My writing space is a lie. I’ve never written here. I put the desk together myself during late-summer, whilst video calling a friend, in cheap cotton panties and a camisole. Those metal legs are chill year round. I haven’t been gagged with the unicorn duct tape, the truffle-coloured bunny remains nameless, I am forever European. Out of sight is an Ikea bookcase that displays my collection of plastic lo-fi cameras, and five envelopes containing poetry chapbooks. The wall to the left is crumbling from damp. There is a promise somewhere to fix it.
Folk say you ought to write each day but I find I’m too precious with words, I can’t seem to let-go. This is how I write: I’ll discover a word, then I’ll sit on it for a while. Or a title. Currently it’s ‘Terrible Grasshopper’ which I’ve been with since before the new year. I’ll add to it now and then – on scraps of paper, via notes on my phone, I’ll leave a thought with someone. Until.
I like to let music bleed into my work. Bjork, Maximo Park, something poppy and melodic. Though more often than not I prefer being read to. Salvador Dali’s ‘Oui’ is a favourite, or wikipedia articles, Nabokov. I like the process of tuning-out, of taking no notice on a conscious level and letting the subconscious pick up what it wants.
Life is a distraction. Little Cora Vespertine. My anxieties. Love. Fear of never being read, understood, appreciated. I can’t write without a pen; utilised as a false moustache.
The most enjoyable part of writing is not writing, it’s sharing my words and my weirdness with another who doesn’t desire an explanation. I find this is also the least enjoyable part.
I’m proud of everything I write. It often feels like a challenge to get the words out – if you know me you know I don’t talk much, that voicing my thoughts doesn’t come easy – so every finished something is a little ‘yay’. My first proper chapbook ‘Some Pink Star’ was released about a year ago through Eibonvale Press. David Rix did a stunning job, and I am still besotted with it.
Right now I’m working / not-working on a series of insect poems though, of course, they’re not really about insects. I think ‘Ant Eating With Three Fingers’ is my favourite title so far, or perhaps, ‘Honeydew or Number One Sugar Daddy’ which is about aphids and age-gap relationships. I’m excited to see where I take them.
Sophie Essex is a poet, organiser of spoken word events, and a publisher. Her chapbook Some Pink Star is available here. Her small press Salo publishes both prose and poetry.