Your average literature kid; I enjoy metaphors, Nabokov, Plath, T.S Eliot, and making oatmeal. I also have a love of spoken word (Sarah Kay, Hanif-Willis Abdurraqib) and British panel TV shows. Most days I can be found watching School of Life videos, wondering what I’m going to have for lunch or contemplating what Seymour Glass would say. I never finish notebooks and also enjoy increasingly morose rom-coms (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Before Sunset, Blue Valentine) and reading Rilke’s letters.
“I don’t do anything with my life except romanticise and decay with indecision”
– Allen Ginsberg
Photo credit: Felix Russell-Saw
By Chloe Elliott
take all that is mine and gorge on my bones
fill your heavy soul in watershed light
this is all I have to give this empty worded hollow crowding
take it all and she who is tendons and helix ribcages coughing up perjury
she who has been tethered and stitched and flung through window
against the great protest of stammering glass we repent our own murderers
I have died 4 times and in each I picture you more clearly
the spirits melted into thin air and
most tragic of all her pruning skin
purpling in the sunlight like a dream dissolving
Photo credit: Ajmal Cholakkal
By Chloe Elliott
I am in our spot
old light and sleepy bones
watching flashes of you unwind in cosmic pictures:
you are back home, the grey in your skin slowly unfolds
to a glowing pink, you ungrow your bitten nails and porcelain wrists unchip
the denial that haunts your limbs slips away
whilst the veined routes outlining the alps of your spine sink.
you stop being distant and the gap between us is no longer a cliff.
unwrite the letter and we feign the numb of eleven months
returning to calcium flamed walls and syntax that evaporates on the tongue ten
unbend the orange heavens and forget the smell
of viscous regret and brittle words too blunt to stitch the wound
back to unbroken eulogies and unstable desire
back to burnt-out carparks that still cradle your absence
back to 9AM nosebleeds like your heart has finally erupted.
Unplump the clouds knitted in a sky cracked open
and spit out the dawn whispering I hate you in a foreign room
short-chained dreams that reduce to falsetto breaths
we migrate across dark crescents eclipsed by midnight smiles
blinking, as I watch you revel in the irreversible.
clock strikes and we mount stairs to a balcony where the night untraces the constellations of your cheeks
collarblades of soot unblacken to a pilgrimage of skin,
muddy footsteps trace home towards a summer of insoluble horoscopes whilst
your hair plummets 8 inches to your waist once more
the loneliness is reborn as.
I watch you untangle a tide of memories on a martyr drenched pillow,
replanting lilies, detach yourself from the broach of your father’s arms
seven the caving grief dissipates and
your grandmother is alive again, your words no longer burn.
dismantle june and may is still a month instead of a euphemism,
we are whole once again and the
sadness slides over an unripened year,
suddenly you are unsad and we are back in a library that no longer aches, I am unmissing you because we have
never met, journeying back to the start
six uncrack the mirror, we are strangers of a distorted reflection
five I am unfizzled stardust that lurks between the blissfully empty lines of you for
I start to fade and you are unsad and it does not matter because
three I unexist and you are excited to grow up too
and we are one.
Photo credit: Hakim El Haj
The Swallow’s Song
By Chloe Elliott
surely but slowly maybe I too will come to heal
and the bees will swim in a brook of light floating swarm like spawn over my body
daffodils in the gutter.
The run of yellow breadcrumbs and yourself facedown in a patch of earth
the hungry neck suckles the words like warm honey spoon-fed from mouth to mouth
rude and shapeless the sunset will not wait for you, neither will flesh neither will planes.
grief dries like an impasto sunscreen and does the ache exist in the words or the silence inbetween?
Photo credit: Jessica Andersdotter
By Chloe Elliott
there is little meaning in the sky tonight
she is pale without the swollen bump of clouds; ribcage crackling like vinyl cartilage
and soured gooseberry marrow.
like a silent miscarriage you rip open
her sutures and find a black thud; pulsar curled into a fist, this
deadbeat pound of flesh tearing home inside out.
this aching bould of moonrock knuckles
and meteorite toes, curling itself around a midwife’s gloved thumb,
flesh never meeting flesh.
purple and bruised
like a dropped plum that has rolled under a casket of fruit, the sickle sweet stench of
abandoned harvest demands the room. writhing in bedsheets of spilt wine,
as if latex could carry warmth in its cradle.
this steady upward heave of asteroid meeting plastic; pallid gossamer chest fluttering in
and most nights’ heartache echoes like unplucking, swallowing childhood in fistfuls.
(void will turn to compost heap
whilst skin to peel to core to seedling to earth)
and this, christened as carrion; lifecycles spent carving out meals in apology
nebula to dwarf, child to box and she rocking in wickered ignorance. clouded eyes searching the child, coddling scar over star
and she and this,
and flesh never quite meeting flesh.