March is Women’s Month: Will you be apart of it?

Women’s Month, Women’s Writing Month, Women’s Week, what gives?

We deserve more than a month; we deserve years of appreciation and accolades for all the shit we have to put up with.

Let’s switch gears. 

Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you decide to fly instead of walk?

I say decide because it ultimately is a decision. Right, we can’t actually sprout wings and fly. Imagine if I’d stayed at my old job, as a banker, working 40 hours a week busting my ass only to bring home 300 dollars every two weeks of disposable income. After paying for daycare, the mortgage, meals out, gas, etc, etc, etc, that’s really all I brought to the table.

When I first ventured outside my comfort zone, putting myself out there as a writer, so many people liked my Facebook page merely based on my profile picture. (It was of my face. So shut up before you even say it.) How stupid and ridiculous is that? Not that stupid. Not that ridiculous. And, to my surprise, not that uncommon. When I first started Sick Lit Magazine, I was still just as shocked at how many people visited the page only to click on my “Gravatar” and then leave without reading any of the stellar work we’ve published.


So, can women do serious journalism?

Yes. When we step out of the superimposed box. When we stop thinking of gender in terms of an indictment or definition of self. When we begin to work for ourselves and say what we really think.

We don’t exist just to serve as a face, body or walking caricature of what society thinks we are; nor do we simply exist to serve as baby vehicles and happy housewives, scrubbing that darn pan and selling Mary Kay!!

If you sell Mary Kay and are offended, you’ve missed my intent. When you begin a side project like Mary Kay, Avon, Eyelash Product (insert whatever here) Du Jour, Tupperware or colorful, microwave-safe, BPA-free dishes, you’re still working for the man, my love! You’re still getting a fraction of what you deserve! And look at what the hell you’re selling: cosmetics and kitchenware. All we do is put on makeup and cook and clean, right? (Oh and bleed. And have babies. And apparently, according to every stupid-ass movie I’ve seen, binge-eat ice cream when we break up with someone?!!! WTF? I used to cut my hair every time I had a break up. Fuck ice cream.)

I see so many women who think they’re only worth what’s on their surface;  they become a machination of what corporate America and misogynists alike think they’re worth. Because they can’t see beyond that superimposed box that surrounds them. If that’s all you focus on in life, solely your appearance, at the end of the day when you lie down with yourself at night, you feel that hole in your heart.

Since I happen to have a gender-ambiguous first name, I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of e-mails objectifying and shaming women. (Sorry that you hate your ex; welcome to life, my dear boys. It’s called everyone. Everyone hates an ex or two. Or three. Get over it and move on.)

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I’m in a Starbucks with my husband and kids on a shitty, humid, cloudy Sunday (also known as Valentine’s Day).

I started Sick Lit Magazine just a short five months ago–with no clue as to the direction we would end up going; I just woke up one day and I knew what I had to do. I knew what I wanted to do. And I knew that I wanted to go the opposite of the places I’d been. So, if snotty literary agents turned right, I was going left. If uppity editors owned the building, I was going to do doughnuts in their parking lot.

Inspiration isn’t the kind of thing that you just get–you can’t grab a pre-packaged version at the grocery store on the corner. It, like its close relative happiness, is an intangible. Damn intangibles. So elusive. Plus, when you add the variable relativity to the mix, intangibles can seem impossible.

Intangibles cause so much trouble, don’t they? People go to great lengths in the hopes of reaching one. But, most likely, what’s impeding them from getting there is themselves.

Here’s a hint: Life doesn’t have a guidebook, road map or instructions for a reason. We’re supposed to bump our heads a bit and try again. We’re supposed to learn.

Listen, I fight against my own chronic illnesses and pain daily–I don’t always win. Quite often, I fall down and mess up. I lose my shit and scream and say things I swore I’d never say as a parent, much less an adult. We’re human; each one of us is flawed. Flaws, adversity and loneliness have strengthened each one of us. I may have to remind myself daily to leave the cynicism at home, but it’s still progress. We’re all works in progress, much like our writing, our music and our art.

Please know that I’m one of those people who doesn’t follow her own advice.

I know what it is to pour your soul into a project and have it ripped to shreds in front of you. I know the feeling of getting that hundredth auto-rejection letter from yet another agent. They tell you that your writing is weak. Or diluted. Or whatever. They tell you that you’re not strong enough and neither is your writing. But it is. And you are. Sure, some of the writing may be sloppy, that’s a given. But it doesn’t make you incapable of fixing it and making it better.

Without us, people wouldn’t have art to hang on their walls, books to read or music to blast in their cars or headphones.

I’m more than okay with admitting I’m complicated, complex and flawed. Because at the end of the day, when I lie down to go to sleep at night, I have to be able to live with myself, right?

And I refuse to, as a woman, be taken at face value (“just another blonde”). I’m more than Michael Coody’s wife. I’m more than Nikki’s mom or Jackson’s mom.

I’m Kelly. I have a name. I also had a different last name before I got married. I have depth. I speak multiple languages. I don’t have an easy answer to the conversation starter, “So, where are you from?” That’s okay. It’s what makes me who I am.

I read a quote recently that said, “The person who broke you cannot be the one to fix you.” I hate this quote. No one can break me. No one. Ever. They can try; they can hurt me; but I will persist. I will exist. I will live. They may hate to see my name, my face, but that speaks volumes about them, not me. No one has the ability to break you, either. Take the reigns of your own life back and stop feeling like a slave to the system. Write. Paint. Love. Enjoy. Live your life the way you want to; not the way society tells you to live.

I’ve been through a lot in my 32 years on this planet and I know that I have much more in store for me. Hell, my kids are only 7 and 3 – they haven’t even hit double digits yet.

If you saw me walking down the street in my skinny jeans and Adidas trainers, you’d probably mistake me for some hipster kid (or maybe just a hipster wannabe. I’m not that cool.)

It just further proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to host Women’s Month/Women’s Writing Month. You ladies inspire me daily–you’re a wealth of unique, spirited talent; and proof that the pen is, in fact, mightier than the sword.

Please enjoy some spectacular writing and art this March. I’m keeping submissions open–continue to send in ideas, questions, writing, art, etc, for Women’s Writing Month and all the other remaining themes.

Oh, hell, let me just post the theme schedule again below:



I’m one of those rare nerds who actually enjoys editing; and I’ve loved reading (almost) every single piece I’ve received for 2016 thus far. You guys are inspirational. So as much as it might be intangible, it is also contagious. An editor who loves her job is happy to have a full inbox. An editor who hates her job snarls at it.

Readers, writers, contributors and SLM enthusiasts, continue doing what you’re doing.

Because you’re damn good at it.

*Just to clarify, we’re staying open to unsolicited submissions until further notice–send everything to*


Kelly Fitzharris Coody

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*I may wear many hats, but I always wear the same sunglasses.*


Rumors – by NIKKI COODY


by Nikki Coody

Great, now rumors are spreading

Oh, is that really true?

Shh…it’s a secret

So, can I tell my friend?

I can’t undo the trouble…

Please…just don’t tell anyone else…


[This is an Acrostic Poem by Nikki Coody]

***Nikki Coody is a 2nd grade student currently enrolled in the gifted and talented program. Nikki recently placed in the statewide, Texas Reading Bee Championship, representing the entire Crowley ISD school district, after winning multiple reading bee rounds. She is officially a 2015 “Reading Bee Champ.” Nikki enjoys school, gymnastics and is always reading and writing. ***

Absent Moments and a few Haikus from CORINNE HACKWORTH

Absent Moments
by Corinne Hackworth
There was a time that I walked to the sea
When I arrived I stood at the very edge so that the waves could tickle the tips of my toes
but only just
I closed my eyes and leaned my head back so the wind could take my hair and I could fee the salt and spray on my cheeks.
I thought of you
and it made my heart burn
the blue of the day turned to inky grey
I found the spot in my soul where you lived
I pulled it out and I threw it as far as I could
away from me
There is a hole, a voided empty place
I am lighter
I wandered back home with the earth raw beneath my feet and belief
belief that I may not be happy
I can be content
I can be strong
I can be FREE
I can heal


Haikus by Corinne Hackworth


Sleepy mountain roads
All aspen and evergreen
Spirit rejoices

Shots fired! Shots fired! RINGS out!
For manifest destiny
Children watch mom die

An ode to Rob:
Trucker cap don’t mind
Front flip is out of control
Up down side to side

The daily grind kills
The brain screams white noise all day
Repeat tomorrow

Tuxedo kitty
Fluffy and fat on my feet
Do not hurl in shoes




 Corinne is a Texas transplant raised in the rolling Virginia mountains. Boy-mom, extraordinaire running between corporate chains and seasonal sports. She is on the extended 20 year plan for her degree living semester to semester with one fearless man, and their cats. Find her on Twitter at: @acorn103

Taking Up Space – by KATE JONES

Taking Up Space

It starts off a hot, sticky morning the day I wake up as a man.

I hit the alarm and realise something isn’t right when my hand catches the stubble on my chin.  I run my hands down to my chest under my vest: it’s flat.  My large breasts aren’t rolling sideways, catching under my armpits.  A moment of panic; where the fuck are they?

I open my eyes and look down, see curly black hairs where breasts used to be; small dotted nipples.  And there’s something else strange going on below the sheets.  I feel downwards.  I have an erection.  I let out a gasp, eyes growing wide.  This is unexpected.  I feel strangely aroused.  I lift the sheet to peek below.  Erect and throbbing, my new penis is a pretty fine example sticking out of my boxers.

I sweep my hands down my thighs and across my stomach.  It’s flat.  And there are no silvery, snaking stretch marks.  My usually sashayed hips are just straight flanks down towards thick, hairy legs.  My hand finds my new penis without intention, grabs it, firmly, pulling back.  I feel a wash of pleasure ripple through my body.  I idle there, masturbating, for a couple of minutes before the alarm rings again.  I swear at it wanting to finish what I started, but I know I’ll be late for work, so I reluctantly let it go, for now.

This could be fun, I think, and I smile broadly.  I jump out of bed, trip over the cat and run into the bathroom.  Stripping off boxers, I stand in front of the full-length mirror, taking myself in.  I’m not bad, quite cute in fact.  I’d fancy me.  Well, the old me would fancy me, I mean.  I look to where my erection was and see it’s quickly shrivelling to a more modest size.  I never realised how quick it could disappear.

I take a piss, firing it in a loop above the toilet, trying to do stunts.  It’s such fun, why did I never know this?

I shower and explore my new body parts.  I run soaped hands down large, hairy thighs and around sacks like stress balls.  I stop as my erection is starting again and I don’t have time.  I dry off, brush my teeth and run gelled hands through floppy hair.

I’m relieved to see trousers, jeans, t-shirts in my wardrobe.  I pull on some smart brown trousers, and the tightest fitting t-shirt I can find.  I’m going to flaunt this flat chest.  I never wear t-shirts.  And I will revel in walking the streets without getting cat-called.

I think of every morning, walking past those road workers by the tube station.  Trying, desperately, to pull my jacket around my front in the hope my large chest won’t strain too much; that my ass in /that skirt won’t draw attention.

Before I leave, I decide to try out my voice.  It will sound ridiculous if I still have a high-pitched tone.  I speak to the man in the mirror.  Hey there, I say, for some reason using a macho American accent.  My voice comes out deep and sonorous.  I sound familiar.  I sound like my dad, I realise.

On the tube, I sit, legs wide and sprawling, taking up space.  Entitled.  A girl sits opposite, curling herself as small as possible into the seat.  I smile at her flirtatiously, trying it out.  She blushes.  I feel large and powerful, invincible.

At work, I have to sit through a tedious creative meeting.  I venture an idea on the Goldberg account; it’s not the best I’ve ever had, but it’s kind of a strange day and I’m not on top form.  But the most surprising thing is when everyone listens to me speak.  My boss nods at me appraisingly.  Sarah, a colleague, agrees – she’s smiling and proud and mentions things like expansion and new territories. She pulls out a folder, but the boss simply shakes his head and she shrinks back into her seat, deflated.  I smile at her sympathetically.  She glares back.

I head to the canteen for early lunch, bacon and sausage sandwich without the side order of guilt.  When my boss approaches me late in the afternoon, suggesting I apply for an upcoming promotion, he says it doesn’t matter that I don’t have the qualifications.  We can work something out.

I lean back in my chair and look up.  I don’t see a glass ceiling – all I see is endless blue sky for miles.

I catch the tube back home, hoping to see the girl from this morning.  Hoping I can invite her out for a drink, maybe take her back to mine.  I’d like to try having a one-night stand without being judged.  Without being called bad names.

I’d like to see what it’s like to run my hands over smooth, curving flesh; to taste the sweetness of a woman not a man and explore a different side of me.

I’d like to see how it feels to be inside a woman; not inside her skin, but inside her like a man.  To dominate, to experience climax and not worry if she does.

Just for one night.  Before I have to go back

to limits

and boundaries




-Kate Jones©



***Kate is a freelance writer based in the UK who writes articles, including regular contributions to online women’s magazine Skirt Collective, as well as publishing life writing and poetry both in print and online.  She has a passion for flash fiction and short stories, and is usually found lurking around coffee shops, writing and listening to other people’s conversations. 

She blogs at

Find Kate on Twitter at: ***


Labrador – by JEN ELLERSON




It was raining the night she brought it home. One of those fairytale puppies with the oversized ears and the fumbly legs. It was the last thing we’d ever expect; a new member to our already-oversized family. Another thing to have to look after and eventually ignore. But there she was, the tiny Labrador, brought into the house to a group of us girls, of varying ages. She was miniature, confused, and bewildered as we all squealed and clasped at her soft, sandy fur to hold her up to our cheeks. Still learning how to walk properly, you could hear her short claws tap against the kitchen linoleum. My three sisters and I fell in love with her. My mother handed her to us, and I never saw her pick her up again.


In the first night of her residence, the rain still slamming our screens, she took to a corner in the back of the kitchen. The small apartment was bi-level, with the sisters and parents asleep in the rooms upstairs. My bedroom was always away from them, in any apartment we lived in, and in this case it was downstairs. I dared not ask why. They said it because I was the oldest; I think otherwise now. The labrador was crying: a soft, silent whimper in the corner not far from my abode. In the pitch, wet dark, a small abandoned child. The sound was excruciating. I put on a dim light and held her for as long as I could, stroking her, hushing her, alone. I eventually had to get back to bed, as I’d rise early to make the kids’ lunches before we all headed to school. I repeated this every night until her tears lessened.


Labradors grow into large, graceful beasts. They are known for their intrinsic loyalty, their hearty structure and their childlike joviality. They are meant to run in sprawling fields, hunting for foal and fish, and protect their families of any species. We lived in an urban backdrop with no backyard, only a concrete alleyway with some bits of gum-ridden sidewalk. For the lack of trees and grass, our Labrador was kind enough to exchange affections, even allowing my smallest sister to occasionally ride her into the living room, wearing pajamas and mother’s pumps. As she matured, our hysterical-spotless matriarch had realised: Labradors shed. Ours would grow and slowly coat our home in a layer of slivered animal. For mother, this was a great offense, worthy of incarceration.


There was a door that led to a back staircase. The stairs were narrow, black, and curled down into a dimly lit basement, low-ceilinged and damp-aired. All that was down there were white goods and dusty frames. From here, her hair could only shed against the black paint of the steps, and remain clear of mother’s neurosis. Our charming creature, now growing into adolescence, was condemned to this prison for years. She would curl up by the door itself, with soft, hopeful angles, as if it were to open. She’d only be let out to be walked. We would liberate her into the house when mother was away, only to be sentenced if a single fiber was found on fabric or floor. It was worth it, to have our flamboyant detainee ramble in and clumsily jump us with affection and outstretched legs. We’d swiftly sneak her back when we heard the station-wagon pulling up outside.


By this time, my limbs were longer too. My tiny exile-room down the hall still had the mauve carpet and floral bedding that mother insisted, but I taped up some black curtains to match my trenchcoat and eyeliner. This space was all I had – an attempt at self-rescue from the rest of that house. There was no door to the room, so I lurked in the space within the cramped closet, which had its own light source. This is where I hid when I heard mother thumping toward me, fists clenched. I’d sit cross-legged with collages and stare at my taped-up postcard collections while listening to headphones on 11. Her put-downs would still penetrate, those tenants of protection and love:


You are useless. You are disgusting, get out of my sight. Who do you think you are? Can’t you do anything right? You just sit there on your fat ass. You’re grounded. No, I’m not telling you why. Give me your cassette tapes. What, do you think you are some kind of artist? You’re not going anywhere.


If my head was slammed against a wall again, the music would go back on and I’d close my make-believe door. I’d cry myself to sleep.


I was given many tasks, to measure my worth. Love is not unconditional. I looked after the siblings and was taught to ignore my friends and books. I learned to keep shut, never ask questions and do anything I was asked. A regular assignment, only to me: to clean the dog hair from the back staircase every day. There was a molded grey-gold tupperware bowl that was kept under the kitchen sink. It was to be filled with a rankly scented lemon cleaner and with an old sponge, carefully applied to each step on the way down. When finished, the bowl was filled with grey water and clumps of coarse, golden hair. I’d nearly trip on the dog on the tight way down, but she eventually knew to stay out of my step as she watched me with pity. If the job was not done well enough, I would be forced to do it again or be punished.


I’d study hard, and daydream harder. I’d lie to everyone and run off to Manhattan, smoke cigarettes in Washington Square Park and pretend I was Jack Kerouac. I’d sneak a sip of Dad’s good whiskey from the kitchen top shelf late at night, and blow a kiss to the Labrador through the door on the way to bed. I’d listen to Koyaanisqatsi before sleep to remind me that there was something, big, beautiful, and abstract out there that I’d graze one day. In the meantime, I dreamt of ways to die.


While the Labrador remained, I went away, against mother’s will. She couldn’t bear to lose the ‘help’. I left them there, I didn’t have a choice. The family eventually relocated to a suburban setting, this time in a bigger house that no room for me. On visits, I would sleep in the basement, with the Labrador. In the new captivity, she was still forbidden into the home. While I lay there in the dark, I could hear her breathing right above me. She wouldn’t rest or fold. If I drifted off, she’d lick my face. I wished she would just lay her head on my chest; I patted her ears in the blackness.


By morning, I noticed her eyes had grown long, tired, and somber. She moved slowly, and often walked into walls. The family would laugh, but she was in pain. Soon, the Labrador would have to be put down. They said it was her kidneys, but I think it was her heart. I was informed when a sister called me. I was in my first Manhattan apartment, cigarette in hand, molding words and finding life. I had nothing to say, and no hair to hold.


Nobody knew where I was, and now I am no longer there*.


I was told that no one cried more, than mother.


*Gwendolyn Brooks, “Boy Breaking Glass”



***Jen Ellerson is a Berlin-based Creative Director, Designer, Promoter, DJ and Writer – and not necessarily in that order. Her 2012 publication, “Modern Movement”, is a document of Berlin subculture. She is currently working on a compendium of short stories. To this date, she maintains a perfect sense of trouble. ***



Enlightenment- by R.L. BLACK


by R.L. Black


I went to see The Guru who lived in a hut made of bamboo with a roof-top garden and curtains the color of the sea. His only possessions were a mattress on the floor and an empty bird cage. He wore crisp white clothes and sat cross-legged and I begged him to tell me the secrets of the Universe. Surely he must know. He opened his mouth. I waited for lofty oracles of love and peace, and The Guru spewed dove feathers and daffodil petals. Gibberish, if you ask me.



R.L. Black is EIC of Unbroken Journal and Unlost Journal, and her own writing has been published across the web and in print. Find her at where she blogs and reblogs about writing and LOST.


He reached the top of the stairs, arms full of clothes. She put her hand on his chest and pushed him backwards. The look of surprise was wonderful – she would relive that for years. To be sure she had succeeded, she poised at the top of the stairs and jumped straight down on his chest. His ‘oof’ when she landed was music. To be sure it counted, she stomped her boots as she stood on him – the last stomp on his face. She sighed with pleasure. And frowned. Footprints. Everyone knew he did the laundry and would probably believe he’d fallen. But footprints?


He lay in the bathtub, a book in his hands. She carried in a 5-gallon pot of boiling water and poured it over him. His look of confusion was lovely – she would relive that for years. To be sure she had succeeded, she shoved his head into the water. His thrashing was music. To be sure it counted, she held him under. She sighed with pleasure. And frowned. Burns. Everyone knew he took hot baths for his achy back and would possibly believe he’d fallen asleep. But burns?


He stood in the driveway, arms full of leaves. She put her foot on the accelerator and pressed down the accelerator. His look of shock was wonderful – she would relive that for years. To be sure she had succeeded, she pushed the pedal to the floor. His strangled shriek as the car knocked him through the air was music. To be sure it counted, she ran him over. She sighed with pleasure. And frowned. Tire marks. Everyone knew he raked the leaves from the lawn onto the driveway, and would possibly believe a car hit him. But tire marks?


She sighed.


“…your coffee?”


“What?” She jumped.


Her husband smiled. “I asked if you wanted more cream in your coffee. You’re far away this morning.”


“Plot contrivances.”


He sipped his coffee. “Let me know if I can be of any help.”


She set her cup down.



***Growing up on the east coast, Mickie kept her wrist watch at California time. When she finally made it to the palm trees and Pacific Ocean of the west coast, she knew she’d come home. Working as an actor fed her creative soul, until her beloved Los Angeles grew too big for her. She and her family now live in a small corner of the southwest, where she finds the sky as majestic and blue as she did the ocean. Mickie spends her time writing, reading, hiking and watching ‘The Three Stooges’ with her much adored rescue cat, Pal. ***

Poetry from JULIA LEWIS


Red Planet 12

Round and rest for shade
The gallant trees are trays sure

Cherries not rubies.
Sum the years prunus adium, my sweet

inspires what we respire.




I read poems I don’t like to my



“That is strange,” says the woman

stalking an old Tiffany’s bracelet.

But we all like the line “hurricanes

give me shingles.”

I read a poem of mine.
The eighteen karat gold earrings

tickle my throat while I read.
“I can relate to scones” the manager

The manager will break the glass in

the antique cases when it is time to

We hate it, that weekend. Even the

cats are vomiting this weekend.


*Figawi is a holiday weekend on Nantucket Island known for wild drinking and expensive sailboats.



Red Planet 13

Sounding out a tree
A cherry could be a sun

Could be a sonnet
The red seen at dawn             as if

For life be of lead the end.


You are spoiling me

Squash, please say garlic

parmesan, old tomato
is copper in sea
oh two and water vapor

yields patina, luna green.


Red Planet

Rust thing against rot thing against resting skin red cheery parallel lines the blinds of grey once gold then wood between me and sand.

I spit into lines those cherries sum the blossoms I would and they wood now grow pink and red and brown above, aground, and around.

Blue to red plant it in sand like sugar island cherry pits, almonds, and amygdala gallop down the lines of the old boards.

Cheery the stone fruit juice of thinking skin and spit wrinkles to splinters mouths erase months though I think to the seeds parallel lives.

Radish the planet hematite to butterscotch water the planet nearest terrestrial nor iron three oxide alone.

Latin cerasum eats sand not sugar for soil cherries some blossom sing to pink the tree really takes seven years to mature.

Sevenling truth or thrust? the cherries I do dare the roses don’t care a yearning, a year, align garden king to teenage queen.

Gallantry to hide in root and bark and flower carbon dioxide from gas to green shade and food is armor shaped as a heart.

Cheer for rye whiskey cherry red faces all moan when the old fashioned roll the crimson bar wagon watch the sun or mosquitoes?

A constellation ripening into spinel planets then fruiting Mars after Mars after Mars named for the Roman war god.

Rust thing again rot thing again resting the skin desire sing the mouths erase months sure the climate change so the gallant trees grow.

Round and rest for shade the gallant trees are trays sure cherries not rubies sum the years prunus adium, my sweet inspires what we respire.

Sounding out a tree a cherry could be a sun could be a sonnet the red seen at dawn as if for life be of lead the end.





***Julia Rose Lewis is earning her PhD at the University of Wales Trinity St David.   When not in school, she lives on Nantucket Island and is a member of the Moors Poetry Collective.  Her poems have appeared in their anthologies, Rasputin: A Poetry Thread, GTK, and 3am Magazine.  Find her on Twitter at: ***

Waterfront Property – by S. KAY

Waterfront Property

by S. Kay



1% Problems

We lose balls in the ocean at her waterfront tennis court. She put up a fence; birds crashed. She bought a court on another property.


Selling Features

A drone skims over water and shore, sending video to a real estate agent selling the waterfront property. Her client asks to see the garage.


Savvy Seller

The real estate agent took the power couple out on a yacht to see the waterfront house at its best angle. The boat was too big to dock.



The couple buys the waterfront property and the agent delivers the keys with a drone, in a sea gift basket. They lose the keys in pearls.



***S. Kay is a queer, Canadian author who writes one tweet at a
time. Her book RELIANT, an apocalypse in tweets, is out now at
tNY.Press/Reliant , and her novella JOY is due January 2016 from
Maudlin House. Find her on Twitter at: @blueberrio ***




It was this time last year that we listened to the Black Hours album on repeat, while you strummed this swan on my arm, and you’ll never read this.


I can still hear the clip-clop of your dainty heels moving up and down the floorboards, Brighton pebbles. A flock of luminaries and idiot savants dancing behind you, timidly mimicking your every move.


That hair, bigger than you. Layers of fluorescent mauves rolled up in gargantuan hats while falling down your porcelain cheeks. A foliage of flamingo, one could crack it open and count the rings. Your infant, fitted black dresses and white collars, miniature limbs and polka-dotted legs. I discovered you as strawberry ice cream, eaten hastily toward brain freeze, topped with quirky sprinkles and sunset cherries.


There were the dips and spikes of your scratchy English melody over the sound of tenuous buzzing. You’d rise to frantically pick things up and put them down, while delivering tales that were mundane to you but charming for anyone else. You would do so with an intimidating bullet-proof cool, until you’d cackle it off in rosy sarcasm. Then, a return to your artful needles, the eternity scribe. Luscious swirls, mosaics of vibrant figures, all weaving into an immense mesh of you: the pixie pit-bull of pink.


Let’s surmise that Herr [Mr.] Bowie himself came to your abode, and sat patiently on your magenta sofa while you made him coffee, bumbling around talking nonsense. He had to interrupt you to explain his visit.


He walked through to the kitchen and fastened the back of your arm. You turned, lost your train of thought and looked into his multi-coloured eyes. “We have to go,” he said, in his faint cockney accent, all that familiar to you. With the grace of the Duke, he took you by the hand and led you to the front door. You fussed, looking to feed little Iggy or find his lead, but David stops to say: “No, not now.” You followed him, stressing out that you’d forget your bubblegum purse, or had to call your mum. But there went the two of you, one in front of the other, sifting warily to the staircase.


Perhaps it was more saccharine than that. Your guilty pleasure, for you and me, don’t tell anyone: Ryan followed you home. He stalked you and your pooch as you turned a corner in Wedding, and tried to kiss you goodnight. He brought you hand-picked fuchsia snapdragons and caught you in the doorway. You didn’t mind, you didn’t even call the police. It’s true, his eyes are too close together, and you couldn’t wait to report the news. “Hey girl, do you mind if I sleep here tonight?” Then you innocently spooned into oblivion, a little smirk on your tiny face.


Or, wait, I’ve got it. It was Iggy’s namesake, who winked at you from across a bar. You didn’t like it when strangers made advances, and you kindly asked him to put a shirt on, for once. But hey, you humoured him – cracked a joke about peanut butter. You shared more illustrious adventures than he ever could, and his eyes warmed as he flashed his new teeth at you. Iggy bought you more shots than you could handle, and you faded into his shoulder, under the blinking primrose neon.


Now I know. It was Bruce. He was your real hero. You were born to run. You heard his voice gravel in another room and with the wide-eyed shock of a schoolgirl you kicked down the door and ran to him. You slammed on your mammoth sunglasses while crashing your loving elbows around his neck. He held you tightly in his wise arms, your mini-feet at a dangle, and you knew he would never drop you. Your heart was sung to fire.


This couldn’t have happened the way it did. The last thing I said to you was that I have to come see you soon. I didn’t know I’d be rushing by a box that could never contain you. The not-you. The not-now.



***Jen Ellerson is a Berlin-based Creative Director, Designer, Promoter, DJ and Writer – and not necessarily in that order. Her 2012 publication, “Modern Movement”, is a document of Berlin subculture. She is currently working on a compendium of short stories. To this date, she maintains a perfect sense of trouble.  ***