For Two Tales (the much-loved sister of Two Poems) we are joined by Akiho Schilz. A writer and poet by trade, Akiho is delving into both for this installment of the series. First, she is reading her short story Not Waving, a tale of growing up and creating one’s own mythology. To complete her reading, Akiho has chosen Leonardo’s Machines, a poem by Tobias Hill from the collection Zoo.
Annexe editor, Nick Murray, caught up with Akiho to chat a little more about her reading.
Alongside the two main characters in your story Not Waving, the sea seems to play a huge role too-
Absolutely. As far as my writing is concerned, I’m obsessed with the sea. I don’t where this has come from as I’ve never lived by the sea and I can’t swim. I’m terrified of going in the sea! The last time I did go into the sea I was bitten by a rare breed of tropical fish! So, I don’t know where it’s come from, but I’m fascinated by it. Especially the sea in bad weather and grim places -tiny towns- on the coast. There’s something about it-
The characters in the story are influenced by La Blé en Herbe, translated variously as Green Wheat and Ripening Seed, I think those are the official titles of a book by Colette. One of my favourite authors. It’s based on two young children who start to see each other in a different way. My story is loosely based on them. Well, on how I think of their relationship.
There is a lyrical and even nostalgic quality that you’ve given to Sefton and the sea. Like you say you’re an urban writer. Do you think those two things are linked? How does your distance affect your vision of the sea?
Possibly I’m so far removed from the sea that I am able to romanticise it in a way that people living in a seaside town might not. Also, the movement of it, there is a beautiful aesthetic quality to the movement of the sea. The rupture and healing of the sea.
How do you use the idea of the sea in your poetry? Does it appear at all?
The sea appears more as motif in my poetry and more as a theory in my prose. In the novel that I’m writing, the protagonist lives by the sea, but the sea is closely link to his coming of age and thinking about his existence and thinking about his relationship to his family, these strange undercurrents that we all have in our day-to-day lives.
Akiho Schilz is a poet and writer based in London.
If you would like to read another of Akiho’s short stories, we have one right here!
When not working on her novel, Akiho creates micropoetry which she regularly posts here.