The Pickled Body - Issue 3.1 How To Make Love In Dangerous Times

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the pickled body issue 3.1 how to make love in dangerous times
 summer 2016

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 2

the pickled body Issue 3.1 Summer 2016

How to Make Love in Dangerous Times


 Editorial / 5
 Tess Barry
 Pear Blossom / 6
 Maria Isakova Bennett
 Bolt / 7 Lucy Palmer
 Beat / 8 Liz N. Clift
 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 9
 Insignificance / 10
 Jessica Johannesson Gaitán
 Fika, or how I tried to burn my bridges / 11 Mary Gilonne Kitchen affairs / 12 Siobhán Flynn
 My Husband Antoine van Leeuwenhoek Discovers Spermatozoa / 13 Roisin Kelly
 Gougane Barra / 14 Geoffrey Gatza
 Under the Drone-Filled Skies, Love / 15 Orla Fay
 The Weeping Woman / 16 Featured Artist
 Cara Dunne / 17 Majella Kelly
 Clipping a Cockatiel’s Wings (for Dummies) / 22 Tom Crompton
 witch department / 23 Rob A. McKenzie
 Quality Pout / 24


Megan Merchant
 Zeta / 25 Railophone / 26 Tattersall / 27 Stephanie Conn
 The Flower You Gave Me / 28 Rebecca Valley
 This Hunger / 29
 Landslide in Four Parts / 30
 Tania Hershman
 Kiss the First / 31

Contributors / 32

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 5

 Our call for issue 3.1, ‘How to Make Love in Dangerous Times’, began innocently enough: A bird has landed on your tongue. From there, what our contributors chose to do with that bird, rested squarely on what danger they saw in everything that came after. We called that bird love; after all, l’amour est un oiseau rebele — and like so many times before, love is here to have its way with you. We are not the first to say this about love. Take The Eurythmics’ Love is A Stranger: It's savage and it's cruel/And it shines like destruction/Comes in like the flood/And it seems like religion/It's noble and it's brutal/It distorts and deranges/And it wrenches you up/And you're left like a zombie. Our call got as far as the throat, and never deeper than this: And you give in, of course you do. So what is it about love, that makes us give in? What is it about love that makes us do this, over and over again, with no regard for our safety? Is this complete lack of safety the thing that turns times dangerous? Think of AIDS, think of violence, think about choice. Think about control. We could not do this to the heart and so we stopped ourselves short, and buried that bird deep in the throat, and made it clear that before it ever gets to the heart, you have let a wild thing find its way into you. In some ways, it is already too late. Yes, there is a crack in everything and yes, you gotta kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight, but nothing in this world is casual. Love breaks in, and love can break a body, and love can do this long before it gets to the heart. Even the most beautiful birds are dangerous at times — prends garde à toi! We love the work that makes up this issue and we hope you enjoy it too: ‘How to Make Love in Dangerous Times’.

love, the editors

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 6

Tess Barry
 Pear Blossom

Out for a run one late April morning I smell semen. It follows me all over town. Dizzies me as I’m running along sweet and biting, it seeps into each sniff, overwhelming my sense of directing my limbs. I stumble drunkenly on 
 through every right or left turn street corners reeking. I search for the culprit, smell every opening: cherry blossoms, magnolias, even Japanese maples. Overcome, I look up into the boughs of a Bradford Pear tree stare into white rounds of blooms stacked in spheres atop one another. I pull a stem close, press my nose deep into its middle, inhale pear blossom semen fragrant, but bitter. Hundreds of white petal folds lay themselves open, curl away from their centers, revealing tiny green navels, circled by dozens of minuscule stamens, rising straight up and vertical. I break a branch for myself, and run on, released.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 7

Maria Isakova Bennett

While you’re above rooftops, your hands full of new ideas — half-primed canvases, a sheet of music you’ll learn to play tomorrow — I hammer this street with my boots: to work, to the train, a prisoner with a key I can’t use. The moon is amber and I am full of wishes. Hail crashes down like a mistake and I turn inside — a tabernacle. I keep reading Corinthians like a spell, love always perseveres, never fails, as though it will make our life work. Instead of loaves, I made croissants because they’re complicated, but now I don’t cook — just dig in my bag for a key, close my eyes

and wait for everything to go green.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 8

Lucy Palmer

Arguing over whether sex should make you laugh or be dirty cool, you say both then make your point as you pucker wine-stained lips, grin like a crazed succubus and pepper my calves with kisses like hot wet suns, trace my thighs with your tongue, blistering skin as you go, then — wow — you’re murmuring James Brown into me, inside me, tongue and fingers jabbing along to the liquidy beat I don’t quite know where, lashing a storm in my bones, and I can’t believe I’m about to explode to the vibrations of Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag. I open my mouth to laugh and instead a roar like pain, then tears like laughter so hard my cheeks hurt. Afterwards, as we fall asleep, as I kiss your eyelids, count your eyelashes instead of sheep, I admit defeat.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 9

Liz N. Clift
 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times

1. Gather petals from the tulips of spring’s
 winter storm. Spread them on a cookie sheet
 in a sunny window, and whisper a prayer
 for the bees to return. 2. When the petals dry, mix them with last season’s
 lavender and spread them across your lover’s bed
 while peepers chorus under the steady drone
 of drones. Hum a song to the rustle of cattails 
 greening in the turtle pond with the old canoe. 3. Cattails thrive with high level of phosphorus. Think
 of the red head of a match, the way the right pressure
 under the right conditions can lead to steady flame. 4. Laughter is salve and what you love most
 about your lover are the slow curves etched
 into the corners of their eyes. 5. You are glitter and radiation fog, ready to burn off
 with the rising sun. You have been destroyed before. 6. Remember the day last summer the two of you 
 pushed the canoe into the middle of the pond,
 the way the dog watched from shore, tail thumping
 verdant grass, the how an iridescent blue dragonfly
 landed on your shoulder. 7. The bees have not returned. 8. The spring onions are pushing through the ground. 9. Life is a frenzy of heartbeats, your hearts beating,
 the crush of the petals beneath your bodies. 10. Here, even radiant fog can sometimes settle in,
 can soften the edges of the world. The thing 
 about glitter is that you keep finding it
 long after you expect it to be gone.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 10

Liz N. Clift

The air is smoke blowing in from Happy Camp, California which is burning again. The orchards in the valley that hang heavy with pears. The wasps that gorge on fallen fruit. The wagon trail that once twisted past this artesian well in the woods rich with Doug fir. Time slows down here, which is why people journey up the mountain with jugs to fill with water born from the heart of this mountain. A man traces the insides of the burnout fir whose needles are still green at the upper reaches. The heartwood and xylem are gone at the base and the tree is not long for the world. The man considers the scene: this would be a good place to die. This is not a morbid thought, he thinks, because death comes for us all. He wonders at the tree, when it might have burned, how it struggles on. No other trees here are touched by fire, there are hardly any snags. He thinks of aspen, how whenever an aspen is injured is sends up new suckers. How these suckers get browsed by elk, how this results in more aspen. How conifers will encroach an aspen stand and how without fire in 400 years, conifer will take over. How this whole forest must once have been barren rock, and before that the rock still rested beneath the crust of the earth.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 11

Jessica Johannesson Gaitán
 Fika, or how I tried to burn my bridges Fika: to have coffee/tea, with or without something on the side.

As you may not remember, it was an age of desk dictatorships. My trick was to delegate as far-fetched as possible rituals to each, closer than should ever be possible, mouth. It was a time of always keeping an eye on some speech or other, insolently creeping into our new sleep and about to muck with unrelated heart-to-hearts. It had its moments of fists, its absurd street fights. What I meant was splattered with the memory of umlauts and loves relearned. Swedish was jealous and sorry, English easily made uncomfortable. An earl-grey doesn’t make a fika. There were slip-ups, half-asleep. I promised you I was improving, when you weren’t asking me to. The old me was in regression but still waking up to call out a smell of fireworks. ‘Pet,’ you said, ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’ Equivalents were important and seared. An earl-grey just doesn’t make a fika. Near enough was the hook on which we hung our truths, waiting for the exact to come and fit each meaning perfectly. Those were times of approximations, and of points made more poignant than ever before. I don’t know what I haven’t got till it’s here and it comes with an accent. You: an addressed. The One but also ‘one’, as in ‘one cares more than ever about pronouns’. Du: a you not as in ‘one’. A few du’s thus far but not a single one like you. It was the age of separatism on the page, trickling down to the substrata of idea, preceding word by years and decades of earl-greys. Immersion was a monogamous affair with polyamorous content, remembered trial by foot. In the making, we tend to interrupt ourselves.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 12

Mary Gilonne Kitchen affairs A light tumble of artichokes, wanton globes, wait to be stripped skin-bare in my kindly lap. How blades slice through these marbled leaves with luscious ease, sap spilling bloodless white, hearts hollowed with a lover’s deft precision. These little murders we enact when gripping vegetable knives, an expiation of some inner darker fact. Wintered potatoes, sloughed skins, wrinkled cabbage, pared, julienned, shredded. A barbarous ritual, calculated cookery perhaps, but understand my love, that when my garden tells you’ve bedded someone else, I line the carrots up, and cut.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 13

Siobhán Flynn
 My Husband Antoine van Leeuwenhoek Discovers Spermatozoa Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) was a Dutch cloth merchant and scientist. 
 He was the first to observe and describe spermatozoa.

Light spills through the leaded window ignites the contemplation on his face the glass pressed to his eye like a jeweller looking at a diamond my husband views a tiny world unknown until this instant Not six beats of the pulse have passed since we were here together loving in our private domain with no thought for me he leapt from the bed his seed not planted but a specimen Pushing the tapestry aside rumpling the rich blue and gold he disorders its pattern reaching for his pen tumbling his papers to the floor he sets the globe on his desk spinning

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 14

Roisin Kelly
 Gougane Barra

I heard you brought a girl out to Gougane Barra and made love to her there. If I stood beside her, the lake might merge our reflections into one beautiful girl. Would you know who exactly you were pressing then into the fallen leaves? I would have gone with you if only you’d asked. Where the ground was too wet we would have found a flat rock to make love on. I would have let you go on top, the red dents in my back would have meant so much to me. I wish I could show you my back, I wish you would kiss it. I imagine it smooth and white and pretty much flawless. Do some damage, boy! What are you waiting for? I’ve been out to Gougane Barra before, stood in the mountain valley where the River Lee has its source as do maybe all things. The trees are as tall as a cathedral’s pillars, the light comes glass-green through a ceiling of pine needles. Climbing the mountain, I longed to fuck on all the wooden bridges at waterfalls. Instead I scooped icy handfuls of water into my mouth, rolling my sleeves up like a washerwoman. It was snowing at the summit, softness lying down in every hollow that might have been the one you made love in. After the snow cleared, the valley was all rainbows and the blue-yellow light of October, in which the reflection of the lake island’s little church was almost as perfect as the thing itself.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 15

Geoffrey Gatza
 Under the Drone-Filled Skies, Love

Now come the dark. Skylight pillars Fill the midnight sky; we are meridian blue. Things here are fire, can you feel it? You taste of peaches; a labyrinth, willful bodies knit. The senses delineate. Shock bowls us to the ground. The importance, the swerve of now is utterly alien. Prolonging over-tense moments of booming drums. We run the streets, blow the night like a nose, Or a trombone, pulling out to draw open a sound. Our hats do doff to the fools passing, alive in motorcars. Sound police driving along roads at breakneck speed, In orbit around indescribable incantations, we chant. We find a god cave and hide within it. We settle in, penumbra, forgetting; Until the revelation passes overhead. This is so far beneath our dignity; We feel vertigo as we look down.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 16

Orla Fay
 The Weeping Woman after Picasso

If her hands cling on for dear life to me it does not matter if I am blinded by the white walls, the bleached sterility, nor muted by her tiny cries, muffled. In all she does I find the cosmic force, Christ hanging on the cross, fields of flowers, purple poppy filled by the river’s course through the earth spitting stones, rubies, embers. the artist worshipped her colour, her warmth beneath his brush willing a sincere slave below the boats, rowing onward to dearth and anguish, an angular tin framed grave. Heaven is the explosion in her mouth of rose, the wonder of water in drought.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 17

Cara Dunne
 Featured artist

My old palettes caught my eye for their mysterious lumps and bumps, the remnants of paint taken to another canvas to become something else. From the dry, textured surfaces scenes appeared, 3D maps of swirling landscapes. The nature of the tin lids and pieces of wood bring a delicacy to the works. ‘In these dangerous times, this fresh new thing has landed on your tongue.’ These unique landscapes, little plates of leftovers, are things to hold and protect. ‘…the legs of a horse, or some dog making strides, going broke for love: an animal looking for another animal.’ From the dried plate appear whales amidst tropical islands, a bird losing feathers at night, a beached whale far below, and a whale and a girl going separate ways. There is something dangerous about skewed perspective, holding the ocean in your hands.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 22

Majella Kelly
 Clipping a Cockatiel’s Wings (for Dummies)

Start by clipping the two outermost flight feathers. She needs to know who’s boss,
 A week later, clip the next two. Continue this schedule

it’s your house after all.

until the ten primary feathers have been trimmed.

To know her whereabouts,

If she is likely to get out through an open window

ensure she has no money,

she may need a more severe clip; also, if she is bossy

get her email password,

as being more dependant on you will curb her attitude.

take away her phone.

Don’t risk taking her outside on your shoulder. Train her

Bruise, don’t break,

to use a leash or a harness; you’d be surprised how well

just to deter, no more.

a clipped cockatiel can get about. Also, don’t clip blood

Although it’s not a crime,

feathers as it will be painful and cause your bird to bleed.

the kids might notice.

Blood feathers siphon blood. Sometimes, the only way

If she tries to tell anyone,

to stop the flow is to pull out that shaft with a quick,

say she hit into the door.

firm movement while supporting her wing bones.

Tell her, if she loves you,

She will gradually have lost the ability to fly but will still

to keep her beak shut,

need some wing exercise, so take some time every day

as she was asking for it.

to hold her feet and encourage her to flap—chances are

Have the last word,

she’ll develop strong chest muscles and be well able to hop around her cage. Be sure to do a symmetrical job though, it looks better and she’ll be more balanced. The last thing you want to do, is make her clumsy.

you alone understand, it’s for her own good. See her lopsided mother?

She could never leave her cage.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 23

Tom Crompton
 witch department


hunt bulls


in the folding meadow

I am under my favourite star

near the damascus grows complex


rooted upwards

by twisted


a mouthful of your hair

flows towards my origin

your red bits come

through the flowers head

boys & girls bath on the flyover



figures in their hair

run through by bulls

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 24

Rob A. McKenzie
 Quality Pout

Vespertinal Miss, you ditched the hajeb for face-paint baroque, for quality pout, for dreadlocks and fishnets; ditched men for nights in CC Blooms stirred with rum and women destined to appear in poems, and shed your body glitter onto damp sheets and pillows in gothic darkness. A taste for ornamentation, an appetite for excess: late nights, boots, laughter, adjectives. Your women howl at half-moons, pose dutifully naked in pre-Raphaelite oil for you to attend to, a gallery of fleshy dolls. You host an appetite for mayhem, a taste for romance, for Romantics, for dressing-up and making out with statues in Summerhall and submissive Nordic huntresses who may exist only mythologically. But very real, behind the bar during the last Caesura gig, your ex fumbling with the Spanish barmaid who, through the evening, had made eyes constantly at me! My excellent taste in fantasy: imaginary, unsuitable wives, attached wives, gay wives; my first wife gay, bald and feminist a decade after divorce. Marriage sustained a curious repression. You are irrepressible and unrepeatable, binary and bilateral, all the bis but mainly mono, not monogamous but monocratic and polyrhythmic, dancing in mirrors till 5am in your small flat, in love with the music, in love with your daughters and, sometimes, in love with your profile. Go on, then, desensitize me unsustainably. Graze a quick kiss on my heterosexual lips, tip-tongue. Expect good behaviour in return, you know it makes sense, and nonsense.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 25

Megan Merchant

An old address book, zip-locked and snugged under dirt. Buried. I imagine an old love still lives on that street, is waiting for me to slip-scratch the lock, rest my head against the door to hold the sound of his body moving towards me, the small funeral of takeout containers tipped on the floor by the bed, where I learned that not all prayers begin with please, his skin that smells of sesame and birch, oiled-sweet, ready to heat into flames at the catch of the sun, his red-brick chest where I carved my name with a dried pen, Otis Redding and Yeats like rivered stones in sheets, my neck a loose-leaf in his hands, my tongue a catch under the faucet — rust and salt to taste. I rested my cup on the sill, unbolted his shoulders at the joints to crux the door, so leaving was never entirely. But no one lives at those numbers anymore I’d recognize in the dark, the pages unlined. I dig and dig and the rain tattoos birdsong into my hair.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 26

Megan Merchant

Does my voice rasp in motion, or un-crease, defiantly smooth. I press your numbers like piano keys, pointing to what I want, each and each. Three of spades. Nine of hearts. If I lie and say I miss touch the most, will you trace your finger along the window, feel how cold the moon, how warm the miles, like grace. I miss the steam rising from your morning cup most, milk-white, then just breath between us.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 27

Megan Merchant

Before the monsoons, we patch our roof with a dead saguaro — the woody ribs clotting the drip, aware of the tragedy that it withered skeleton-dry from a lack of rain. Their wild placement like chess pieces, filtering the waste-scape postcard-ready. Slow growing bodies spiking the light — as if giving a scream sky-reaching arms. In gratitude, I pour a glass of water over the porch rail, watch it glisten and fall, the way a slip of laughter splays

the light. Sending a flap of sparrows back to hole in their nests.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 28

Stephanie Conn
 The Flower You Gave Me

I found a shell on the beach, just large enough, and shoved the crumpled petals deep inside. They muffled the sound of the sea, until a butterfly squeezed its papered wings from the pale porcelain case and spread them, then took flight but circled back on itself to land gently on my damp eyelashes and the waves resumed their crashing.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 29

Rebecca Valley
 This Hunger

Somehow, I said I will get to the bottom of this hunger. You do not hear me. You are busy murmuring the names of hummingbirds into the nest of my hair. I am telling you this growling is unnatural. I open my mouth so you can hear it better. I am convinced I have swallowed an animal. Sparkling violetear, you say. Little sunangel. I am ravenous. I do not understand this hunger. At night it opens my belly like a mouth and you dance your fingers along the raw pink brim while I suck in everything around you. In the morning, I cough shards of wooden desk chairs, coffee cups, newspapers. One night, this hunger becomes unbearable. Please, I say. I am afraid I will hurt someone. You respond in Italian. I can't understand you. You say when you dream of me I am a little bird. I fly into your coat pockets and live there for decades. I am thinking about biting off your lips so your whole mouth becomes a black hole. At night, I wake myself up whimpering like a feral child and you are beside me sleeping peacefully. In my dreams, I am covered in hair. You nestle your head into the warm hollow of my belly and rarely come up for air.

The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 30

Rebecca Valley
 Landslide in Four Parts

You tell me on the phone that you are going down into the earth. It is Christmas, I remember clearly that only the landscape visible from the living room window was filled with snow. I find that your body is rubble in my memory. You are sedimentary, calcifying a hard shell around your tender, liquid middle. A man at the market calls you a hero because you wear a special jacket that says you know how to lift men up from the holes they've buried themselves in, trying to get familiar with the heat of the earth. When you take your shirt off in the hotel it is already years too late. You have already descended. I have already felt you tapping at the precious marrow of my bones with your pickaxe, mining my body for resources. My roots are exposed. My body melts when you tell me in just your voice that you are going back into the dirt. I put snow only in the places too tired to stand up on their own. When I think of you I am a gravesite, releasing the toxic fumes of the buried. You are under thirty feet of loose rock, with only your hands for


The Pickled Body 3.1 How to Make Love in Dangerous Times / 31

Tania Hershman
 Kiss the First

Kiss, the first, the first kiss, I have imagined it and imagined it over and again Kiss, a film of it, rewind and play the same two sets of lips meet over and again 
 again and over, meet lips of sets, two same the play and rewind-it of film: a kiss again and over it imagined and it imagined: have I? Kiss first.

The first kiss.



Tess Barry was shortlisted for the 2015 Manchester Poetry Prize. Twice a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and Aesthetica Magazine’s Poetry Award, she was also shortlisted for the 2014 Bridport Poetry Prize. Her poems most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Cordite Poetry Review, Mudfish, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and The Woven Tale Press Literary and Arts Magazine. She teaches literature and creative writing at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
 Maria Isakova Bennett is an artist and poet from Liverpool. She has poetry, articles and reviews online and in print in the UK, US, and Ireland. She works for charities on Merseyside and collaborates with poet Michael Brown, reading and running workshops in galleries. She was awarded first prize in the Ver Open Poetry Competition judged by Clare Pollard, has been highly commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Competition, shortlisted in the Munster Literature Chapbook Competition, Cinnamon prizes; and has been placed in several poetry competitions. Maria’s pamphlet, Caveat, was published last year.
 Lucy Palmer lives in California with her husband and two sons; she is originally from Cornwall. She has been published in the Unbroken Journal and has upcoming poems in By&By Poetry, the Acorn Review and Memoirs of the Feminine Divine. Twitter: @lucyprich.
 Liz N. Clift holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Rattle, Passages North, The Collagist, and elsewhere. She lives in Colorado. Jessica Johannesson Gaitán is a multilingual writer whose stories and poems have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Gutter, Structo, Witness magazine and the Scotsman among other publications. With her partner she runs the website, which champions and reviews literature in translation. She currently lives in Bath. 
 Mary Gilonne is a translator, living in France for many years but originally from Devon. She won the 2015 Wenlock Prize, has been shortlisted several times for the Bridport Prize, commended for the Caterpillar, Teignmouth and Prole prizes, and published by Antiphon, Snakeskin, Clear Poetry, Grievous Angel, the Emma Press, and others. She is working towards a first collection. Siobhán Flynn has been placed and shortlisted in a number of poetry competitions. Her poetry has appeared in Wild Atlantic Words, Brain of Forgetting, The Pickled Body, Hennessy New Irish Writing in the Irish Times, and others. She was shortlisted for the Hennessy Awards in 2016. She lives in Dublin where

she is a member of Airfield Writers and is working towards a first collection.


Roisin Kelly is an Irish poet who was born in Belfast and lives in Cork. She has an MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Chicago, The Timberline Review, The Irish Literary Review, Synaesthesia, Aesthetica, The Penny Dreadful, Bare Fiction, The Baltimore Review, Banshee, The Butcher’s Dog, Poethead, and Best New British and Irish Poets (Eyewear 2016). In 2016 she was selected along with eleven other poets for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series, as part of which she will read at the International Literature Festival Dublin. In summer 2016 she was The Stinging Fly’s featured poet. Geoffrey Gatza is an award-winning editor, publisher and poet. He was named by the Huffington Post as one of the Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry (2013). He is the author many books of poetry, including Apollo (BlazeVOX 2014), Secrets of my Prison House (BlazeVOX 2010) Kenmore: Poem Unlimited (Casa Menendez 2009) and HouseCat Kung Fu: Strange Poems for Wild Children (Meritage Press 2008). He is the editor and publisher of BlazeVOX. Most recently his work has appeared in FENCE and Tarpaulin Sky. He lives in Kenmore, NY with his girlfriend and their two beloved cats. Orla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries magazine. Her poetry has been published in a variety of magazines. Crannóg Magazine nominated her poem ‘Look Back in Wonder’ for the Forward Prize.
 Cara Dunne has recently finished her final year at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, where she studied painting and history of art. Her current works were seen at the Degree Show in June. Her interest lies in painting and craft, as well as the combining of modern social media and traditional painting and portraiture. In the past she has created the album cover artwork for Dublin band Mongoose, of which she is a member. Her artwork also features in their video for the single ‘Two Birds’.
 Majella Kelly is from Galway. A teacher and a photographer, known as Fotissima, her poetry has been placed and short listed in numerous poetry prizes around Ireland and published in Skylight 47, Communion (Australia), Crannóg 41 and Quarryman. She will begin a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford in September 2016. Tom Crompton is a poet and publisher from Lancashire. His debut pamphlet is out with New Fire Tree Press this summer.
 Rob A. McKenzie is from Glasgow and based in Leith, Edinburgh. His second full collection is The Good

News, published by Salt in 2013. He is reviews editor for Magma poetry magazine.


Megan Merchant is a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poems have most recently appeared in Red Paint Hill, Rat’s Ass Review, Mothers Always Write, Crack the Spine and First Literary Review East. Her poem, ‘Filling Station God’ won the Las Vegas Poets Prize, judged by Tony Hoagland. Her second full-length collection, The Dark’s Humming won the 2015 Lyrebird Prize and is due from Glass Lyre Press in 2017. She is the author of three chapbooks. Gravel Ghosts is her debut full-length poetry collection (Glass Lyre Press). Her children’s book will be published by Philomel Books. Stephanie Conn is a former teacher and graduate of the MA programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre. She recently won the Yeovil Poetry Prize, Funeral Service NI prize; the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing; and the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition. Her first collection, The Woman on the Other Side is out now with Doire Press. Her pamphlet Copeland’s Daughter is forthcoming with Smith/ Doorstep. Rebecca Valley’s poems have been featured most recently in Through the Gate and Clementine (Unbound) and are forthcoming from M Review and Gnarled Oak. She has also written history articles for Atlas Obscura and the Amazing Women in History blog. She currently lives in Olympia, WA where she enjoys baking bread and listening to podcasts. Twitter: @rebecca_valley. Tania Hershman is the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open (Southword, 2016) and two short story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008). She was second-prize winner in the 2015 Fool for Poetry contest. She is co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). A third short story collection and her debut poetry collection (Nine Arches Press) will be published in 2017. Tania is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short-story activity across the UK and Ireland. She is working on a hybrid prose/poetry book inspired by particle physics, for her PhD in Creative Writing.


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Since 2013. The Pickled Body is edited, designed and produced by Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. The poems and artwork featured in this issue are copyright © 2016 by their respective authors and artists, and may not be reproduced without permission. The Pickled Body © 2016 by the editors. All rights reserved.

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