issue 4

october 2016

issue 4 - october 2016

Ten Easy Steps to Losing Your Virginity - Dadon Rowell

Step 1. Kiss a boy then kiss a girl. Compare and contrast. You decide to go with boys for now, even though they smell gross. Buy a black lacy thong (apparently boys like them), hide it from your mum in your top drawer and never wear it.

Step 2. Arrange to meet someone who is a brother of your friend. Meet him in a quiet park or behind the bike shed; make sure it is somewhere appropriately dodgy. Pretend it doesn’t feel like a dead slug when he puts his tongue in your mouth. Give it 5-10 minutes, then emerge after his roving hands get a bit too adventurous. 

Step 3. Wait 4 years. 

Step 4. Meet a guy with a suitably hipster shortening for his name, a guy who feels ‘disenfranchised’ by society. Spend several years in awe of him, make sure you are willing to do anything for him. Well anything except that thing – because deep, deep down you know he is a twat. Never introduce him to your friends as he is ‘not that kind of guy’, the domestic kind you guess he means. Don’t call him your boyfriend as you both agree labels are dumb. When he cheats on you, wait two months then see his fiancée on Facebook. Realise fully that he is a dickhead.

Step 5. Spend several months generalising all men as scum of the earth. A tip: get drunk often, as that will help with concocting creative, man-hating similes. ‘Men are like trees, they take forever to grow up.’ ‘Men are like puppies, they’re cute and you take them home, then they shit over everything you love.’ You can even bond with other women over your shared disgust. Kiss a few more girls, have some fun but if you don’t find the girl for you, return – grudgingly – to the male species.

Step 6. Have a sudden and urgent desire to get fucked. Lie awake at night agonizing over how fat and unattractive you are and constantly ask yourself ‘why won’t someone just do me?’ Begin frequenting alcohol-fuelled parties and get tired of waiting for Mr Right. Settle for Mr Right Now. Wait for 10 minutes as he tries to undo your bra, get tired and buy a bag of M&Ms instead.

Step 7. Feel left out as friends discuss sex and give you superior looks. Get angry as it’s not like you haven’t done any ‘research’. The end result of Step 7 should be crippling loneliness. Keep repeating until the loneliness really breaks your kneecaps.

Step 8. Have a range of men hit on you in increasingly creepy and inept ways. This should happen at work, on the bus, online and especially if you have the gall to walk anywhere at night. Slowly discover the courage to tell them to fuck off. Try to remember the last decent guy who was attracted to you; think on this for several hours and come up with the answer. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

Step 9. Regress to the first part of Step 6 but realise that not just anyone will do and you’ll have to wait for a suitable person to show up. Resolve that when your person shows up you will punch them and demand to know what they think they’ve been doing for the past 3 years.

Step 10. There is no step ten. You will have to repeat Steps 7, 8 and 9 until the bastard shows up.

Selfie - Dadon Rowell

Heap on paint, chalk and dust 
– bleach might work too 
Fill every pothole then bury those ridges and hills.

Tar the filaments that are not black enough 
Drag them skyward, twist them, seal them in place 
Should they refuse, attach new ones instead.

Dip paintbrush in blood, smear it on thick 
Construct a bow, tie it tight 
- don’t let it slip.

Edit the last defects of Mother Nature, 
Excavate cheekbones with hot coals 
Brand and sear until those false roses have bloomed.

Now a pose and a pout, capture the effigy 
And finally – 
string it up for the crowd to see.

Because You’re Worth It - Dadon Rowell

You’re worth it. Worth kicked-in knees and broken back. Worth white corridors and black boots; worth a cage and no oxygen. Worth torn clothes, ripped body, slashed mind. You’re worth that one blanket.

Five years, ten years, the black cap you should know you’re worth it.

No tears, no smiles, no face, peel back the skin – no skull. You burn that face with gasoline, you douse those eyes in bleach. It’s not blind, it threw the scales away, it holds the sword and it fucks you up, because you’re worth it.

Try to speak; open your mouth, clutch vocal chords and play tug of war. Ding ding, you lose, scalpel and gloves drip red, and you know why – because you’re worth it.

Wrists out now, back you go. To blood-filled corridors, decaying hands, back down. You kiss the boots or they kiss you because they know you’re worth it.

The camera is on, why won’t you speak? Unwrap the bandages it’s your striptease. No chink, no bruise, no mark at all. Some glue, some glitter, an airbrush, they’ll make you shine because you’re worth it.

Lights go out and bed for all, not you though because you’re worth it. You’re worth the day, the bright - no night. Cameras go out and your light’s glued on, shutters come down – bolted in place because you’re worth it.

Pick a sheet bend, a half hitch; pick a noose. You’ve chosen right; they all know you’re worth it. Unless you agree to kneel now. Or would you prefer the row: five men, three words, the iron rain. No answer, oh well they’ll choose for you.

The shout, the thunk, the spade, the pit. No marble, no words, no rest, no peace and you know why, because you’re worth shit.

Contributor's Note

Dadon Rowell is a second-year student studying English, History and Linguistics. She is addicted to writing and will one day be making use of her authorial initials – D H Rowell.


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