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An Interview-in-Excerpts with Laura Ellen Joyce

Laura Ellen Joyce lectures in literature at York St John University. Her research interests are in experimental writing, extreme cinema, pornography, necrophilia, the queer uncanny, and ecocriticsm. She was project co-ordinator of the AHRC Global Queer Cinema network between 2012-2013. Her novel, The Museum of Atheism, was published in November 2012. Her novella, The Luminol Reels, comes out in August 2014.

An excerpt from her novella, The Luminol Reels, appeared in Issue Sixty of The Collagist.

Here, she answers questions "in the form of excerpts"—with further excerpts from The Luminol Reels. Enjoy!

What is writing like?

There is time that is blank. You are on her and you are guilty.

Later, you get dreamy. You slash her open and taste her. When she is in pieces, you hang her to cure. When she is nothing but bone and pearl, you set her on flat paddles in the oven.

The parcels of smoked meat are the best you’ve ever tasted.

What isn’t writing like?

This is a morning task. Once complete you may drink a portion of metallic salts and return to the assembly line. The others must be exfoliated. This reel—the one true reel—must be committed to memory twice per day. The first time will be gruelling. You will be in handstand position, paper fed roughly down your gullet until you are blue. If you lose height, poise or grace, repeat the task.

When you do it, why?

You must feel every bump as you flick over the flesh and think of each pore, bacteria—a yellowy jelly that might burst at any time—in your vulnerable mouth. Blackheads will scud their thighs where sweat collects; blue, dense. Put two thumbnails around the toxic place and let the poison flow away. Scrub the pore out with salt and lime. 

When you don’t, why?

There is only one chance for freedom and that is to enslave the others. If you attempt this, you should write your hate on grey glass paper and bring it to the altar.

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