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the pickled body

Issue 1.1 The Red Shoes Winter 2013

New poems by Kimberly Campanello Philip Casey Todd Swift and more Art prints by Ria Czerniak

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Contents Issue 1.1 The Red Shoes Winter 2013

Editorial

4

Philip Casey Awake at Dawn

6

Afric McGlinchey The Oyster Swims South

7

Todd Swift Red Shoes

8

Kate O’Shea The Talking Stiletto

9

Maurice Devitt Incident at Fallow Water

10

Amanda Earl untitled poem from Beast Body Epic

11

David Milligan-Croft Le Cadavre d’Exquis, de l’Amour

12

John Ennis The Spirit of Ellie Carr Praises John Joe Nevin an’ the Sun an’ the Moon Dancin’

13

Ruairi Conneely Sweet Nadine

14

Maria Isakova Bennett After Pierre Auguste

15

Shane Holohan Pietà

16

Ria Czerniak Four prints for The Red Shoes Artist’s statement There is No Sadder Sight than a Woman Betrayed by her Own Shoes Subsumed Carried Away on a Glorious Whim Appearing from the Debris

17 18 19 20 21

Todd Colby Red Onion in the Snow

22

Kevin Higgins Not Red Nor a Rose, No

23

Billy Ramsell Repetitive Beats

24

Kimberly Campanello In Bodies as in Gods

27

Sarah Stewart The Pickle Jar

29

Contributors

30

Editorial Oh the minute I put them on/I knew I had done something wrong – ‘The Red Shoes’, Kate Bush The Red Shoes is a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. It tells the story of a girl who, possessed by a pair of red shoes, cannot stop dancing. Even after her feet are chopped from her body, the dance must go on. Our call for submissions was inspired by this idea, embodied in the fable as well as in two other works also called The Red Shoes: Powell and Pressburger’s wondrous 1948 film, and Kate Bush’s album released twenty years ago, in November 1993. We sought poems that possessed or are possessed, that moved, that ached. The sixteen pieces selected for Issue 1.1, complemented by the work of our featured artist Ria Czerniak, are by turns visceral and surreal, vibrant and raw. Possession is a key theme in the issue. We cannot help but draw a parallel between feet slipping into red shoes and ‘a dark hostility/the hesitation of dogs, slipping slowly into their skin’ (“Incident at Fallow Water” by Maurice Devitt). Nor can we overlook the potential madness of being possessed. ‘He will never, never sleep’ says Billy Ramsell, whose poem “Repetitive Beats” drives forward with such momentum that it could go on forever. In Ruairi Conneely’s “Sweet Nadine”, madness, the kind that only love can feed, leads five brothers to ‘kill themselves over’ a woman. Love is on good form in this first issue of The Pickled Body. In Todd Colby’s poem, ‘Someone put/a red onion on the snow outside/my door, like that would help/change things’. For Kevin Higgins love was ‘a dandelion cut mercifully/short by a lawnmower’. Sarah Stewart shares her cure for love: ‘I took the jar to the woods/and I let the hearts go’. Not surprisingly the colour red runs through the work presented here. Philip Casey ‘evokes red fields of frost’ in his surreal and cool poem “Awake at Dawn”. Maria Isakova Bennett’s “After Pierre Auguste” dances in the red end of the spectrum with ‘the walls raspberries’. Kate O’Shea draws us in with a red intensity as can only belong to blood: ‘We nine are a star-cluster dancing together/on a dark patch made by a ton of blood’. The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013

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The body claims its place too. Kimberly Campanello’s “In Bodies as in Gods” declares that ‘shapes are blurred/for the best’. Afric McGlinchey’s “The Oyster Swims South” sits fat with sensuality like ‘a mussel on the tongue’. For David Milligan-Croft the body and love are tied together in an ‘exquisite corpse of love’; and, as for Amanda Earl’s untitled poem from the “Beast Body Epic”, there is no mincing of words, no holding back: ‘in the key of feminine/I fuck because I can’. John Ennis, meanwhile, captures the musicality of poetry: ‘praise stramin’ in like the sun an’ the moon dancin’; while, as in the Andersen fable, religion and art are married beautifully in Shane Holohan’s “Pietà”: ‘My friend paints Madonna/A child in her arms.’ We hope you enjoy this inaugural issue of The Pickled Body. In the title track of her 1993 album, Kate Bush asserts that ‘these shoes do a kind of voodoo’. We think the work collected here attests to that but don’t take our word for it. Instead take Todd Swift’s, from his poem “Red Shoes”: ‘So art sets teachers dancing with their slaves.’

– The Editors

The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013

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The Talking Stiletto Kate O’Shea I am the voice of nine women talking at once, steadily detached, glutinous, discussing prayers and spares. Awkwardly bumping with planets. They are colossal but colourless, relating the epic of the mutilated groin that is divine. (It has to be divine.) We pretend to be colder than we are and eat the sex organs of a dolphin. This is because we remember the chaste rhythm of the sea and dread the narwhal with his tusk. We nine are a star-cluster dancing together on a dark patch made by a ton of blood. We sit dipping fingers in a cup humming a song that is nasal, (more a whine). We are Christ with housemaid’s knee incomplete without our toiletries. We are the daughters of colonials, an organised group living close together: our infrastructure of clotheslines have made us experts on the weather. Our mothers were born in interesting times when the universe was a disc. And I, the voice of nine women, was burnt as a witch.

The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013

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Incident at Fallow Water Maurice Devitt When we found you hiding in the well, we knew nothing of what had gone before - spoor of fear streaked across the lining of the night. A rattle of wheels in the courtyard, a knock on every second door and the draught of a familiar voice, thought to be forgotten. We can only imagine the freight of time, the mocking of buttons and, woken to a dark hostility, the hesitation of dogs, slipping slowly into their skin. As you hurried through the blackened kitchen were you saying goodbye or did your eyes set on a cobweb in a corner of the moon? Did you mistake your footsteps for his and expect to meet yourself running away? When you opened the door were you relieved by the rush of silence, the sameness of stars and a pathway visible only to slippered feet? The scissors we found were blunt enough for clipping herbs, but not much else, and the blood was never matched. Now between your nightmares you speak of a man who worked the farm, gentle hands, cap pulled down to hide his eyes.

The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Red Shoes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Winter 2013 10

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After Pierre Auguste Maria Isakova Bennett I have to fill the space left by falling leaves circling through trees. Nothing takes off from here nothing sticks. The curtains are mulberry the walls raspberries. I want you to dance with me to spin me at Bougival. Put your hand on my bare shoulder your bare hand on my shoulder. Daze me. With you my head turned spinning too fast past mulberry and winter snow raspberries, early morning in March shadow from a plum tree on my birthday while I’m waiting for the only gift I want, you to taste raspberries in sun streaming through gaps in mulberries closed on the longest day of the year when no one died. The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013 15

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Four prints for The Red Shoes Artist statement Ria Czerniak

As soon as I heard the theme of the publication, I was determined to be part of it. I’ve always been a huge Kate Bush fan, but it was only when I read Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes that I really got excited. It has to be one of the darkest, most profound stories I’ve read in a long time. The ‘don't be distracted by your fancy shoes when you’re meant to be praying’ moral of the story gives it its fable-like quality. The imagery Andersen creates, however, takes it in another direction; the Wonderland-like growing and shrinking of spaces, the enslaved wearer of the relentless red shoes, all lent themselves readily to visual interpretation. The hardest task was to choose which element to focus on. I spent the summer working on sketches and in September took my notebook on my holiday to the Greek islands. In an archaeological museum in Delos I came across a plinth where a statue had once been. All that remained were the feet, durable and rooted. The Greek architecture, the local hibiscus and the surrounding hillsides also made their way into the drawings. For me, the enduring area of interest in The Red Shoes, the part that I couldn’t get out of my head, was the moment Karen’s beloved shoes took on a life of their own. I tried to capture their seductive power, their ribbons like snakes slyly wrapping themselves around all they encountered. I hope you enjoy this work even half as much as I enjoyed creating it. _______________

Page 18: There is No Sadder Sight than a Woman Betrayed by her Own Shoes Page 19: Subsumed Page 20: Carried Away on a Glorious Whim Page 21: Appearing from the Debris

The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013 17

Red Onion in the Snow Todd Colby An elegant blitz of slush is something I can wake up to. My sheets have jelly on them. All my books are marked with severed pinkies. Out in the living room someone spilled corn on the pillows and stinky green multivitamins are strewn on the floor. What’s going on here? I’m alone with the crisp metallic clang of the radiator and the sounds of snow removal machines humming together creating a wobbly harmony. The day is blank. Someone put a red onion on the snow outside my door, like that would help change things, like I would ever find love again.

The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013 22

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Repetitive Beats Billy Ramsell This is the sound of repetitive beats. Ruff Diamond synchs with the vinyl. These are repetitive surgical snares. Ruff’s in synch with the tables and faders on the 6 a.m. shift. He’s in synch with the Technics and circuitry. These are machine-born, the fills, the drilled rim-shots, to which Ruff rocks on his heels that are callused from dancing, all-night dancing to Calibre and Subsource and the boys from Breakology. Can his sleep-starved eyes even see past the stage he stands on? His jaw muscles rotate, his beard smells of beer, but his sober right hand caresses the vinyl he’s slipped from its pink plastic sheath, massages that spinning wax, nudges it, takes a few RPMs out of it, feels it synch with the beats to which the landscape vibrates as his left hand pushes a fader up. This is insistency. Under the shifting piano parts, under the fat dropped-in bassline, the repetitive beats keep on seamlessly streaming from the speaker-stacks, through the marquee with its seven demented dancers and into the light, this-not-quite-morning light in which curtain after curtain melts or falls away to leave another curtain of diminished greyness: grey-milk, mackerel, milk-bone, receding asymptotically toward dawn.

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These are the beats, these the repetitive climbing piano parts, that pass through the mammal scent, the manure and ripening scent of the portaloos toward the castle walls, over the fields of massive, fantastic-coloured mushrooms that appear and disappear with the suddenness of mushrooms. In this one a couple are making love. On a cloud of jeans and sleeping-bags, of underwear, in the aquamarine tent-light he kisses her thighs. While in this one poor Donncha burns. He burns, ocean-pupiled, in the canvas-amplified heat of coming dawn, rocking and turning in his fusty womb. Useless. He will never, never sleep. But Fionn hears nothing of that precision and rage, his brain massaged by the delta waves, by the black and milky waves of dreamless slumber. His Buckfast-stained jeans stick out through the tent flaps, gather dew. Over his head, over the huddled domes he lies in, the repetitive beats float down the scrubbed slope to the oak grove in the manor garden. Quercus robur and Quercus petraea. Do memories move through them like plant lice? Of sunlight lapping the parasoled lawns and the nut-cracker clunk of mallet on ball; those June, undying afternoons of lemonade and bathing suits, vast imagination-baiting bathing suits, and fumbling red-faced embraces behind the kissing tree? Of course not. Now their leafy, convoluted antennae shelter the dirty-faced hippy children, Ochre and Jade, who jump around to the sound of repetitive beats, who shimmy and jig to the hi-hats Ruff Diamond slips into the mix, half-heeded by their half-asleep Dad. His grey lips clasp on a soggy joint from which flakes of ash strafe his tartan kaftan as he stares into his palm-temperature Stella can. The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Red Shoes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Winter 2013 25

Brendan, beside him, stirs the tiny hell of the campfire’s remnants, all cinder fields and rivers of slag, drinks milk and thinks about sausages. This is the sound of repetitive beats. This is the relentless climbing piano part. Jade chases Ochre round the teepees and handcraft stalls. A grey-eyed, glassy-eyed reveller lifts her skirt up from her flowered wellingtons, slips her knickers down and pisses behind the kissing tree. To Bren the beats seem almost visible as they spread over the lake water’s clarity. Do they dull its almost perfectly reflective surface like breath over glass as they float toward the midge-smudged distant shore, toward the lines of blurred and water-colour conifers? He takes a mouthful of milk direct from the bottle. He pours. Oil on the pan. The beats criss-cross his raw, darkening brain. His weary brain. He closes. His eyes. Just as Ruff stabs down on the mute button and fills the dawn with a sudden, juddering silence like when the washing machine stops shuddering, like when the

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In Bodies as in Gods Kimberly Campanello In bodies as in gods, shapes are blurred for the best. The Shiva Linga paintings of Rajasthan show god’s hard-on as a cosmic egg just as Hildegard von Bingen shaped the universe into a flowering vulva, an egg veined with starlight. The cosmos – a hard-on we can dive into like a cunt, an abyss that won’t reflect back anything that we know. In bodies as in gods, wetness is wetness. Holy water flung from a pine branch. Milk poured over wood. The cave drip at Carrowkeel. The Pickled Body Issue 1.1 – The Red Shoes – Winter 2013 27

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Contributors Maria Isakova Bennett lives in Liverpool, from where she sometimes travels – with a suitcase full of diaries and a head full of stories and art. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing in 2012, and has poems in The New Writer, Envoi, Orbis, Crannóg, Boyne Berries, Prole, and Poetry Bus (forthcoming). Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana, and now divides her time between Dublin and London. Doire Press published her debut collection Consent in 2013. Her pamphlet Spinning Cities was published by Wurm Press in 2011. Her poems have appeared in publications in the USA, Canada, the UK, and Ireland. Philip Casey is the author of four poetry collections and three novels. In early 2014 he will publish his selected poems, <<tried & sentenced>>, via his independent imprint, eMaker Editions. Todd Colby is the author of five books of poetry. He blogs at gleefarm.blogspot.com. Brooklyn, New York is his home. Ruairi Conneely writes fiction, journalism and bits of philosophy and criticism. He is an assisting volunteer with the 7 Towers Agency. He’s coming up on ten years in Dublin. He is all about big ideas and the beauty of language and always, always refers to himself in the third person. Ria Czerniak is a Dublin-born artist and musician. 2012 saw the release of her debut album Souvenir, for which she also did the artwork. She recently returned to education, studying print at NCAD. Maurice Devitt, after a career in business, completed the Poetry Studies MA at Mater Dei in Dublin, focusing on the poetry of James Wright, Charles Bernstein and others. He was recently shortlisted for the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, Over the Edge New Writer Award, Westport Arts Poetry and the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition. Poems accepted recently by journals in Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Australia and Mexico. He is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group and is preparing a first collection. Amanda Earl is a Canadian poet, publisher and pornographer living in Ottawa, Ontario. Her poetry has been published in Australia, Canada, France, the UK and the USA. Visit www.amandaearl.com or Twitter @KikiFolle. John Ennis’s verse has appeared recently in Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Riddle Fence, Outburst, The Burning Bush 2, New Hibernia Review, The Clifden Anthology, Boyne Berries and Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot. Postponing Ásbyrgi (poems in response to Sìgur Rós), was published by Three Spires Press in 2013.

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Kevin Higgins’s poetry features in the anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010). Mentioning the War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012. Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry, The Ghost In The Lobby, will have its U.S. launch in February and its Irish launch in April. Shane Holohan lives near the sea, as he always has, this time in Ringsend, Dublin. When he’s not making ads, teaching creativity or studying physics, he likes to write, take photos and surf. Afric McGlinchey’s collection The lucky star of hidden things, was published by Salmon in 2012. A Pushcart nominee, she won the 2010 Hennessy Poetry Award and 2012 Northern Liberties poetry prize (USA), and has been placed, commended and shortlisted in a number of competitions, including Magma and the Bridport. www.africmcglinchey.com David Milligan-Croft is the author of the novel, Love is Blood, and the poetry collection, Let me fail in sunshine, (both available on Amazon). He was shortlisted for the Independent on Sunday short story competition in 1997 and his poetry has been widely published in Ireland, Britain and the U.S. Kate O’Shea is currently shortlisted for the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition. Wurm Press published her chapbook Crackpoet in 2013. She was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award 2012 and received a special commendation in 2013. Her first collection will be published by Riposte Books in 2014. Billy Ramsell holds the Chair of Ireland Bursary for 2013. He edits the Irish section of the Poetry International website and recently judged the Shine Strong award for best first collection by an Irish poet. He has been invited to read his work at many festivals and literary events around the world. His second collection, The Architect’s Dream of Winter, will be published shortly by the Dedalus Press. Sarah Stewart is a writer, editor, and Co-Director of The Lighthouse Literary Consultancy. Her poetry has appeared in Anon, Mslexia, and The Scotsman; and her first children’s novel will be published by Stripes in 2015. She lives in Edinburgh and has never pickled a heart. Dr Todd Swift, born in Montreal, now in London, is Director of Eyewear Publishing Ltd, and currently University Teacher in Creative Writing, University of Glasgow. His blog is Eyewear. He is author of eight collections of poetry, and an editor of over a dozen anthologies.

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The Pickled Body www.thepickledbody.com Also: Facebook: /ThePickledBody Twitter: @thepickledbody thepickledbody.tumblr.com

Since 2013. The Pickled Body is an online poetry quarterly edited, designed and produced by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. The poems and artwork featured in this issue are copyright Š 2013 by their respective authors and artists, and may not be reproduced without permission. The Pickled Body is copyright Š 2013 by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. All rights reserved. Thanks this issue to Kate Bush, the Archers and Andersen.


The Pickled Body - Issue 1.1 - The Red Shoes