Extra Safe – final edition!

We did it!

Three issues of EXTRA SAFE. One for each term of our wonderful MA Creative Writing course at the University of East Anglia.

I’m so proud of this last edition, I’ve even printed it in colour. Thank you to everyone who contributed. [Guys, If you need paper copies – just give me a shout.]

Best yet – we have work from Non-Fiction writers, Fiction writers and Poets. We just missed out on a script… but you can’t win them all.

Here’s the PDF:

Extra Safe 3 – colour editionimg_20180718_105620.jpgedf

Our final theme was ‘Take Her To Sea Mr. Murdoch.’ As always, our theme takes inspiration from the Non Fiction reading list. Since in term three we are pretty much left to our own devices I borrow this from the Hollywood blockbuster we all love to LOVE – Titanic – especially our friend Suresh – who loves it the most. 

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Poetry in L’Éphémère Review (April 2018)

éphémère: French for ephemeral (adjective)
lasting a very short time, short lived, transitory

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L’Éphémère Review is a bi-monthly online literary and art journal that nurtures the exploration of the ephemeral, musings on the existential, and establishment of the eternal. We are fascinated with the interplay between memory and reality, truth and interpretation, perception and perspective, and the past, present, and future.

‘Birds’ and ‘Short Cut’ are two poems that were taken up in April following #NaPoWriMo and I was just thrilled.

here’s the link:
http://www.ephemerereview.com/jess-morgan

and here are the poems:

BIRDS

To the kid:
I’m going to know everything about birds
by the time you are born.

Not everything.
but a great deal—more than I know now
I’ll know all the ones that

visit our garden
so that I can tell you what they are
long before you can talk

or know—
what a ball is, or what yellow is
so far the count is:

three jays
pigeons, plenty of black birds, male
this morning; a pair of collared doves.

I found them in the book
liquorice shapes, black on their necks
uncanny torpedoes.

So then—elated
I swept up the needles and the dried up leaves
assembled a bird table from bits

smelled deliciously of sweat
had raced to the Garden Centre
in the April heat-wave

and hoped that
after everything
birds would come.

SHORT CUT

On another morning that we feared
you might be within touching distance—of the end of your life
I rode the Bakerloo line
to see its velvet brown stripe.

At the evening class
I put you ‘in the chair’—
unsure if at the time of writing
you were even still here

and if not then—a ghost
who must pick out her favourite clothes
but who gets to choose—
me, or you?

I would have you at half-term
and springy on your heels
brushing the steps and answering the phone
quick with your pen

to make a dark mark
of me,

who broke the nose clean off your shepherdess ornament.
you looked at me from the landing
in your silk skirts for dancing
and black in your eyes.

and sulked all the way to London
the staircase at the back of the station
made it a shorter walk
for the train to Marylebone

then the underground
to Oxford Circus.
you, and Mum
and the three of us.

but I hated the short cut.
the steps were far too steep.

Extra Safe (April 18)

New term, new zine. The latest EXTRA SAFE, on lilac paper can now be found dotted around the UEA Campus as well in a few spots in Norwich. The theme of the April edition  is ‘No Line, No Path’ borrowed from Duras in The Lover.

download the PDF here:
Extra Safe – April 18

Team =
Justus Flair – copy edit
Jess Morgan- layout and design

Poets’ Day (Venue Jan 2018)

Venue is one of UEA’s prized on campus publications. In January 2018 I had a piece of creative non-fiction included as part of CONTRAST, the 2018 Arts and Creative Writing supplement.

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Poets’ Day.

– It’s a nice way to say – today’s the day, we’re getting paid.

Poets’ Day 25th October 2014. I remember the date because we’d just got the floor done: carpets up, laminate down. I’d always wanted a wood-look floor. In my imagination, my perfect room was just that way; medium dark wood under foot – something like mahogany; a Persian rug patterned with red and the colours of wine, and on top of those, loops upon loops of black rubber cables. I thought of the recording studios of those introverted geniuses, the ones in all the black and white photographs I’ve collected my whole life. High contrast, with really black black. When I think about Keith Richards, in that big house in France hunched over the piano, where Gram Parsons wrote Wild Horses – I imagine this holy trinity of grain, hatches and swirls.

Unusually for a terraced house, we had high ceilings and between those and the new hard floor it created a kind of a sound tunnel along the length of the hallway. It seemed to amplify the sounds of keys scraping through the lock or a cough on the doorstep outside. The squeak of the letter-box flap pulled backward on its hinges and the ruffle of something papery being pushed through against swishing brushes; could be heard clearly from upstairs. In the gloomy, sunken middle hours of the day, those high frequencies had real cut.

I heard the unmistakable song of a C6 envelope drop and slide down the inside of the front door and fall onto one of its short edges, before flattening itself softly on the doormat. There was a postscript; its thin plastic window rippling a little with the impact, and finally settling itself.

I had been left alone in the house, maybe for days. Sometimes it puts me in silly mood. I came running down the stairs at the sound of the post dropping, the sparkle of gently contorting paper. I was clenching my fists. I squeezed my eyes until they were almost closed, taking each step of the stairs with a variation on muscle memory – shouting out loud – ‘be a cheque, be a cheque, be a cheque, BE A CHEQUE!  I knew it would almost certainly be a bill, or a parking ticket or a request to purchase a television licence…

Once I was sent a letter that had been typed with a manual typewriter. The mistakes had been diligently pasted over with sharp white tipp-ex even though the letter had been was typed on blue note-paper. It had been dressed in an envelope that matched and sent to meet me on the morning of my twenty-seventh birthday. The first and only love-letter ever sent to me, is still upstairs in a box my grandfather made; from mahogany.

At the end of the hall, I tear open the paper with my thumb leaving the top edges ragged in its wake. Inside is a small piece of paper with numbers hastily written in black biro. The fives wear hats while the ones are undecorated. I have a draw full of them. I don’t understand really the numbers. That’s the sideshow. It’s the sister enclosure that’s the real beauty; the shimmery, uncreased, ivory 95gsm, prick-your-fingers-with-the-corners, sexy and robust in equal measure, paper of a royalty cheque.

The next day I wished for tipp-ex and blue paper.

Extra Safe (January 18)

Extra Safe is a little folded zine. Small enough to fit in your wallet. Emphasis on non-fiction but happy to sail close to the wind. Contributors are all Post Graduate Creative Writing Students at the University of East Anglia.

the theme for issue #1 was ‘C’ is for Coat. So expect Jackety stories and a little nod to Mabel the Hawk, with whom we all fell madly in love last semester.

Extra Safe Zine – CisForCoatJan18 – PDF file here

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the team:

design + layout – Jess
edit – Pete
copy edit – Yin