Erin Kirsh is a pushcart-nominated writer, performer, funnyman, and rant maker from Toronto. She has toured original works on stages across North America, and has represented Vancouver twice at both the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the National Poetry Slam.
Her blog, The Losing Game, chronicles the heartbreak and jubilance of publication rejection and acceptance (respectively), which we at Pulp Literature can appreciate all too well. As Erin says: In 2018, you can follow my progress (or lowgress, depending on the stretch) here. Come for the sweat and the ugliness. Come for the support. Come to feed your superiority, if you need to, come to reminisce about a time you were less successful than you are now, come if you need to see the struggle of the game, come if you need hope for yourself. I promise to gift wrap it nicely for you.
You might remember the riveting reading Erin Kirsh gave last September at the Issue 16 launch. Her story, ‘The Wind of a Train’, had us all worried for a future we hope never to see, and optimistic for the future of this talented writer and performer.
The Wind of a Train
I have thirty minutes to get to the station. It doesn’t really matter which station, anything on the line will work, only I’m not really sure where I’ve gotten to. I don’t have the benefit of being from this city.
The Sinking was sudden. A lot of places, including the coastal city I lived in, shook then were swallowed by water. Those of us who were rescued got airlifted to other parts of the country, where, as it turns out, there’s not enough room for all of us. I was an early recovery, I got here when people were feeling more hospitable. The city wasn’t overrun then. Nobody wants to tell the survivors of a tragedy to fuck off until said survivors start inconveniencing them. So being a sort of pioneer of the good ship shitstorm, I have a shelter of sorts, but it’ll be gone if I’m not back before midnight. If things are lawless in the day, at night they are competitively piratical. I didn’t mean to be out so late, but this city’s more or less unnavigable and it doesn’t take much wandering to end up far from Woodbine or Coxwell or any of the four street names I’ve memorized. So I got lost, and now I’ve got two choices. Get back to the place where I’m somewhat comfortable and my stuff remains unpoached as of yet, or move in on someone else’s territory and hope that the stuff I snatch is better than what I’d be giving up.
Twenty more minutes. I should’ve picked taller landmarks when I first set out. Picking buildings that may or may not be chain establishments was a lapse of judgment. I wish I could ask someone for directions to the subway, but they’d either be Settled and think I’m fucking up their society, or worse, they’d be Displaced. Settled would make me feel bubonic and burdensome, but a Displaced person would lead me in the wrong direction, steer me down some dark alley and mug me. Best case scenario, I mean…