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the pickled body issue 5.1 / winter 2019 / some accident of love and nature

the pickled body

issue 5.1

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the pickled body issue 5.1


winter 2019


some accident of love and nature Editors: Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman


Contents
 


Editorial

4

Rachel Coventry A Fig

5

Ivy Alvarez Binuo sa isip Bukang bibig

6 7

Aoife Riach Hurricane, Sister

8

9
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Lauren Lawler To the Spanish Teenager Who Developed Werewolf Syndrome After a Drug Mix-up

11


Featured artist
 Anna Williams

Tania Hershman What We Might Do Together What You May Be Offered

12

Michael Farry A Sample of Dead Michaels 1920–1923 The Heart Scrabbles for Words

24 25

Nessa O’Mahony Luas Encounter

26

Anne Tannam The Story

27

Orla Fay An Hour Badly Spent

28

Rita Ann Higgins Cavities Tooth and Nail

29
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31
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33


Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal Undesigning K-25, Hauz Khas Room in Belfast

Contributors


Editorial issue 5.1
 
 Some accident of love and nature

Welcome, gentle reader, to another issue of The Pickled Body. Here in issue 5.1, we’re proud to showcase new work from some very fine contributors. Meditations on age and death. Amusing inversions. Political interventions. Travel broadening the mind. Travel narrowing the focus. An egg as a sunrise. A werewolf conversion. Fifteen dead Michaels. An answer to Elizabeth Bishop. An enlightening fig. Teeth and cavities. Transformational art pieces. And more. All of this work involves or evokes some accident of love and death (it’s only natural, in the end). So it goes for everyone and, perhaps, everything. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did bringing it together. Now read on…

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Rachel Coventry
 A Fig Many years ago in Turkey I walked among trees with a man who reached up and took a fruit. He offered it to me. I did not know what it was. It was before they had them in Sainsbury’s. I didn’t even know that this was a grove. I had no notion of beauty then. I had never seen a fig except on TV or in a reproduction of a Dutch still life in a glossy art book in someone else’s house. They were always quartered or halved to present the flesh. I didn’t even know if it was to be eaten.


 
 
 
 
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Ivy Alvarez
 Binuo sa isip
 Filipino idiom meaning made a personal decision (literally, put in the mind) 


I name this road Albumen protein of an egg Once I imagined we could swim in it but someone pierced it O bacteria turning us rotten somehow the gold yolk was our sunrise still we walk unleavened unlevelled the ground littered with bits of truth lies unwise aphorisms oral surgeons numbing our gums our nerves for twenty-four hours until our teeth come good

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Ivy Alvarez
 Bukang bibip 


Filipino idiom meaning common expression (literally, open mouth) 


eight egg yolks sugar caramelised remember the kendi I save my centavos por komiks to rent to read stories always waiting for sugar how it took me away a cheap escape Christmas means lêche flan and bibingka cooking on an open fire the lolas fanning the smoke coconut perfuming the coals the ash a powder falling off in a collapse no louder than a sigh oh the days last years and years

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Aoife Riach
 Hurricane, Sister We didn’t think I’d last a day in Paris, weeping into a mojito in a tiki-themed bar but look at all the nights we've lived through. Placed a curse on the head of our every year together – death before boredom and staying found in spite of all the stolen phones. Sealed our pact in vomit in a shared stall cheered on our cheating, collected bodies like shot-glasses and shots like stamps. You are the goddess of fun and anxiety. A trail of love-thrashed men couldn't hold your cyclone back, or slow your one-track. Shame-sworn and sung in a Châtelet doorstep drenched in sangria or in a Sunday fog on the couch or inside another near-death crush, I am breathing still from your thump on my back, I am sticking around for the wait til I tell yous, this patchwork love is the one thing we will never grow out of.

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Tania Hershman
 What We Might Do Together 


After Christodoulos Makris 


Know this: I’ve caused churches to cross themselves in passing, and my operation helped pedestrians to see. The least leg is an arm, which costs fatalities. I even have hospitals chaotic. The joke is when to arm and when to leg it, and the least seen are the last. Ring round, ring round. I’ve no leg, no arm to arm myself with now.

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Tania Hershman
 What You May Be Offered A man in a van stopped to ask if I wanted a mattress. I said no. I was sitting drinking tea by the river. How did he think I’d get it home? He was on his way back, he said, from a mattress show. What was it about me, sitting by the river, drinking tea, that made him think this was what I need? I am here again, by the river, drinking tea, wondering what someone today might offer me.

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Lauren Lawler
 To the Spanish Teenager Who Developed 
 Werewolf Syndrome After a Drug Mix-up At first it came as stubble dappling your cheeks and forehead joining up your Frida Kahlo brows, then reaching down, reaching further, chest and back, groin and armpit, where it grows long from every pore and follicle. It's all over your bed sheets. The debris of your body clogs the sinkhole, moulted tufts everywhere, strands stick the bath and fridge door. The neighbourhood boys call you a dog and you abide, crawl outside at night, lift your arms and howl. Maria finds it sexy. You remind her that you are not a fairytale; a predator with a polite facade and bestial appetite, and she is not a morsel to be devoured. She tells you she shaves until her skin is raw. Isn’t it funny, she says; what I find attractive in you, I hate in myself ? You kiss her when she tells you and oh your insides are broiling with the alien drug and the hormone imbalance oh, the wet of her kiss on the lips of your wet, the mouth on your breath, on your skin on your sweat the neck on your hairs stand up. She says; I want to burrow in you like a flea. Years later in a new city, you remember this time as myth or fantasy. You say to another girl; you won't believe this but when I was sixteen, I was a werewolf. You remember the time Maria said; I want you to hump me like a table leg.

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Anna Williams
 Featured Artist – Statement 
 As a queer female artist and mother I am most certainly an accident of love and nature. In my practice I reflect on what we have lost in our passage from nature to culture – our skewed experience of the natural world and female identity, and how this dissociation has impacted our sense of belonging and inclusion. These prints I investigate how family history, identity, and mythologies of womanhood can intersect to offer alternative definitions of what it means to be female, and the importance of re-establishing a partnership with the natural world as a means to reuniting with our true selves. For women and nature alike, physical and psychological borders define our reality. The borders between feminine and unfeminine, human and animal, tameness and wildness, savage and civilized – rules about what is natural and what isn’t – govern women’s lives. As a woman I have struggled and failed to fit traditional definitions of femininity – too male to be female and too female to be male. In my practice, I engage with what is considered appropriate female behavior as I explore female identities, and the impact this struggle has on my own mental health. Although we are the descendants of ancient Greece intellectually, politically and artistically, the philosophy of man as the center of the universe, created in the image of the gods, has had catastrophic consequences for both women and the natural world. Together women and nature found themselves on the wrong side of a binary existence, and have become allies in Otherness. I’ve come to a place where the need for alternative definitions to the binary expectations of womanhood has become an imperative. Definitions into which I fit –more importantly, ones where in order to fit I do not have to practice the ritual excision and sacrifice of those parts of myself deemed unacceptable and incongruous. As my role of wife and mother take over more of my identity, it is becoming increasingly impossible to integrate myself and my family into society’s assumed heteronormative definitions of those identities. With my work I want to support healthier communities where more women see themselves mirrored in the narratives of a broader society in an effort to encourage a sense of belonging, expand circles of trust and support the notion of an intersectional collective. In my practice I aim to reclaim, reframe and shift entrenched societal narratives in order to engage with complex truths instead of succumbing to easy lies. We are the stories we tell ourselves – but what if a new voice can be added to the refrain? A voice that makes space for a borderless view of femininity, a voice that offers inclusion as the standard instead of integration, so that women like myself, who have never felt like they belong, begin to see ourselves reflected in the culture that surrounds us and can see ourselves as accents rather than accidents.

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Biography Anna Williams was born in Ottawa, ON. After studying sculpture and printmaking at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB, she returned to Ottawa where she continues to work, live and garden with her wife, child, two dogs and an excessive number of houseplants. Her artwork employs the animal and narrative to examine the construction and manipulation of female identity and power relationships in contemporary society. Through an exploration of drawing, print, sculpture and installation, Williams articulates her struggles with mental health, selfimage, and identity. Williams has had solo shows in both Canada and the U.S., and had works purchased by the Canada Council Art Bank, the Government of Canada (Embassy of Belgium and Luxembourg), Ottawa Art Gallery, City of Ottawa, The Kamm Foundation, and Humber College as well as numerous national and international private collections. Williams has also created public works in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal, and is currently working on a new body of work for three solo shows in 2020. Williams gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, City of Ottawa, and Fluevog Artists Granting Program. www.annawilliams.ca

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List of images
 


Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe I Lino Cut 11.5” x 15.5” 2019 Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe II Lino Cut 11.5” x 15.5” 2019 Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe III Lino Cut 11.5” x 15.5” 2019 Le Déjeuner sur le Neige Lino Cut 11.5” x 15.5” 2019 Thetis and Peleus Lino Cut 16” x 22” 2019 Daphne and Apollo Wood Cut 16” x 22” 2019 Otus and Ephialtes Lino Cut 16” x 22” 2019 Atalanta’s Return Lino Cut 16” x 22” 2019 Callisto and Arcas Lino Cut 16” x 22” 2019

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Michael Farry
 A Sample of Dead Michaels 1920–1923 From the online Military Service Pensions Collection, Military Archives. 


Murdered by Tans with five of his companions whilst on active Service with the IRA. Shot in head during advance of Free State troops on Castleisland. Gunshot wounds inflicted by the RIC in execution of their duty, justifiable homicide. Michael O’Sullivan. Michael Ryle. Michael Carty. Killed while engaged in the manufacture of bombs when a lighted Candle came in contact with the material they were using. Shot through head, died on the field. Bullet wound inflicted by a Member of the National Forces in the discharge of his duty. Michael Fitzgerald. Michael Ring. Michael Moloney. Shot dead while defending Boyle Workhouse against the anti-Treaty Group. National Army, killed in action on the third day after The first landing of the troops in Kerry. Died by military execution In Tuam for the possession of a rifle and ammunition. Michael Dockery. Michael Purcell. Michael Monaghan. Killed instantly by the explosion of a trap mine at Knocknagoshel. Killed in action while serving with the Republican forces Defending the Telephone Exchange, Limerick. Killed at Ballycastle On patrol duty by a bullet in the abdomen fired by an irregular. Michael Gallivan. Michael Moynihan. Michael Hogan. Killed in ambush a week before the cease fire 1923, bullet wound In head. In getting over a gate his rifle went off and he fell Dead on the ground, shot through the neck. Bullet wound in the Right eye in an ambush by irregular forces near Kill. Michael Behan. Michael Morris. Michael Bailey.

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Michael Farry
 The Heart Scrabbles for Words My heartbeat flutters at the news, arrhythmia on the monitor. Older now, I receive my sentence with acrimony and bitterness. Modernity abhors such backward looks, anaemia threatening every suburb. He credits the corrosion to the bomb blasts and the scattered bodies. Her attraction to pity is deadly, palpitations too frequent to ignore. We disseminated good advice, slogans, posters, still were ambushed. In the end we are trapped like sawdust, hypertense on maple dance floors under twinkling spheres where party celebrations go on and on and on.

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Nessa O’Mahony
 Luas Encounter I meet myself coming back on the Red Line. I haven’t aged well, irises blanched, grey frizz coiled out beneath a knitted skull the grandchild made. Wait. I never had kids. What kind of fantasy tosses unbroken yolks out flat to be devilled by imagining? I want to ask where I am coming from. Or going to. Who made the hat? Whose stomach is rumbling? I wait to reconnect. I stare back. Uncracked.

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Anne Tannam
 The Story In the video a mother shares details of her daughter’s birth: the deafening absence of a heartbeat, the stillness of the body, the time of death announced and how she asked to hold her daughter, removed the blanket, placed the perfect body against her own; called out to her partner to lie beside them, offer his warmth to their daughter and together they placed incantations into the whorls of her exquisite ears: the story of her welcome, her given name, the excitement of her siblings, the buttery warmth of the yellow they’d chosen for the nursery walls, her place in the scheme of their lives and as they weaved the story round her, a filigree of breath, beyond the realms of science and medicine, flared in each of her nostrils, filled her lungs; the rise and fall of her chest pressing up against their words, demanding to hear more.

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Orla Fay
 An Hour Badly Spent After ‘One Art’ 


It was too hot. I skived off work,
 took the DART to Howth. 
 Walking atop the promenade 
 I imagined sailing out to Lambay Island,
 walking about its castle, the scene of a forgotten affair,
 a romance between Lord Revelstoke and a divorcée.
 


I revelled in the cool breeze coming off the sea,
 the light spray flicked from the rocks,
 my forearms freckled and reddened from sunshine.
 I looked for mermaids in the blue-green water.
 One sent me a WhatsApp from Donegal,
 another, from London, responded via messenger.
 


I was perilously close to disaster.
 The gull who swooped down to steal my cone
 as I left the ice-cream shop seemed to cry
 “Don’t be a fool, remember Elizabeth Bishop,
 disaster, disaster!” I flung the remaining wafer
 into the bin. The art of being single isn’t hard to master.

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Rita Ann Higgins
 Cavities They were standing on top of the wall pirouetting between the broken glass and destiny. Tossers with a death wish, but that’s not what Missus from number seven called them, and she was a daily mass goer. Then they started walking on cars. Not as daring as the broken glass shuffle but more destructive for the bonnets that buckled, under their fried bread brains. Missus from number seven who misses nothing, said, I know them Gobshites and all belong to thum. Their grandfather, nicknamed the dentist, couldn’t look at an apple cos he hadn’t four teeth to rub together – was caught coming out of the sacristy just before the preamble of the ‘Fourteen Holy Helpers Novena’ with a claw hammer down his underpants. We all knew he was using that claw hammer  to pluck teeth out of his hole. 

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Rita Ann Higgins
 Tooth and Nail When Rocinante O’Reilly rocked up with her polished spurs her Jolie Rouge lipstick her onyx earrings her gecko shaped broken front tooth she was untouchable. She regretted telling them about the dream. She dreamt there was a nail in her drink, a toenail. She didn’t know who it belonged to but it wasn’t hers. It lay there and as she drank it began to twitch it did Samba and other runaway stuff. It never did Bunga Bunga. They said, pay no heed to her she was always odd didn’t she eat her own placenta?

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Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal
 Undesigning K-25, Haus Khas For Amrita and Imroz

The autocorrect tells me Waris is not spelt so, it must be war is. But that is what it has come to now, it is war in our homes; in your home too – every inch of its walls bedecked in love & ‘bulldozed dreams’: the newspaper headlines in disguise. These walls were so thin that the entire world listened in awe to the many stories that were birthed here: Faiz’s ghazals in the language of their Panjab, a mushaira from his country, where, in reticence Waris Shah lived, who could never speak from his grave
 in solidarity for this rubble. As the passers-by on the streets in Hauz Khas continue to watch these semi-treacherous activities in shame –
 


they put off the thought of repainting the peeling paint
 in a hazel blue
 for their walls, just as you did.

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Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal
 Room in Belfast The July heat seems to have evacuated every sound
 from this room – the refrigerator’s throbbing heartbeat, the white noise 
 of the traffic, the tap running for hours in the kitchen of the man who lives upstairs. He has gone somewhere for now. His footsteps creek on the ceiling on a regular basis but today you could hear a pin drop – under the sun’s wilful insistence like in an Indian summer. Last evening, I heard a helicopter circling in the patch of sky above this building. I could sense its blades snapping every inch of my body until the man upstairs started to play his flute which is always out of tune. It felt like having to wear satin on an almost tropical day like today, or abandoning this heat for rain in another burning city.

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Contributors Ivy Alvarez is the author of The Everyday English Dictionary  (London: Paekakariki Press, 2016),  Disturbance  (Seren, 2013), and  Mortal.  Her latest poetry collection is  Diaspora:  Volume L  (Paloma Press, 2019). Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived for a year in Dublin between 2003 and 2004. After a decade in Wales, she arrived in New Zealand in 2014. www.ivyalvarez.com Rachel Coventry lives in Galway where she is writing up a Ph.D. on Heidegger’s poetics. Her poems have appeared in various journals including the North, The Moth, Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, and The SHop. Her debut collection Afternoon Drinking in the Jolly Butchers is published by Salmon Poetry. Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal is a poet from the Himalayan town of Palampur, India. She studied at St. Bede’s College, Shimla; Trinity College, Dublin; and Queen’s University, Belfast. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, German and Italian; and have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Ambit, Banshee, Madras Courier, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Jukebox, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Lifeboat, The Lonely Crowd, The Tangerine and elsewhere. Supriya was one of the twelve poets selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series in 2018. She is currently living in Belfast. Michael Farry has had two poetry collection published, Asking for Directions, by Doghouse Books, Tralee, in 2012 and The Age of Glass, by Revival Press, Limerick in June 2017. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, America, Israel, India, Australia and Canada; and poems of his have won prizes in competitions. His history book, Sligo, The Irish Revolution 1912–1923, was published in 2012 by Four Courts Press, Dublin. Orla Fay is editor of Boyne Berries. Recently her work has appeared in  i am not a silent poet, The Irish Times, Visual Verse, Poetry Ireland Review, Ropes 2019 and Quarryman V. She was shortlisted for The Cúirt New Writing Prize 2019 and The Bailieborough Poetry Prize 2019. She was highly commended in the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2019 and the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award 2019. She won 3rd Prize in the Oliver Goldsmith Poetry Prize 2019. She blogs at orlafay.blogspot.com Twitter@FayOrla Tania Hershman’s poetry pamphlet, How High Did She Fly, is joint winner of Live Canon’s 2019 Poetry Pamphlet Competition and was published in Nov 2019. Her hybrid pamphlet is forthcoming from Guillemot Press in March 2020. Tania's debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, is published by Nine Arches Press and her third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, is published by Unthank Books. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook and two short story collections, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers’ & Artists’ Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). She is co-creator of @OnThisDayShe, curator of short story hub ShortStops (www.shortstops.info) and has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Hear her read her work on https://soundcloud.com/ taniahershman and find out more here: www.taniahershman.com Rita Ann Higgins was born in Galway. She has published many volumes of poetry and several plays. Her most recent book is Our Killer City – isms, chisms, chasms and schisms: essays and poems, published by Salmon in 2018. She is a member of Aosdána. the pickled body

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Lauren Lawler is a poet from Dublin. Nessa O’Mahony has published five books of poetry, the most recent being The Hollow Woman on the Island (Salmon Poetry 2019). She lives in Dublin. Aoife Riach is a queer feminist witch with an MA in Gender & Women’s Studies. She has worked as a writer for BUST magazine in NYC and her poetry has been published in College Green Journal, Sonder, Channel, Impossible Archetype, Abridged and other magazines. She was a 2019 Irish Writers Centre Young Writer Delegate and her poem ‘Vancouver’ was selected for the Hungering curation of the Poetry Jukebox. Anne Tannam is a Dublin poet with two collections: Take This Life (Wordonthestreet 2011) and Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor (Salmon Poetry 2017). Her third collection 26 Letters of a New Alphabet is forthcoming with Salmon Poetry in summer 2020. Anne’s work has been widely published in literary magazines, journals and anthologies and has been featured in The Irish Times, RTE and UCD’s Irish Poetry Reading Archives. A spoken word artist, Anne has performed at festivals and events around Ireland and abroad including Electric Picnic, Lingo, The Craw Festival in Berlin and the International Poetry Festival in Kosovo. Anne co-founded the weekly Dublin Writers’ Forum in 2011, which provides a welcoming and inclusive space for writers of all genres, styles and levels of experience. Anna Williams See page 13.

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the pickled body
 www.thepickledbody.com 
 Facebook: /ThePickledBody 
 Twitter: @thepickledbody 
 thepickledbody.tumblr.com 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 © 2019 by their respective authors and artists, and may not be reproduced without permission. 
 


The Pickled Body is © 2019 by the editors. All rights reserved.


Profile for The Pickled Body

The Pickled Body - Issue 5.1 - Winter 2019 - some accident of love and nature  

Welcome, gentle reader, to another issue of The Pickled Body. Here in issue 5.1, we’re proud to showcase new work from some very fine contri...

The Pickled Body - Issue 5.1 - Winter 2019 - some accident of love and nature  

Welcome, gentle reader, to another issue of The Pickled Body. Here in issue 5.1, we’re proud to showcase new work from some very fine contri...

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