I’m such a bad Skyper! I keep looking at myself how I talk how I Zoom how I existIt’s just vanity I put make-up on today I putmake-up on which I haven’t worn in ageswhich has become my new standard ofdiscipline So you’re delivering this meeting this quiz this therapy this catch-upI’m sorry, but I … Continue reading We All Watch Ourselves on Skype
Defensive cubicles hide your growing apathy. It's like a musty scarf covering your mouth. You reek of printer-inked coffee-stained passivity. Dave's fluorescent "party" tie explodes through the room divider cracks. You're choking on your own groans by this point. An absence of light is followed by a chordof ABBA, strobes, a chorus of cheersthat's like … Continue reading Last Chance at the Leaving Do
You beat, after the drums You strum, low and monotonous Like factory smoke spluttering You are background Hurtled into musical oblivion When a guitar begins Twangy and static and Unmoving and angry Like metal scaffolding The building site underneath The roaring arena Until you are isolated Then the melody emerges Which you were playing All … Continue reading Bass Guitar
Little sister/daughter/girlblack ringlets frame your faceand gap-toothed smile.Bundled up in pink/purple puffy coatslike melted marshmallowswe explore our garden/jungle/forestmittened hands clasped.Little ladybirdscurrying behind the treesyou gleefully begin our game ofpretendingto be spies/heroes/mermaidsbefore retiring for the dayinto our lilac sanctuary/roomgiggling into the night scribing bunk-bed messagesfor the future. Sister/daughter/womanblack ringlets frame your faceand pierced nose.Cross-legged and poised … Continue reading Sister
The moment of Unspeakable DreadI have arrived at Sainsbury’sI left my shopping list at homeUnspeakableNot because my sieve-memory has forgotten whether it was regular or Thai basilDreadNot because I used my last notepad paper with the flowery trim to write itUnspeakable DreadBecause I now have to improvise what to cook for dinner which shouldn’t be … Continue reading Panic! at the Supermarket
Breathe in and out and notice Five things you can see cracked floorboards stretch away hair balls simmer along skirting boards iced with dust lost socks marooned under my bed Four things you can hear downstairs’ TV muffling outsides’ traffic distancing my breathing suffocating rain falling Three things you can touch cracks between the cracked … Continue reading Mindfulness
You say, Meet me here. It’s not far. You can work out the route. You say this at the far end of the sofa the middle has sunk down to form a cavern that I cannot navigate. Separated by this cavern by this cushion your arm straddles the gap to my side like a handlebar … Continue reading What can I do to help?
Minimum £300 for a gift please. As soon as Anna has typed the words, she winces, remembering what her mother said. “It’s because none of the guests are your friends.” She wheels back in her chair and focuses on the items on her desk; her line of vision is instantly drawn to the faint scratch-marks … Continue reading The Gift List