Wyrd Daze is the e-zine of speculative fiction + extra-ordinary music, art & writing!
Moon City & Wyrd Claw
Wyrd Daze was born from the desire to curate a place where extraordinary art, music and writing mingle to create something unique, a place where independent creativity is encouraged and supported.
Wyrd Daze offers an alternative model for supporting the arts that rejects the current trend of “algorithmic culture,” where content is sorted (or rejected), categorised and streamed to us by corporations that reap most of the profits, leaving most creators barely able to make anything, let alone a living, from their art.
Wyrd Daze is free to view or download. We seek patronage from those able and willing to spare a few coins a month to create a revenue with which to pay contributors to the zine.
Through the generosity of current patrons we are proudly able to offer between $40 – $60 per contribution – more than many “semi-pro” zines and websites. Our aim is to keep growing our community, and with it, support for independent creativity.
Patronage also supportsWyrd Daze curator Leigh Wright (currently talking about himself in the third person), who crafts sonic paintings, art and writing as The Ephemeral Man and is world-building and writing fiction in his Zenith’s Edge multiverse – much of this content featured inWyrd Daze.
In aid of this drive for patronage for Wyrd Daze, @RealSardonicus has very generously donated the 3D-printed marvels Moon City and Wyrd Claw – and there’s an extra glow-in-the-dark Moon City too! A giveaway for each of these prizes will be triggered upon reaching certain goals on the Wyrd Daze Patreon. All current patron names will go into a hat or other suitable receptacle, with a winner chosen at random.
Moon City giveaway triggered when we reach $100 per month Wyrd Claw giveaway triggered at $125 per month Glow-in-the-dark Moon City giveaway triggered at $150 per month
These items can be shipped anywhere in the world, courtesy of @RealSardonicus – a very splendid fellow indeed!
There are various perk levels available to patrons, including access to patron-only posts, the Wyrd Daze archive and an option to have physical items occasionally sent to you in the mail (in the works!).
There is also the the limited “Six Green Envelopes” perk, where recipients are sent six creative and philosophical instructions and have at least a 1/6 chance to win The Book of Ephemera – the lovely note book pictured below (approx 11 1/2 x 8 inches) filled with art & writing by The Ephemeral Man, to be given away on 6.6.19 (The Ephemeral Man’s 7th birthday)
Art makes us think more deeply, strive more intently, and feel joy more profoundly. Creativity in all its forms brings further meaning to our lives, allowing us to explore existence and communicate our explorations to the world. Wyrd Daze is the embodiment of that for me.
Patronage perks start from as little as $1 per month. You can also support Wyrd Daze by spreading the word – your enthusiasm and enjoyment is invaluable!
I would like to offer hearty thanks and huge appreciation to all those that have supported Wyrd Daze thus far.
Hookland has a surfeit of quiet villages, almost managing to achieve their ambition of sleeping through the twentieth century. Among that number is Elmsley. Stretching in its slumber along the old market road that travels from the north of the county towards Hook, it is an unhurried dream of stone and timber cottages that ends in a mediaeval church and a shaded green.
However, like most of rural England, Elmsley’s peace and attempt at atemporality has been troubled by the invention of the automobile. Fitful visits by motoring pioneers soon gave way to steady passage of tourers and eventually became the current harassment by traffic. It is also the car that gives the village both strange haunting and a most unusual byelaw.
At just after noon on Saturday, August 17th 1957, the cream and red Austin Westminster of Mr. Harvey Caldwell came towards Elmsley at near its top speed of 85 mph. Caldwell did not slow down as he approached the stone bridge marking the northern entrance to the village. In the harsh trajectory of predictable tragedy, the vehicle punched through one of the bridge’s walls and into the River Abna.
The Jordan family who were picnicking on the riverbank close to the bridge saw the Westminster claimed by the water. In testimony to the Coroner’s court, Mr. John Jordan said: “My daughters and wife were shrieking as I ran towards the river. I took off my shoes and jacket and dived in. With the mud and sediment thrown up by the crash it was difficult to see anything. I came up, filled my lungs and went back down and located the car.
The driver, a man I now know to be Harvey Caldwell, was slumped over the wheel, but the women – one in the passenger seat, one in the back – were pounding on the glass, trying to get out. I tried the doors repeatedly. They just would not open.
“I came up for air and went back down to try and smash the glass two more times, but gave up when the beating against the windows stopped. When I surfaced for the last time, all I could hear was a the sound of screaming. My wife, the girls, were
hysterical and had not gone for help.”
When the rescue services eventually retrieved the car from the river, it contained two bodies which the with police identified as Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell. There was no trace of the third occupant that John Jordan claimed to have seen. Despite intensive investigation, it was never established whether Jordan was mistaken and there was no other passenger or whether the mysterious woman had managed to escape the drowning doom of the married couple she shared the car with. Although the deaths were ruled as misadventure, no satisfactory answer to why Caldwell was driving so fast has ever emerged.
In the usual evolution of tragic event to ghost story, the tale would see the spot of accident haunted by the spirits of the Caldwells. Yet, in the years that followed what has been reported is the sound of the still-living Mrs. Jordan and her two daughters screaming from the riverbank as temporal echo. The trauma cycle of witness refusing to be broken by the teeth of time.
The hearing of screaming became such a concern locally that the Parish Council, convinced it was the work of practical jokers, voted in a new byelaw. It prohibited: ‘Shrieking, screaming, screeching or crying in a way that suggests distress within sight of the riverbank or bridge at all times.’ Unfortunately, this unusual measure failed to prevent continued reports of the upsetting sound. Even as recently as 1978, two German foreign-exchange students staying in the village who had no prior knowledge of the story. told their hosts that they had heard ‘hysterisch schreiend’ coming from an invisible source while walking along the Abna.
Although all of the Jordan family were reluctant to speak to the press or to investigators into psychic phenomena for many years, they temporally broke their silence after the Daily Mirror ran a tenth anniversary piece on odd accidents. The article had featured a recent picture of the bridge and riverside where the calamity had occurred. When reading it, Mr. Jordan, spotted a woman on the bridge looking towards the camera. He then contacted paper trying to find any details of who she was, claiming: “It was the woman in the back of the car. That face has haunted my fevers, my nightmares for a decade. I know it was her.”
Mrs. Jordan also spoke publicly for the first time since the inquest into the deaths of the Caldwells, telling the Daily Mirror: “I am thoroughly sick of people talking about my daughters and I as if we were some triad of banshees. I don’t believe any of this ghostly nonsense about a ‘scream spot’. I place the blame squarely on my husband for claiming we were hysterical. After 24 years of marriage I can tell you that he has always proven inadequate in dealing with emotion in others – whether it comes from shock of seeing a terrible accident unfold or his own daughters upset at their pet cat Arthur dying of old age.”
David Southwell is an author of several published books on true crime and conspiracies, which have been translated into a dozen languages.
However, these days, he mostly writes about place.
ReVerse Butcher is a multi-disciplinary artist with focuses in making unique artist’s books, collages, visual art, writing & performance. She will use any medium necessary to engage and subvert reality until it is less dull and oppressive. When she grows up she wants to be a well-read recluse. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.
When did poetry first find you and what was your reaction?
Poetry found me in my teens. It found me via music, theatre, and public libraries. I had an early love for it.
When did you first begin expressing yourself with poetry and how did it affect your life?
I started writing in my teens, which lead to attending local poetry readings. The way it most affected my life was finding a network of new things to read, listen to, go seek out. It also put me in a strange position where the majority of my social group were, at minimum, 10 years older than me. I had clocked poetry as an excellent medium for disruption, because it was, at that time, largely unmediated. It seemed like the closest thing I could find to one of Hakim Bey’s “Temporary Autonomous Zones”. Nobody was watching, which meant anything could happen. So it also affected my early life in that it gave me a great playground to start experimenting & creating weird art.
I read in a previous interview that you used to sneak into open mic poetry nights at bars before you were of legal age. Can you tell us about some of your experiences around that time?
I started going to poetry readings when I was 17, so just before my 18th birthday. Some of them were in bars in afternoon sessions, a few in cafes later at night. I lived in a slightly isolated place at that time – so getting to and from some of these events was harder than gaining access! I wasn’t interested at all in drinking, so – as long as I didn’t approach the bar, or drink anything, I didn’t run into any trouble, and didn’t cause anyone any trouble. I just wanted to listen, and perform.
Then you embarked upon your first international tour when you were 25 – what was that like?
I wrote extensive journals during that period of my life. I have since burned the journals. It was a thrilling & very isolating period of time. I learned a lot about misogyny first hand. But, as to specifics… what happens on the road, stays on the road.
You work in a variety of mediums and enjoy collaboration: what is it that drives you toward experimentation in this way?
Language is magical, it builds every aspect of our identities, world(s), control systems, relationships, power(s), as well as all the ways that we qualify and quantify how we know anything. Writing is slippery, it’s not native or static to any one form(at). My goal in my creative life is to break language. I want to see what happens to power, and consciousness, and the status quo when we shatter language. What would different methodologies for building literally everything look like? What could we achieve, or feel, or learn, or share if we had access to something like that? This is why I will use any medium necessary to subvert reality until it is less dull and oppressive.
If you could collaborate with any person, living or dead, who would it be, why, and what would you do?
Your heroes will disappoint you every time. It’s a rule in life. Don’t have heroes, follow the lines of inquiry. But I’m collaborating with some pretty dreamboat people right about now! My partner in art and life Kylie Supski is my #1 favourite collaborator (so aren’t I lucky?). I’ve also got a pretty great line-up of regular collaborators at the moment, including Josh Pollock, Chris Wenn, COLLAGE (a multimedia group in Melbourne feat. Roger Alsop, Yoram Symons, Sophie Rose & others). I’m working on a collaborative accordion style artist’s book with James Knight at the moment called Discordion. Basically, if we are both on a similar line of inquiry (or ones that intersect in an interesting way), you are quite possibly that person. Get in touch.
How would you describe your art?
A multi-modal, highly-focused, very-meticulous, total mess.
How would you describe your process?
An attempt to silence a barrel full of bees, drunk, with a hammer, under water
How would you describe yourself?
What,today? Or yesterday? Future-ReV? Alternate reality ReV? ReV as she is to me? To Her? Or to you? Different every time.
Would you say you are more structured or free-form in your creative process?
I create complex structure(s) to provide adequate containers for free-formed work.
Do you like your creative space cluttered or tidy? Do you work with quiet or music?
I like it organised. I don’t know if my definition matches either ‘cluttered’ or ‘tidy’. It depends on the project, or what I need to make it. My computer files are meticulous, but I superglued my fingers to a desk last week, and I currently can’t get paint out of my purple wig. Make sense? Music always.
How would you describe your relationship with words, with language?
How would you describe your relationship with sound, with music?
Nebulous. What even qualifies as music? Is it a language too? Can I disrupt it? Can I paint it? Does it want me to? Yes.
How would you describe your relationship with image, with art?
Bold. Exciting. A brave & irreverent new voice raging against a culture of vapid mass-production. Multi-layered.
Is there a spiritual or mystical yearning in your work?
To what extent does a sense of place affect your creativity?
I’ve learned that my best art is done in a place where I feel safe. That being said, I don’t really leave my house unless there is a very compelling reason.
Is there any specific connection or thread that runs between your works?
Disruption. Experimentation. A sense of playfulness. A sense of rebellion. An invitation to join in or start your own. I hope, a sense of joy. If not a sense of joy, at least a touch of tough love.
How would you describe the art scene and culture in Melbourne to someone who has never been there?
Please don’t make me. I have to live here right now.
I understand you’re working on a multimedia project called “The Illuminated Manuscripts?”
Yes. It’s a giant spatial poem. Think an illuminated manuscript gone feral in Virtual Reality backed by a badass rock band. Think burning books that never ash. Think living bookworlds that are 40 feet above you, and 40 feet below you and you’re floating in space. Think a writhing glitterpoem the size of a football field. Live and recorded poets doing original works, breaking language, re-contextualising meaning, unwriting books, and remixing & collaging texts.
2. COLLAGE happens LAST SUNDAY of the month at The Burrow in
Melbourne, until at least March.
3. An ongoing performance poetry/experimental music project with Chris Wenn.
4. ‘Pinhole Theory’, a collaborative collage chapbook with Kylie Supski.
5. ‘Mad Boy’ is my next solo long-form collage book, which scissors up Gustav Flaubert’s ‘Madame Bovary’ & Louise Colet’s ‘Lui: View of Him’. Poets have been talking shit about each other since time began, but these two stand in for a very formidable oppressive patriarchal dynamic I’d like to attend to.
6. I’m working on live-streaming more of both the making and the performance of my analogue and digital art adventures so that I can engage with a diverse & international range of creative communities.
You’ll be able to see & support developments on ALL of these projects online.