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Rebecca Jessen

‘Hello Dolly’ now online at Verity La

The lovely people at Verity La have published my memoir ‘Hello Dolly’ which is about dealing with grief and the eccentricities of family. You can read it in full here. Like Tincture Journal, Verity La publish challenging, courageous, and thoughtful writing by a diverse range of emerging and established writers. So while you’re there have a look around and read some of the other brilliant work on the website.

 

‘Some Days’ now online in Tincture Journal

The lovely people at Tincture Journal have made my poem ‘Some Days’ (published in issue #17) available for free online for your reading pleasure. Read it in full here and while you’re there, read some of the other free content available. And then subscribe, not that you will need any convincing.

‘We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday’ published in The Lifted Brow #33

This month The Lifted Brow are celebrating 10 years of the Brow! I’ve been lucky enough to be published in the Brow a few times now, and I can tell you that their 10th Birthday issue is in itself something worth celebrating – and not just because I have a piece in there.

My memoir ‘We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday’ is featured in this issue, and I was really grateful to see it find a home here. Writing the piece, and reliving the holiday was… well a labour of love, or self-torture. Read it and decide!

My inner music nerd was delighted when TLB asked me to make a mixtape and commentary to accompany my piece – which was perfect really, considering that the piece involves a road trip, and already had its own dedicated playlist. Also, if you ever wondered how trashy my taste in music really is, here’s your chance to find out! Listen to my mixtape and read the commentary here.

I’m still slowly devouring my copy, but a few pieces really blew me away. ‘Something To Be Tiptoed Around Until It Goes Away’ by Emma Marie Jones was so heartbreakingly good. It’s a beautiful meditation on grief and grieving, something so raw and true that there are post-its, highlighted passages and I’m pretty sure a few tears shed on those pages. You can read an excerpt here but really, just go and buy a copy of the issue because you’ll want to read all of this one.

Another piece I loved was ‘In Pursuit of Nostalgia’ by Anna Spargo-Ryan. I happened upon this piece rather serendipitously after talking to a friend just hours earlier about feeling nostalgia for home, and wondering whether the feeling was true.

I enjoyed reading ‘Thinking of You’ the conversation between poets Alison Whittaker and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Intelligent, interesting poets talking about important things – read their poems on the preceding pages, then read their to-fro.

Lastly, the comic ‘The Gap Between Theory & Practice’ by Nicky Minus is brilliant – check it out!

All that’s left for you to do now is buy a copy or even better, subscribe if you can. You won’t regret it.

(TWENTY-SIX) World Poetry Day 2017

In honour of today being World Poetry Day I thought I would share a little something I wrote for the now (in)famous QUT Z2 curlew.


(for the Z2 curlew)
IMG_0176

I’m fine
I just like to stare at myself in the window

sometimes I want to scoop up every vulnerable creature that has ever wandered
and transport them to an alternate reality

I am a knight
with no armour

sometimes I want to make every baby in the room smile

I’m living in the future
according to my diary

sometimes I want to give everything I have to someone
who doesn’t want it

I am a curlew
with no call

sometimes I think my real self is trapped
inside my imagined self.

 

 

 

‘Some Days’ New Poem in Tincture Journal

Once again, the lovely people at Tincture Journal have published one of my poems. Many thanks to the wonderful Stuart Barnes (poetry editor) and Daniel Young (editor) for their continued support, not only of my own work, but that of many other wonderful emerging, and established voices.

My prose poem ‘Some Day’s features in the latest issue #17. I’m really pleased to see this poem published, the poem is somewhat of an ode to returning home, to the place you grew up. Partly inspired by the Nelson Mandela quote: ‘There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.’

Buy a copy of Issue #17 to read the poem and many other great pieces of writing. Or even better, subscribe and get a whole year’s worth of wonderful writing for the price of a single book.

In Summary: 2016 Publications

A short summary of my publications in 2016, coming a little late into the piece I know! 2016 was a quiet year for me, writing wise, but I am pleased that I managed to break into three new publications that I respect and admire; Overland, Going Down Swinging, and Hecate. I also had work published in two of my favourite journals; The Lifted Brow, and Tincture Journal, both of which put a great emphasis on publishing voices that aren’t always heard in the mainstream. Below are links to either read or buy the journals. Happy reading!

November: The Small Violences published in Overland.

November: Why Do We Close The Door On Domestic Violence? published in Hecate 41.1 & 2.

September: Sometime Around Midnight published in Going Down Swinging #37.

June: The Art Of Breaking published in The Lifted Brow #31.

March: field officer no. 302 published in Tincture Journal #13.

The great news is, I already have three publications lined up this year. I think this is a good start to what I hope will be a productive writing year!

Find more of my writing under the ‘Writing’ tab.

(TWENTY-FIVE) the body has memory

‘The body has memory. The physical carriage hauls more than its weight. The body is the threshold across which each objectionable call passes into consciousness.’ Claudia Rankine, Citizen.


this is how days are spent. the briefest moments of hope. punctured by despair. can you despair at nothingness? can nothingness be a sign of despair? how often in the last four weeks did you feel hopeless for no reason. you would like to believe there is always a reason. but numbers aren’t a good measurement of pain. or experience. or despair.

it’s the memories that stop you. does the future have memory? is past performance an indicator of future performance? you never know you’re in it. until you’re in too deep. you don’t yet know when to fight. and when to walk away.

you are a self-fulfilling prophecy.

there are already others. circling. waiting to swoop. and you say there is nothing left. not even for me. but someone has found something. and my skin still smells like you. and you keep saying I’ll hold on I’m hanging on I will be held here.

this is how days are spent. each morning there is a torturous moment before consciousness. each morning there is a moment where nothing has changed. how often in the last four weeks did you feel hopeless for no reason?

every morning she said.

every

single

morning.

and on a scale of one to ten? always a ten. always.

these streets don’t exist without us. and last night I dreamt about our wedding. you wore a dress. but that can’t be right. can it? you took my breath away. and isn’t that how it’s always been. how do you erase the intimate knowledge of someone? is that what happens now? will the contours made for these hands wear away over time?

the body has memory.

and these streets. they don’t exist without you.

this is how days are spent. you are dressed for a different season in a different city. this city that was once your own is now the prickle of heat on your neck. and will it be yours again? and does that mean you’re no longer being held. just holding on. hold on.

there’s something comfortable about being in the crush of people. here in this space you are nobody. you are not the person who has lost everything. twice. you are just a girl in a stripy shirt wearing a banana necklace. here in this space you are nobody. and for a while. this is the best you can hope for.

and you keep thinking. but there was a ring. and you keep thinking. but we were making a dream home scrapbook. but you were a ghost. and now you’re ghosting streets that don’t belong to you anymore. these streets that belonged to the person you once were don’t exist in this time. these streets exist in the past.

but you say you’re holding on. just holding on for one more day. and you’re in danger of becoming a 90s pop song. but we agreed that life is a musical. so hold on anyway. just for one more day.

these bodies have memory. and mine will remember yours.

(TWENTY-FOUR) the chaos and the calm

you’re the kind of person who makes people lonely. you dream of five cats entering the house and watching you. you know it’s over when the cats have come. your mother’s psychic said this would happen. but you’ve only ever believed in magic. you wonder if you should tell someone about this feeling that won’t quit. 3am is for sobbing in your sleep and car alarms. every morning before consciousness you think. it’s all okay. and then you wake.

you’re the kind of person who makes people lonely. the receptionist says how can I help you sir. and you know you are invisible. you wish you were only invisible here. then it would be easier to move on. you make plans you don’t intend to keep. how can you tell them about this feeling that won’t quit.

you’re the kind of person who makes people lonely. when the cats come for you. you will be ready. you fantasise about how you will do it. you refuse violence and the implication of others. you’re so far from the sea here. in the morning a low moaning comes from underneath the house. you don’t need to check what it is.

you’re the kind of person who makes people lonely. you get desperate when you’re sad. desperation leads you to water. how long will they lock you up for this feeling. if it happens. they will never let you out. the most everyday outings were made magic with you. the streets are different now. and when you were lying under the sheet and couldn’t breathe. you thought this must be what it’s like. this must feel like dying.

you’re the kind of person who makes people lonely.

New Writing in The Lifted Brow #30

I’m really excited to have a new pice of non-fiction, ‘The Art Of Breaking’ in the latest (#30) issue of The Lifted Brow. Not only is it the Brow’s 30th issue, a great thing in itself, it’s also all-round, a pretty special issue. Have you seen the awesome wrap-around artwork? There is so much goodness to find in this issue, I set myself the task of reading a different piece every night before bed. Sometimes the strange and wonderful works entered my dreams.

I especially enjoyed the Advice Comics by Lizzie Nagy and Andy Connor, Madness and White by Anezka Sero, and Izzy Roberts-Orr’s poem Sometimes the Ocean Falls on You, Even When the Coastlines are Far Away.

The Lifted Brow do such an excellent job at welcoming and nurturing different and experimental pieces of writing, that may otherwise not find a home here. My piece ‘The Art Of Breaking’ is about a breakdown/breakup via Twitter and I’m really proud to have it published in the Brow. You can view a tiny excerpt of the piece here. You can also read short excerpts from all the of the pieces here. But really, the best thing to do is to buy an issue, or subscribe, and get it delivered straight to your door every quarter.

 

Happy reading!

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