Issue 26: Alice Hill-Woods


       After Ann Quin’s Passages (1969)

Muscling towards a wave, the simple abalone in me. I pick my time to gather the fractals of my stale yearning, carve YES into the sand. Whose urn would you pour from, if your body was so small it just became a footnote to my hallucinations? I see him blurring out by the med octopi, hung in their satiny pink way. Later, we will eat those gloom appendices with an internal and deceiving grief, which we will mistake for hunger.

Nowadays we can record you inhabiting me, but there is also a room –– framed by the blemishes of light rubbing into a dappled belief. I knit towards a myth, inspired by something Hellenic, and he travels to a backchanneled thought. I would dismiss if not for the deep and unmistakeable sound of a grebe. This is double exposure but the parts where we overlap are just a blue inking, smoke from a crisis machine. I’m certain I recognise him when I gloss the pages of an architecture book.

This is like stroking touch-sensitive glass through a tissue: the sea, twinned to my arrhythmia. The passage I seek is sometimes canal, celebrity apology paragraph, the time between dream and deep sleep. The resin runs down in sticky triangles, he jokes into femme metaphor. The palmistry session seems much more profound under outraging heat. The restaurants are freckled with desiring eyes, desiring for something cool to press to the throat. Lost in their own texts.

Half an eggshell next to the seaweed (shore’s tilde). Overambitious beginnings. I trace the yolk to the rock, pleased it came from a tiled nest rather than a twigged one. Pulling the cotton from my chest as a gull does, being completely honest to the water, cresting for the inevitable sting and rise. Looking back against the bloated frame, so windowed and unmovable. Where are you. Where are you. Rough plasma of this space. Disappear into sad foam.

Alice Hill-Woods is based in Glasgow, where she is the Poetry and Nonfiction Editor at SPAM Press. Her poems have been published by, or are forthcoming from Adjacent Pineapple, Dostoyevsky Wannabe, Speculative Books, Gargouille, the Poetry Society, Wet Grain and SPAM, amongst others. She is the author of HOTHOUSE (Salò Press, 2021).

Copyright © 2021 by Alice Hill-Woods, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.