foreigner everywhere. But she is determined to make a new life out of these ashes. She does. It’s 1995. I am born. I speak the language. I was born here. But the kids at school tease me for looking like my dad. I feel lost and confused. My mother tells me it’s okay. I’ll make it through. I see her working at the family business, raising four children. Strong and focused, carrying for over 20 years the weight of the world on her back. Taking beatings from life for more than 50. And I don’t feel lost and confused anymore. I thank the women in my family for being determined to make out a new life out of these ashes. And I know that I will too.

She loves me Rachelle Cox

Mixed identity Maya Kearney

You're four years old. It's your first day of a new school and everyone is excited to meet you, or rather, touch you. They circle you, hands grabbing your hair. "It's so bouncy! Fluffy! Messy! Do you wash it? Do you brush it? Can I touch it?" Your scalp hurts by the end of the encounter. You're five years old. In class today, you're drawing self-portraits. You draw your head with a pink pencil. A boy with learning difficulties sits a little ahead of you, and he starts to scribble all over his portrait with a brown pencil. Your teacher spots this and enraged, shouts at him "No! You are not to use that pencil! You are to use a pink pencil." She announces to the class that absolutely everyone must use a pink pencil to draw their head, and the only person in the room who should use a brown pencil is you. The class goes silent, and sneak looks at you. She places the brown pencil in front of you, on top of your pink drawing. You're six years old. All your dolls have long blonde hair. All your favourite TV characters are blonde, white girls. The pretty girls at school are white. You wear yellow towels on your head sometimes and pretend it's your hair. You're seven years old and have stayed behind for an after school Spanish class. A fellow student who has never spoken to you before asks, "Where are you from?” You answer. “No, where are you really from?” This confuses you. “No, like which country?” It clicks. You realise why they asked. “Like where were you born? Oh, where are your parents from? Where were they born?" You're eight years old. You're talking to your mum and you subtly try to move the conversation towards blind people. You say something you've rehearsed a thousand times already. "I think I'll marry a blind man, because he’ll still love me even if I'm ugly." You don't quite have the courage to mention that he would never have to see your hair.

You're nine years old. A kid runs up to you, looking so happy to see you. He asks if it's true your granddad is Jamaican. You say yes. He asks if you have a Jamaican accent. You say no. He refuses to leave until you say, "Jamaican bacon" and then "cheesy bacon" in a Jamaican accent. You're ten years old. You're getting changed from your PE kit into your uniform. One girl asks another "Would you ever marry a black man?" "Err no, would you?" "Ew no that's disgusting. I'd never do that! Black men are perverts!" "Erm, her granddad is black." They turn to face to you. "Oh, I'm sorry. It's just, you know, some black men are rapists. But obviously not your granddad!" Your face burns as though it's been slapped. You don't say anything. But the feelings don't go away. The next lesson you cry for ten minutes, interrupting the film the teacher has put on. Eventually she asks if you're okay. You don't want to tell her what happened, but she finally gets it out of you. She's upset. It's treated very seriously. She contacts the head master. The girl is begging you not to get her into trouble, and you can't stop crying. The grownups talk and finally the headmaster sits you down. He explains to you that he's sure the girl didn't mean it and she isn't racist, she just said something stupid and she could have gotten into a lot of trouble but she seems to have learned her lesson, so they've decided to forgive her. You go home. Your parents have no idea what happened. The school didn't inform them. How are you supposed to tell them something like that? You're eleven years old. You start a new school. A boy that everyone adores nicknames you "fluffy" and then "big brown" and then "scruff ball". Nothing makes it go away. If you wear your hair out it’s a ball of fluff. If you tie it up, it’s a helmet of fluff. If you wear plaits it’s scruffy. Kids will stick pencils in it when they think you aren’t looking. Your friends will tell you how pretty you’d look with straight hair. This will go on for three years.

You're twelve years old. You're walking home from the corner shop and the neighbours shout at you "Paki." You tell them you're not from Pakistan and they say, "Well your mum's a Paki". She isn't, she's half Jamaican. A week ago, someone else shouted that you should take your wig off. Next week someone will tell you to brush your hair. You're thirteen years old. You get braids. Not dreadlocks, braids. When you return to school your white friends shout in Jamaican accents "Aye Jamaican dreads, looks wicked man!" But at least they mean it as a compliment. Other, less kind students shout "Bob Marley" and “Medusa� at you when you walk past. One girl, for the next few months, will touch your hair and pretend to be electrocuted every time she does this. You're fourteen years old. You learn how to straighten your hair. For the first time ever, your peers compliment you. One day you sit in music class and the boy who gave you the nicknames is trying to argue that you're a different breed of human to him. Your sister says that we're all descended from Africa and the girl next to him turns to both of you and replies, disgusted, "I'm not descended from n****rs." It was her idea of a joke. You're fifteen years old. You're sat in RS class one day and you are the only mixed student there. The teacher asks the class if it is racist to only want to date people the same race as you. You say yes, everyone else says no. Most of the boys openly say they would only date white girls. Their reasons range from "I don't find other races attractive" to "I believe it is wrong to mix races." The teacher uses you as an example. "What about someone like her? Mixed but light skinned?" They say "No, not white enough for me."

You're sixteen years old, and visiting your black family members. They’re lovely and give you no reason to feel uncomfortable, but if you join in when they dance to reggae, or talk about the food you enjoy, you feel like a fraud. When they complain about white people, you're not sure where you fit into that. You're seventeen years old. You get accused of cultural appropriation for wearing cornrows. No one understands why this makes you so angry. You're eighteen years old. You apply for a scholarship for black and mixed-race students. Your black relatives say that you're mixed-race, you've experienced racism; you feel qualified to apply. You get to the third round - interviews. You arrive as the only mixed-race girl, and you feel horrifically self-conscious. You wonder if this is how darker skinned applicants feel at normal job interviews. You outshine all of your competitors in every way. You have been accepted onto a much better university course, you have the best predicted A Level grades, in every question in your individual interview you score four or five out of five, and after the group interview the interviewer essentially tells you that you performed the best. You don't get through to the next round. You don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing. You're nineteen years old. You live in London now. Your friends laugh when you say you're mixed-race. Your friends call you white.

Over the years your identity will change. You'll feel unworthy of the label "mixed-race" because your challenges didn't centre around your skin colour, but you'll feel like you're denying part of yourself if you call yourself white. Your black heritage should not be a secret. For years you won’t be able to wear your natural hair in public without anxiety. Every photo of you growing up (including those in this article) features you trying to hide yourself somehow, be it through tying up your hair, wearing a hat, straightening your hair, wearing braids, or only taking a photo when your hair is wet. If someone compliments your natural hair, you will feel like crying, because you don’t want anyone to notice it, ever, even if it’s in a good way. But you’ll get past it one day, because you’ll realise that you have nothing to be ashamed of. People on both sides will reject you. Some white people will treat you differently because they don’t see you as one of them. Some will treat you nicely, only because they see you as one of them. Some black people won’t acknowledge that this is the case at all, and will see you as a white girl with a victim complex. People on both sides will love and respect you; they'll help you to grow as a person and show you extreme kindness. Black people, white people, and people of every other race will believe what you tell them about your experiences and think it horrid that anyone could treat you like that. They’ll see past any stereotypes, any preconceptions, and love you as an individual. You'll learn that you're more than a colour, more than a race, and more than your hair. You're you. And that's the best anyone can ask for.

W h at ’ s m i n e i s m i n e Beth Waite

Mine are the walls these fingertips have felt

Mine is the skin this ink has pierced

Mine are the bruises this body has bore

Mine is the weight these shoulders have carried

Mine are the goosebumps this skin has endured

Mine is the love these lips have tasted

What’s mine is mine; what’s mine is not yours

W h at ’ s m i n e i s y o u r s Words : Fred Ostrovskis Photo : Sam Dickinson

I won’t delve into any cliché of offering my heart or my soul, that blackened tripe, or my bones, which glow so sickly white, As a gesture of my love. No, I don’t like to promise what I can’t keep, I can’t give you the world, Not a single street, No diamonds or pearls, Not that you seek such materials anyway. I would like to tell you that I was once mine, Before you, I ruled over this body and mind, it was lonely, cynical and often despised, Stuck in a spiral of self-indulged lies, A madman in the making. I would like to tell you that now I’m shared, Split down the middle from toe to hair, I am still mine because you’re there, Fixing and tweaking with loving repair, Dragging me kicking from the hate and despair I’d grown quite fond of, In the end; What’s mine is yours, for you are why, I’m even there to lend.

{TW : Sexual assault & trauma}

Insufficient evidence R u e Tu e s d a y

A request Words : Sam Rye P h o t o : Ta y l a H a l f a c r e

Mine, ‘till the flock of tern dither Their marching of the skies That stretch o’er lands that wither Until new land do rise. Upon stillest mid-day waters, Where throngs of fish defy The attempt of heron’s slaughter: I shall here rest my eyes. When mountains fold upon themselves In ruinous drama, When men fierce remove with gripped helve The four heads of Brahma Then I shall stop, reverent; Lie across dormant fields Where by wings for you I have sent Those sentiments yet sealed. Do I have now your faithful word? Willingness, ‘till the end; Or must I send another bird, Beg of you to attend? Love, let us not be asunder Mine, remain healthily; ‘Till heavens contest with thunder And fate requests of we.

Roots Pippa Le Grand

Three people, two boys and a girl, climb a hill that glows with streetlights in the dusk. Their voices rise and fall with triumphant joy, like a fountain set to music. But their tone is less graceful. The girl’s voice, coarse and pitchy, rises over the boys’. She’s proud of her dirty joke and her dropped consonants; her absolute confidence in her performance is clear. Her jaw slackens and her gum snaps lazily as she enunciates for dramatic effect. The boys chuckle and one-up her with a cruder comment, and on it goes, the uneven cadence of their easy, improvised theatre echoing up the empty street. It’s moments like these when people often stop me in my ramblings and say “you sound like you’re from Essex!” And, reverting instinctively to the more clipped, precise accent of my upbringing, I explain that, technically, I am. Sometimes this is met with laughter, sometimes mocking anger that I’d somehow duped them, sometimes thinly veiled derision. My point isn’t to lament the struggle of being an ‘Essex girl’ (when I’m not, really), but to illustrate that we’ve all got parts of our identity, bits of our history, that we emphasise, and some things we try to keep under wraps. For many years, whenever I dropped my h’s, said ‘ain’t’ or ‘innit’ unintentionally, or entirely overused ‘alright’, my mum would correct me. “It’s not ladylike,” she’d say, banning me from swearing like an East Ender the way her family did. “It doesn’t sound professional,” came later. Of course she only cared for my progress through life, my comfortability in the academic, occasionally snobby world we’d relocated to. When she first moved away from Essex, someone at the school gate asked her derisively if she’d just come from Australia. Clearly, an Essex accent was not the way forward in this town. And so I only slip into that comfortable pattern with people who make me forget those deeply ingrained restraints: when the offthe-shelf identity of the nice, slightly posh girl can blur and melt into something more complicated.

Identity and place are inextricably linked. Where we’re from, the land we feel we own - by birth and by living out the moments of our lives that change us there – allows us to define who we are, and who we are not. It’s that collective notion of ownership of a place, by virtue of history, that’s caused untold violence since humans formed societies. A friend of mine has Irish roots. Family members of hers were IRA terrorists, who killed British soldiers and blew up bridges, and were executed for those actions. When she describes these fascinating stories, of people whose blood she shares, her voice softens into something that is not quite pride, but a respect for the lengths they were willing to go to for their country. Even though blood was shed, her Irish roots lend her tone a kind of gratitude. Part of her identity is an Irishness defined by those ancestors’ anti-Britishness, a definition based on who they were not – on who they felt they were better than. The most violent response that causes in her is a refusal to visit Buckingham Palace. But in the days of the IRA, that extreme violence was born of a fierce desire for national self-determination: to claim the rich, green, rain-soaked land for people who ‘owned’ it, by birth and by heritage. Too often, our identity based in place – our patriotism – is exclusionary. Of course that street, that fishing village, that country town or northern city belongs to you. But it is not yours alone; the history of it, you’ll find, was formed by generations of people laying new claim to it and building their own family stories there. By saying ‘mine’, there’s a danger of implying ‘not yours’, of allowing the part of identity that is place to become all-consuming. It’s a natural human habit that in these isolationist times it is imperative we combat, and say, instead, that what’s mine is yours too.

Moving me Hope Naisbitt

I had this idea in my head of what it would be like when I moved. I thought getting a job would be easy, I thought I would be doing things everyday. But it took 3 weeks to get a job, and I've spent a solid 70% of my time in my flat. I think no matter how old you get when you move somewhere new there is that cliche sense of wanting a fresh start or reinventing yourself, the reality is you're the same person with new eyes looking at you. Since moving to London from Teesside my most defining character trait has been that I'm northern. Everywhere I go people ask where I'm from, the answer is usually followed by "Where?". I thought after a while I'd get bored of this but every time someone asks I feel a strange sense of pride about being northern. I've wanted to be out of Teesside forever it feels and it's ironic because now since leaving I've realised what a big part of my identity it is, and how much I genuinely love that. I've only been here 3 weeks now so I have no idea how London is going to change me but this northern lass is ready.

I, me, mine : confronting m at e r i a l i s m Sophie Wilson

On the face of it, materialism has never been more prevelant. It manifests itself on social media with everyone from influencers to your circle of friends showing off their latest gift or purchase. As Instagram is labelled as the worst social media platform for our mental health, how do our changing attitudes towards materialism feed into that? Since the mid-20th century, people have increasingly defined themselves by the material objects they acquire. We build our identities around the clothes, books and food we buy. This phenomenon expands into the experiences we spend money on; holidays, festivals, education. We are just as likely to tag our location to humble brag about a holiday destination as we are to snap a mirror selfie in a new outfit. Streaming services, e-books and the internet means that splashing out on music, books and magazines is no longer necessary. We are more defined by what we choose to share, than what we choose to buy. Does materialism, often dismissed as self-absorbed vapidity, still have a place in the part of our lives we choose not to share online? There is definitely something to be said for surrounding yourself with beautiful things, whether you decide to share that online or not. Lifestyle trends from all over the world claim to offer a route to contentment, through the things we do, or do not own. Last year the obsession with Scandinavian lifestyle trend, Hygge, encouraged surrounding yourself with objects that make you feel cozy. This trickled down to candles, blankets and cups of tea; hardly revolutionary given that that is how most Brits already spend their winter evenings, but read an article about the benefits and just try not to be tempted to buy a new woolly jumper or scented candle. Selfcare staples, like those at the core of Hygge, allow us to take a step back from what we buy to look cool to others. They give us an experience, no matter how simple that may be.

Money can’t buy happiness, but material objects can bring us joy. Mainstream self-care techniques can be reductive in the face of serious mental illness, but a relaxing face mask, cute outfit and your favourite magazine can often help turn your day around. Living between two homes whilst I am at university has made me appreciate the objects I surround myself with. When I am alone, home appears in the form of my favourite books, records and posters. Whenever I feel nervous or uncertain about going somewhere, I take a copy of my favourite book with me. Materialism is beginning to mean something different. Whilst minimalism is on the rise, even this reflects our fascination with materialism. Minimalists have to be very selective about what they do and don’t buy, so the things they do buy are even more telling. Socalled luxury items do not have to be expensive, or create clutter; a candle you love the smell of, a moisturiser that makes you feel more confident, a special copy of your favourite book. Fashion is inherently materialistic because it relies on defining ourselves by material things. When it comes to clothes, everyone wants to wear something that makes them feel comfortable. In the age of Instagram, our personal style defines us more than ever. Of course, most of us cannot afford designer labels, but we can still appreciate well-made clothes. Vintage stores offer something special for a fraction of the price of a designer alternative, whilst also being a more ethical option than fast fashion. It’s comforting to know that when you put something on in the morning, the money you paid for it did not go towards profiting from sweatshops. Young people tend to be more conscious of what they are buying now. There are more ethical alternatives to challenge our shopping habits. Picking charity shops over fast fashion, independent cafes over Starbucks, wholefood shops instead of supermarket chains, all says something about us and the way we want to live. Where we buy from is as important as what we buy. Buying is an experience as much as enjoying what we have bought is.

Social media means that our private and public lives are merged more than ever. Our relationship status, birthdays and selfies are out there for the world to see. This leaves a special place for the material things that we keep for ourselves; the incense we burn when we’re alone, cute underwear we put on even when no one is going to see it, and the so-called “guilty pleasures” that we hide from others. On the other hand, if the identity you present to the world is filtered through personal style and that brings you confidence and happiness, then celebrate that too. We are undeniably living in a material world, so where’s the shame in being a material girl?

Music and America Hannah Lloyd

A year ago, I travelled solo across the United States of America, through 13 different cities over a two month period, only staying in each place for a couple of days. Music and songwriting were my only constant. I woke up on the first day in a grey New York, feeling lost. I was still exhausted and disorientated by the long flight and arriving at night. I scrambled for comfort, texting my friends who were home in England, but I knew I couldn’t spend the day tied to home, so I set myself one task: to find my travel companion. One that I knew would help me to feel a little less alone. So I got ready, and headed towards the nearest guitar shop.


Walking back through Central Park from Broadway to the Upper West Side with the little guitar on my back, I felt more in control than I had on the walk down. I made it back to my hostel, and recorded my first video. I’m jumpy and nervous in the video, terrified that someone will walk in as I sing to my camera, but no one does. That song gave me stability on a day I didn’t think it possible.

Out of time

Leaving New York, I passed through Philadelphia, Washington DC, Richmond and Atlanta before arriving in Nashville. Nashville was a hub for so many musicians and songwriters. It truly is a city of music, and you can’t help but feel inspired. There, I met Tad, a recent college graduate, travelling around before he started work, and we agreed, whilst slightly intoxicated, to write a song together the following morning. So, a little worse for wear, we sat, alternating verses until we had written a song we were both happy with - yes it was a little scrappy and unrehearsed, but it felt so nice to have music join us together and singing with someone else felt so comforting.


A month into my trip I felt a loneliness I couldn’t shake. I relied heavily on daily communications with home to keep me going, alongside my songwriting. It was at this point that I hit a low. I couldn’t escape thoughts of my friends and the potential relationship I had left behind. Whilst in San Fransisco, the boy back home let me know via my best friend that he was no longer interested in me. I knew one person I had met a week or so before in Portland, but otherwise I was alone in a city thousands of miles from home. I sat in a hostel corridor, unsure what to do other than cry. Once my eyes ran dry, I went and found my little guitar and sat down with the notes on my phone open in front of me. In twenty minutes I had a song. A good song. I felt something positive had come out of the pain that I was trying to push through, and I was so grateful that I always had music to lean back on. That song remains one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written.

Weak knees

Weak Knees was the last song I released, and at my happiest point. I recorded the video on Coronado Beach near San Diego. There is an evident juxtaposition between the song and beach sunset backdrop; such a romantic backdrop to a song about personal struggle. It’s a song about feeling so fragile, but pushing through because you have no one else to lean on, which reflected my feelings on travelling alone. The irony was that the song itself was what I leaned on to help me through. ----Carrying that guitar across the United States was a struggle. On buses and trains I had to keep it wedged between my legs and the seat in front, and I struggled to talk it onto flights it wasn’t supposed to be on, but I wouldn’t have done it without it. Music was the one thing I was in control of and could always turn to. I wrote wherever I could: in hostels, by swimming pools, outside the White House, in parks, stairwells and corridors, it was the only escape I always had to make me feel a little less alone.

secrets Alice Redfearn

Thong Words : Lucy Harbron Art : Chloe Myers

Today I wear black lace, tracing the curvature that I thought looked like two perfect crescent moons in the bathroom mirror this morning, exposed to the early warmth of July. I wear the somewhat explicitly sexy matching set of a bra slightly too big, and underwear of geometric lace, pale skin peaking. Blue jeans over top. I am infatuated with the reflection I see in the mirror across the room. On the occasional day, when I dress down, I stare for minutes and minutes. On the others, I’ll rush this ritual. I stand just to the left to avoid the glass, put on long tops before slipping off pants to avoid the confrontation of true, full nakedness, and won’t stop to consider the co-ordination of two pieces; any material other than cotton would irritate and upset. On those days, I will cry over my constant thought of food, and awareness of two layers of skin touching each other, or the expansion of my thighs as I sit. But today I will stare. I will watch myself as each movement of bone and skin has suddenly turned to molten silver; not jiggling but flowing, hot and fresh and rich. The skin on top seems new, glowing with the contours, shines as I tilt my head; side, up, slight squint, lips pushed out. And that runs all the way up and all the way down. My legs are stilts, my thighs are not an issue, my hips are held in loving material and sloping, dramatically and gracefully, in and up to my waist. My waist climbs to the hint of a rib cage, the etched lines of lifetime leaves, to my breasts, to my shoulders and collar bones of diamond, neck, lips, eyes. I stare for 20 minutes, turning side and back. One leg stretched out to the side, lace pulled up and rested on my hip bones that make an appearance; a stance of a statue. I take a photo.

I wore my first thong at 16. It was bought for me as a half joke, gifted with a condom. At the age, I cringed at the thought of underwear shopping and the mention of Ann Summers as though it was crude. My body was an embarrassing topic of conversation, my growing boobs were inconvenient, and I had not given a thought to my bum until my old jeans didn’t fit anymore, and I cried. I had dealt with new hair, new acne, but I had only hid the body it hosted. My mornings ran quickly with no time spent considering how good I looked, no thoughts lingered on the new curve of my hips other than confusion. My underwear was only white, nude, black; common and covering. Until that blue thong. I wore it under a pinafore dress, unseen but I was aware. I smirked in a selfie. And since I have spent my money for my smirk. Open to investment in 20 minutes in front of a mirror, heart-eyed, admiring art like stood in a light gallery in an ever-loved, landmark building; a masterpiece, in architecture, in arcadia. Each new paper bag swung with joy, rush back to ill –lit bedrooms. Bralette, thong, suspenders, photo knelt in a mirror, never seen. Pink, subtle, peaking out from the bottom of a low neck. Embroidered and stand alone, with jeans, bare back in a cold night. High waist and hugging, soft with something plain. A high neck bra, lace creeping up and clasping like a hand, a necklace, maroon and extravagant. I figured the more I buy, the more days my reflection will be mesmerising as I slip it off and on, excited to look up. Aware of the power held in each centimetre of my body, learning slowly to careless if those numbers rise, there will only be more silver. At 19 now, my body is a weapon, a flower, a jewel. Beautiful and powerful, and jaw-dropping in a matching set, soft and strong in nothing at all. I forget the hair, try to remember skin care; but I decide on visibility. I remove it myself, I have an Ann Summer’s loyalty card.

My cage Louise Lennon

we were never solidly joined though you spent two years offering chains I thought it was because I didn’t want to be jailed caged as you fed me flowers and knives a label wouldn’t change what we felt and it need not define how we felt it but a year from our split we were awkwardly smiling and I said you could do as you wished because in our time apart I’d forgotten you’re feel because I had felt worlds away and all our friends would tell me to try to go again and I enjoyed hearing that you’d loved me and maybe that you still did from mouths which were not yours because it seemed more pure and fragile that you couldn’t tell me and leave me able to shatter all and though I told them ‘no’ it made me happy to see that it was your world that had revolved around me and that all along it had been you in the cage even though you growled in anguish and bit off my fingers as I fed you knives and flowers but then we met again and our friends didn’t plead with me to be the shining moon in your sky and as I rotated around you seeing you united with her I realised then that I had been the jailer not for love of you but for me

so I could sit and watch you eat my knives and flowers and smile as they cut and caressed you and so that you would always crawl to nourish me even if others had done so already and I tried to put away my knives and flowers when I saw that you had broken free and now I wondered if I’d have liked the taste of your fingers through metal bars but it was too late so I sat inside the broken cage and locked the door shut with my fingers and hoped and begged that you might come back to feed me your knives and flowers my favourite lovers snack

T h e S AV I O U R Lucas Jones

Damsel, train track tied I have blades for your ropes This tea stained ripped shirt Masked in cigarette smoke Hero, look up Pull your face from my lips Who here needs saving Please swallow your kiss Oh jokers and cowboys And railway kids Will run for their bedsheets Made not from your ribs Damsel, oh damsel A worrying quip Just buckle my bootstraps Both hands at my hips

Hero, heed horses Pristine and desperate Please tell me who's drowning Which one of us swims Damsel, doth anger And tearaway wit Displeasing, uneasy On my lap, now sit Now hero, choose carefully Each words be your truth

Please, who here needs saving Is it me or you? Sick Damsel, you ruiner Debaser, you cut You selfish insulter You penniless slut Now damsel be still now My hands on your thigh Who here is the saviour Who here still lies tied

Oh hero, truth traitor Your soul up in smoke My hands may be tied But my true spirit glows Oh damsel, still talking Your words are your loss Your hands to the track, tied A train soon will cross Oh hero, let trains be For trains cannot stop But men shovelling coal Own hands God will not wash Oh hero, track rattling Nothing we can do Tell me, who needs saving Is it me or you

These thoughts are mine Elizabeth Evans

We think about human supremacy

all the time.

It’s nice to think

about humans

serving the universe

rather than

the universe serving us.

These eyes are mine

these thoughts are mine

A speck on my conscience James Huxtable

The first drops of sunlight sit still atop your forehead; your skin’s milk fusing with the white underneath. Every atom of your being rises slowly as you breathe as if composed of fragments laid out where you’re spread. Leave a part behind. When you disperse today allow the particles to drift away between my fingertips, so that I may later find molecules within the threads of my identity. So that your aura may one day eclipse mine. The white underneath lies now serene, but the creases conjugate together like scales. The straining surface jolts at my touch, fingers enveloping the mind that failed. Incessantly staring down this screen, but sending has always been too much.

I’m j ust to u g h n ext to yo u Ethan Hemmati

14/2/2036 David,

When he looks at me, he sees mountains and burial mounds. I opened a door last week and saw a woman screaming down at me. She towered in the distance. My eyes swam in waves as I tried to lock her back into my history. She was out of place, and out of time. So was I. John’s in trouble, and I don’t know if he understands just how much trouble he’s in, or if he’d just like to forget. I met a psychic through this app who told me that there’s probably no use in trying to put things together so soon after a death. The only logical thing to do is to draw a picture in your mind’s eye of what things might look like one day. They’ll never look right, but the pictures can be so pretty. I think I lost my artistic sensibility in college. I wander through this city, David. I can’t find her. I can’t find John. We cross paths in the kitchen sometimes. We fuck on a spaceship where the bed used to be. We’re not talking in the same tongue anymore. Were we ever? You’d tell me, if you hadn’t been so dumb and lost everything. We could’ve had a life together. I liked making you laugh, and your movies were great. I’ll never write my novel in this city. And the lights go off and off when I’m around. Smudged my glasses on the way down the stairs as I stood in the dark in front of the glass doors and stared at the pollution in the skies and thought, shit. Just shit. And John and I once had the talk about kids. It was tenuous, and make-believe, of course. But it still happened. You were there that day. That terrible day. Searching, not finding. Even worse.

Anyway, life makes a mediocre attempt to pick up its prosthetic leg and find something else to do. I have no prosthetic leg. The glass ceiling is shattered. They say on the news that no one has a nationality anymore. We’re finding it impossible to define ourselves by our houses, our cars, our Christmas Rolexes. I heard that there used to be six songs on each side of a record album. Maria says she’s going to slit her wrists again one day if they don’t turn off those starving baby pictures on the monitors. They follow her everywhere. They follow us all – she’s nothing special. Come see me. We have the spare room. It’s cold, and fun. We can grow something there again. Maybe it doesn’t belong to me anymore. Maybe it never did. Do you even love me at all? Nevermind. Stay safe on the streets. I’ll wire you money for bread. With affection, the friend you wish I were

Used to be mine Lucy Harbron

You had held my hand for approximately three hours; walking in, and sitting in the dark with your face lit in a subtle orange from the man on screen’s t-shirt. I framed the ticket, but now the beginning twinkle of that song from the soundtrack that we would duet in the car, it hurts. I turn it off. You took it from me, along with that dress with daisies on it, four friends, Halloween, and red lipstick. I had wanted to share with you, found joy in merging lives as I found joy in interlocking fingers like that. But everything swapped hands, and you walked away. Stevie Nicks sang about The Dealer, but I couldn’t listen to her either, she sounded like the Tuesday you taught me to use your record player, how we loved that breakup album. I didn’t listen till December. Long after you left I was still skipping songs for you, running from you in radio, cutting my hair, throwing out clothes. I never watched the film again.

Intro : Lucy Rose S e e yo u f a l l : H o w To D re s s We l l Our love : Sharon Van Etten Cherry : Lana Del Rey Ta k i n g p i c t u r e s o f y o u : T h e K o o k s Paris summer : The Last Shadow Puppets Is this what you wanted : Leonard Cohen Think of England : Bear’s Den Saw you in a dream : The Japanese House River : Leon Bridges Hollywood forever cemetery sings : Father John Misty What once was : Her’s A case of you : Joni Mitchell Each time you fall in love : Cigarettes After Sex Hard feelings / Loveless : Lorde Alaska {acoustic} : Maggie Rogers Night so long : HAIM Love can’t stand alone : Bear’s Den Strangest thing : The War On Drugs White lie : The Lumineers The I love you bridge : The Crookes A n y m o v e m e n t : D. I . D My door is always open : Noah and The Whale The moon song : Karen O Landslide : Fleetwood Mac With him : Blood Orange

O d e to B erli n: Yo u ’re M i n e ( I f O n ly F o r a M o m e n t ) Words : Nabeela Saghir Photo : Umar Saghir

I want Berlin again tucked away in my pocket The Brandenburg Gate my sanctuary. I want Berlin, strawberry-eating in abandoned airports adventure-seeking in sunsets and people, getting lost on the metro between HermannstraĂ&#x;e and Alexanderplatz, finding myself again along the U-Bahn route. Berlin in me in my bones and in my hair breathing with me the unapologetic me the kind of free England couldn't offer the kind of free he couldn't offer. I want Berlin again until I've drank enough culture danced with more than one stranger. I need her April warmth to kiss me the way he couldn’t to suck the English rose and all her thorns from my body plant cornflowers in my lungs instead. I need you, Berlin, all to myself need soil unspoiled by his touch because the German word for love is silk on my tongue even if love itself is acid in my throat.

L o v e r ’ s P r ay e r Words : John McCullagh Art : Rachelle Cox

lover, you are the one who ignored the letter that got sent to you last week lover, you see so many different lovers that you make my bones break lover, you are allowed to walk down division street hand in hand with your new lover without a care lover, you was my mystery and I yours too lover, shake salt from the sea and curl into my lap on the Crete sand lover, you are the one who sits stranded in your mothers arms on a rainy Edinburgh night

lover, you’re the white noise that rings in my ear as i lay alone allowing myself to love lover, you understand my longing is not a virtue of wrong doing and hedonism lover, I know our dreams of a New York summertime are long over, strangers have told me that lover, here’s to the sound of the music lining the hallways lover, here’s to the lovers who dance to the jazz and Sinatra of yesteryear lover, here’s to you being kept sacred in my past lover, here’s to you dead in the spotlight, alive in my mind lover, you can abuse your muse until you collapse, save them thoughts till next Tuesday lover, where are you tonight? lover, you are the one who sedates me and disconnects my mind lover, kill me softly and praise my mother lover, maybe I'll see you Christmas day again and lovers we will be

F l o r a l E m p at h y Alexander Tindall

T h e M a n t h a t t o o k aw ay m y childhood Jade Millard

To the man who calls himself my ‘father’, You made me feel as though I wasn’t worthy of a stable, loving family unit Being half of the person that created me, you should have been half responsible for providing me with safety and security. Yet instead, you took away everything that was mine. You took away that stability, you took away that security, you took away that safety You replaced it with rage, rawness, regrets. From a young girl aged 6, I felt as though half of my identity was missing It was almost like half of my DNA had simply disappeared - which in all honesty, it had. How was I meant to discover myself when I was never really whole in the first place? I never felt like you belonged in my life, as I’d gotten so used to your absence over the years that it was almost like you never really had a presence as far as I was aware. You turned your back on your little family and walked away Am I the reason you felt you couldn’t stay? The love that you had to give was never meant to be mine to keep. Grandma would always ring up and check on my safety, in case you had inflicted harm upon me whilst you were drunk. Even when you had moved out, you were still lurking in the shadows for one reason or another You hid behind a bush after coming back from the local pub one day and tried to speak to Mum and I. Being so shocked and mortified, I wet myself there and then. You have unknowingly left scars both on my heart and in my mind – no amount of time can ever completely heal them.

All you have ever really given me that has stuck is my last name - and to be truthful, I wanted to tear it away from myself like you egotistically tore yourself away from my existence. All I can remember of you is scaring myself and Mum, time and time again. A young girl needs her father to set an example. How else will she be able to understand the love that she’s worthy of when she’s matured and left to her own devices? You were meant to be the man who never hurt me. Yet you caused more destruction than any other man ever could and you did it from before I was even born. All I can remember is you shutting me in my room for what seemed like hours on end, keeping your own daughter a prisoner whilst you most likely drowned your sorrows in your favourite type of poison – your beloved booze. No wonder all my encounters with boys who were once strangers turned sour and I turned to self-destructive behaviours. I should have been able to rely on you becoming my saviour, shielding me from the rage, rawness and regrets - caused by the one man who was never meant to hurt me.

Poppies Words : Natasha Rainey Art : Elizabeth Corrall

I was riper than fire, swallowed by coal that spat out bones. I thought they were mine, my bones to fold into a clone A body with no cracks I could own. Her body had no cracks. An arched back. where poppied bruises sang ring-a-ring o’ roses in the cobbles of her spine. Shoulders pocketed knotted knees, nursing crying eyes. Cackling sorely, ribs drank air to calm her disguise. She stood in glass, a ghost; I stared, imitating her. Leaving with only her shadow to follow. It was lighter than petals and filled the cracks in my wrists I almost forgot they were there.

Then I found her in a reflection. She scowled at my skin, dripping like milk. And pricked by strawberry scars. Her golden hand nipped my stomach. Numbing its shrieks silent. And with her fingers she dug into my cheeks. Until they were hollow. You, a ghoul behind my eyes, you break my heart as I die. Be warm with clemency or release my bones! I am more beautiful as fire, than you are as coal.

We live in a movie no one will see Rachelle Cox

S o l i ta r y Ta y l a H a l f a c r e

Grew in the womb listening to a single heart beat and that song still resonates loud, loud (could be a strength or say it may be a recluse that is me…) oneliness equates to weakness, supposedly but do not most things grow from a single seed? With others in the way there is not space to breathe to grow into the right direction it leads to questioning the weight of one’s bones and measuring out the depth and extent of the earth’s soil. and moving mountains has proved hard even when nature’s veins seem to stretch infinitely from beneath and now the summit is becoming more defined. i once asked the earth if my bones were enough for its soil around about now, rather than when my time runs out but there is a problem with such a question when I am still growing.

A p l a c e t h at wa s n ’ t m i n e / a p l a c e t h at i s m i n e Holly Parkinson

I pick you out on a map a year ago today Received the blueprints for the house and traced every sliver of white with my fingers to then be demolished a hole within me cut clearly with a tower chiselled by a morning choir I am reduced to no more than an examination stripped bare and splayed on glorified parchment and perhaps a little girl still reaches out for a dark blue ribbon and perhaps a spinster cranes her neck to look above again but perhaps a hand will brush your walls and perhaps the wall will exert equal in return to breathe with me respire with my very being even if for just a second for the same soft navy to loop around my wrist and wave, wave you down the river

I still bow to you, but perhaps you should bow to me and ask 'why do you kneel for what is really only bricks and mortar?'

you will adopt her bricks and mortar that crumble and you find debris in your court shoes ten years later with spires etched into your skin spring gentian pools at your ankles always your beautiful stronghold the walls that take you in when you first meet to tell you of safety and longing and wanting, wanting you will cry for her when you hear her bells sing the flowers that seed from you make their own pilgrimage, flanked in soft palatinate you reach out for her countless times, give her all you can bleed. she will match you she will catch you every time, every time.

Thank you

Profile for KILORAN




Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded