JAAM (Just Another Art Movement) is an annual literary journal published by the JAAM Collective in Wellington, New Zealand. You can find two of my short lyric poems in JAAM 28: dance dance dance, edited by Clare Needham and Helen Rickerby. Available in bookshops, libraries and from the JAAM website.



A girl gets her first period in the year of 1893

Has the heat gone?
No, she has a rash in the morning
and static in her mind.
Only her dry tongue returns
to her moist upper lip.
And even at night there’s a stifling moon.

Read more by visiting Digital Bridge.

Trade Me Tale

The fabulous robber and his antipodean guest

‘Procrustes, a fabulous robber of Attica, was said to have stretched or mutilated – cut the legs off – his victims to conform them to the length of his bed.’    I put the item on my watchlist and after only a slight hesitation pull back the sheets. In the morning I check my mail –

Read more by visiting Turbine 2010.

Calf Club 1989

Played out against a backdrop of pre-teen animal husbandry, Calf Club 1989 is the story of a sister and brother grappling with an unexpected familial revelation.

On Paper Radio: http://www.paperradio.net/
Story: Rachel O’Neill
Voice: Jessie Borrelle
Illustration: Polly Dedman
Sound design: Jon Tjhia
Engineered and edited by Jessie Borrelle and Jon Tjhia; additional voice by Lyn Gallacher, with thanks to Nadia McDonald and Paulina de Laveaux

via Calf Club 1989.

Found poem

11:20 11/06/2010

Rihanna wants more black

fashion models UK teens taught to

wear high heels Fined nearly $1800

for buying a $12 fake Sarah Jessica Parker

pays tribute Log on to get your man undies

Big bucks for Diana’s racy black dress Too

curvy for the catwalk? No way Lagerfeld quit

teaching over ‘pretentious’ students Fashion’s plus-sized

double standards PETA calls Brooke Shields a ‘fur pimp’

Impossible stories

‘It is the concretisation of the objects meaning in the viewers imagination that matters.’

‘The threat of the disappearance of art as a separate enclave within reality is now especially imminent.

– Jerzy Ludwiski, ‘Notes from the future of art’ edited by Magdalena Ziolkowska

Lee Kit, Installation shot, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 2007-2008

I want to think about artworks described by the framework of Relational aesthetics, and whether, if in comparing them to works in the field of Creative Non-fiction, I might be able to spark some insight into topical trajectories of story making.

In Creative Non-fiction we have a framework of Creative (style) and Non-fiction (accurate stories or narratives). One notes here the relevance of readers and writers increasing access to the Internet, global social networks and, glocal, alternative and chaotic infrastructures and economies. Abundant, fragmentary, immediate information and its social dimensions inflect the desire for and consideration of style plus accurate narrative.

I wonder about the perceived state of, or faith in, story, or fiction within the tradition of Western literature. Does the popularity of Creative Non-fiction in the west signal a dilution of faith in stories, or fictions? What are the implications for writers and readers of the appearance of such a dilution? Is it less a dilution, and more an accompaniment, or extension of the enclave of literature? Does is it’s temporal and social responsiveness underscore the dissoluble nature of the monoliths of literature and art? Is there a lingering colonial, or anthropological, bent, or trajectory, to such a thirst for ‘accurate’ and ‘styled’ maps of objects, peoples, cultures and histories? If imaginative ‘subjectivity’ is replaced by ‘styled’ and ‘accurate’ subjectivity, what are the implications for what I can only describe as a ‘ripeness’ of singular/collective perception?

Imagination, by definition, is the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. Traditionally imagination compels language to compel the senses towards what? Meaning?

Traditionally, yes, perhaps, but the desire is to avoid any phenomenological reliance on meaning, and the body as a means toward a ‘meaningful’ transcendent end.

Rachel O’Neill, Ahead of time, Continuous Memory, HSP, 2007

How does imagination compel the reader/participant towards responsible action? The singular action conditional on collective agency?

Impossible stories:

Fictions can compel the reader/participant toward philosophies of action, that is, responsible action as opposed to obedient action.

Inherent in this assertion is a deregulation of the imagination. One might ‘picture to oneself’ as a starting point for engagement with a world populated by the pictures of others.

Susie Pratt, It’s our pleasure to serve you, hand-painted ceramic, 2006

The deregulation of the imagination leads to a transformation of the imminent impossible in all areas of human endeavour. One might have once accelerated or decelerated the certain impediments of an age, in order to succeed them, either through (re) birth or death. Now, we siphon of the exposed energy, perhaps the idea, or the style, or the twist in the plot, and redirect the imagination toward an unforeseen possibility of disappearance. Or an appearance of something on which some part of existence is conditional, and that we cannot yet name.

I remain uneasy and fascinated by an impossible story’s relation to ‘ripeness’ of singular/collective perception.