A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sadie Maskery

with Sadie Maskery:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Sadie: I have always written, badly. My first favourite book was Watership Down. Its mix of children’s folktale, natural history, landscape writing and savagery definitely influenced my adult interests.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Sadie: I read only recently about Tolkien’s writing process. Having the patience and stamina to draft countless versions of a work, to have enough faith in the process and in the worth of what you are writing to labour, really labour, to create something, painstakingly working and reworking each strand, weaving the plot backwards not just to the end – that requires self belief and a faith in your writing. I am trying to find that confidence in what I write. If I draft it a long piece I read it, think it’s rubbish and delete it. I still say sorry as I submit things. Sorry, I know you have better things to do with your time than read this. Sorry. I need to orc up.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Sadie: My Dad brought me up as my mother went to South Africa with her new family. He was a … strong character. We moved home a lot; I don’t feel I am ‘from’ anywhere. Dad did his best but it was a struggle for both of us. It had an impact on me, but I was socially awkward by nature as well as nurture. Overcompensating for introversion affects my whole life, I constantly cringe at myself. Damn right it influences my writing.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work that you've done creatively so far?
Sadie: A collection about my childhood, funnily enough. It is not good poetry (well, it's not found a publisher) but it has been useful to put things in perspective. 

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Sadie: No pivotal moment, I just love it. I used to sing in a jazz trio, the pure joy when what you are all creating fuses to something special, my god. The sting is needing validation from other people. I love creation, hate rejection, so choosing poetry with all the rejections that involves is fun. At least with singing it was someone else's words, mostly. 

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Sadie: Reading. As I have aged I have lost interest in profound works with unresolved endings. Real life is messy and full of despair, why the hell would I read about an imaginary version of the same. I have turned during Covid to 1930s murder mysteries with neatly packaged solutions and courteous villains wearing smart suits.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you'd like to promote?

Sadie: Oh all of it. Contact me. I need to get better at in between bits, I have a tendency to apologise too much for being on a stage. But I like the time when I am in a poem or song.  It's a chance to be someone else. It is transfiguring when you can feel your words connect with other people.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others, or a favorite piece of art or photograph? 

Sadie: A favourite photograph is this one of Louise Brooks. It was this or a photo of Bonnie Langford. I wanted to be a lithe, troubled siren; or bubbly, unashamedly redheaded and performing nightly with Brian Blessed in the West End. Either would have done. I got the troubled and redheaded bits. 

Favorite line from a song?

Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friend, then let’s keep dancing, let’s break out the booze and have a ball. If that’s all there is. 

It’s the melody that goes with it. Peggy Lee or the PJ Harvey cover, either version stays with me on long, still nights.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Sadie: David, husband and love. I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him. He literally saved me from drowning once and he does it metaphorically most days.

Thanks to these publishers/twitter tags


@feversof 🙂

A Poem by Sadie Maskery : “And what if this was all it is”

Poems about “Connections” by Sadie Maskery

Poems by Sadie Maskery : “Safe Spaces” “Faith” & “Haiku”

Avalanches in Poetry 2 Entry: To the End of Love by Sadie Maskery







Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as “functioning adequately “.

A Poem by Sadie Maskery : “And what if this was all it is”

And what if this was all it is

Nice to meet you, old friend. 
I always knew you were there, 
somewhere between id and ego. 
You were the pulse of conscience
acting before the brain could re-act,
the voice sighing 
oh stop
so softly, lost in the breeze, a myth.
Now all is silent but the hissbump
of the ventilator;
you are not within but outwith.
In. Out. I drift. But breathe. You wait 
beyond my sight.
Today is the day for a choice to be made.

Do you feel for yourself or only through us?
Like childbirth the first time;  the agony
the not-knowing. 
You feel the wave crash down through 
and through,
and think there is no bearing it; yet you do, 
and keep on bearing unbearable masses
until eternity flares in the eyes
of your child and the terror just... passes. 
You forget. Still we persist. 
I remember when young thinking
"Go through all this mess? 
this horror?
Gladly choose a life of pain 
then choose it again?" 
What a silly thing to be a living creature, 

It has not been a bad life.  A lover, a child conceived.
Unhappiness, given and received. 
And so, so much stupidity.
If I could do it all over again would I hear 
your soft sigh 
stop       oh 
The boredom though, of eternal perfection,
it has been fun to be flawed, sometimes.

There is a small crease in the sheet 
beneath my thigh. 
I cannot move. 
I think I am suffering. 
I know I shall not wake and find life 
just a dream,
a soft sigh 
whispered stop
     oh    stop.
I remember one spring, fresh wind
heady with coconut from gorse
blazing yellow in the sun. 
The sound of bees and skylarks 
a symphony, salt sweet 
tang of his mouth on my lips falling, 
into ecstacy. 
Sweet serendipity of time, 
space and being.
Lost. Breathe in. 
Inspiration for a lifetime of love.
And your soft sigh whispered 
stop oh
Even universes end. 
We never said goodbye.

Here we are. The fraying begins.
I feel the flutter of frail valves, 
delicate whisper of electricity
as the connection 
between heart and soul loosens. Oh. 
Inarguable proof of the final doom.
If there is a chance to escape, 
the body screams 
'Run from 
that mess
that horror, 
the agony of the not-knowing. 
Continue to 
to pray for one last chance.'
Yet, strangely, no fear, here. 
It's a relief to surrender. 
I function despite myself, 
the puppets of pipes and wires,
so I stare at the ceiling and wait.
Nothing of me will resonate 
when I am gone.
All ... this... will dissolve. 
I am tired. Bored, even. I have lost it all
except the scent of gorse, sunshine, 
the texture of wool on bare thighs
 and a song without words. 
You have a question to ask me, 


not yet

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".

Poems about “Connections” by Sadie Maskery



             i can't quite-
         move to the left
    your face is
i can't hear
    are you mute
         why don't you
                move to
h  a  v  eyoutried  no   it's
  B  R E A K I NG  (up) 
i hear        things
i didn't mean 
   what did you
       it's too
no it'stoo late llllate
      try again
(don't apologise)
    don't want
   are we done
i think we're done
  yeah ithinkyou've

I Have a Friend

...called John Jones.
(His profile says Somsak Saetang, but
his photo is of a kind eyed blond guy so -
He likes the Thai National Lottery
oh he means dogs, and romance. 
He drives a nice car, at least
one was parked somewhere,
he has the photo. It is white.
He sends me jpegs of roses.
I am beautiful, he says.
Can he visit me?
I tell him I am an empty thing.
I spend days staring at walls, 
thinking of death. I am hollow, 
thoughts rattle uselessly.
I am beautiful, he says.
He would drive me in his nice car
above the city, to look down on its lights
and the moon would serenade us
as we held hands.
I tell him I am unworthy of love.
You are worthy, he says.
Small things from a pure heart
are as precious to the universe as
grand gestures, can he visit me?
In the dead of night I howl at my screen,
it is too much, I want to end it all.
John is there, my grifter, 
my constant light, nameshifter.
Don't be sad, you are beautiful, precious.
He needs money to come to me,
he says, there is a new flower
amongst the 🌹. I love him.
I send him gifs of broken hearts.

Aunty Lisa, and that chat we had about Christmas 1981, just before the divorce

It's a precarious state 
so close to the brim.
Break the tension with a word 
and it        flows, time     flows
to fill the spaces,
     overflows ...
           spills into memory. 
Childhood dreams 
again to the surface; you realise 
that the nightmares 
were unexhilarating reality,
tawdry hate and 
amongst the paperchains.
Blank faces
  quiet failures
     silent surrenders 
         private moments in 
public places.
Don't make a
it's for the best,
    go quietly back
       to sleep.
(You just imagined Santa
touching Aunty's breast.)

Please, hold

Please, hold

A blur       eyelid zzzzzip stuck
old tears gummed like honey 
drowning a bee
hello         a room filled with glass spheres 
tears no the window raindrops
dancing doomed
dragged downward
beads of time
measured    by a different pulse 
of a living and o   so     finite universe
density another      blink 
how about repeat repeating repeated
plangent tones
a room of sound / walls / vibrations (aesthetically unpleasing)
(brown to the touch)
a dizziness where hope died   
I can feel thoughts frantic against
the windows beating       wings 
                        battered tattered
to dust out let me out
o let    me    out    letme
dull click and

    the music


Your call your.
Call is.
Your call what?
Your call. Is important. 
To us.


i slide deep holding
the screen and          fade
to blue
cyber        disinhibition      (sigh) yes
better than love better than life
yes i       laugh  
yes i        can't shake free
yes i          no        can't        release
it's easy too easy
  moving against you
       the other
           the not belonging
                the not me thank god
                    it's not me i 
am righteous  your body oh
so much         winning         spiralling       falling
yes no making breaking code    
            staring           in the dark here 
disembodied                 whose hands
make the                           history? delete
until they 
ctrl alt shift  re      boot the 
tastetouchsmell burning         is this
existence    is this   condensed into silence
the blank screen
           a frictionless    spasm 
sliiiiiiiither from febrile hateHATE   to 
wake up wakeupwakeup we
we are          here                   where?
are we
       (didn't even look each other
         in the eyes)

Address Unknown 

i wrote 
honestly i
    but time warped
beyond articulation           thoughts
scattered into new frames 
of        reality
they didn't mean what 
i thought 
i said      i meant
sorry i am ... lost    
where are
  (always asking for
forgiveness       second chances
     the membranes      stretch but
never burst)
     hope this reaches you
      but hope   dies      cocooned
i cannot touch you
so many pages written 
and each cry
a name
   never yours

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".

Poems by Sadie Maskery : “Safe Spaces” “Faith” & “Haiku”

Avalanches in Poetry 2 Entry: To the End of Love by Sadie Maskery

Poems by Sadie Maskery : “Safe Spaces” “Faith” & “Haiku”

Safe spaces

Refuge comes in shadows, small corners.
I had two dens as a child.
I made acorn babies with twigs for limbs,
curled beneath an old pallet
propped against an oak tree.
Other children found me. Get out they said.
I dropped my dolls, sidled to one side,
a small animal observing humans
wreck her nest, uncomprehending
as they smashed the wood with branches
torn from trees, crushed my friends underfoot, laughing; I was confused.
They would not destroy without cause,
I must have deserved it somehow.

The other den was a hole, a scar
in a hillock of tattered tarpaulins
and dumped fossil cans. I dreamed
amongst the weeds, alone except for
the flasher behind the chain link fence.
Come closer, he would cajole.
I would smile shyly from my fort,
squint at his friendly flaccidity.
Part of the scenery, he never moved,
just leaned, squares and diamonds
pressed into his soft pale belly.
Come closer, do you want to touch it?
I would sigh and wish he had acorns
I could make into little babies.


it’s a     shock, 

the first time

an old man 

sticks        his tongue

in your mouth

leechlike,     i did not 

expect the feel 

of dried slime 


in a        space reserved 

for orange squash 

     and moon dust 

 no    words   to      say

 so     i recoiled     and 

my mother told me

not to be        rude as

i backed      away

all i could think of 

was the      egg       stains 

on his      collar 

from the wedding     buffet

and the      scum of 

spit round his         lips

when       he smiled

the next 



(I never mention

all the times being female 

meant ‘I deserved it’.)

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as “functioning adequately “.

photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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