• 1. “Sonnet XVII,” Pablo Neruda
    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way

    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    2. “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart,” Jack Gilbert
    How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
    and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
    God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
    get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
    to which nation. French has no word for home,
    and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
    in northern India is dying out because their ancient
    tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
    vocabularies that might express some of what
    we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
    finally explain why the couples on their tombs
    are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
    of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
    they seemed to be business records. But what if they
    are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
    Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
    O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
    as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
    Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
    of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
    pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
    my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
    desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
    is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
    no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

    3. “That Romantic Sunset,” Laura Van Slyke
    I remember you said something like,
    “the sun doesn’t set anywhere unless it sets in Tucson,”
    that dusk when we sat on the hood of my car,
    folded into each other like the specks of white
    inside the stitches of denim jeans.

    That was back when we used to laugh at how
    we had become

    who parents and lambs
    and various shades of pure white
    stayed up late wringing their hands over.

    That was back when we smiling
    nailed judgements by their carpenter
    hands to the floorboards under the carpet.

    They could eat our bread bodies for all we cared,
    drink our wine blood.

    But, stars die all the time.

    Now it’s ten months past
    “you ain’t got nothing I never had,”
    and all I can do

    is press my hot forehead
    into the inside of a dirty window

    and squint

    at how people find it romantic
    when the blue sky turns deep purple

    like a swollen bruise.

    4. “Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem,” Matthew Olzmann
    Here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage
    might work: Because you wear pink but write poems
    about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell
    at your keys when you lose them, and laugh,
    loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol,
    gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercials
    from thirty years back and sing them when vacuuming.
    You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents
    of what you packed were written inside the boxes.
    Because you think swans are overrated.
    Because you drove me to the train station. You drove me
    to Minneapolis. You drove me to Providence.
    Because you underline everything you read, and circle
    the things you think are important, and put stars next
    to the things you think I should think are important,
    and write notes in the margins about all the people
    you’re mad at and my name almost never appears there.
    Because you make that pork recipe you found
    in the Frida Khalo Cookbook. Because when you read
    that essay about Rilke, you underlined the whole thing
    except the part where Rilke says love means to deny the self
    and to be consumed in flames. Because when the lights
    are off, the curtains drawn, and an additional sheet is nailed
    over the windows, you still believe someone outside
    can see you. And one day five summers ago,
    when you couldn’t put gas in your car, when your fridge
    was so empty—not even leftovers or condiments—
    there was a single twenty-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew,
    which you paid for with your last damn dime
    because you once overheard me say that I liked it.

    5. “Privilege of Being,” Robert Hass
    Many are making love. Up above, the angels
    in the unshaken ether and crystal
    of human longing
    are braiding one another's hair, which is

    strawberry blond
    and the texture of cold rivers. They glance
    down from time to time at the awkward ecstasy--
    it must look to them like featherless birds
    splashing in the spring puddle of a bed--
    and then one woman, she is about to come,
    peels back the man's shut eyelids and says,
    look at me, and he does. Or is it the man
    tugging the curtain rope in that dark theater?
    Anyway, they do, they look at each other;
    two beings with evolved eyes, rapacious,
    startled, connected at the belly
    in an unbelievably sweet
    lubricious glue, stare at each other,
    and the angels are desolate. They hate it. They
    shudder pathetically
    like lithographs of Victorian beggars
    with perfect features and alabaster
    skin hawking rags
    in the lewd alleys of the novel.
    All of creation is offended by this distress.
    It is like the keening sound
    the moon makes sometimes,
    rising. The lovers especially cannot bear it,
    it fills them with unspeakable sadness, so that
    they close their eyes again and hold
    each other, each
    feeling the mortal singularity of the body

    they have enchanted out of death
    for an hour or so,
    and one day, running at sunset, the woman
    says to the man,
    I woke up feeling so sad this morning
    because I realized
    that you could not, as much as I love you,
    dear heart, cure my loneliness,
    wherewith she touched his cheek to reassure him
    that she did not mean to hurt him with this truth.
    And the man is not hurt exactly,
    he understands that life has limits, that people
    die young, fail at love,
    fail of their ambitions. He runs beside
    her, he thinks
    of the sadness they have gasped and crooned
    their way out of
    coming, clutching each other with old, invented
    forms of grace and clumsy gratitude, ready
    to be alone again, or dissatisfied, or merely
    companionable like the couples
    on the summer beach
    reading magazine articles about intimacy
    between the sexes
    to themselves, and to each other,
    and to the immense, illiterate, consoling angels.

    6. “Photograph,” Robert Hass

    7. “Collision Theory,” Marty McConnell

    I swear she kissed me first, but I have
    no evidence. I know the wine danced

    in the glass like a siren, all lean in and slow blink,
    I know the magnets in my palms spun until keys
    flung themselves toward us from all

    directions. conjurers always have to be watching
    our hands. spells dove from simple gesture, simple

    wishing, glancing touch. I know that I make things
    happen. I’m less good at making them stop. the want
    always wants more. that the wine danced

    is just evidence of magic messing
    with the everyday. this happens

    most often after dark. after the sun’s been forgotten
    long enough for the moon to seem like honest
    light. for the cab to seem like a vocabulary lesson

    and the long ride to a small room, a test
    of how much our tongues can lift before the temperature

    shifts. to dove is to rise like a creature
    with perfect bones. to drift a hand across a forearm
    at a bar is not magic or a promise, but evidence

    of how want flints against itself to become visible.
    when asked to explain how magnets work

    in layman’s terms, the scientist said
    I really can't do a good job, any job
    of explaining magnetic force in terms

    of something else that you’re more familiar with
    because I don’t understand it in terms

    of anything else that you’re more familiar with.
    why does the word palm dissolve in the mouth?
    how to explain what stays on the body

    for days, the kissed arm a stain of mouths,
    the belly a well of hands, hands, want

    and want and unstopping want. to watch
    our hands is not to stop them from conjuring
    but to know where they’re headed. to know

    what they’ve sheltered, all they’ve let go. to dove
    is to build something for as long as it’s needed,

    then release. this does not stop the wanting.
    does not unravel the spell or make the magnet
    any less magic. it does make for a more beautiful

    morning, though. the sun so much promise,
    so lit, it almost hurts to look at it.

    8. “Please Move To Vermont and Break My Heart,” Gregory Sherl 
    I am writing a book on how to write a book so I can learn how to properly explain why you look better with the lights on. I listen to a song but it doesn’t mention your name so I stop listening to the song. Your heart is noise pop. White noise is ghosts missing the streamers that fall from your ears while you sing in the car. Vermont is not far if you are already in Vermont. My cat looks at me and then walks away. He is named either after a famous musician or a body of water. There are so many words I refuse to learn how to spell. Still, I spell check your thighs after I bend you over my desk. I spell check the inside of your left ear while you bite yourself on the kitchen table. Prostrate. Today I am writing in grunts, I am playing in fonts. My chest hair is size 44 Comic Sans. My eyebrows are whittled away before I leave the mall. I have sat under the same sun as you for 25 years. Sometimes I have walked under the same sun as you. Once, I played tennis under the same sun as you. Repetition sun. Staccato sun. Wrinkled sun. I tell your skin that covers your clavicle We’ve got at least 53 more years of holding hands on a bench under the same sun. The sequel to this poem is John Cusack holding a boombox over his head under barely any sun. Fact: I want to kiss your nose even when I’m not inside you.

    9. “The Four Moon Planet,” Billy Collins
    I have envied the four-moon planet.
    -The Notebooks of Robert Frost

    Maybe he was thinking of the song
    "What a Little Moonlight Can do"
    and became curious about
    what a lot of moonlight might be capable of.

    But wouldn't this be too much of a good thing?
    and what if you couldn't tell them apart
    and they always rose together
    like pale quadruplets entering a living room?

    Yes, there would be enough light
    to read a book or write a letter at midnight,
    and if you drank enough tequila
    you might see eight of them roving brightly above.

    But think of the two lovers on a beach,
    his arm around her bare shoulder,
    thrilled at how close they were feeling tonight
    while he gazed at one moon and
    she another.

    10. “Scheherazade,” Richard Siken
    Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
                                                           and dress them in warm clothes again.
             How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
    until they forget that they are horses.
                       It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
             it's more like a song on a policeman's radio,
                     how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
    were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
                                                                                           to slice into pieces.
    Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means
             we're inconsolable.
                                   Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
    These, our bodies, possessed by light.
                                                                    Tell me we'll never get used to it.

    11. “The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife,” Michael Ondaatje
    If I were a cinnamon peeler
    I would ride your bed
    and leave the yellow bark dust
    on your pillow.

    Your breasts and shoulders would reek
    you could never walk through markets
    without the profession of my fingers
    floating over you. The blind would
    stumble certain of whom they approached
    though you might bathe
    under rain gutters, monsoon.

    Here on the upper thigh
    at this smooth pasture
    neighbor to your hair
    or the crease
    that cuts your back. This ankle.
    You will be known among strangers
    as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

    I could hardly glance at you
    before marriage
    never touch you
    – your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
    I buried my hands
    in saffron, disguised them
    over smoking tar,
    helped the honey gatherers…

    When we swam once
    I touched you in water
    and our bodies remained free,
    you could hold me and be blind of smell.
    You climbed the bank and said

    this is how you touch other women
    the grasscutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
    And you searched your arms
    for the missing perfume.
    and knew
    what good is it
    to be the lime burner’s daughter
    left with no trace
    as if not spoken to in an act of love
    as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

    You touched
    your belly to my hands
    in the dry air and said
    I am the cinnamon
    peeler’s wife. Smell me.

  • Shinji Moon is an 18 year old writer living in New York City. There are times when I've read her words and my heart has almost leapt out of my chest entirely. She has a way of plucking at heartstrings and turning all that music of what it is to be human into words.

    Why do you write? People have stopped thinking. They’ve stopped bouncing thoughts between the external world and their own internal world and it’s like we’ve succumbed to this certain numbness that we just don’t want to give up for convenience’s sake. We’re growing up with television screens as parents and society telling us what to believe in. I write so that I don’t forget to stop and look around and take in the atmosphere every once in a while and feel something, anything. I write because I don’t want to forget how wonderful it feels to be human. I used to do this only for myself. Quietly, in journals, I would spew thoughts and words as a release. No one knew. Not even my own family. But then I started writing for other people, and now I’m somewhere in between, easing the pain in my own chest with a poem while simultaneously trying to give a little pluck to the heart of humanity as a whole. I want to move myself and I want to move others, just for a moment. I write for instant gratification. All I want is for people to remember just how awesome it is to feel things every once in a while, and to think, to truly think, without the distractions of today’s world making it so hard to do so. Do you remember the first thing you wrote? When I was six years old I wrote a story about a monster who hid bones underneath a rug that coexisted in the same world as a sweet old lady who fell off of a hill after the dinner bell rang too loud. But I don’t think you’re asking about that, are you? The first poem I remember writing and thinking, “This is a poem that I really wrote” was from when I was what, fourteen years old?, and first recognized that you could find yourself so easily in the world around you. It was called “I, Ms. Dandelion.” It was really just me toying with language and finding a rhythm that I could fall into. It’s funny. I haven’t thought about this poem in years now but I can still recite bits of it by heart. I still say “a could-be, a should-be, a leftover would-be” in my writing every now and then. Reading it now I feel fourteen again. What a strange age. It was such a searching time.

           I, Ms. Dandelion  
    Me, I’m a dandelion, everywhere at once.
    Unearth me in lawns, in hollow sidewalk cracks.
    Underappreciated, just give me a moment;
    The smallest of moments, and you’ll see what I can do.

    Hold me tight, my dear, for I’ll be gone by dawn.
    I’m held here by heartstrings, but for whom do I stay?
         There’s no world for me here,
              No world for me there,
                     There’s not a world for me

    *        *        *

    You’ll break through the cosmos to try to find me,
    the remains of a girl, a dandelion girl.
    You’ll beg and you’ll plead, but all that you’ll get
    Is a handful of hair,
    A handful of air.  
    Look to the sky, white-faced and burnt,
    For remains of a girl, a dandelion girl
        of a could-be, a would-be, a leftover should-be,
        An unanswered wish, a freckle of hope
    A flash of ebony
    And raspberry lips
    And I, Ms. Dandelion, waving goodbye.

    Where do you write and what is the process like for you? I write anywhere where I have pockets or a bag big enough for me to carry a notebook in. If all else fails, I make a note of a snippet in my phone. I like to write in places where people are constantly moving, constantly going in and out and staying for a moment. Sometimes I’ll buy myself lunch and sit in a corner of a small restaurant or cafĂ© and do the whole quintessential late-teens college student thing and feel like a clichĂ© and get some awful satisfaction from it anyway. I like writing where there’s inspiration everywhere, flooding up to my knees and pouring through air vents and coffee taps. I wrote one of my favorite poems on the stall wall of a bathroom somewhere in a rest stop in New Jersey while I was driving to Maryland for a summer. I almost wish I had the poem now. The process of writing for me isn’t so much a process as much as it is just me having a conversation with a page, with another Me sitting quietly on my shoulder. A lot of the time I’ll collect moments and thoughts and people throughout my day and infuse them in my work later on when I’m writing. I can go weeks without writing, and then suddenly, I’ll step in a poem while walking home from class and peel it off of the bottom of my shoe when I get home. The poem come and goes. It’s just that every now and then it stays long enough for me to catch it. I don’t feel like I have a whole process of going about it. I let my hands take control and that’s that. Most of the time, I don’t even go back and check it over because it’s still too fresh, too bloody for me to look at it objectively. What things inspire you? Small acts of candid humanity while walking down the street. A girl in all black carrying sunflowers at three in the morning. A man crying into a handkerchief, folding and unfolding a small piece of paper quietly to himself on the 6 train uptown. Sea glass. The slow ease from first introductions to first kiss to the first time you make love to the first time someone makes you cry. The relationship between humans and nature. The littlest things. Smaller and smaller and smaller until you don’t know if they were real or now. Glimpses into worlds that don’t belong to me. Strangers, above all: how beautifully they move when they don’t think they’re being watched. A lot of your writing explores human emotion, to me it seems like you find the center of a feeling and explore every beautiful and bittersweet angle. What draws you so much to wanting to understand and articulate human emotion? There’s this constant and unyielding pull that we all innately have to try to understand the depths of humanity. And if that sentence was a complete lie, then at least there is in me this unquenchable thirst for something that I can’t understand. There’s a red string around all of our ankles interconnecting us all in a way that is so beautiful to me that all I can do is try to write about it. When you think about your life when you’re older, so much older than now, you’ll think about the people that you’ve met and the ones who’ve touched your hearts. Only then will you be able to tell who was the most important to you. I think what I’m trying at here is writing at every stage of this life of mine, watching myself and the others around me evolve and grow up and into themselves and outward towards others. People bloom and it’s so beautiful to see what colors they hold. Is it not the absolute truth? There are some feelings that are universal. We know the feeling of love, of caring for someone,  for hurting for someone, because of someone, with someone — but it’s just that none of us can put it into words. All I’m trying to do is dissect hearts and souls and minds and human beings without the messiness of open-heart surgery. What do you find beautiful? Dancers. How you can tell so much from someone by the way they walk. A slow rising morning with a cup of tea and a window where you can watch the sky change into day. Waking up, turning over, and kissing a boy you love on the mouth without him waking up, and falling asleep again — all of it a dream. You can find beauty in everything if you remain in an ever-wondering, ever-wandering state of being. Don’t let the world tell you that you what is beautiful. There are roses in the trashcan across the street from me. Someone spilled milk over the petals. A man commented, saying how disgusting it was; the girl he was with called them beautiful. Shut your eyes but never close them off. Don’t let the world tell you what is beautiful. There is no right or wrong answer. What is an experience that really changed you and the way you look at things? When I was sixteen I worked at my stepfather’s barn over the summer, walking racehorses and grooming them and whatnot. There was a woman who worked there who had the deepest ebony hair curled and tied at the nape of her neck. Her name was Gloria and she had low-set shoulders and could carry two full water buckets in each hand. She was strong and she was beautiful, with the elegant rhythm in her step of a retired dancer. She didn’t speak English well, and I didn’t speak Spanish at all, but we formed a relationship with each other through Good Morning’s and small head nods and always feeling elated when seeing the other. She had the kindest face and the most unapologetically green eyes that were surrounded by storylines and crow’s feet. On the last day of my working there, I made my rounds to say my goodbyes, and when I got up to her I spluttered out in broken English and gesticulations that I was leaving, that I wouldn’t be coming back. And I didn’t say much but I know she understand. She held onto the sides of my face and spilled such lyrical Spanish into my ears. A language of sheet music. Soft peals of nonsense. It didn’t matter then that neither of us could speak the other’s language, because I knew that the words we were saying were in complete bilingual symmetry.
     She took her hands off my face and quickly took off the earrings she was wearing. She cupped my hands in hers and dropped them into my palms, curling my fingers around them. I remember not wanting to take them at first — I never saw her without them on for the three summers that I worked there. They were so much a part of her. But every time I tried to give them back, she just shook her head no. This was her gift to me. Without a single hesitation, she gave a gift to a girl that she had barely even spoken to.
     On the plane ride home the next day, I remember crying the entire time. Once in a while, every few decades or so, you meet someone who touches you in such a small and monumental way that your heart grows to keep them in there for good. There are people you meet who teach you more than you can ever learn from a book, a movie, a three-hour lecture on Proust. Sometimes, language falls away, and paves a path for something more beautiful — a truth more honest than the discrepancy between feeling and language, between what you want to say and what you can say. Sometimes, you learn that the most you can convey is through actions. Love through verbs. Feel through nouns. What is you favourite feeling and why? Contentedness. Waking up to fresh coffee. Sitting by the water with someone you love and talking about the thoughts you’ve collected in puddles over the night. The simplicity of being barefoot in August with your pant legs rolled up, sitting around with good company underneath the slow sway of the porch light from across the way, drinking a Corona with a lime wedge in it, and laughing about a memory that is so unimportant now, because all you want to remember is that scene. It’s that feeling of pure ease, letting your limbs fall loose and untying your hair over your shoulders and smiling because the water is so beautiful, because conversation is the best soundtrack, because the most beautiful moments are the ones that don’t require anything but this: the low hum of an August dusk, with the late blue fading into an early midnight; the fireflies, always; and someone had gone and dropped stars all over the sky. When the tranquility of the world around me and the world inside of me are in cahoots, I know that I’m happy — that all is finally okay. Can you describe what the world seems like to you? I don’t really think I can. Is there a piece you've written that really stands out to you (maybe a favourite piece or just one you really connect with)? “A Rendition of Autumn.” I don’t know. Personally, I think it’s one of the best poems I’ve written. It’s so strange to see what people like in comparison to what I like when it comes to my work. We’re all so touched by such different things. 

    There was a point in our lives

    where if I slit my throat, it was you who would bleed.
    You say goodbye too often in autumn.
    Tonight the last leaf fell off the tree beyond my bedroom window,

    and I could hear the sound of branches aching for love to wrap
around their leaves like limbs.
    It was three a.m. in the last stretch of May.
Springtime calls for heartbeat symphonies
and when we pressed our bodies together they coincided like
chords, like staccatos when I ran my hand down
your spine.
    Fog is one of the top reasons that drivers get killed each year.
    In the backseat of my car we almost caused
the hundredth casualty,

    but all I got were bruises in the shape of apologies
along my thighs.
    There are certain people who leave scars when they go.
    Tonight I cut my thumb while I was peeling an apple.
I thought of you.

    — “A Rendition of Autumn,” Shinji Moon

    What do you imagine the future Shinji Moon to be like? I’m already such an old lady now that I couldn’t imagine what I’ll be like later on. I can only say hopes. I feel as though I’ve grown into my skin for the most part. Maybe I’ll grow another two inches. Maybe I’ll have picked up smoking cigarettes again. Maybe I’ll have quit for good. Maybe I’ll drink more coffee. Maybe I won’t let the smallest pin drop of moments break me. Hopefully, I’ll be stronger. Hopefully, I’ll have lived in so many parts of the world that I feel at home anywhere instead of nowhere. Hopefully, someone will fall in love with me and I’ll fall in love with that someone and we can create a world between us that I’ll believe in more than anything. Hopefully, I will become in myself, a work of art. Maybe one day, I’ll even stop wearing glasses. If you could make a mix tape of poems what would you put on it? Man, what a wonderful question. This is a mixtape I would make for a boy I dated once:

    1. “Sonnet XVII,” Pablo Neruda
    2. “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart,” Jack Gilbert
    3. “That Romantic Sunset,” Laura Van Slyke
    4. “Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem,” Matthew Olzmann
    5. “Privilege of Being,” Robert Hass
    6. “Photograph,” Robert Hass 
    7. “Collision Theory,” Marty McConnell 
    8. “Please Move To Vermont and Break My Heart,” Gregory Sherl 
    9. “The Four Moon Planet,” Billy Collins
    10. “Scheherazade,” Richard Siken
    11. “The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife,” Michael Ondaatje

    If you were something else, other than a human, what would you be? A travel mug What are five things you cannot live without? My planner, tea kettle, journal, red lipstick and a good book. 

    You can find Shinji at commovente and you can read her poetry mixtape here.

  • Caitlin Hazell's pictures make me smile. Caitlin is from the middle of nowhere in England and maybe, if you live nearby, you'll find toy soldiers hanging about in odd places. She illustrates for rookie and has also had work featured in Oh Comely magazine. She is wonderfully funny and has a beautifully creative soul. Her artwork is full of imagination and thoughts and the little things people often don't notice. 

    Why do you draw? I draw because I enjoy it, it gives me a sense of achievement, and honestly, I don't have many other hobbies. I find myself doodling and coming up with ideas I want to develop- and I find the only way I really can is through putting it down on paper. I've always had an overactive imagination, and it's great to let stuff out, though frustrating when my ideas don't convert so well. What inspires you? Books, music and films, but also a lot of people and places- everyday life. I know I'd love to hide out in my bedroom all day, but going out into the world inspires me a lot. When was the first time you dabbled in the arts, and what made you continue to do it? I've never really been good at art or really loved it. I was quite sporty when I was younger, then injured my knee which stopped that (thank goodness). I was the only class member who did art homework in year 9, so I got praised for it, and it made me feel good. I didn't really draw much up until recently. Last year I was sad and a friend suggested drawing and I laughed at it, but it has really helped. You create collages, drawings, stop motion films and photography, which is your most favorite type of art to create? Oooooh I don't know- I love flicking through magazines and seeing the possibilities of collage within photos but nothing beats a drawing. There's still art techniques I want to explore as well. You have this way of making something beautiful, or funny, or thoughtful out of whatever you're thinking, has there ever been anything you couldn't turn into a piece of art? Hmm I don't know- it's hard to really express the depth of a feeling within something so flat. I love Van Gogh's work a lot because he converted his deep sadness into beauty- I'd love to be able to switch my emotions through my art. You had this great project of putting toy soldiers around places in London to try and get people to pay more attention to the things around them, did you ever find out what happened to your army? And why is it important to you that people notice more? The soldiers were put up in my home town, but I put mini zines round Camden in London, so kinda the same thing. I really like to do a lot of things that are odd and unusual because it is important we look at the world, and it's the kind of thing that would make me smile, or make me think and inspire me, so I wanted to give it back to other people. (soppy alert). You have a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor, has it ever gotten you in to trouble? Yes, I used to be told I had a "bad attitude problem" but I was just speaking my mind in an almost innocent way. And some people just need shaking up and having a laugh. I once got really told off in primary for making my friends crossword puzzles instead of doing the work, and the teacher called in my Mum for a "serious chat" and uugh LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE. How long does it take you to cover a starbucks cup with your illustrations? It depends, I actually haven't done many because I don't get them often. The ones up on my blogs were given to me on a college trip by the people that drunk them, and I did them bit by bit on the places we went to, and on the bus journey. When and where do you most often make art? Sitting on my bed, after a long day, blasting out some music and howling along, dabbling in paint and pens. Do you have any other future projects planned at the moment? There's a lot of crazy stuff in my head I want to let out. If you could do anything with your art, without worrying about money or time etc, what would you do? Ooooh eeee THE POSSIBILITIES I'd love to just do something to rip the world in two. I don't know. I think every artist wants to do something amazing. I'm not even an artist- I'm a teenage girl. I'd love to have a nice book of my work out, nice paper, something cute. My journals of pictures are all a bit floppy. Describe your dream workspace/art studio: 2 rooms, one with all the equipment and lots of colour, inspiration, EVERYTHING, then a room of white and plain beauty. I love to be surrounded by a lot of stuff, but sometimes it gets a bit much. I'd love a nice bookshelf full of my dream art books. You love a lot of great movies and musicians, but if you could only hang out with one famous person who would you choose? DAVID BOWIE (perhaps in the Ziggy Stardust era though) If you were an animal what would you be? A bat! I collect stuffed toy ones, real dead ones (ok maybe i just have one but it's a collection?!) and have been interested in them since I was little. They are cute, not ugly!

    You can find more of Caitlin's work on her website

  • http://montenegro.bandcamp.com/

    Alex Montenegro has a sweet, soft, honey-filled voice, with it she pours out her thoughts over the gentle pull of guitar strings. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I discovered a lovely and determined soul who feels most at home amongst her records, turning her thoughts into music. 

    How old are you and when and how did you get started writing music? I am eighteen years old. I've been writing music for a long time, even before I owned my first guitar, which was at the age of nine! It kind of just started. I used to think of terrible rhymes and I would write terrible lyrics to sing along. Then the guitar came, and songs started becoming actual songs! What do you need to write a song? I don't need much! Something to write my thoughts down on and an instrument. What does music mean to you? Music is a way of expressing yourself...an open journal. To me, it's a less embarrassing way to talk about all the heart ache and wants in life. Without it, I'd probably be experiencing a lot of anxiety, grudges, and regrets. Music is medicine, and it means a lot to me. Not even just writing, but also listening to others. What instruments do you play and what one is your favorite and why? I play piano, guitar, the celtic harp, ukulele, and long grass pieces! My favorite instrument is the guitar. It's the most satisfying instrument for me. I feel like I can share emotion, not only with words, but with sound. It's the only instrument I am capable of doing that with. You have beautiful song titles and lyrics (I particularly love the lyrics of your new song 'it's been a while and I am trying to stop clenching my fist'), it's clear you love writing as well. How important are the lyrics in a song to you? Thank you. It's pretty important. In a way, writing lyrics gives me closure. It allows me to open up, and tell a story. I'm not a fan of talking about things, so every word I write is something you'd find in a journal of mine. Describe your own process of creating a song:
    My song writing process isn't anything specific. Sometimes I write poems, other times I pick up a guitar, and it goes from there! Lately I've just been picking up the guitar, pressing the record button, and singing and playing what I feel. It's interesting! What comes out of my mouth without actually processing what i'm thinking. Two of the three songs on the last release were written like that, and the recordings you hear are the actual first recordings. I didn't want to rerecord them, it wouldn't have been as honest if I did. What are some other artists you like and is your work inspired by them? Yes, definitely! There are so many artist that I love and am inspired by! K. Matsson, Justin Vernon, Joanna Newsom, early Bob Dylan, Zach Codon, the list could go on forever! Lately I've been really inspired by fellow upcoming musicians. Mitch Welling of flatsound, in particular.  What kind of things do you take inspiration from? I take inspiration from memories, distance, wanting, loving, and change. What are you working on right now? I am currently working on my next release! It's very exciting. It's taking a lot longer than expected, though. I keep thinking I'm done, but I end up cutting a song or two the next day. I can't wait for it to be finished. Do you go to school? If so how do you juggle making music and school? I do go to school! School doesn't take much of my time, really. It hasn't affected making music. If anything, making music affects school. I sometimes put off assignments to record or write! If you weren't a musician what would you do? I'm not sure. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. People at college are so intent on having an "actual career", it's frustrating. It seems like you are looked at differently for wanting to do something you love. I think I'd open a cute little shop if I couldn't be a musician. Do you perform in public? I do! I try to set up a small gig every now and then. I love preforming. I'd preform every day if I could! What are some things you daydream about? I day dream about traveling, falling in love, touring... silly things! What do you find beautiful? I find a lot of things beautiful! The sky, stars, flowers, and moon. Shared memories, Joanna Newsom albums, animals, the first cold wind of the year, and kind souls. What are five things you couldn't live without? Five things I couldn't live without? My guitar, record collection, record player, friends, and family!

    it's been awhile and i'm trying to stop clenching my fist - alex montenegro

    You can also find Alex on tumblr at littlerunawaybunny.

  • Sabine Rosch is a photographer from the north of Germany. Her photographic vision is dreamy and emotional with a touch of fantasy. Sabine's main focus is fashion photography and you can tell from her photos that she sees more than just the face or the clothes; she sees an entire world waiting for it's story to be told through the lens.

    When and how did you get involved in photography? Since my childhood I've liked to do creative things, like drawing. I got involed in photography because, with it, I can tell stories with photographs and capture special moments. I started with photography in 2004 when I got my first digital camera and I concentrated on pictures with a focus on nature. In 2006 I began to photograph people, because I was fascinated in finding possible ways to show things that weren’t obvious at first sight. What sort of things do you draw inspiration from? I get a lot of inspiration from life around me, films, books and music. But also magazines and current fashion trends because my focus is definitely fashion photography. I always start out with a theme and build from there. Is photography your main creative outlet or do you also experiment with other forms of art? Photography is my main creative outlet. Where do you see photography taking you? Do you want to pursue it as a profession? It would be great if I have further success with photography and someday could make an editorial shooting for a large, well-known fashion magazine. Your photographs have been featured in magazines like Vogue Italia and Musikexpress, what were those experiences like? It was a really great experience and a special moment to see my photos on the Vogue Italia website and in the print-issue of Musikexpress. These things give me the ambition to build on in photography. Do you think that being a photographer changed the way you see the world? Yes I do, because I see things around me that maybe I had previously not discovered in common ways. Tell us a little about where you live. Does your environment affect your photography? I live in a small town called Emden and is located in the north-west of Germany near the sea. Here are many lovely places like the shores of the north-sea and much open country with many beautiful and hidden places around to take photos. What is your dream photoshoot if you could do anything you wanted? Any shoot where I can be really creative and use as many props and costumes as I'd like. What does photography, art and being an artist mean to you? I can realize my dreams and ideas that I couldn't express without photography. You say that you like to build identities through your photographs. How do you find these identities and how do you bring them out? I like to build new identities like mythical creatures, fairy tales etc. I get my inspiration for this from books, music and films. What are 5 things you couldn't live without? My lovely husband, my family, my two cats and not to forget my beloved camera

    You can find more of Sabine's work at zeit-bild or find her on facebook.
    Photo credits: 
    Photo 2-6 & 9
    Model: Bettina
    MUA & Hair: Wilma Wahnsinn

    Photos 1, 7 & 8

    Model: Katharina