This week's Bloc Feature has been shared with us by the student collective The Underground Writers. The Underground Writers are a group of students and creatives with a passion for everything creative writing. Every three months they gather and curate submissions from writers all over the world, but with an emphasis on Australia, and put it together into the Underground Creative Writing zine.

The zine is not-for-profit and exists for student and emerging writers, offering in-depth feedback to all submitters to Underground and then working with authors to edit their piece/s to a professional standard before publication. That is where Underground is different from other publications; they work with authors until each piece really shines. Undeground relies on submissions from talented and passionate creative people and, although they currently don’t pay authors for the work yet, they are putting together a Patreon page so that they can ditch the Exposure Bucks and start paying authors REAL Bucks!

You can submit here!


Look, Frida

by Shelby Traynor

Frida Kahlo is staring at me from the head of my bed. Her self-portrait is taped in lilac 
at the corners, her flower crown balanced on her head like a bouquet.
She makes me want to be spectacular 
– she’s my dreamcatcher, and right now she’s looking pretty disinterested. 
    My bed is my cushioned hell. It’s where I sit to be glared at by Frida, to
crumple my posture and crack my spine. Yawn and weigh the justice of my eyelids. 
It took me a day to notice the barbed wire circling her neck, and the hand
hanging from her ear. She just looked so pretty, so tired, amongst my pillows 
and through my sleepy eyes.


My Subconscious Doesn’t Care About You

by Shelby Traynor

there is nothing I can pull from my memory
quicker than the smell of toast
or the crunch of toast
the sound of curved cutlery on crisp bread
turned golden by red hot wire
and melting butter
i can’t yank that feeling of lips curving
that person singing
those bones weighing down hospital beds
so what does it say
of my subconscious
when all it ever really gives a shit about
is toast?



Editor's Note

The Underground Writers are passionate about publishing work that is evocative, offbeat and intriguing, so Shelby’s work is an obvious choice to represent Underground Creative Writing zine. Shelby, a student writer from Perth, submitted these two poems to the fourteenth issue of Underground earlier this year and we instantly loved her voice and style. Her poems blend the ordinary with the emotional, linking experience with evocations of sight, taste and smell. We receive a lot of poetry submissions, and it is not often that one poet’s voice and style shine through so distinctly.

Jemimah Halbert, Editor-in-Chief

Underground Creative Writing zine


Shelby Traynor's picture

Shelby Traynor

Shelby Traynor is a twenty year old writer from the suburban wastelands of Perth, Western Australia.