When it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad I go to pieces

How I always bought 4 pound flower bouquets at Sainsbury’s, most often carnations, and how he used to complain: You’ve almost hit nil at your account this month, why on earth do you persist in buying flowers twice a week? But I always felt better afterwards, and our tiny and somewhat shabby Camden flat felt more like a home. I remember those endless days I had off, waking up early afternoon, preparing a full breakfast orgy followed by chain smoking in the window waiting for someone to call and suggest we share a bottle of wine somewhere down Kentish town road. I was always longing for something else but I also knew that it would never be any better than this. So I kept stealing time and created memory images of nostalgia experienced in advance, just to stock up and send off to an apathetic future me.

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in magazines

marilyn2

framing girls in hotel rooms, staring absently at distant corners. the moody look and crossed-leg pose among snake-like smoke fumes. girls on fields with waves of flowers. framing girls in urban settings, Brooklyn beauties stiff as arrows, behind the bars of inhibition, girls with sunset mouths, unattainable girls, soft and sweet, a sticky exhibition. girls with the forced smiles of american dreams, a plastic gaze, continuous love-themes. framing girls artistically, the long neck and suggestive shadow. boys frame girls in the fading day-glow, oh the simulacrum.

the turn of the key

skog

as darkness falls around me, wrapping me in its cold cloth, my body is pushed backwards, further and further down. the hours eat my insides, tearing flakes of flesh like warm artichoke from the walls of my stomach. in a northern forest somewhere a girl slowly turns her back to clueless wanderers, revealing nothing, a carved out space. I bury my head deep beneath the layers and listen intently to imaginary sounds.

and you will see us coming!

M.Cohen Lillian in Swimmin Pool I take to the streets barefaced, blotchy red like a skinned chicken. the Archway pool is a children’s leisure pool that some weekday mornings poses as a laned pool for professional swimmers. the men in the fast lane once held a noisy amateur competition, reminding me of the school game ‘blood coin’, where boys would shoot coins at each other’s knuckles until the blood stained their books just to avoid being called ‘gay’. but today the fast lane is empty and I make it all mine, sliding through like a proud eel, past the middle lane-men and beyond. the outside world is reduced to a dull blur that rests numb beneath the whirlpools, the dense mass of water.