You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

Nana give us two pounds each for our dinners so I bought ten fizzy cherry chew bars and a can of apple tizer from the garage and saved the other 40p for afters.  It was hot and the chew bars had gone soft in me pocket and sticky and I’d got the sticky in between me fingers and round the sides of me mouth.  Our Nicholas didn’t wait for me so I was about two fields behind him down the path.  And he didn’t turn round when I shouted him as well but I wasn’t bothered because I knew the way and anyway they couldn’t do owt til I got there anyway because I was minding the ball.  I had it in a carrier bag and I did knee-ups with it while I was walking. Read the rest of this entry »


He’d read that in some Middle Eastern languages
the words for ‘grace’ and ‘rain’ are the same.
He had only a dim notion of a script, that is like
the movements of insects across muslin,
but he rearranged clouds into verses anyway
and knelt on the pavement, waiting for the sky
to melt into punctuation, wet his lips
with the relief of commas and quotation marks.

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It occurs to you sometimes that this dusty convenience store in the middle of nowhere is really the all-night mini-supermarket at the end of the universe – that people come inside and buy their tins of beans and their white sliced loaves and their two pints of semi-skimmed milk and then they go back outside and simply disappear into the void, that there’s nothing out there except dust and stars. It’s ridiculous, you know, just one lonely man’s attempt at distracting himself from his slightly pathetic existence, but it makes your job a little more bearable. It’s a welcome diversion, when you’re stacking shelves and sweeping the aisles and restocking the pile of Daily Mails by the cigarette counter.

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When the King died, the Queen and her ladies wove a tapestry that showed a beautiful horse riding across a dusky, mountainous landscape, a rider on its back. The rider wore a scarlet cape, a sweep of glowing red among the darkening hills, bright as the last ember in the ashes. The tapestry started small, but within days it covered much of the oak floor in the castle’s Great Hall, a pool of fabric around the edges of which the Queen and her ladies sat like silent bathers, weaving by sunshine and by candlelight. They did not stop to sleep or eat, to talk or cry, but weaved and weaved and weaved until their hands were leathery with calluses, and their fingers no longer felt the pricks of the needle. Read the rest of this entry »

Today you put on your dark jeans that cling to your figure and are stiff from the wash. Several minutes pass before you can really bend your knees. Then you choose your long, light blue shirt that makes you look skinny because of the way it settles in the hollow spaces behind your collarbones, then skims your body and buttons up tight at the wrists. You smooth your hair over your forehead with the palms of your hands, like you are stroking a cat. You drink strong coffee and check your appearance only once in the hallway mirror before leaving the house. Read the rest of this entry »

I do not remember exactly when Urania’s Mirror came into my life. I do not remember exactly when I first realised the extent of their influence. I do not remember the first day I felt the heat of their distant stars on my brow, now grown to the point where I sweat almost continuously. I do not remember the first time I felt the pull of their ever-increasing winds, their lost and lonely gravities. I do not remember when my life began to meander along the constellated paths already set before me by the cards, or at what point I lost sight of my life altogether. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dentist had seen all sorts of teeth at the academy – teeth skirted with tartar, teeth the colour of young corn, teeth with chasms plunging down to the nerve. Sometimes too, he had found teeth so perfectly formed, so stunningly white, that he would feel ashamed of his own smile. This kid, he could plainly see, had those teeth. Read the rest of this entry »

Oscar Petrovsky’s thirtieth birthday fell, as it did every year, on the anniversary of his mother’s death. Without fail his father Miche, conflicted by grief and the obligation to be happy, would put together a mournful party for his son. This year, true to tradition, the party was held in the back room of their river boat. And as always, there were only two guests. Read the rest of this entry »

When the sun was an hour under the sky, a man walked out of a wet, red town and into a spring morning.  The whistling of the birds in their beds was the only sound to accompany the slap, slap, slap of his feet on the wet concrete as he walked down the middle of the road. Read the rest of this entry »

A young man sat by a window in a harbour bar and watched the waves roll in.

His chin nestled into the curled palm of his right hand. His left hand lay still, cast across the table, encircling an empty pint glass and an empty plate. The thrum of an outboard motor cut the sound of the wind outside, coughed to itself as the throttle caught, then quietened into a low murmur which disappeared into the noise of wind and water. Read the rest of this entry »