Showing posts from October, 2015

All that is left

Emma loved bookstores. The intoxicating smell reminded her of the library in her late parents’ house: the sweet scent of all things lost. She liked to brush her fingertips over the sharp edges of books showcased on spotless shelves, seeking forgotten particles of dust. She could hear the hidden letters whispering to her, like the voices of men who had long since passed away. On the last Friday of every month, there was a reading at the nearest store. Emma always made sure she got a seat at the front. She loathed sitting in the middle of the crowd, surrounded by the voluminous bodies of strangers pressing against her frail frame.  This particular Friday there was an author who was dear to her. She had been his devotee since she was young. A love from years past had introduced her to him - now every page seemed to take her back in time.    In agony, she pushed through the faceless masses streaming towards her on her way to the store. They were shoving her, knocking into her with the

The Apprentice Journalists

  A man was arrested for having sex with his bicycle. It was in all the papers from The Financial Times to the London Evening Standard.   ‘How did he do it?’ I asked my husband. ‘How should I know?’ ‘You’re the man.’ ‘This could only happen in your country, kiddo,’ he said. ‘Everyone here’s eccentric.’ My husband is American. Only one week later a man was caught having sex with his garden table, the kind with a hole in the middle for a parasol. ‘More painful than fun,’ my husband said, holding his crotch. We are apprentice journalists, my husband and I. We met at Southbank University, which has the worst record for out-of-work graduates. We think that’s why they took us. Good students didn’t apply. If you can’t be clever, be cunning. That’s what I say. ‘Have you worked out what these stories have in common?’ I looked at him slyly. ‘Sex,’ he said. ‘And gardens. Each of these guys was in his garden. Alone.’ ‘Alone but for an audience. Both

I will bring you red apples

I will bring you concord grapes, for you like the color of them I will cut the meat for you, in razor thin slices the nurses tell me to let you feed yourself to gain your strength back but you and I know your arms become more flaccid each passing night, and no amount of measured movement, will make that right I will make the soft cloth wet, caress the dirt away, for they scrub you like canvas, painted all wrong I will brush your hair, a hundred strokes as you did I will read you stories of children at play I will bring apples for your wooden bowl, to help us remember red, round things, beginnings, in a world before this room of endless ending   by Jim Cunningham