Today I am that moment when you look in the mirror and see only that one spot
on your entire face. That cluster of blackheads on your nose, those few stray
hairs between your brows. Today I am that hungover moment in a tube station,
when you are scared your own organs might dishonour you, rack against your
ribs and throw you onto the tracks all guts and squished electricity. Today I
am corduroy rubbed backwards on your thigh on the way to work. I am the frizz
of a curled eyelash when you catch yourself with a pranked lighter outside a
squat party, trying to impress the girl opposite you chewing her bubblegum.
Today I am still cherryade at a school disco. A text message which won't
deliver. I am a missed appointment, an irredeemable voucher. A dropped call.
Today I am a retracted comment in a newspaper by an ex-Labour minister. That
empty vowel sound of woosh as a door slams closed.
Life in Dior
Today I am a black and white picture in a magazine with high circulation. I
wear Dior high-top sneakers, also in black and white. In that regard I am
street-wear inspired buffalo leather creating a trendy look. I am adorned
with little details, small things that separate me from competitors like when
the Burberry designers included hidden sections of material to differentiate
themselves from Top Man. An overall sign of increased quality. In this case I
am the leather strap with the cool metal stud around the top; the CD logo
heat-embossed on the heel; I am the 'Dior Homme' ring on the laces; the two-tone
rubber sole. I am a reference code of six letters and seven digits. I am £450
19 Kirton Gardens
I like it when no one is in the house and I can pretend to be the best poet
that ever existed. It's all about surprise and turning left, taking the
ulterior argument giving less than you should. I mean whoever thought of a
light bulb in a frying pan and said it was the birth of an idea was a genius,
right? I catch myself in the mirror sometimes, that's when I realise that all
of this is just shokuhin sample food in Japanese restaurant windows bought
for over seventy US dollars they look like a perfect imitation of food but
lack substance. In the morning I run downstairs with my cock waggling about
as I jump down to the lower floor of the mezzanine flat, in search of coffee.
Sometimes I think about the Asian children across the road in the tower block
who hang out on the balcony and think what if they see me? is it paedophilia
if they are the ones who get the camera and take photos of me?
The Dawn Dealers
Pull up your socks, shrug the hangover off: now, listen to me. Follow these
instructions. Go down Rye Lane, past Iceland. Keep walking past the weave
shops and the rip off bags and the girls with tar-gloss on their lips. Grab
an apple from the food stall. Don't pay. Keep going. Look for the sign in the
window of Mr Calvetti's for 'Private French Lessons - £30'. Ignore it. Nip
down the alleyway next to his house. You'll smell bagels and salmon and
chives and a mini Jack Russell called Pet will try and yap at your ankles.
Lick your lips, take a bite from your apple and turn on your heels--looking
left and right--dart down the steps and through the black door and you'll find
a bakery. Don't make small talk and don't eat the sausage rolls. Notice the
way people's eyes cling to you. Head past the woman in the white apron and
the jolly breasts. Don't hit her with your shoulder accidentally and when she
yells in a fit of Italian swearwords that you should not be in her house
reply: 'Don't worry; I'm just looking at your boiler.' Head through the back
and open the cuckoo clock on top of the CRT television.
Press your face into the small doorway and feel how the wood bends to meet
you, to fit you in and your whole head, yes, even your head, will slip into
the space. You'll see the sun. Men with nets, electrified, hauling in the
spread of day. There'll be flares that women chase with scooters made of the
whitest material ever seen. If you watch them long enough the image will shift
and they'll take long hooped rods and tie up the plasma of the raw star and
blow them like glass into tubes, vases, jars, glowing with the entire stretch
of the rainbow. Sunspots will shift beneath the flying carousel of people. If
you observe them long enough they'll turn to you, winking, as they bottle the
dawn into vials. Stay long enough and you will become one of them.
© Max Wallis