It started snowing
more and more heavily as we left the town.
I hoped it would snow
so thickly that we’d be forced to stay,
to return to the cosy room, stoke the fire,
with time on our hands,
but it was not to be.
Here we are, back in the city.
Snow never lies for long on the wet pavements,
and sometimes there is no respite.
I can’t help feeling we should have stayed
in the town surrounded by hills,
and woken up tomorrow
in a peaceful world of white.
After a work-induced hiatus we are back! We will be bringing unique literature and art to a bathroom near you (currently Brighton, Edinburgh and Glasgow-we have yet to conquer the north of England).
Keep on eye on this page for some exciting social media updates. As always, we’d love to see anything that you have to send us, be it poetry, short stories or illustration. (Just send us a little email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here’s some from the latest publication, Volume 2, Issue 1.
Take my love
Like a piece of bread
Put it in a toaster
Then leave and forget
Watch it grow black
Try scraping the burnt
Eat what is left
It’s all you deserve.
I once, when I was young but not obscenely so, went up to a tree in my lawn and tugged at one of its dangling, lazy branches with my soft, innocent, child hands, just as if I were shaking the hand of a stranger.
Just like that. It kept swaying only slightly in the warm evening wind that kept lapping up to us like a wave pushed back and forth by the tide. Of course it didn’t answer or nod its own greeting back; instead, after my words had sliced through the closing stillness, there the tree was, still swaying, still rustling its leaves in the evening wind like before. I had a revelation then—for how wonderful it was! I thought. How wonderful that I could rush out of my house and come to this tree, and shake its hand and speak truth or fiction to it, and at the end, it would remain still tall and proud, as before.
For there I realised my words were only sounds. Nothing else for the proud old tree, but the crisp crumbling of rocks, the harsh calls of crows. And if the tree could see my book shelves, I wondered, would it be able to tell apart the books that were picture books, and the ones that were not so?
I’m not a number.
I’m not real or rational.
You may attempt to find my sum,
but I will warn you that
I contain none of the symmetries
you might expect.
Your flower pot has something beautiful
growing inside of it is all
I want to say.
plus very far away.
I cannot stop remembering the details of this messy life.
There may be various species of pain.
By the windowsill,
the sunflower shrinks against the sky.
It is parched.
I take a sip of water.
I cannot stop remembering the details of our messy life.
I like the lace curtains, they outline chrysanthemums, curling up in white-threaded bloom, while just behind, the snow clumps and falls to the hard ground with inaudible thumps.
The heater belches. Thump.
The electricity flicks off. Thump.
I sit and glue my eyes to the screen off a new landscape, icy, discoloring my view into something unfamiliar. Thump.
I want to scratch nails at the heavy oak table. Thump. I pull at the metal blue lamp. Thump. I push at the blackened bookshelf, away from the door. Thump. I sit back down, out of breath. Thump. I lay down, and try to sleep.
But it still stings, and the thumps keep falling. Inaudible now, just like the snow, never listens.
At night, she thought about death, but in the morning, when she had at last shaken off the coiling fingers of teasing dreams and nightmares, she remembered life. At night, nothing would appease her, but in the morning, she would look outside the window and see a seagull pecking busily at bags of overflowing trash, and that by itself would vanquish death, would belittle it till it seemed as real as the monsters children believe hide in their closets at night. But she had never feared monsters; but from a young age, she had feared mortality. At five years old, she had stepped outside on her cold balcony, in a night still but for the echoes of faraway motorcycles, and stared out into the deep everything that lay before her, and realised how much of it there was and how little of her there was to take it all in. But in the mornings, she would laugh at the ignorant, cawing seagulls, and feel thrilled to step outside onto the warm summer streets, to have even one day of existence.