Claire Potter


Top Ten Favourite Opening Lines From The Top Shelf Of The Bookcase

1. One day, I was already old, in the entrance of a public place a man came up to me. He introduced himself and said: "I've known you for years. Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young, but I want to tell you I think you're more beautiful now than then. Rather than your face as a young woman, I prefer your face as it is now. Ravaged.

2. Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos. From the beginning it was never anything but chaos: it was fluid which enveloped me, which I breathed in through the gills.

3. Landscapes can be deceptive. Sometimes a landscape seems to be less a setting for the life of its inhabitants than a curtain behind which their struggles, achievements and accidents take place.

4. We all know the story of the whore who, finding her China white to be less and less reliable a friend no matter how much of it she injected into her arm, recalled in desperation the phrase "shooting the shit", and so filled the needle with her own watery excrement and pumped it in, producing magnificent abscesses.

5. When I was a young lad twenty or thirty of forty years ago I live in a small town where they were all after me on account of what I done on Mrs Nugent.

6. I did not kill my father, but I sometimes felt I had helped him on his way. And but for the fact that it coincided with a landmark in my own physical growth, his death seemed insignificant compared with what followed.

7. The town itself is dreary; not much is there except the cotton mill, the two-room houses where the workers live, a few peach trees, a church with two coloured windows, and a miserable main street only a hundred yard long.

8. It is in a house that one is alone. Not outside it, but inside.

9. An impression, already, that things are getting narrower. Don't puzzle too much. Don't turn around. Don't stop. Don't force the pace. For no visible reason, no reason. Speed has become necessary.

10. Bell persists in duty. Mounted high on an external wall bell is waiting to resume, to ring again.


Born in Merseyside Claire Potter is an artist-writer working across performance, publishing, installation and film. Claire lives and works along the Todmorden Smash Belt.


chik white


Ten Bird Voices from Chezzetcook

1. Canadian Geese
Packs of barking dogs

2. Sandpipers
piercing screeches distort my hearing

3. Crows
Cackles of the knowing sort

4. Blue Herons
Droning dinosaur belch

5. Mourning Doves
Cooing meditation

6. Eastern Shore Shit Jays
Speaks my nonsense language

7. Sea Ducks
Laugh track to the night sky

8. Gulls
Songs adrift on an easy feeling

9. Starlings
Treble flashes in the air

10. Pheasants
Run from me screaming

For over a decade I have used the moniker chik white for various art projects. My latest efforts centre around the jaw harp, a pancultural, ancient instrument steeped in mystical allure. Inspired by sound poetry, noise, free improvisation, Dada, nature, psychogeography, and the human voice, my chik white harp explorations aim to conjure visceral experiences.