'Do you ever examine the gullies of the English countryside? Under the twigs, under the dead leaves, you'll find tennis balls, blackened. Girls threw them for their dogs, or children, for each other, they rolled into the gully. They are lost there, given up for dead, centuries old.' Harold Pinter, No Man's Land.
I tried to lose The Monk out past the lock, through the corridors of the market and the old horse hospital, where the smells of rising damp mixed with sandalwood incense and sausage fat. We headed out across the backstreets. The Monk liked to trump me with his experiences of Camden: pointing out a squat … Continue reading Camden Dream
'His usual mood was one of indefinite basic sadness. He had the dejected helplessness of an orphan -- an inability to fill the emptiness of life between the sensational events of meals. This was reflected in the aimlessness of his movements, in his irrational fits of melancholia, his sad whimpering and his inability to settle … Continue reading Nimrod
A wide bench, holding a laptop and an anglepoise lamp. A concrete floor decorated, perhaps, with a hard-wearing woollen rug. Pot plants to provide oxygen and a heater to see you through the winter months. Music, of course, coming from an old record player, with vinyl housed on metal shelves. Corrugated roof tiles, some of … Continue reading Perfect Space
I saw the sister of a long-dead friend in the alleyways behind the market. She stood underneath the awning of a fish-stall, ice melting around her feet, her reflection beaded on the bland eyes of red mullet, tilapia and grouper. We had known each other when very young, and I still remembered her as a … Continue reading Long-Dead Friend
They come in off the streetwith the clammy heat of city storms.Nearly men, chancers, clones,mostly vile. Clothes smeared with cocktail cherries, a smellof pickle brine and cordite.One thumbnail painted blue,ponytails, though they’re mostly bald. The glimmer of a fake horizonworks at their back, day for night,hotdog flesh, a painted skybut the stars are only pricks … Continue reading Midnight Movies
The unit occupies an annex towards the back of a Victorian building, around the backstreets of Waterloo. The floor exists in a state of perpetual disrepair, with lino torn up on the steps and corridors, faded public notices peeling on the walls; an air of an abandoned school in a nuclear zone. Desks are arranged … Continue reading The Unit of Disaster Management