Originally posted on urban f:
Originally posted on The Vanishing Room:
fall is falling faster than your nightmare
you stay awake for weeks
you cannot not fall
faster than the daymare
momentum heavy heavy
gravel falling on you
leaves are falling baby
feel the eaves dropping by
cobwebs in the corner
of your eyes were made
for seeing all
and then absconding
with everything left except
the ashes in the fire
shadows fell and shadows dripping
no one sews the stitches these days
when memories of halloween
are like evil ever present
in the eyes of three and four year olds
chewing sickly candy
our old minds remember chewing
edgar allen poe
and we glow like zombie eyeballs
when there’s nothing left below
the vcr’s on rewind
and the fathoms down below
west into the sunrise
of nightmares yet to blow
along the the railway ditches
rotten apples in a row
we wake upon fear dreaming
best advice advice…
View original 349 more words
Through the white noise of twitter popped a submission request. A Fanzine! The scrolling brakes took hold. A week later, a brown package is slipped under my door. Paper and Ink, bright white and dangerous with it’s threat of stained fingers and paper cuts. Now, in its third issue, I’m pleased I took a chance to see just what kind of writers, a nerdy punk boxing fan from England had fused.
I do, it’s actually bordering on obsession. I end up buying so many that it’s difficult to find the time to read them all, not to mention a place to store them all. I keep telling my girlfriend that we need to get a bigger place so that I can have my own dedicated zine library, but she’s not so keen on the idea.
Can you remember which fanzine first gave you the paperlust?
I can, and oddly it wasn’t a fanzine but a novel - Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing by Abram Shalom Himelstein and Jamie Schweser. It is about a kid from Tennessee who moves to DC in the early 90′s and hangs out with punks and feminists etc. The story is told through letters, journal entries and fanzines. It’s a brilliant read and inspired me to see if there were any punk zines being produced in the city I lived in at the time. It all escalated from there really.
As a lover of the fanzine as well, I understand the addiction. It was early punk zines that got me hooked. Wish I still had my old boyfriends 48 Thrills and Sniffin Glue, loved them. We had a real zine scene here in Australia. Some are a little too professional looking these days, though, is it my imagination, or does there seem to be a resurgence of them?
(… or maybe they have never gone away and I’m just suddenly noticing the world around me again, ha!)
It’s hard to say really, I tend to lean towards lit zines myself and there seem to be new ones popping up all the time, which is really great. But like you say, I don’t know if that is due to a resurgence or if I just wasn’t paying attention before.
Having dabbled in fanzine culture myself, I understand the thrill of it. The content control, the images and where to distribute. First fanzine, I was involved in was to do with music. We couldn’t afford a computer, we bashed old typewriters and cut out words and images like serial killers from newspapers and made them fit. The layout of fanzines and the finished product felt like a work of art. Something so tactile, when you picked them up they had the most amazing energy. Editorial, music reviews, sweaty frontline descriptions of live gigs, just stupid irreverence. We didn’t care about copyright, or if anyone would like it. Fuck was a punctuation mark and we’d tell it like it is, share the obscure. We also gave them out for free, left them on park benches, buses, libraries, after gigs. It’s a great feeling when punters started to look out for you to make sure they got the next edition. Fanzines have a rich history and rebellious backbone don’t you think?
Oh, absolutely. That’s what I love about them – the complete creative control, you can say what you want, about whatever subject you want. Zines are not sales driven, it’s not about numbers or profit margins, they’re all about the love- about exposing people to new or different ideas and to artists or writers they may otherwise never come across. They are the antithesis of government controlled media and publishing houses that will only ever play it safe.
You’ll find more truth, wisdom and originality in an A5 stapled hand job than anything mainstream media are dishing us, that’s been a constant. We need to be reminded cause they’ll seduce, brainwash and guide your life in a blink.
So pleased I discovered your little literary empire. Your Paper and Ink fanzines have been living in my bag this past week, pulled out at all hours and devoured. They have that do-it-yourself edge, hand drawn original cover art and great fonts to differentiate the stories and brighten the eyes.
It is really important to me that each piece has a unique look to it. I think that is what separates us from most other lit zines that I have encountered. They tend to all follow a uniform format, which is fine, but I like to give each piece a different feel. The only downside to doing that is that it takes quite a while to put the whole thing together- lots of time spent trawling through fonts, trying to find one that fits. It’s all worth it in the end though.
How do you distribute your zine? Are you finding more interest out in specialist shops willing to stock your passion?
Currently I mainly distribute it only through websites such as Etsy and Big Cartel. However I am in the process of building my own website so I can sell it completely independently through that. As for specialist shops, I have never really contacted any shops about selling it. I wanted to build up a bit of a back catalogue before I do that. Although I know from speaking to other lit zine editors that getting shops to stock zines is easier said than done, but I’ll give it a go.
You say you also started your zine because of your dislike of e readers. Us page turners and lovers of the physical may very well be a dying breed. Like vinyl, the printed word is a niche market, full of childhood memories, leafing through watching words on a page. Is it purely romanticising, the notion of paper and ink and the aesthetic qualities of it? Why are words on physical paper so important to you?
I think in most cases of digital formats replacing physical formats there is an obvious improvement of quality or accessibility – Sound quality on a digital music file (can be) better than that of vinyl, streaming a film in HD is essentially the exact same experience as watching a blu-ray but without the need for a physical item – however with e-readers, where is the improvement? Okay, you can carry 100s of books around with you at any time, but who actually needs that many books with them at all times?! I think it just leads to people starting multiple books and never finishing any of them.
Yes, totally agree. At least with a physical book you know exactly how much devotion you need to complete it. Digital approximations are frustrating and too much temptation to give up when your attention is waning.
For me personally, so much of my time is spent staring at screens, I don’t feel that my life would benefit from another one. There is a fantastic photograph circling the internet that shows somebody using a kindle as a bookmark, and in my opinion, that is all those grey slabs of plastic are good for. And just as an aside, the smell of brand new books is my favourite smell in the world. All the different types of paper and inks, I love it- sometimes I go into book shops just to have a sniff. Ha!
Equally snortable the dust of years and the freshly pressed. My copies of Paper and Ink are already dog-eared and beaten.
Paper and Ink will NEVER go digital.
Your first issue was over a year ago and centered on Heartbreak - Broken Hearts and Broken Bottles, how did you rally your first batch of writers?
A couple of the writers featured in that first issue are friends of mine (Anthony Macina and Paul Martin) and the rest were just writers that I knew of and liked. I e-mailed them and asked if I could use some of their work and they kindly agreed. With the most recent issues there has been a little bit of reaching out to writers, but it is more a case of putting out the call for submissions on social media and waiting for responses. I am really excited about the next couple of issues actually, I’m getting some really great stuff landing in my inbox.
What triggered your first topic choice?
I have always been a sucker for stories of lost love and crushing heartbreak and the strongest emotions I have experienced in my life have come as a direct result of my heart being crushed. Also, at the time that I decided to create the zine I had just been broken up with so it seemed fitting.
Chris Eng’s Questioningly is a perfect start, completely real, I loved its awkwardness and gestures. Asking when do you start believing that love is real, but even better was where this short story ended, it perfectly answered it’s own title.
Man, I love that story. Chris is such a great writer. That ending hits me like a sledge hammer every single time I read it. I’m not usually one to well up or get teary but that story brings me close.
Akua Mercy is exceptional and beautifully bitter. You’ve chosen writers that have doses of romantic cynicism they seem to have been battered, tormented and burnt by love. I think all of these pieces hurt. William James’ Kids Like Us Will Be Alone Forever and Anthony Macina’s The Breeze was the closest I came to tearing up. These are wonderful writers to get to know.
I am really proud of that first issue, all the writers are fantastic. I always think back on issue #1 as testing the water, so to speak, and that issues #2 and 3 are much better, but then when I actually re-read issue #1 I realise that it was pretty damn good. Kids Like Us Will Be Alone Forever is one of my favourite poems of all time.
You also use different cover designers, do you look for submissions in cover illustrations as well as words?
I am always on the lookout for submissions of all kinds, the next issue (#4) will even feature some photography which is a first for Paper and Ink. I am lucky enough that I happen to know a lot of very talented artists and illustrators and so far, all but one of the cover illustrations have come from people I know that I have reached out to.
As a fan of the fanzine, what are some of the best literary ones out there, (besides your own of course). That you regularly follow?
There are some really fantastic lit zines out there. Just in the UK alone you have PUSH which actually launched in the same month as Paper and Ink, however they just put out their 13th issue. The work ethic of editor Joe England is incredible. He sells the zines outside football matches, and shifts a bucket load of them! Then there is Hand Job which launched last year as well. It is a real old school cut and paste zine which features some fantastic writers. There is a lot of crossover in the contributors between our three zines and a real community spirit between us. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we all appeared at around the same time- we’re all fighting the same fight.
The second and third issues Home and Destination Unknown are exponentially gaining thickness.
Like I said earlier, I always saw issue #1 as just ‘testing the water’. I knew that if it went well and people responded to it I would go bigger and better, and that philosophy will continue with future issues. Issue #4 is going to be a bumper one! The theme of which is ‘identity’ and I have had some fantastic submissions so far.
So you’re getting some good feedback and interest in your zine?
The feedback has been incredible. When I released the first issue I was worried that no one would be interested and I’d be stuck with piles of zines that I couldn’t shift but that wasn’t a problem at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly about to give up my day job, but the response has been great. I’m just happy that I can give unknown and up and coming writers a platform to showcase their work, that’s the best feeling in the world.
What is the next submission topic and how does one get involved?
The theme of the next issue is ‘identity’ and the deadline for submissions is 1st December so there is still plenty of time for people to get involved. I’m looking for short stories, flash fiction and poetry of no longer than 1500 words and illustrations in black and white only.
Just send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org
New Website! http://www.paperandinkzine.co.uk/
by J. Matthew Waters
Sundays and poetry go so well together. Traditionally, the mornings are spent in some sort of recline. Music, coffee and words to rise to is my standard pattern. Poets personal points of view are intriguing to decipher. Trapped inside cryptic puzzles to piece and unravel. You find out a lot about the poet not only through their work but through their websites and interaction on social media. You can tell J Matthew Waters is passionate about his creations. http://jdubqca.com/about/ You’ll always find him sharing his and others via Twitter and I always look forward to see what he has discovered.
I often know nothing about the author till after I read their work. I find this process is fun, their life maps inside chapters help me discover where the poet comes from. I prefer clues to what has shaped them to write what they write, decipher fact from fiction that I find in lines. I discovered he is American, he gardens, has a family and seems very happy and comfortable. You read some of J’s pieces over and over, as only the Poet themselves know the truth and motivation of a poem. In between is where I make my conclusions. Reading In The Middle Of Somewhere definitely got me thinking.
This is the third time I have dipped in and out of this collection. Each time my opinions change, new feelings surface and so does my enjoyment. A perfect beginning. Shadow starts his reminiscence of our instincts and innocence. He then leads into more historical pieces, transporting us back and inside tragedies, celebrating courage and helplessness. These pieces induce a melancholia but his respect soothes with composure and sentiment “like a sequestered historian I recounted events once lost to yellowed and misplaced manuscripts”
I enjoy his pieces on the poetic process. Once In San Antoine and Unrealistic Haiku Expectations, when beauty and meaning is found in the method, here is where we get a breath of his humour. His holiday poetry is delightful, exotic destinations experienced and imagined. You scan his view, walk in his insightful shoes. Nothing But A Vestigial Drawing reveals another passion “A thousand miles from here viewing gardens I had been meaning to plant, I sit and sketch” His love of nature blooms, Watching A Petal a wondrous reflection, “a soft, geranium petal strained to reach the four o’clock sun” Reading J Matthew Waters is a peaceful experience. Reunion and old age, time and memory, life becomes an echo, reminding us that one’s existence is a blink in a moment. Some subjects show age, spooning corks from bottle caps a little clue to era. Poems about leprechauns, ancestry, drinking, love and narcolepsy. Close to my heart is Irresistible Force as “The fox in the sky wanders by day, the universe his playing field” I stretch and relax into a dappled sun having enjoyed yet another poetic devotee.
J. Matthew Waters collection, In The Middle Of Somewhere and other poetic works can be found via http://www.amazon.com/J-Matthew-Waters/e/B00BGST7XG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
You can connect with him via Twitter https://twitter.com/jdubqca
Many thanks to author Craig McGray for plucking me out of the ether and inviting me onto the My Writing Process grand tour of the universe! I’ve found myself alongside three damn exciting writers of the dark stuff including the deadly beauty of Magenta Nero magentanero.wordpress.com and the yet to be devoured Dylan J Morgan dylanjmorgan.com . My host, horror writer Craig McGray certainly has a gift for gore. His short black tales that I have read, are served with a sinister spoon of smirk. Images projecting themselves into my head forever. One in particular, I just can’t seem to erase it – that’s a sign of good writing in my book.
Pen Of The Damned. http://penofthedamned.com/. I’ve discovered so many mischievous minds over at Damned HQ. One of the best crew of misfits I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Psyches bleed endless plots of sordid mayhem, their imaginations a shiver on the page. Joseph S Pinto and Nina D’Arcangela, like strong brass gothic bookends hold the group together, coaxing mischief from it’s members and reveling in the craft of storytelling.
You should have a stroll yourself through his shadow land via
The baton is passed and I am ready to run.
What Am I working on
I am many hands clasping, a hundred arms pulling. Absorbing too many projects at once – it will surely be my downfall but I am The Hungry Fox. So here are a few I have in the pipeline. There is such a backlog of pieces I’m itching to review. I tend to concentrate on Indie writers especially those I find via Twitter. My blog abbiefoxton.com is a magazine of sorts. Collaborating, sharing and promoting. It is my engine room, a replication of myself and a record of what I am enjoying, the new creatives I am meeting and a place to dabble in my own creative pieces. Soon I will be launching my book narration project with two erotica pieces in the works. The next couple of months will see me in lock down collaborating on a horror release with an American horror author.
How does my work differ from others of its genre
Well I think my eclecticism makes me different especially for a one mind operation. Very soon my blog will be getting a fresh lick of paint, and I feel like I finally know exactly how I want it to work. It will link out to seven or eight seperate blogs, each covering different genres from erotica to music, art to horror. Then there is my own writing and collaborations. The Mistress & Evangeline is one of my favourites http://behindthevelvet.wordpress.com/ , erotica set in Montmartre Paris during the 1930′s.
Theirs is a surreal world linked to the Dadaists. Mistress is an importer of fine materials, her lover Evangeline is prone to fever dreams that become real and a cat who is the reincarnation of the writer Voltaire. They are quite unique and I will channel volumes from their magical minds and unleash them into their own novel next year.
Why do I write what I do
My background is in music journalism and publishing. I was a reviewer, sub editor and proof reader for over ten years. Unfortunately a lot of print media was brought to it’s knees in the 90′s, a very sad tale for a printer’s daughter. My whole life was spent around ink and paper, books and printing an obsession. I remember asking my father if he printed money. He said he could if he wanted to, but he’d rather print books. I played on a factory floor watching led drip composition, reams of exotic paper to draw on. My dad’s fingers so sensitive to the weight and textures he could differentiate with his eye’s closed and a fingertip. Our family was absorbed in what many now would consider ancient processes. It was my grandfathers artistry and his father before him. It is definitely in my blood.
Life and art for me is a constant process of replicating yourself, so what I write about, photograph, reveal is as linked and unique as a string of dna. My heart and mind laid out for all to see, the challenge for me is to reveal far more than I would ever expect myself to do, a personal evolution, mutation whatever. My writing style is quite ornate, I love to delve into the dark with lust and humour. I believe I am an acquired taste. I never take myself too seriously, I’m not searching for meaning, just experience.
How does my writing process work?
It’s amazing what playing with knives all day does to ones imagination. This is where my writing process starts, in my day dreams. My little gang of inner writers take over – though, sometimes they would rather sit in a deck chair on the Riviera – they usually keep my mind on the ball and creative juices flowing. When they are switched on, I literally have no control. I love researching, so when I review, interview or write a story that’s usually where I start. Reviews become word puzzles for me, a plethora of flowery arranged thoughts.
When it comes to choosing a new writer or artist to highlight it usually is a case of good timing, what just happens to fall in my lap. Sometimes I abandoned certain works because of time factors, afraid I cannot give it the full attention it needs. Though eventually everything I have purchased and read tends to get some feedback, support or the full Foxton treatment. I enjoy being asked to review and I am always on the hunt.
I follow and support many bloggers, but it is such a pleasure to introduce you to three of my favourites. I thank James, David and Trevor for taking part and look forward to reading all about their own Writing Process.
The first book I ever loved was Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that distils story-telling to its essence. Dreams and monsters have preoccupied me ever since.
Much of my writing appears first as tweets, which are then made into miniature poems or prose poems, or assembled into longer pieces. In March 2012 I was fortunate to be invited by acclaimed novelist Jeff Noon to join his Twitter writing group, @echovirus12, a project that has led to many interesting collaborations, for example with the artist Diana Probst, who provided illustrations for two of my books, The Madness of the Bird King and 13.
More recently I set up Chimera, an internet group of intuitive writers and artists including George Szirtes and Mauricio Montiel Figueiras.
Pictures are very important to me. As children we are encouraged to make connections between stories and illustrations, to enjoy the way they illuminate each other. But then we reach adulthood and, in most books of fiction and poetry, that pleasure is denied us. All of my books contain pictures, by me or my collaborators; there is a lot of fun to be had by the reader in exploring the connections and disjunctions between word and image.
My name is David Shakes. I am an educator by profession. When I started out I’d pour my creative energies in art and writing projects with the kids. As I climbed the senior management ladder, those opportunities became harder to come by.
I turned 40 and decided that I needed to give my younger self’s creative desires a chance. To see if I could cut it.
I began with photos and art work but soon moved to writing. I discovered Flash Fiction and that was it. Hooked.
I’ve always been a fan of horror and Sci Fi, so my work often reflects the darker sides of story telling. It probably echoes all my influences too.
People seem to like what I do, so for the time being I am going to keep doing it!
I’ve some exciting projects coming up and some collaborations in the near future.
Who knows? I may even do that novel before I’m 50.
I do a lot of things. One of those things is play with words and language. Words are my main medium apart from myself and in the same category as basic human needs as food, water, shelter. Words are my ikigai and my motivation. At the same time though, I don’t know what I’d do without work. Plenty of material. I work part time as an accountant and study IT at TAFE and have worked a fair bit in retail and hospitality, but at the end of the day it’s the words that keep me going.
book review – In the Dark Room
“We all need stories”
It’s been a while since I’ve rummaged through the mind of author James Knight. His previous Head Traumas and Bird King scenarios had me in reflective therapy. This new release I have been itching to read, tempted by visuals and tease on social media.
James has a unique perspective. His latest character, a bedridden only twin, laments in his own juices. It is once again trademark surreal though filled with his own Oneirographs - personal digital-scapes of dreams that he traps, observes and interprets – are extra detailed in that they expose his own psyche, or that of someone else. Powerful images that drive the stories.
James hides nothing. The pictures appear and take my breath away. At first I was so impressed, I thought the art surpassed the words. Then it starts and second thoughts erase all that. The creation of your own world, recurring themes, are again confronting, like an old song on the radio filled with reminiscence can also reveal new thoughts. Something lower in the mix is suddenly apparent and you become unsure of its impact.
James is obsessed by mannequins. They are a constant threat lurking with their statuesque menace. Often the brow creases at such strange thought processes but you can’t help but smile at the absurdity and familiarity of predicaments that are revealed. I felt some confusion but that is life. Is he in a level of hell, is he dying? As he gets into your mind, simulacras appear. If you dream like James does, you will see your own reflection.
This character seems ageless, ancient and childlike at the same time. Memories knocking filled with what shapes us, but told with an uneasy gaze, poetic and artistic. Almost steam punk surreal with all its mind cogs and lace, false memories lurk and come to life, challenging his sanity once the dream invades.
The madness really hits home in this book. The confusion of his mind is paramount, there is a terror and loneliness that makes your heart ache. An imaginarium of shapes and experiences in words, thoughts and actions. His younger self fueled by bites of aural and visual past experiences that is all encompassing – he is the dream. Rorschach flick your own butterflies and mirrors, share your nightmares. Calling Dr Freud…
It gets creepy, filled with guilt and confusion, an Ecclestonesque heart beats a homage to time masters, it’s as confusing and smile inducing as your first wet dream, filled with absurd truths and the comfort of the ordinary. Holding feelings in specimen cases, once categorized ready to reveal. The mannequins keep the tension dark and as terrifying as crying angels. The empathy of madness proving ones existence with momentos, polaroids we really want to forget but also confront. In The Dark Room is therapy, a tale, a chimera, a memory.
In The Dark Room is available as a black and white paperback through http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-knight/in-the-dark-room/paperback/product-21719496.html look out for the full colour kindle and paperback edition in August.
you can find James on twitter @badbadpoet and his @ChimeragroupO