Between the Sheets | Ashley Obscura

We’re excited to introduce a new feature on the Nox Journal: Between the Sheets, featuring art, writing and interviews with the women behind some of our favorite work. For our inaugural feature, we’re talking with Ashley Obscura, a poet, editor and publisher based in Montreal, as well as sharing some of her poetry.

As head of the literary press Metatron, Ashley’s busy professional life includes reading and editing submissions to the press, giving readings, and working on her new book of poetry, Ambient Technology, due in 2018. Her work, characterized by a sense of both intimacy and immediacy, is both familiar and wonderfully extraterrestrial, a kaleidoscope of visions, sensations and impressions.

Check out a few of Ashley's gorgeous poems, and an interview below 🌈✨



When you come
I feel relieved
To no longer be
Moving towards something
But in it
With you
When I come
I feel relieved
To no longer be
Aspiring towards something
But in it
With me
When we come
I wonder where it is
We become one
And what it feels like
To stay in it



Sexuality is the heritage of our technology 
Like how a neuron produces awareness 
God particles in pleasure
Our bodies are channels
That can be empty and full simultaneously
That can feel
Like every part of us has the right to exist



Somewhere where the darkness is 
all the stars are clapping their hands 
in amazement of us. We share the 
Same Desire. My fingers release 
your eyes, receive your fingers, 
receive flowers all night under 
the constellation of your stare. 
With nothing to hold onto. Building 
the dream we dreamt together. 
Letting go of something we never 
even held. Whispering There is no 
returning without going and no going 
without returning. So when you draw 
back, I advance. And we stay that 
way—standing in the desert of our love. 
Cleaving the ether amidst the sparkle. 
Counting the choir of crystals inside our throats.



This feeling opens like yes
Like a flower
It won’t open forever
But I want to let it try
For as long as it spins
And it does move me
This feeling is a portal
From one place to another
And my heart feels warm and heavy
And safely placed
Inside of me 


Hi Ashley! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a Canadian-Mexican poet, editor and publisher. I run a literary press called Metatron, which puts out collectable pocketbooks by some of the most exciting young writers in Canada, and beyond. I do view my work in publishing as an extension of my interest in community-building; of making meaningful change in the world. I want to highlight and celebrate a diversity of perspectives, while also creating a sense of togetherness.


What is the role of self-care in your life? Do you use it to control stress, or just be present with yourself?

Some of my favorite ways to show myself some love include: soaking in a bubble bath with Himalayan salt crystals, turning my phone off, getting my nails done, Debussy, buying myself flowers, reading in bed, dancing, taking walks in nature with my headphones on, remembering that I have a choice as to who and what I engage in.

With this said, there are also times in my life when I’ve embraced destruction as a form of self-care. Sometimes we need to burn it all down and start anew. We often think of self-care as making healthy choices, but I do believe that self-destruction can be a form of self-care at times in our life when our pain exceeds our desire to be good.

Sometimes I need to get wasted and stay out dancing until 7am—sometimes that is my form of self-care.


Can sex be a form of self-care?

I remember so clearly the moment I first made myself orgasm. I was like, “What the fuck was that?” It was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced, and still is. Making yourself feel good, let alone ecstatic, is a powerful spell.

Sex with others is the most vulnerable you can be with another being, and I am definitely someone who has a fascination with the possibilities for transformation through vulnerability. Sex is healing. It is our holiest, most sacred tool. We can be both deeply wounded and deeply healed through sex. Hopefully it’s the latter, but it’s important to note that sex is a powerful energy that can be and is used against people. It is a tool that people can and do abuse. It depends on the context and whether or not its coming from a place of trust, respect, consent and love.

I often think of sex as being a means to reset my energetic frequency. We all have our own energetic signature, that can get out of wack sometimes due to stress, fear, or whatever. Achieving orgasm, with yourself or with others, allows you to reset that energetic signature and start anew. It’s kind of like restarting a computer, but with your body.

I personally prefer having sex with someone when there is love between us. I can let go more if I trust the person I’m with, which is something that takes lots of time and communication. The best is when you cum at the same time as your partner. When you see colours. When you find yourself shooting through outer space. When you feel like a cosmic flower. When you can feel your body tingling like a galaxy of stars are kissing your every atom.

I have viscerally felt, through orgasm, that I am plugging into a universal system. It’s self-care to the max.


Do you see writing as an act of self-care?

Certainly. Writing deepens my connection to myself—to my thoughts, feelings, dreams and fears. It's a tool I can use to reflect and gather information about myself and the world around me. For me, being in touch with myself by listening and honoring my subtleties is ultimately the whole point of self-care.


Follow Ashley on Instagram @ambienttechnology for more poetry and updates on her upcoming book.

All photos by Brad Casey.