Two Hundred and Fifty-One.


Izzy circle


‘How do we collect so much bullshit over the course of our lives?’. Alice doesn’t mean to be particularly critical or negative as she thinks this, it’s simply a question. This is a crushing weight. Alice thinks how lovely it would be, how neat, if someone had an answer for this, a straightforward solution or a simple formula. She would really like some water. Maybe that’s all they’d need to solve the crippling tonnage, the emotional blockade colonising the houses and minds of the people on ‘Hoarders’. The only water she can see is a grubby puddle a few feet away. If we definitively knew how it was we ended up trailing so much junk behind us, surely we’d be able to make concrete decisions about it. It’s getting hard to breathe. Perhaps there would be a printed guide to let you know whether you needed two TV sets or three, or a new one. It is a bad sign when you breathe and your ribs don’t move. A desktop computer. The weight is unbearable. A laptop. It’s starting to shift. A tablet. This is a landslide. A smartphone. She’s almost under. And of course, a landline too. Swallowed by it. An abmaster pro. The husk of a microwave blocking the last of the light. A bread machine. She’d always wanted a bread machine.


Sarah circle


Well there’s a burnt butter moon riding high up tonight
burning cigarette holes in the black velvet sky
and it’s time for the show out on Marylebone street
where the gold-painted strippers are coming alive
and the tired old businessmen are opening wallets
and digging through pockets for rattling change
that the dry-cleaners left when their suits were last done
and they’re hoping their wives don’t clue into the game
all the thighs of the women are snaking up close now
and the music is moaning, it sounds like it’s crying
the lights sputter down through the haze and the incense
and the sirens are dancing for a million eyes
a corseted redhead begs a man to untie her
and his fingernails snag on the knots in the ribbon
he whispers denials to his lover back home
in the back of his head as the silk falls away
the glasses are ringing like bells chimed at Christmas
and the teetering barflys are grinning like wendigos
god comes up strutting and orders a whiskey
and settles down central to take in the show



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