Swimmers Club

Originally from Misfits Mag, 2016


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Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Julie Reverb
Where: London, UK
What: Writer

Hi. Who are you?

A pear-shaped ghost dreaming against life.

Where are you from?

A small village in Bedfordshire, UK that has hosted an annual potato race since the 18th century but still doesn’t have a shop. I live in London now.

What time is where you are? What's going on?

It’s 10.55 am and I’m coldly tapping these answers on a cheap laptop. My other browsers display Facebook, an inner thigh exercise video, an eBay dispute about some metallic flower pots (I’m in the right) and a bitcoin marketplace. Who says you can’t have it all? Oh yeah – I’m in a leopard-print dressing gown and have a vodka hangover – clean but robust.

Can you tell us a bit about your piece/pieces in Cassette 68?

I reread The Virgin Suicides and rewatched the film and decided I wanted to create something like a chalk drawing on a patio after it’s rained. Exploring the school prom trauma trope seemed a fun exercise, and it was.

How do these pieces differ to what you've written before or don't they?

Like most of my short stories this one adheres to the basic tenets of storytelling, i.e. stuff happens and people talk to each other. That doesn't happen so much in No Moon, my novel that came out last year. No Moon is wildly obsessed with language and modernism and ecstatic truths.

Tender Places is obsessed with language too but in a pared down way. It’s not the crying girl at the party, but it’s not talking holidays in the kitchen either. What I’m trying to say is I’m not writing for my life here but I’m still very precise; shark-like. You gotta watch me.

I think it’s really important for writers to flex their muscles in different ways – it’s the only way to build strength. Writers who stay on the cross-trainer aren't going anywhere. Plus they’re boring.

Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on next?

A novel about a whale-watching cruise. I’m booking one today. It’s a full-blown bells and whistles one on a big ocean liner. I’m going alone, and I’m hoping I don’t cheat on my boyfriend with a Michael Jackson lookalike – for all our sakes.

Heard any good music this year?

After David Bowie died I became a bit obsessed and read everything about him, his music and sex life. It’s quite refreshing to read about someone so successful and good who you can tell wasn’t a secret cunt, or not a massive one anyway. Turns out he really dug this Chinese folk song and now I do too.

P.S this version of "I Got You Babe" by him and Marianne Faithfull is great – you can see she’s not wearing any knickers at the start:

Do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what?

Sure, I’ll take that. Better than being a ‘creative’ any day. Have you ever met a self-described ‘creative’ who wasn’t an awful person? Nah, me neither.

Finally, have you read anything good this year?

Yeah, plenty. These are a must:

Gorse No. 5 How It Is – Samuel Beckett The Gotham Grammarian – Gary Lutz Faithfull– Marianne Faithfull Black Krim – Kate Wyer Beastlife – J'Lyn ChapmanThe Collected Stories – Grace Paley


Julie Reverb is a London-based writer and former singer. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Quietus, Necessary Fiction, Volume 1 Brooklyn, 3:AM, Gorse, Numéro Cinq and Sleepingfish. Her début book No Moon is out now on Calamari Archive. Find her at www.juliereverb.com.

Photo:Lucy Johnston