Surfaces and Depths: A Found Poem

By Rachael Murray

Haunted Network:
Live, nonhuman histories.
Here you will find      a safe space,
Breaching Displaced Surfaces.        
Ghost discussion
in asynchronous Doldrums

the deep Distant Extensions
lies the dystopian world 

Beneath the
Clumsy Wandering Unmaking
the Tentative Haunters 
wreck A Case Study –   
Dissected            Dismembered             falling            upwards:
the not-so-hidden Catastrophe
and the Series          Land              Sea             Air:      

Legacies in Liquid,
Imitative or Transformative?
Atlantic, Nomadic, Gothic 
and Divined: 
we were the colour of a sea witch,
An Oozy, Wayward Weird
Weaving,         Queering.       Walking          the        

I am redemption
at the Seabed,
Wombs bloom within reports
of the Synthetic Vastness beneath from above.
Violence specters the unification of
Tiny monsters and bodies at sea. 
place, displacement can be found
versioning Biographies born
in the form of sea stars,
elemental media
a little blue house.

‘Surfaces and Depths’ was found rather than written, knit together from the
handbook for the Haunted Shores 2023 conference of the same name held back in
April. As a result, the words are – with the exception of those coming from my own
paper title – unabashedly stolen; my only role has been to attempt democratic
thievery, merrily sweeping away a scrap of each contributor’s paper title and a few
fragments of behaviour guidelines, biographies, and names to boot.
Any depths this poem may accidentally contain are borrowed from the
event’s contributors and organisers with thanks; any errors of assemblage rippling
this summative surface are my own.

Rachael Eleanor Murray (she/her) is a Carnegie PhD Scholar at the University of Glasgow
with an interest in all things dark, deathly, and disconcertingly liminal. She completed an
MLitt in Romantic/Victorian Studies at the University of St Andrews in 2021, and her current research focusses on the use of watery imagery in representations of death and mortality in 18th–19th century women’s Gothic writing – with occasional digressions into seaweed and exploding Victorian fish.

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