content work produce form – a collective writing project

content work produce form

A collective writing project
Performed at the Of Other Spaces 12-Hour Action Group
Saturday 3 December 2016, Cooper Gallery DJCAD
Writers: Tessa Berring, Anne Laure Coxam, Lynn Davidson, Georgi Gill, Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Jane Goldman, Rachel McCrum, Jane McKie, Theresa Munoz, Alice Tarbuck, Karen Veitch, JL Williams




content work produce form makes use of the stuff of our everyday, including technology that we use regularly for communication and research.

content work produce form is stimulating, provocative, unifying and female.

content work produce form constitutes a return and a beginning.




content work produce form is a collective of women writers using a shared Google document to post original creative textual responses to source texts and material, including Monica Ross’ text history or not, a selection of articles discussing Feministo & associated feminist art projects, and the artists and artwork featured in the exhibition Of Other Spaces: Where does gesture become event?, and then to one another’s writing.

The goal was to create a structure modelled on the one which developed over the course of the collaborative Feministo Postal Art Event of 1975-77. For that project, women made art at home and posted it to one another, generating home-based art collections and a tight-knit community of women artists.

During the international symposium 12-Hour Action Group, part of Of Other Spaces, writers Lynn Davidson, Rachel McCrum, Tessa Berring, Alice Tarbuck, Jane Goldman, Anne Laure Coxam and JL Williams read the texts in two actions…


Action 1

Action 2


Read the original texts from content work produce form



JL Williams 16:06 20/10/16

not history my story mountain of open mouths caverns of our habitation
holed out mountain scraped out bowled out lace mountain fragile mountain gutted veins mined
little scrapers along veins hole i am

where the mountain was my body is that’s what you call home

weavers in the lace cave knit food knit food

holding a bone i can’t tell
food or tool

they told me it was weapon rubbed it gently
against the rock of thigh

then it became smooth as flute and i used it to make music

suddenly after 40 years realising that goodness grows more goodness

Tessa Berring 22:30 20/10/16

After The Gesture
(when she peels her mandarins with razorblades…)

there is always the event  of waiting for change,
waiting for unguents, hearsay, bombs
for gaps in the hypothetical cul de sac
where so often there is
the wrong end of the stick

is there time for this?
is there a wall?
are you the wall? am I?
or a lop-sided door trying to open?

are you still honking in the bathroom
wrapped in tissue paper?

raking through trash for bullets/bones?
lying down in a pond
with your mother’s little tape recorder?
to prove she is, or she isn’t, as mad as…?

what do you see at first glance?
a blank page, not blank, a transparent page
all the way back to the first  invisible cradle

let’s offer up invisible things!
a headache in the morning
a tooth beneath a pillow
tulips in a darkened room

shh shh shh
marks come after gesture
never after nothing
nothing is drowning, nothing is
the ballerina with the shotgun?
so much blood

oh, life is made up of stains and scrubbing…
(so reckless)
take a photograph!

hello damp beneath the carpet
hello mould hello mouse hello
kind repairing needle

and all that cross stitch
that woman in stitches who laughed and laughed
knots along her spine
hello face!


we rustle on the page
and hesitate
where does sun really shine from
alone and indecent

the time we baked gingerbread women
and they came out bloated

the daisies with their throats cut
the endless conveyor belts
where we stood and stood and stood

be my friend, at least try
mumbling is good enough, even muttering enough about
hairy spoons
rock stars
non-absorbent ponies

or are you dead?
but  no-one ever told me who you were!

just that wish to be known and possible
speaker phones dangling from the ceiling
full of whispers
muscular and orange whispers
safety pin and mushroom whispers

helipad, nymph
another and another
the words weave air (art)
the best thing since sliced…

where are are the doors then, the windows?
the brand new underwear
that never looks how you want it?

do you have sex correctly?
(ha ha ha)
to the music of a harp
harping through a telephone
everyone has their own language

the only answer to that kind of question is
‘wake up’
but perhaps it explains (to the idiot)
how hard it is to swallow roses happily

how hard it is to sit down
for just one minute
and really build a house
from a torn up bandage
and hell (hell!), have I tried


Jane Goldman 22:19 29.X.2016


what the paper says
(what the gauze says)

just how
lonely is
your vestigial
spare her
solitary dis
now she is dis
pensable think
who these days
needs a short
hand secretary
typist her
interstitial use
lessness surely
nobody’s mother
nobody’s murder
“she died at the site
of her wounds”
her inky nib bulges
(who in hell issues
invitations step
right up go ahead
occupy this
tincture loaded
bristle plumps
lip kiss
lips glisten
sheet sheen
air this


Karen Veitch 20:17 22/10/16


Silence – the relation of nothing to nothing —
is not merely a sequestered speech,
with syllables each stuck point to point,
but a disavowed dichotomy,
a gap revealed between the teeth.


We never knew that we were there
or there, or there
from time to time –
we only felt a movement
and so knew that something moved,
which either was the world or us,
transposing space
in silence,
the locomotive form that moves across the infinite,
like common sense.


A parcel small enough to travel
is more dangerous than most apparent weaponry,
being blunted by display,
unlike the subtle force of art-in-transit,
powerful because concealed
from time’s transfixing gaze.


Our trip will never end and nor has it begun
until silence cuts through voices,
when Zeno’s arrow has flown.


Lynn Davidson 1:18 23/10/16


My daughter says
You’re lucky – growing up
with protest songs.
All we have
are tweets and texts.
The post always
and never
here. We jam together
over little screens
like parents round a crib –
for copied messages
and faces.

She buys a camper van –
builds furniture that ebbs and flows
for nights, for days (a bed, a couch) –
and drives herself into the desert.

Kindles a fire.
Suspends a billy.
Feeds flames with fallen
ghost gum branches
for the sudden scented snap –
for the infusion.

Through the dark
the Milky Way flows low and slowly –
brushing the roof of the van
and the brave jut of its open windows.

What can I do, but write it.
Line out the song. Share it.

It’s there in you
as it is in me.

The memory
of the axe inside
the tree.


Anne Laure Coxam 22:47 26/10/16


front crawl

love swimming pools
more than bus rides
I swam back and forth
and back
and forth
between walls then
I picked the wrong salad
that wasn’t a salad
in the snack bar
my body is my working tool
my voice
my hands
my eyes
my silhouette
my movement
my body           I feel
needs to be
as narrow as possible
to bear the repeated
the peeling and
by a hundred and twenty people
two hundred and forty eyes
on my body back
and forth
over a week


I finish this
just as
they finish
their writing exercise


Georgi Gill 05:29 28/10/16
and so we sew

words spool onto
off-white linen
fixed inky thread

our narratives
discreet whispers
of running stitch

we yarn up each
last scrap of self
dictate each threat
each slap each cut
each rape each slur

silence shouting
through our needles

teaches us just
how much red thread
a torn hymen

and so we sew
grow ambitious
we want to be
proper artists

spend housekeeping
money on best
silks so we can
be our best so
we can try so
we can all sew
sweet perfection
from imperfect

unseen unheard
discounted trolled
dismissed artists
who know to stitch
our selves in tight
to bodice hems
and knicker seams
we are our own
ten pence pieces
sewn into coats’
secret pockets

we are our own
letters heckled
by ragged seams
and wear our selves
close to our chests,
buttoned up tight

libate each word
with sweat until
salt and the coarse
rub of our skin
erase the ‘i’s
and uncross ‘t’s

stitches fragment
like Sappho we
are at risk of
words into skin.
leaving only





Marjorie Lotfi Gill 16:16 28/10/16


Between Galaxies

What she wants to know
is what to tell her daughters
when they ask about her best hour.

Now, she wants to say, just now

but instead tells them the story
of her first martini, unsure
whether to lift from the rim
or the stem of its tulip glass,
and afterwards, throwing open
her arms to the constellations
— Orion and the backwards
Taurus and Gemini — on the ceiling
of Grand Central Station. Imagining
herself a god, she watched
the wings of black birds trapped
beneath its dome as they grazed
the aquamarine and gold paint,
pleaded for re-entry to a world
they somehow knew existed
beneath the blinking light of stars.

She warns them never to trust
a city clock, to look first before crossing
no matter the time, to always carry
house keys in a front trouser pocket,
and then adds how walking
the streets of a town where no one
knows your face or name can itself
be a form of comfort, finds herself saying
there is safety in loneliness.


Alice Tarbuck 14:12 01/10/16


Anonymous is a woman

anonymous is hemming
and darning.
anonymous is fishing out
something from the freezer,
sets it to thawing.
anonymous keeps change
in a decorative sugar bowl from
anonymous counts the postage out
then gets the tea on.
anonymous is familiar with that sigh
when she opens the box
its only what I had to hand
it isn’t much to see
I hope it hasn’t broken
on the way I’m sorry it took
so long its just
anonymous hears the spin cycle stop.
anonymous lets the phone ring out.
anonymous runs her ring finger
down the back of a plastic doll
with plastic irons instead of hands
and very little hair.


anonymous lets her children go
with sticky hands
so she can make the morning train.
miserable bitches
anonymous looks at the salad woman.
bitter and twisted
anonymous weeps when she meets the others.
not suitable for children
anonymous sees her broken china
there, as if it is as beautiful
as an object from a studio
made by the hands of an art degree
and she smiles.
anonymous flips to the arts pages
they have ignored the broken china
even though she saw it there
and heard it, loud and constant
clear as ringing
as if it was always in the process
of being thrown, and smashing.

anonymous starts the kettle,
saves the newspaper up for kindling.
always plenty more crockery
in a room full of silent women.


Rachel McCrum 18:24 01/11/16


Take me to (the) market, mother dear (a Strategy of Dissonance)

Lettuce prey

and ask this of us ourselves
Do I know them women?

not much of a mama you see not much of a dada either
boom tish boom

Send miss ives back.
Send help at once
We are going to a dance.

we used to talk about…

It’s Hallowe’en
and I’m late to the party
masked up in a guerrilla suit girls
still wearing those painted masks girls
get gorilled up for the moral guardians girls
it’s our polemic poemic fight girls
boxing ring and crocheted left hook girls let’s pussy riot before
they beam us up

in real time
the old timey wimey time
back to the future forty years ago time

we used to talk about…

they used to talk about —
so we talk about —
we reflect on this
we reflect
we reflect this
(if I took tiny shards of mirror and —
but we don’t use mirrors so much these days
don’t look too closely or you’ll go blind
doing that)

I have been a child
but not a mother

and so we reflect
back to the future time
is this our future time
inevitablerevocableresistible time?

Marie Stopes International has provided safe contraception and abortion services worldwide for 40 years did you know that Marie Stopes wrote love letters to Hitler she sent him a book in 1939 she did did you know that Marie Stopes opposed abortion did you know that Marie Stopes cut her own son out of her will because he married a woman with an eye defect did you know that Marie Stopes wrote in 1921 about her Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress she wrote that it existed to …to counteract the steady evil which has been growing for a good many years of the reduction of the birth rate just on the part of the thrifty, wise, well-contented, and the generally sound members of our community, and the reckless breeding from the C.3 end, and the semi- feebleminded, the careless, who are proportionately increasing in our community because of the slowing of the birth rate at the other end of the social scale. Statistics show that every year the birth rate from the worst end of our community is increasing in proportion to the birth rate at the better end, and it was in order to try to right that grave social danger that I embarked upon this work but they do good work now they do such important work in her name now I suppose it’s difficult when the ends justify the means still such a horror story you know

never mind
it’s done now
Let’s look now

I’ll look when I’m a mother

Their quite disparate
cleaver urgency
their UR-GENCY
the UR of it all
the UR UR UR of it all
few physical resources…many of them use old packaging…we recycle lots of things. Ecological bunch!…not all of us…nor I think…nearly impossible for all but a few…a bit more…a bit more…lots of things…lots and lots of things…


when, opposite you, is the
MAGMA STYLE women’s art explosion ITALIAN STYLE
glory glory glory BOOM to the DAWN
magma eroding undermining subterranean spread


This I promise
I will spread my knees on subway trains
Show ’em how wide and dark the tunnel is.

I think I’m jealous
of your merry elastic bands
(what happens if we don’t agree?
of you flying ducks
the fucks you do not give away
on that egg yellow cover

And I’m blaming the children
Don’t blame the children

I’ll look when I’m a mother

this just isn’t me
but just because
this isn’t me
doesn’t mean
it isn’t you
and you
and you
and her
and them
over there
and here
her here
and you there
and sorry
I’m sorry
I’m not sure what dish
I’m bringing to the table here
always was the jealous sort of fish
that old envy tang to poison any dish
sorry I am sorry
but you said it was okay to be everything here
to show everything here to be
strong and helpless and wonderful and despairing here
invincible victim here.

All this kitchen talk is making me queasy
holding my breath in a clenched fist here
let’s take it outside
take it to the river
take me out tonight
oh Linder Linder love me Linder
in your pornographic meat suit
in the public thumping realm
slap that sausage and cook that goose
shit cook that goose
shit we’re back to the kitchen
cook that goose in the kitchen
oh my Plath

I disavow all soundness of mindfulness
but I’m not sure I know you sisters
I think you met my mother though

And I asked him
how was it to become a dadadada so young?
he told me this is the first time he felt his father looked on him
and saw a man
when their eyes met over his son’s head
crooked in his 18 year old elbow

and he was worked
and worked to work
to work
to pry screaming fingers from nursery fences
to be dadadadadada
and god
I love the way he folds clothes
I’ve lived on my own air since I was 18 years old
two cuts to the bellysac
my choice
and then
my choice
I think
you no

and I’m not sure I know you sisters
I think you met my mother though
but I think
that I would like to meet you
let’s meet halfway in the hallway
under the letter box sisters
let’s make our own Hallowe’en masks
from serial boxes sisters
and head for the dance
let’s dance
yes let us dance
under the letterbox
let’s get post all this shit
let’s get post all this shit


Theresa Munoz 10:37 02/11/16


We Are Not


All the things
I never thought
applied to me
apply to me
racist whispers catcalls
asian women stereotypes
shouts from white vans
trolls of no description
threats in the comments section
all male academic panels
all male interview panels
glass ceilings
or not even the door open
I thought
If you trusted
& told your story
that would fix things
but they looked at me
like I was the stupid one


Jane McKie 14:00 03/11/16


Stuttgart Airport, 1989


The floor is slick with reflections. Just that, no texture or pattern; only images lubricate the atrium. I am a paper cutout on the floor of Stuttgart Airport, 3 a.m., another body sunk in the mopped-floor underworld of airports.

A sallow-cheeked woman, pushing or propelled by a giant nautilus, nudges my backpack with the machine, enquiring if I have time to converse with the dead?

Time? I don’t know what she means, but I answer as best I can: I am twenty-one, en route to a commune in Swabia, I am comfortable in my sleep, and I still hope to achieve things. She seems satisfied, nodding, pushing her machine on, its whirring luxuriant in the grey- green ichorous halls, the only vital beating thing because even my heart has slowed from contact with the seamless ground.




JL Williams 12:30 01/11/16
in response to
Anne Laure Coxam 22:47 26/10/16


crawl back love                                            anxious
pools more rides even                               was it the light I swam you back and forth    strain
and back                                                       what was right
and forth                                                      the devils knew
between then wrong                                  i’m a nun not
body working                                               imprisoned
needs                                                             in the light
as wide to bear                                            there is forgiveness no jesus no
dissection                                                      she ran in and said it was god
pillage                                                            masturbating on the washing machine
two hundred and forty                               hot thumping
back                                                               guilt
and forth                                                       i’m praying

finish                                                              autumn again
just                                                                 but more painfully
finish                                                              in love with me
writing                                                           the leaves


JL Williams 20:49 28/11/16
in response to
Lynn Davidson 01:18 23/10/16

o momma can you feel me o momma can you hear me

o momma where you steal me o momma bleed me

o momma can you dream me o momma can you see

o momma it is in me o momma oak tree

o momma can you wrench me o momma i bleed

o momma here the leaves are o momma take the lead

o momma there’s diseases o momma save me

o momma i’m a loner o momma heal me

o momma i’m a demon o momma i’m a seed

o momma here’s the tree bark o momma i’m the tree

o momma why’d you birth me o momma why’d you bleed

o momma here’s the axe blade o momma it’s in me

o momma i am freed now o momma i’m in need

o momma am i dreaming o momma am i me


JL Williams 22:29 28/11/16
in response to
Karen Veitch 22/10/16

i learned how still i was

Tessa Berring 04/11/16
in response to
Karen Veitch 22/10/16



I dreamt about you I dreamt you were sliding slices of cucumber into part sealed envelopes and I didn’t recognise the addresses your hands were white with cold because you had left your gloves under my pillow when we went to fetch them the pillows had stopped breathing we carried them out like soft babies and forgot about the gloves in the cow field was a fairground selling candy floss in huge pink clouds I climbed inside the first free dodgem drove towards a wall of paper helicopters my heart is racing I no longer have my pillow I can’t see you for every merry-go-round.


Tessa Berring 06/11/16
in response to
Alice Tarbuck 01/11/16



to run
you know,
still drizzled
with sex
or soap,
to quarter
and start
to chew.


Jane McKie 17:13 07/11/16
In response to
Marjorie Lotfi Gill 28/10/16


No one is alone

I know there’s something there

on the screen
in ultramarine videos

in the background
behind things

we need never be alone
let me tell you

in this moment of half-sleep
preceding memories

before the birds come
to pick at gold leaf

and other scavengers come
to extricate

pattern from colour
moments from a life

sweet Jesus, child, we need never
be alone

I know there’s something there
on the screen

in ultramarine videos
in the background

behind things


Lynn Davidson 11:45 10/11/16
In response to
Theresa Munoz


The surprising wounds
apply to you
The black stitches
apply to you
This door, that room
applies to you
These words on skin
apply to you
The shocking thread
applies to you
and the all-male panel
that does not hear you.
All these things you never thought
apply to you
apply to you.

For the arrangement of the facts
for the arrangement of your story,
stitch the wounds along the page
make the door and make the room.
And in the space between the stitches
more stitches will rise and prove –
words on skins, on leaves, on rags,
in languages you couldn’t know –
and they will all apply to you
And they will all apply to you.

Alice Tarbuck 11:46 10/11/16
in response to
Jane Goldman 22:19 29/10/16


hush now
lovely is
our residual
pared fur
solitary kiss
now we are re
who these days
cedes their heart
land so unwary?
all uncivil nui
sances, swiftly
all body’s pleasure
all body’s murmurs
“she crowed in the night
with both hands”
she newly indulges
(who in hell misuses
education? Stop
lies like ‘lie in bed,
glorify his
fingers golden
no dismissal
as this is
slick lips
slick this one
sweet, seen
air this


Marjorie Lotfi Gill
in response to
Alice Tarbuck 14:12 01/10/16



— after Anonymous is a woman by Alice Tarbuck

anonymous lets her children go
shuts the door and stops
darning the socks
and boiling stock stops
mending fault lines
along seams stops
replacing buttons against
like pent-up dreams

pours herself
into a childless suit
one red-soled black heel
like a dollar sign under
each foot refuses
to smile except
when looking out
the window certain
her colleagues
are eyeing
the New York City night
instead makes connect-four
patterns of glowing
office light

wishes for a platform
or the train to pause
half the distance
this city and her
clapboard house

and holds out
for anonymous
a secret she can keep
one more she can
whisper to herself
in the ease
of sleep


Rachel McCrum 15:19 19/11/77
in response to
Marjorie Lotfi Gill


‘there is safety in loneliness’


Our finest hour turned
grim at the speed of light,
and it’s dig in or flee.
A desperate abdication, this taste for
wilful changing of constellations.

My brother, head turned against the world,
astrophysicist, searches for celestial orphans.
When duelling galaxies clash violently enough,
some bodies are flung solo, willing or not.
Stripped of collective energy,
they glow too faintly to be seen
against the masses still holding strong,
get lost amidst the blare of the crowd.

Look harder. There is more in the sky
than you see at first glance.
Between galaxies, light also seeps.
Rogue and wandering, they hold up
their slight necessary stopgap glimmer
in the blackest of spaces.


Karen Veitch 20/11/16
in response to
Anne Laure Coxam 26/10/16


“Swim clockwise”
said some he, or other,
deigning to divide our waters!


A man in water displaces what?
Space for some other man — so what.
Whereas a woman,
in a pool
moves gracefully
with her own organs —
her eyes,
her hands —
carves volume out of nothing,
transposes space
for nowhere but herself to be
and draws her deepest


Anne Laure Coxam 27/11/16
in response to
JL Williams 20/10/16


my name is Anne Laure Coxam
although it is not my name
I am 8 or 102 years old
in any case
it is the same

I never liked lemonade
but I like lemon juice
or limoncello
and resistance songs

I like hawkers
people who hawk their wares
even on battlefields or
in mountains or
on the beach
a sandy doughnut is disgusting
except when it is chocolate flavoured
it is better                  but in afghan mountains
it is only bread
and perhaps some

I like giant leaves
when you can
use them
as umbrellas and the wind
when it slams the doors
La porte bordel!
(the door for fuck sake!)
is the French
a Glaswegian puppeteer

whereas                    there are places in the world
where bridges
are made of roots


Anne Laure Coxam 27/11/16
in response to
Georgi Gill 28/10/16


hey, I can write
a postcard can’t I?
in a snack-bar
on a table where
there are marks of coffee
and crumbs
writing postcards is
but anyway
I read a book
the seamstress
sewed and stitched
a heart for an idol
a cape
for a man
who didn’t know
his desires
a cock
(the bird)
a red cock
(many times)
many dresses
her wedding dress
(ripped then)
the death wedding dress
(but the wedding was cancelled)
an anarchist flag
the face of an anarchist
she loved

bye bye

Theresa Munoz 12:36 28/11/16
in response to
Lynn Davidson 01:18 23/10/16


All we have are tweets and texts
All we have are pics and threads
All we have are memes and gifs
All we have are posts and vids
All we have are hearts and thumbs
All we have are follows and blocks
All we have is 140 characters or less
All we have are rants and tenderness

JL Williams 20:29 28/11/16
in response to
Rachel McCrum 18:24 01/11/16


this just isn’t

dust all over the body

but just because

i could not say no

this isn’t me

there was never a chance to breathe

doesn’t mean

there was never a chance

it isn’t you

i cannot see your lungs

and you

cannot see your heart

and you

are looking for your womb

and her

who was inside your womb

and them

who were inside your womb

over there

where women stand with placards

and here

where women stand with handguns

her here

holding the apple dipped in white wax

and you there

calling, calling, calling

and sorry

said the sign on the pile of laundry

I’m sorry

said the spinning sign

I’m not sure what dish

to make for this sort of holiday

I’m bringing to the table here

this heart this heart dipped in white wax

Jane Goldman 12:30 29/11/16
in response to
Lynn Davidson 01:18 23/10/16


Listening now with my teenage daughter to my mother Joy and our friend Maureen as I have listened to them since I was younger than my daughter’s age now, in the sweet of a silence:
J: Where are you going?
M: I’ve got the train in a minute.
J: Why?
M:    Why not?
J: It’s alright. You do what you have to do.
M: We like to hear the sound of your voice. You sounded like your old self yesterday. Listening and sitting. And pontificating!
Aah! The sound of the washing machine—one of the beautiful sounds in the world. Who needs sun and sky? We just need machinery!
J: Sometimes washing is good for you. You can deal with it. It comes around every week.
M: Twin tub? We didn’t even have a mangle, just a wash-board.
J: It depends what you want to do. We know. I am singular. I’m me. Hill Town!
M: Were we really clean, Joy, do you think, in the 1940s and 50s? We have all these changes of clothes now. All times of the day. And deodorants. And hoovers. I switch mine on and dance. I love me hoover I do. The cats too. And I turn it on and I sing:

‘They had some honey and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note!”

And the two of them dance round.
J: She’ll come back. The war years. Britain? Over the sea to Skye.
M: Little Hissy cat come here. Cheerio Joy. You’ve given me lots to think about.
J: That’s quick. You can hear her.
Trees. Look there’s birds.


Tessa Berring 28/11/16
in response to
Rachel McCrum 01/11/16


Other side of the wasp road, a forget-me-not spits
in a keyhole, your mouth shreds language into
alphabets and there are so many gaps in the fence.


I have eaten the last half pear, a loaf behind the wine
glass shades a procession of ants. I wish this leotard
was a deeper space-blue and did not cut my armpits.


Dying cornflowers remind me of wigs. How did you hear
the singing under all that friendly fire? It looked like
miracle tinsel, oh! the clouds were stubborn that night.


Inhale, exhale. Sometimes I want to squeeze mousse into
your grin and watch you lick it. Your eyes are my last taboo
and I am bored of chilled apples and fractured horizons.


Who wants to gasp for the absence of air? Bees note lavender
in the midst of atrocities, and paradise sucks on old dry soap.
There will always be bad spells or bad robots who wrong us.


One step down is another gurgle. The rush to boil nightwear
is an empty gesture. Reel in the lapwing that drowned in
the pond. The sky is polystyrene, we must live here now.



Tessa Berring 19/11/16
in response to
JLWilliams 01/11/16

in response to
Anne Laure Coxam 26/10/16

But I liked to swim in the dark
wearing nothing but rubber
goggles, elastics in my hair.
The acid taste of chlorine water,
the accident when all I meant
was to surprise you underwater
with no costume.


Don’t talk with your mouth
             full of clotted cream
                          funless you want to say ‘forgiveness’

or    ‘zoomorphic ectoplasm’.


Imagine if echoes just weren’t,
if we shouted under bridges
and there was never an answer.
Would it be good for us?

The way meat and bones are good for us,
angels with their wings sliced off,
silicon and marmalade,
laying flowers on graves to help us grieve?


And sex on old washing machines.
How exciting! how ridiculous!
The foam in the drum,
holding tight for the spin cycle,
that scent of unnatural hyacinth.


Alice Tarbuck 15:17 19/11/16
in response to
JL Williams 12.30 01/11/16
in response to
Anne Laure Coxam 22:47 26/10/16

autumn again

rock pools suck

throw up sand

a gull at dusk

the sand black

dissection wide


the clouds clear

the neck curled
touch it

like bent hands
just there
right there

like hot flood
I didn’t
and won’t

washing machine
empty of

on shore’s edge
full up
with water

listen and hear

ghost laundry

heavy and sick

black as sand

what damage

what unclean
sea line

what weight of

what weight of
autumn again
from a stomach
full with


Jane McKie 18:30 25/11/16
in response to
Tessa Berring 04/11/16
in response to
Karen Veitch 22/10/16

Oh, Tell Him to Come and He’ll Have His Shirt

There was a show up north, not the kind with cambric shirts or sickles
of leather, though it was on an acre of land

the kind with Waltzers: a hurricane of colour, enough
to make her heartsick

he spun her west, and she grew older in a minute
no longer a loveable girl

washhouse-red knuckles, coarsened from years
of being taken forward and back, moved between the arms of

they called her    candyfloss

they called her    much in little

they called her    travelling fair


Anne Laure Coxam 27/11/16
in response to
Tessa Berring 04/11/16
in response to
Karen Veitch 22/10/16


I cleaned the house
in a rush-rush Rush!
the plumber was expected
not that it matters much
but I think he might be a spy

an email from
I won 1 million
at the lottery
petrifying coincidence
the day before
I played bingo in a class

people generally don’t give a fuck
about wildlife
flamingos are dazzled by neon
and birds
I noticed
started to look at humans
with resentment
some kind of bitterness
in storks’ eyes
is blatant

I have a subscription
with 3 energy providers
but I have no lamps
I have no lamps and 3 energy providers

in the middle of the night
I awake and stroke the bed
wondering if the wood is varnished or
in the middle of the night
I awake petrified by
the remembrance of something
but what?


Lynn Davidson 28/11/16
in response to
Tessa Berring 04/11/16
in response to
Karen Veitch 22/10/16

A kestrel
if it lands up
inside, say a
barn somewhere,
can bear itself
in air
with no currents
can keep aloft,
but flying –

latch back
the wide door
for this
the barn’s beating
heart through
light-scattered day

dinner keeps her here
among the pitched
forks and huddled


JL Williams 20:25 28/11/16
in response to
Jane McKie 17:13 07/11/16
In response to
Marjorie Lotfi Gill 28/10/16


before the birds come i wake and clean the floor it is the colour of a swimming pool they say aquamarine in the gallery there are birds soon in my hair they peck like this like this in my ears i think sometimes they are communicating with me don’t they say but i say yes yes and the little pecks continue making small pricks in my skin through which light shines it’s a little like when the needles go in and out in and out of the canvas and on the other side the eyes are watching they are little eyes and they follow me as i move back and forth on my knees along the stones of the gallery floor scrubbing up the shit and the piss and the crumbs of food the birds don’t like the food in here they say it’s only good for men from the north and a little bomb goes off somewhere in the toilet and i’m thinking i need more water but i’m afraid to go back in there they didn’t teach me in art school how to clean up blood when i was a slave they didn’t think i was any good at art they just said sew sew and sweat sweat and i did what they said but all the while i knew that deep in my wrist was this thing called ‘to make’ and when the birds peck at my scalp it’s as if they’re picking the gold leaf off a tendril of sapphire glass


Jane Goldman 12:50 29/11/16
in response to
Tessa Berring 06/11/16
in response to
Alice Tarbuck 01/11/16



taken to take minted sage tea
cornered for tea in a corner
a pale corner corners a pale
stone we become scene one

(a time is being minted
a time is being passed)

watch now how it is thrown
into the lecture

(a feminist

revisionist theory
of a universal
hysteria is being

scene two

with our name on it

♦ ♦ ♦