Creative Work: ‘The Poet’s Resistance’ by Jason Walker

Creative WorksOur first post of 2016 comes from a composition professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Jason Walker’s flash fiction offers a humorous and surreal vision of a poet racking his brain to come up with the “Next Great American Poem,” all while searching for the hidden meaning of a devil cake. Walker plays with the agonizing inner monologue of a struggling writer and personifies the demons that hinder the creative process.

The Poet’s Resistance

The man with soggy eyes waited outside my front door as I retyped the first line of what I hoped would be the next great American poem: This is the poem for all unhealthy youths . . . . But once I sensed the man’s presence outside the door again, I went blank. So I brewed tea and ate a devil cake, watching people ridicule each other on television. Then I glanced through the peephole. Another line arrived: hand your handfuls of devil cakes back to the devil. “Here’s our next great American poem,” I said aloud. “Here’s what we have to look forward to.” Continue reading


Creative Work: ‘Twist and Shout’ by Alex Brinded

Creative WorksThis week we have a fun, energetic piece from Kingston MFA student Alex Brinded.

‘Twist and Shout’ straddles the line between forms, using the structure and form of fiction but the rhythm and feel of poetry to capture a memorable moment at a family wedding. Is it prose poetry? Is it flash fiction? We’re not sure—but whatever it is, the energy of the dance shines through.

Twist and Shout

They start wheeling like a hell-train steam-bent on absolutely nailing it.

Him in a little blue waistcoat, sleeves rolled up, her in a white dress, a typical little number. The drum-beat hollows out my chest. The crowd whoops as people recognise the refrain—it’s bassier, louder and rawer than the original. This isn’t a typical little number.

Arms and legs flail and spin. The singer imitates John Lennon’s end-of-the-night, rasping, nearly-lost-his-voice voice.

No slow, shoulder-holding, soppy sloppy, love-sick makes-me-sick schmaltz. Forced grins drop and the crowd cheers them on. We won’t indulge in their indulgence like emotionally voyeuristic bottom feeders. We can just watch the show.

He picks her up and they spin, around and again. Sweat beads on his forehead reflect what little light there is. Her white dress billows out from her legs as she holds herself up on his shoulders. Then, she drops to the floor and their forearms brace – they roll united around the swelling and contracting oval space. Women in heels and cocktail dresses and men in suits push forward and back. Hands hold an array of glasses—champagne, wine and beer—whilst bodies bop on the perimeter.

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Competition Winner – Flash Fiction: ‘Name for Peace’ by Charlene Edley

Creative WorksThis week on Words, Pauses, Noises, we are pleased to present our first winning entry from our 2015 Creative Writing Competition in the Flash Fiction genre: ‘Name for Peace’ by Charlene Edley.

This piece offers a snapshot of a country on the cusp of change, and a narrator struggling to reconcile a dark past with a bright future. The sense of a shifting tide is strong, and the voice is effective in conveying a sense of uncertainty, and a mingling of fear and hope. 

Name for Peace

Why hello there. You must be new to this place. How did I know? No it’s not from your dress, you dress like a native of this land. What gave it away was your eyes my friend. Yes, I can tell from your eyes. You see they are still full of joy and hope, they are not experienced as mine are nor are they filled with knowledge. Please forgive me, I did not mean to startle you. Here, take a seat.

It all started several years ago. I was simply a new-born of this country. Unbeknown to me, the generation before mine was to be the last to experience the divide. My birth and countless other children that began to breathe the sweet air of the nation for the first time was the mark of the end. We were brought up with the idea of endless possibilities and change.

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