Issue 2 of ‘Fur-Lined Ghettos’ magazine is out now, featuring my short story/prose piece “On Garnet Hill”. I wrote this piece maybe about 4 or 5 years ago, and have kept it aside, polishing it up from time to time since. At least one Scottish literary magazine has previously rejected it, but that’s Scottish literary magazines for you. It documents in forensic (and surreally fantastical) detail my walk to work through the Glasgow districts of Garnet Hill and Woodlands, under cover of winter darkness. Here is the opening paragraph:
“Winter city, perpetual night. For whole months I am a pale insect crawling through moonlit bones. I travel only before dawn and after sunset, picking my way to and from work, through the mute tombstones of our forefathers: their edifices, streets of apartments, palaces, churches, towerblocks. Few lights are on, my footsteps are heard dimly on the pavements below by those half-asleep, like an intrusion into their dreams. My face remains always hidden in shadow. I am known to no one…”
You get the drift. In some ways it is a story about nothing. In other ways it is a story about myself. In still more important ways it is a story about everything and everyone. But so should every story be, when you get it right.
Fur-Lined Ghettos is an excellent magazine edited by Sophie Hook and Andrew Hook. Along with Rachel Kendall’s ‘Sein Und Werden’ magazine I’d say it’s one of the few genuinely surreal magazines in the UK, edited by people who understand what Surrealism actually is. Not an obscure French artistic movement and not a commercial art gimmick derived from the worst work of Dali and Magritte, not any of this but rather a way of seeing and releasing the subconscious mind and thus gaining access to the motherlode of human imagination and the collective unconscious. Here endeth the sermon. Why not get online and sign up for a subscription to one of these magazines yourself? Check your literary history and you’ll see that all the best and innovative new work has always emerged in places like these. Eschew the mainstream which is stultifying our culture through categorisation, standardisation, marketing and the underestimation of public taste and intelligence. Death to the whores that are major publishing houses and their pimps the literary agents. Just push a little harder, people, and with the power of the web we can finish these people off and everything they stand for.