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memoir

Redoubt by John Trefry

Your consciousness is homeless and itinerant for quite some time in a significant physical journey. And you must build it its home, or its redoubt. That redoubt is specific to the journey. And like a tortoise’s shell the redoubt accompanies you on the journey even as it grows. Its construction is excruciatingly frustrating and failure-ridden. Accept this. Construction of the redoubt is the journey.

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Skjerdal, Norway, 9:00 PM, June 9, 2015

Arrival takes place much later cognitively.
Accept this.
Continue reading “Redoubt by John Trefry”

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The Watersteps by BR Williams

The Watersteps are ruins now, but you can still see what is left of them by walking through the dank forest on the edge of town, over the train lines and then down to the crease where two wave-like hills meet. The steps sit half-swallowed inside a wide clay gorge. A little further up the gorge, there’s a stream at least half as wide as the gorge itself. It drops down an accidental waterfall caused by the collapse of the Watersteps. A sheet of tarpaulin wafts, hit by the unravelling crystal carpet of water. For the most part, the stream disappears amongst the rubble and soft ground at the foot of the waterfall. Only further down does a meagre version of it reform, bypassing the steps entirely.

The Watersteps have haunted my imagination for a long time. The first poem I ever wrote was about the steps. I hated it, re-wrote it, destroyed it and started again. I have been repeating each step ever since.
Continue reading “The Watersteps by BR Williams”

Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri

I am not from here. I am from somewhere in between push and pull. I am a thrust not yet experienced by what people usually call ‘home’. I am exiled. I am exile. I reside not in my consciousness, but in the lingering smell of last night’s cigarettes and rain drops. In the burning of pages. In the hunger for belonging, which I feed with matches, flames, and the ashes of what were once my journals, my essays on the flesh of the world, my notebooks, my manuscripts, my resolutions, my shopping lists, my thoughts on the nightstand. Exile. Soft, felt in my hands. Felt in yours. Grasping its shape, fingering its texture, sensing its temperature. Exile, mingled with memorabilia and all the angers of the world. I live with it as one lives with a strong sense of physical presence, something to cling to until I get better. Something to keep me going. Being a gesture, becoming an extension of its flesh. That’s what exile is to me. A grave. Luscious. Infinite. Sarcophagus of blessed souls. I am pulling you into the depths of it. Exile, exceptional euphemism. Continue reading “Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri”

Spanish Moss by Eric Edwards

Despite the distance we crash into each other repeatedly.

We spend a lot of our time typing messages. Talking over poor quality internet calls, across time zones that leave me exhausted, both of us wanting. A yearning that brings us closer but at a cost. Long nights of feeling alone while being together.

We hit and smash and spin out of control; never enough days and nights to find the balance that is there, tantalizingly out of reach, never out of sight. The wheels run straight for a while, but veer. We make it to the swamp. Though not the cemetery or the convent. Not this time. What we want is to run away into the woods. Continue reading “Spanish Moss by Eric Edwards”

L.A. Lust by Yanina Spizzirri

This city, this big sprawling dream of a city, mighty and misunderstood Los Angeles, is often defined in terms of tired cliches and sweeping generalizations. Soul-less and a-historical L.A., they say. A city where nobody walks, they lie. A far-reaching enigma going on for miles and miles, they all nod and agree, baffled. Continue reading “L.A. Lust by Yanina Spizzirri”

On Becoming A Storyteller: A Berlin Memoir by Jessica Ciccarelli

There’s a five-mile block in the northernmost part of Prenzlauer Berg that I haunted during my last weeks in Berlin. Within this five-mile block, I allowed myself to fade in and out of memories – I let past and present mingle surreptitiously. I chose it in the exact breath it chose me. Even knowing what writing my memoirs would mean, I had no idea the gravity, but each time I got too lost or too overwhelmed, one man was there to encourage me forward. Continue reading “On Becoming A Storyteller: A Berlin Memoir by Jessica Ciccarelli”

Meeting Robert Graves by Larry Buttrose

In 1976, Larry Buttrose, an Australian playwright and poet, journeyed to Deya, on the Spanish island of Majorca, to seek out the then 81-year-old British poet, author and classicist, Robert Graves, renowned for his historical novels, notably I, Claudius and Claudius The God, a memoir, Goodbye To All That, and a ‘speculative study of poetic inspiration’, The White Goddess.

I stepped out onto the steep cobbled street outside the Villa Verde. I had arrived at the hostel’s door in the wilting afternoon heat of the day before, after having taken the overnight ferry from Barcelona, and the bus up from Palma, along with the locals in breeches and headscarves carrying bound, clucking chickens on their laps. Continue reading “Meeting Robert Graves by Larry Buttrose”

Nothing Dries Sooner Than A Tear* by Joanna Pickering

Marrakesh, Old Town

Everyone seemed to have rotten, black, and missing front teeth. They were friendly and kept smiling and that’s how I saw they mostly had rotten, black and missing front teeth.

I couldn’t see a lot of the women’s teeth, only their eyes, and often not even. There were many women dressed from head to ankle, in long black fabrics, with layer upon layer covering skin, hands, hair, and some that covered the eyes, and with only a marginally thinner veil, so that everything was hidden, nothing to determine soul, being, nor Continue reading “Nothing Dries Sooner Than A Tear* by Joanna Pickering”

Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are

This is the first instalment of Ash and Stardust, a monthly column exploring how my tarot practice intersects with self-care, healing, and creativity. Note: I don’t claim to be a tarot expert! This is me learning as I go, overcoming creative blocks along the way.

“Everyone deserves an outlet; a reservoir of safety – a comforting warmth in the ribcage – the space surrounding the heart.”
– from the guidebook of The Next World Tarot by Cristy C. Road

I can’t say exactly when I was introduced to tarot. It would appear or get mentioned in passing here and there during my teenage years. I remember once-upon-a-time friends spreading cards on bedroom floors to articulate desires and what-ifs. They’d ask if I wanted a reading done and I had always said no. It didn’t feel right. I don’t mean that I had trouble with the idea of cartomancy – the mystical world fascinated me. I was, however, having trouble seeing myself as someone who could hold these archetypes in my hands, to shuffle and create a narrative out of them that can serve not as divination, but as guidance – or even to satisfy curiosity.

In those earlier years, I was nowhere near okay enough to claim my own story, let alone see it as part of something bigger.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are”

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