Chrissy Williams’s The Jam Trap

Chrissy Williams’s work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies including Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt Publishing), Stop/Sharpening/Your/Knives, The Rialto, Horizon Review, Anon and Fuselit. The Jam Trap, a sequence of prose poems, has just been published. She lives in London and wishes she had a dog.

The Jam Trap (Soaring Penguin, 2012), originally a short chapbook published by Silkworms Ink, has been expanded into a pamphlet-length sequence of prose poems. It welcomes us into a peculiar but familiar domestic world filled with dogs, jam, the internet, scotch eggs and suchlike. It is fully illustrated with art by comics artists including Lizz Lunney, Ellen Lindner, Laurenn McCubbin and Julia Scheele.
Luke Kennard said about The Jam Trap: “The gleeful innocence of Williams’s narrators never gets in the way of their urgency and determination to be understood in a world of literalised mishearings where machines get confused and timing is everything. These are inventive, witty prose poems bridging the unconscious and the everyday. And it’s a really lovely bridge with a great view.”

© Sarah McIntyre

Look, Look, Look
“Look, look, look,” I said, gesturing frantically out of the 91 top deck window into someone’s front garden. “There’s a dog in that person’s front garden that looks exactly like a squirrel!” “Mmm, yes, because of its tail,” you said, feigning interest for a moment before going back to your book.

© Meirion Jones

Jam Trap
“My body is structurally going the way of gravity,” I said.
“Your brain will outlast your body, with luck,” you said.
“My brain?” I said. “I think I have a brain like a jam trap.”
“What does that mean?” you said.
I shrugged, beaming like an idiot.

© Arthur Goodman

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh
“Ooh, ooh, ooh,” I said, jabbing my finger at page 320 of the Encyclopedia of the Dog that was sat on my lap. “We could get a Bernese Mountain Dog!”
“We’d need to give it our bed to sleep in. We’d need to move out of the house.”
“Then let’s spend our money on an enormous dog we can hollow out and move into.” I curled a bit closer into your shoulder, stroking the book while we slouched on the sofa.
“I don’t think you’ve thought this through,” you said. 

© Fay Hancocks

Will You Marry Me?
“Will you marry me?” you said in bed, drunk, after a long night out.
“What?” I said, also drunk.
“Will you marry me?” you said, throwing yourself over in the duvet dark to face me.
“What?” I said again.
“Will you marry me?” you said, far more deliberately than the first two times so I’d know you were being serious.
“Well,” I said, “I think your sense of timing is inappropriate.”

© Lucian M. Stephenson

I’m Not Falling For That
“Maybe we should get a cat?”
“A cat we could buy a collar for.”
“A cat we could put on a lead and take for walks.”
“A cat we could call Rex and teach tricks to.”
               “And where, exactly, would we get such a cat?”
“From Battersea Dogs Home!”
               “I’m not falling for that.”
from The Jam Trap (Soaring Penguin, 2012).
Order The Jam Trap.

Visit Chrissy’s blog.
Thanks to Sarah McIntyre, Meirion Jones, Arthur Goodman, Fay Hancocks and Lucian M. Stephenson for permission to use their illustrations.


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