Collectors item alert

16 Feb

It is with some sadness that I have to inform readers that I am separating from my husband with the expectation of divorce.  “Oh”  I hear you think.  “That’s a bit unexpected” I hear you think.  “Goodness, I hope your ok?”  Yes, thank you for your concern.  Realistically it’s quite shit, but I know it will all be OK once the dust settles.  “What does that have to do with collectors items?” you ask.

Well, I am reverting to my maiden name, Campbell-Jack (good, eh?).  So therefore the anthology I’m in that was launched last week By Grand Central Station We Sat Down and Wept (available from Red Squirrel Press) will now be the only book I am ever published in under my married name of Sharratt.  Which means, when I am an internationally renowned and respected poet, it will be worth more than the cover price.  If you feel you should cash in, no matter to me.  But having read it, it’s already worth more than the cover price anyway.


Denounced by the Pope

7 Feb

Every writer has to at one point think about what constitutes success for them, to be published by a certain publisher, have your work praised by certain peers or win a coveted prize.  In my early days of writing I used to idly dream of having my work denounced by the Pope.  I am pretty sure that even the most religious of my readers will agree, and there are a few, that having the Holy See cast me in the shape of sin would do wonders for book sales, as well as assuring my place as a footnote in literary history, and obscure quiz questions.

However, having mellowed as I’ve grown older I’ve also become a little more realistic, and decided that my ambition is no longer to be denounced by God’s representative on earth.  So who do I want to be denounced by now?  Well, it could only be Jan Moir, or indeed the Daily Mail in general.  I find it hard to put into words how much I despise the Daily Mail, mainly because I am locked in a destructive relationship with it, where I feel compelled to read it every day while inside seething with disgust.

So how am I going to achieve this – well, I took the first step this week, by having work accepted to Forest Publications erotic anthology Bed Time Stories:  The Second Coming.  I can just feel I’m slowly turning into a threat to family values.

The best conversations you’ve had all week

2 Feb

Me:  So, what are you doing Tuesday?

You:  The 8th?

Me:  Yeah.

You:  Not much, did you have something in mind?

Me:  Well, I will be reading my poem from the new Red Squirrel Press anthology “By Grand Central Station We Sat Down and Wept“, at it’s Scottish launch.

You:  That sounds great.

Me:  Yes, it’s the first time my writing will have appeared in an actual book, so I’m quite excited.  I’ve been assured it has a spine and everything!

You:  Well, I was planning on washing my hair.

Me:  There are free “refreshments” (wink).

You:  I suppose I could wash my hair another night.  Where is it?

Me:  It’s at the Fruitmarket Gallery, near Waverly Station (Edinburgh, Scotland).  And before you ask, it starts at 7pm.

You:  Well, I shall really look forward to seeing you.

Me:  There will be a host of other talented poets reading as well.

You:  Even better.

Last stones

31 Jan

These are my last stones, from the wonderful Small Stone Writing project.  The project has been successful for me on a personal level as it was challenging, to write everyday and observe the minutia of a moment, but also utterly do-able for anyone whether they are a writer or not.  I hope over the next month, to compile some links to some of my favorite stones from other writers, but if you can’t wait that long then please go to the A River of Stones site and start exploring for yourself.


The moon is a badly kept secret among clouds.


The wool, so tangled,

my fingers pick

but instead become part.


A waxing then waning

in the heart

leaves it flabby and wrinkled,

like the soft stomach skin

of a weight loss winner.


The radio sings

and wraps me warm

as an old friend should.


Focus and clarity

fade and sharpen quickly,

like the blossom of the sea anemone.


Arm wrapped round

the warm small thing

I love.


The map sits with satin sheen,

preserved bubbles bulge underneath,

but never breaking the surface of that sea.

Penultimate stones

22 Jan

15th – Unfortunately beer induced forgetting means I didn’t write a stone today.

16th – Reflection

Each dot of rain

highlighted by orange.

Behind, an unsubstantial room,

who’s inhabitants are

taller than the high-rises.

17th – Meditation

Wanting some serene

but it keeps on cracking

from hop, skip dancing

and the beat that’s always tapping

with no silence in between.

18th – Inverleith

I heard a mute swan in flight.

The sound – fingers on plastic.


The pressure has expanded the heart

it’s epicenter now around the clavicles

with aftershocks in the lips and tip of the nose.

As I wonder, am I making a  mistake?

20th – Embarrassment

I often wonder how they can,

(Those caverns measureless to man)

never open up their span

and swallow me.

21st – More running

The frosted frozen grass

crunches under my feet

like Ryveta.

22nd – Maudlin

A flower from which

every petal was slowly picked.

More small stones

14 Jan

8th – Exhaustion of a 3 year old

Instead of sitting large

the eyes narrow, until

they are as thin as the sun

before it dips behind the world

9th – Realisation

My mind widens, then saddens

at the gap between

what I should do, and what I want.

10th – Anticipation

A tight jaw and a hard heart-beat.

Sunday evening before

Monday doom.

11th – Hands

The flap of skin between thumb and index

stretches and holds the same creases

as dragon hide.  White, pink and blue shadow,

no iridescence.

12 – Tantrum

A tiny fury of muddy rolling.

Tears, red cheeks and a constant mantra “NO”.

Behind my eyes

weary water wants to rise.

13 – Inside

There is a mess

below the heart

(above the stomach).

Black rubber and wire.

It’s spoor is tears.

14th – Annoyance

An irritation spreads

’till all the nerves

and each muscle fiber tenses

to the repetitive, high-pitched strain,

of an actively angry brain.

A trickle of stones

7 Jan

It’s nice to have a project to start the year with.  As I blogged last week I am starting the year by taking part in the A River of Stones project run by Fiona Robyn.  The project sees bloggers writing a small observation from each day, their stone, and posting it online.  I decided not to post everyday, mainly because I wouldn’t want to annoy my subscribers (bless them), so I am posting in batches – and these are my stones from the first week of January.


1st – Vapour Rub

The greasy stick of Vapour Rub

sits on my skin convecting it’s scent.

Reminding me of hot-water bottles, nylon sheets and home.


2nd – Beer

At first they ferociously dance

until my tounge becomes their root,

to hail against the roof of my mouth.


3rd – Whoops, got rather caught up in a game of Trivial Pursuit and forgot to write.


4th – Running

Like the bud of a stump

which was meant to be wing,

the fat glutted border between arse

and thigh flaps and shudders

with every step.  Not keeping time with my heart.


5th – Bed.

Skin shrink wraps and slips in to find a pool of heat.

The mattress sinks to hip and shoulder

the duvet sausage rolls me ’till morning.


6th – migraine

Pain ricochets between an iron band

round my head and a throb at the eye.

Codine Phosphate blurs.


7th – sunrise

Subfusc clouds and the orange burn, only there to frame

Edinburgh’s stand to attention skyline.


There are plenty more writers and non-writers who are posting their stones throughout the month, and if you are interested you can access their blogs through A River of Stones, or follow the stones on Twitter with #aros.  If you are interested in writing your own stones, it’s not to late to start, and let me know too.