Vatican Blues (from ‘old stone’)


Vatican Blues

(taken from ‘old stone‘)

at each bottle-necked corridor it’s one step forward, two steps back. the tour groups are a mass of wandering cattle, linked by their brightly coloured transistors. they bump into us, rigid, processional, lacking a sense of purpose and trampling ghosts of the past. occasionally an arm steals above the din and at its top, like a star on a Christmas tree, is the unblinking eye of a camera. it makes its theft and retracts in shame

sweat beads
we stake out
the open window

 

vatican

 

 

old stone – a mock up

Last night I spent some time messing around with covers, and came up with this for a future release. I don’t have a home for this MS yet, nor a solid title but I did have fun making it.

I wanted a thematic link between this and between giants because they both feature travel pieces, hence another image of the amazing Colosseum!

old stone - mock up

And here’s a couple of (possibly familiar) pieces that might appear in the collection:

shuffling over old stone
the echo
of tour guides

you are trying to sleep
and I am Coltrane’s sax
steeped in sound

en route

The ultra cheerful sound of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour chirps from the radio as our driver sets his tanned hands on the wheel. His sleeves are rolled up over the wrist, where a wealth of dark hair lives like localised forest. He does not move his shoulders much, but to roll them occasionally. Twice he gestures to the green range of Monte Cerreto, to tell us that Amalfi is on the other side.

He does not mention the columns of smoke that pour from different spots on the mountain, coloured slow. They grow as if exhaled by dragons buried deep in the earth, perhaps smuggled over Byzantine trade routes from beyond the sea. We stare out the window, catch glimpses of bright scales glittering on waves.

narrow way –
black garbage bags
tied to fences

Somnus and the March Hare

Very excited to announce that my short story Somnus and the March Hare has been published by Spark: A Creative Anthology!

Spark‘s second issue has just been released and subs are open for three right now. Possibly my favourite thing about the journal is that it features such a wide range of poetry, fiction and artwork. It’s got variety and quality – what else do we want as readers?

Here’s what founder Brian Lewis has to say about Spark:

My goal was to establish a high-quality, paying market where emerging authors and poets can gain professional experience being published alongside respected instructors and older creative writing alumni who are now established authors. While Spark encourages submissions from alumni of the California State Summer School for the Arts, we are looking for quality writing and artwork from any source. We set the bar high in order to encourage young writers to continue to excel and develop their talents, and to maintain a publication to which established professionals are excited to submit.

I think this is a fantastic goal and really appreciate the opportunity that Brian, Spark (and all publications like Spark) offer writers. I’m also really excited, because the challenge of short fiction is pretty new to me and the support of Spark means a lot.

To get an idea of the contents, visit George Wells, whose fantastic story Patron Saint of the Lowlands also features in Spark or another of my critique partners, C.J. Jessop, who has a fantastic post on Issue I, where she interviews a lot of the writers – have a look right here.