Today, Angie Spoto voices shares her experience of being a ‘liquorice woman’ trying – and failing – to read without disturbance in a pub. We really enjoyed Angie’s feisty and humorous tone, in this story of politely asking a stranger to go away…


I’m just here reading

and that doesn’t mean I want to talk



‘Liquorice Woman’ by Angie Spoto

Originally published in From Glasgow to Saturnhttps://glasgowtosaturn.com/


I am a liquorice woman

a fennel creature

a saffron thing that doesn’t care

for your opinions or your thoughts on the matter

or your advice to me because I’m not asking

I’m just here reading

and that doesn’t mean I want to talk

it doesn’t mean I want you in my ear

or your fingernail running rogue

across the grains here

at the table in this low-lit

pub where

let me repeat myself

I’m just reading

reading by myself here

and running a grain of fennel

around my teeth

crushing it between molars

and flicking it across my

two incisors and telling you again

look I’m just reading.


Did you know

I’m a liquorice woman?

I’m a pepper thing

I’m a girl with cardamom

stuck between her teeth

and let me say this one more time:



 Angie Spoto is an American fiction writer and poet with a BA and Masters in Creative Writing. She has lived in Austria, the Netherlands, and now lives in Scotland, where she is completing a Doctorate in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Her doctorate will culminate in a collection of fantastic and surreal stories that attempt to address the issues of domestic and sexual abuse. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous online and print anthologies, including SWAMP MagazineCrooked Holster, and From Glasgow to Saturn. Visit her website at http://www.angiespoto.com.


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