There’s nothing sweet and nothing green about Sweet Green Tavern. It may pump out the smell of coal fires and sit snug beneath snow-topped hills, but it is also surrounded by out-of-town mega-casinos and still flaunts the stink of chain-smokers years after the ban. What counts for the beer garden is a lay-by watched… Read More WISH YOU WERE HERE?
(AFTER MRS DALLOWAY BY VIRGINIA WOOLF) I didn’t know why the men were welding the fence, but my two cats were enjoying watching the sparks fly. The odd-jobbers were oblivious; intent on their task. Four hands working as one, four eyes hidden behind goggles. The old bat in the flat opposite was… Read More THE CLOCK STRUCK ONE
When I pull up outside the Dharma Express its shutters are down, but a flat-capped man in his sixties emerges from a white Skoda and encourages me to ‘step into his office’. “I’m here about the driving job,” I say, worried there’s been a misunderstanding. He nods vigorously, chewing on the stem of a Meerschaum… Read More DHARMA EXPRESS
They had all been so polite, trying to soothe her through their strychnine grins whilst shifting uncomfortably in their seats and avoiding her gaze. It was for the best, they said. She was getting tired, they said. She knew, of course, that they meant getting old. They had evidently thought everything out carefully, and had… Read More SWAN SONG
Flashes of pink in the frosty sunlight, from the elderly lady with her Precious poodle. She rests from hobbling to watch protective parents force toddlers across metallic monkey bars, whilst a shell-suited imp slurs abuse at his mother, across the graffiti-ridden jungle gym. “No! I don’t wanna fuckin’ go!” “Get ere now, y’little shit, before… Read More SITTING ON A PARK BENCH
In order to be slowly dying, to be held in that strange unknowable state of decline where the fibres of what makes you whole are beginning to pull themselves apart, strands turning suddenly into ends tearing at the tension beneath them, weakening, flexing, held together only by trust or habit, like a sweater which has… Read More SAFETY MEASURES
“Bite you???” “Fight me!” You say potato, and all that. “I can’t do this when you fight me. It’s impossible.” I annunciate, slowly and loudly, but there is still no sign that you have any understanding of what I mean. “I can’t take your jumper off when you hold out your elbows to the side… Read More ROUTINE