MY CITY IS GREY – An Impromptu Interview W/ Lois E. Linkens.

A few moons ago, a few glasses of wine decided that Lois needed a spotlight tossed onto her, and so this impromptu (and unprofessional, because I’m not a professional) interview was begun simply for appreciation. Enjoy learning more about her!


 

Q: I’ve been made aware that you’re in Europe somewhere—a marketplace for historical and/or haunted locations—do you have any experience with what you might’ve perceive as the supernatural?

A: I’m from England, specifically, which is obviously quite the destination for ghost hunters. However, while I have been to some places, which might be dubbed as haunted – such as Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds, and the Clink Prison in London – I wouldn’t say I go looking for the supernatural. In my mind, ghosts and demons are like bees; they’ll only harm you if you go interfering. Keep your distance – my mum told me that a friend of hers used to make frequent use of a Ouija board, and its negative influence impacted her life in quite awful ways.

I know I believe that there is something more out there. I have a fairly good historical awareness of the Bible and I do have a faith. I don’t think that the slightly scary side of the supernatural and the spiritual realm, which includes God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit necessarily, has to cancel each other out. Perhaps some of the ways in which people encounter ghosts and spirits are manifestations of the different forces at work. It’s a whole other exciting world that exists essentially over the top of ours, and I would never want to discredit the experiences of others, considering how painful it can be to have my own beliefs scorned at. My general approach to the supernatural is a good amount of caution, a pinch of skepticism, a little courage and an extremely open mind.

Q: Speaking of the manifestation of different forces, do you remember the first poem you ever wrote, and if so, what caused it to manifest? AND DO YOU HAVE IT, BECAUSE HELLO?

A: Yes, I do remember it! Well, I think this was one of the first poems I ever wrote, and I believe I was in the [age] range of 6 to 9 when I wrote it. It was for a school competition, and the winner won a wind-up torch so obviously I was all over that. It went like this:

‘i’m always forgetting,
especially today.
i’ll tell you about it –
what did i say?’

As you can see, I was a comic genius even at the tender age of 6. And I won the competition! Still have the torch knocking about somewhere. I actually still love that poem, because it’s so brief, yet it’s quite funny too. I don’t remember exactly where the inspiration came from, and I know I did enjoy writing poems at the time so there may have been many more like this, but this is the only one I can remember by heart.

I started writing poetry again around 2012, and I do have some early ones, which I could dig out, but I like to think that they are hidden away for the greater good.

Q: That poem’s very, very witty for a young child. It shows an early understanding of humor, which is humankind’s only redeeming quality, that, and the invention of zombie movies. If something similar to ‘Night of the Living Dead’, or ’The Walking Dead’ happened, do you have a plan? If so, what is it? Where will you hide, or, will you run instead of hide?

A: Oh goodness, my plan for zombie survival. See, I like to think I could fight them. I feel like I would be able to create some strength from somewhere if the situation was dire enough. But in reality, I imagine I would go to sea. My dad has a penchant for sailing, so I’d stick with him. I would take everything I could possibly manage and take to the waves. The thing is that when I’m faced with these sorts of questions, I can’t help mourning everything I would lose rather than creating a potential survival plan. I’m very much a look-to-the-future sort of person, and the thought of not being able to live out a decent life does really devastate me. This kind of thing, whether or not it’s possible, would eradicate vast amounts of individual futures and that breaks my heart. Maybe I’m naive, but I see humanity changing for the better in a lot of ways and we don’t have time for a zombie apocalypse to ruin our progress!

Q: I think of that, too. The individual lives. And how much harder I’d have to work in a world with less to do — shoot, run, hide – A horrible world without Google maps.

How did you come to be a member of Sudden Denouement? Also, without googling it, how have you personally been pronouncing “denouement”? I’ve recently discovered I was WAY off.

A: I feel that my own life right now takes enough navigating without having to fear for my life.

I believe that Jasper, who was running Secret First Draft and SD at the time, followed my blog when I had just begun posting poetry at Secret First Draft. I was looking to get some of my work published somewhere, and had reached out to a few blogs without much luck. I sent an email to Sudden Denouement, which I discovered through Secret First Draft, and within a few days Jasper got back to me saying that he enjoyed my work and wanted to have me involved! It was so much nicer to have a genuine, personal email from a real individual responding to my plea for recognition, rather than a bland old rejection email, which didn’t even have a person’s name at by the end. I felt welcome straight away. But yes, I know I’ve been pronouncing it wrong this whole time. I thought it was ‘de-noo-ment,’ with a hard ‘t’ on the end. I even studied French at A Level. It was only when I saw a video of Jasper talking about it that the penny dropped.

Q: I was pronouncing it deh-now-mint. I had to google it and find the YouTube video of the robotic voice saying ‘day-new-ma’

I know you’ve recently been published in the poetical anthology collection concerning mental health, called “SWEAR TO ME” but when can we expect our highly anticipated, Lois E. Linkens chapbook?

A: It was a real privilege to be included in ‘swear to me.’ I did not expect to have my work published so soon. I was entirely happy plugging away at my blog and keeping it at a very neutral, easy level. For that reason and because of university, I don’t imagine there will be a chapbook very close on the horizon, but it is definitely something I would like to do when the time is right. I’m still establishing myself as a writer both among the community and in my head, so I think I need some time to develop my thought processes and really write something that has intense depth and complexity. I have various ideas and projects on the go; one particular novel is bugging me like no mistake. Watch this space, I suppose!

Q: You wouldn’t consider just putting together all your work thus far, into a chapbook? And what’s the novel about, or are you superstitious like me and cant tell just yet?

A: Well, perhaps. But I feel that at the moment, a lot of my work is practice. If you go back and look at some of my really early poems on my blog, my style and clarity of writing has changed, I like to think, a great deal. There are only a few pieces I’ve written, which I really feel accomplish something that has depth and complexity to it. So a compilation of all my work would be a collection of quite shoddy poems written just for writing’s sake, from a 19-year-old up to the slightly more unhinged, yet more politically aware, voice of a 21-year-old trying to figure out what she wants to say.

At the moment, the novel is just a collection of iPhone notes and scrawled plans in my notebooks. Events I want to include, scenes and images, a few character profiles, etc. I know it is going to revolve around one central female character. She will be a bit like me, I suppose – someone trying to figure out what it means to be a woman in the 21st century, and trying to find legitimacy as an artist and integrity as a creative individual. I want to engage with some current events and that’s difficult. It involves a lot of research and at the moment, I don’t have that kind of time! So it is just buried in the back of my mind for the time being, and hopefully will come to light when I’m ready.

Q: [Last few questions!] What’s your process? What gets you in in the mood to write/how do you get in the mood?

And, if you had to marry any classic horror character (Dracula, Wolf-man, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.) who would it be and whyyyy?

A: My process usually requires some spark of imagination, which might be something I’ve seen in a film or TV show, something I’ve read in another poem somewhere, a person on the street, a situation at the supermarket. As I say, my poetry used to be a great celebration of words and images and I’m beginning to refine that style. That means that I can’t just write about a thing I have seen. I need to say something significant about that thing. I need to explore why it mattered enough for me to write it down – not just, it was quite sweet or it was funny or it was shocking. I need to connect my poetry to my experiences in a way that has substance and intuition, rather than just excitement. At [university], it is harder to find time to ‘get in the mood’ to write. It tends to be just a way for me to have a break from all the other writing I’m doing – an expression of my other thoughts and other ideas that don’t come out in my academic work. I let my imagination and my thought process take the lead, I suppose. If something comes to mind, or something is bothering me, I will write about it. The writing makes time for me, rather than I make time for it.

I am so out of touch with classic horror that this is actually a pretty tough question. I’m going to twist it slightly and name a classic Gothic character – I would pick Daphne du Maurier’s Max de Winter. The murderous husband of the beautiful, manipulative Rebecca; when I read the novel for the first time, I was so intensely frustrated with Mrs. de Winter for not standing up to him or confronting him about his behavior and his secrecy, that I think I would like to try it myself. I’d like to try being married to the man who fell captive to Rebecca’s charms, and figure out what went wrong. Sorry if I cheated – classic horror isn’t really my thing!


Lois picked a classic gothic character, so to me her answer was substantially valid. REBECCA is a classic, and is even a favorite of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Lois is a thoughtful, talented human being on this splashing rock we’re all spinning on in the airless blanket of the rocky road, dancing in the Milky Way like a pinpoint, searching for individual meaning in an infinitely cold universe. You should keep your eye on her.

– Samantha Lucero

For more information on Lois E. Linkens’ work, visit her blog [HERE]

i checked myself

i checked

i have checked myself and seen that i am nothing; 
the bones of poets gone and done 
lay beneath the hills. 
i put on my boots and took my shovel, 
for to disturb them 
would be a lesser crime than to ignore.

i checked myself 
and saw that i was nothing; 
i looked for art 
and saw it slither into bank accounts in dead of night, 
while the dewy brows of poverty’s poets 
tremble in their plight. 

i checked myself
and let myself stand up.
stand up, i said –
stand up, writers! 
stand up for complexity, confusion and colour. 
take your pennies and forget the pied pipers, 
they have led naught but rats.

i saw the riches over realness, 
splendour over solidarity… 
i cried upon my pillow. 
my people, my people!
when the muses so return, tell them why you wrote!

we not one of us free falls –
i checked myself…
something always had me.

 

[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

‘for e. d.’ Lois Linkens

 

the city glitters after dark,
busy busy night-owls
shuffle and scuffle
in their white-glass nests.
and we watch,
tired eyes and heavy bags
on a faraway train

we are sexless soulmates
and brotherly brides,
platonic partners pledged
in the ink of mutual need
and searching hearts

sisters in arms,
rosy-cheeks and high-school charms;
my curly-haired comic

heads full of homework,
a makeshift skyline
of yet-to-be
paints itself across the dark,
as young love
rings it’s soon-forgotten bell

confused youth;
a cloud-grey gosling
peeks its ugly head
through the bulrushes
to see the swans;

we are cast-away boats
in stormy seas,
just looking for a place to land.


[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

A Convenient Marriage – Lois E. Linkins

we sleep in separate beds,
to clear our clouded heads.
we keep our secrets wrapped
in gaudy signatures and glasses cracked
over organ flourishes.
we have rooms upon rooms,
some shortage of love
made up in statement wallpaper and bespoke furniture.

the sweeping staircase
holds centre place,
a marble decoy
feels as cold as the flesh
behind the welcome and the wine;
we keep our hands apart,
modern art
stands for wedding photos developed unseen,
money sadly spent
on a white pretence
that fill so many baby dreams;
tradition screams.

mais oui,
it seems that playground jests
have found their poorest manifest
in our little life of theatre.

mama, he thinks our homespun play
is swallowed like tequila,
he believes the empty nursery unnoticed,
sitting in his claw-foot bathtub
with a beard of bubbles,
oblivious to the pool of mockery
in which he is submerged;
mama, it would not take much!
oh, for some sweet humour with the help…
yes, i could be content.

 


 

[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

Cat Nap

by Lois Linkens and Christine Ray

catnap

 

sleep stalks me, finds me an easy target

slinks in to drag me under, into the depths
where unknown dangers lurk in my unconscious
what murkiness lies behind my drooping lashes,
what shadows hide between each whistling breath?
what sharpness snuggles buried
among the feathers in my pillow,
what traps will soon ensnare
and dangle me, just feet from death?

they hook me, by the ankle
and suspend me from the tree of dreams,
around which serpents rattle, tigers prowl,
insects scuttle, poisonous, foul.
blood rushing to my head
cheeks flushed
heart thundering
as i dangle helpless

great cats bat their armored paws
at my flailing hair
like beggars round a campfire.
their claws pull and snag –
draw drops of blood
that quench night blooming jasmine
waiting below

i wake with a start. temples throb and pulse,
the bed is dry as my parched throat, blankets cold.
perhaps a girl
can be herself without the hair of fairytales.

 

 

Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and we ask you to take a second to look at more of her wonderful work, lois e.linkens

Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.

 

a messy letter to my child

lois e. linkens

https://johanhoekstracollection.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/lioness-and-cubs-2002-johan-hoekstra-wildlife-art.jpg

i catch glimpses of you
on the high street
in the supermarket
in the park.
each day, i feel the touch
of your pea-sized toes
and the grip of your precious fingers,
beckoning me in longing,
in hope.

to know that someday
i will hold you and tell you
the stories that are
just tears and laughter to me now
makes my useless life
a fairy-tale

you will be
the sole reader
of my greatest story,
and then my greatest story
will be you.

but i hear you,
i see your brimming eyes
and your trembling bottom lip –

‘mummy,
why did you have me
if you know our world was soon to end?’

my face fades.
i feel my heart dropping
below my lungs
that burn in the heat
of our aching planet

how can i answer that?
how could i be so selfish,
to let my own desire,

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A Conversation, Colored Lonely

Insights from "Inside"

(written in collaboration with the inimitable Lois E Linkens)

it is at night,
when the silence screams the loudest.
when the curtains are drawn,
and the candle snuffed –
the air is burnt,
with the orange glow
of the blackened wick.
a single star
in an empty sky,
a tiger’s eye
in the witching forest,
a lonely car
on the midnight highway.

in the daylight

the silence is shushed

its horns ground down

under the trampling of the day

it finds kindred spirits

lurking in the pauses

poised to pounce

between hither and yon

a rabid Chimera

intent on foiling its captors

it is at night,
when the silence grows its wings;
when it becomes
arms and fingers
that squeeze and squash,
leaving their purple stains
across my skin.
so tomorrow,
i’ll cover up –
for what does loneliness wear,
when it wants to make a friend?

in the daylight

I…

View original post 183 more words