The Mirror

Her morning tea, a large pot of turmeric and aniseed, a slight diminution from the whiskey, important for digestion and tired liver inflammation. She thinks about the mirror…

Manchester

f/10, ISO-1600, -1.3 step, 55mm, 1/80 sec

Layla

I found you in the newspaper on page 33, but sometimes, your sweet innocence annoys me like hell. But then I understand, how your life has become what…

The Orchid

On a Sunday, in the early evening, and I can hear this couple screaming endlessly in raged abuse. And I’m looking at them through the hedgerow, through blossoms…

Defiance

f/10, ISO-400, -0.3 step, 50mm, 1/800 sec.

Swallows

In the café on Rue Lepic, I sip on a little green fairy, a little Absinthe louche, a cloudy intoxicant storm, a dull release from the absolute, fennel…

Jazz

f/2, ISO-800, 0 step, 6mm, 1/25 sec.

Pavement

f/5, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/250 sec.

Oil on Canvas

My fingers touch dry strokes, from a brush, on a canvas from last year. So delicately you worked that piece. The landscape, brilliant greens and soft browns, ochre…

Drill Bits

In a drunken state of deep despair, I think about Dr Kazinski and his practise in the East End. I think about his posters, torn and wrinkled, showing…

The Salty Dog

Turn up the dial, bump it up a notch, make it hot, that gorgeous blue gas. Let them dance erratically on a cushion of searing oil, those demon…

The Dead Letter

That summer morning: humid, bright, and busy. The girls rush around doing homework, digging out plimsolls, and searching for lunch boxes for raisins, cucumber, and tubs of yoghurt…

The Coat

f/2.8, ISO-200, 0 step, mm, 1/1250 sec.

Père Lachaise

f/5, ISO-100, 40 mm, 1/80 sec.

Christmas Carols

Trombone, Trumpet, Tenor Sax, and Flute. Tightly compressed sound, moving through mist, to ears all around. Some near, some far, and some by the Ferris wheel. Others sit…

The Fairy

She arrived after lunch, on Sunday at around 2pm. Beautiful in white and brown, dancing and floating between aisles in a vortex of air on the slow train…

Pete

f/3.5, ISO-80, 0 step, 6 mm, 1/50 sec.

The Hi-Hat Solo

Foot pedal and cymbals, the beat, and the girl and the hi-hat solo. The audience watch her deliver from the shadows. “Hello Mr Jackson, your table is ready.”…

Atop Craigendarroch

I stitched and capered a sinuous ascent through the ferns and treacherous granite traps sharp as you like Knavish roots and vines snatching all the way at my…

Poor Hygiene

Fridge handle or front door, or maybe the button on the stereo. Poor hygiene and now the affliction of it. “Can you get some milk on your way…

Brushed Steel

Gentle hands in hard gloves working brushed steel, sparks from a welder’s wheel ricocheting in an arc like fairy sparklers, embers smashing into visor green becoming nothing, soot…

Zooyo

f/4.5, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/160 sec.

Persephone

Otherworld child emerging restored to set a gentle lingering squeeze on leg or arm. And so it begins: The way you clear food from your teeth with your…

Antiquities

Pastel shades, gold, and scarlet, splendid in the evening light. The room was largely decorative with plumes of grey and black and blue. They called it a masterpiece…

Archer Street

f/2.8, ISO-80, -2 step, 6mm, 1/6 sec.

My waitress Mary

Johnny Cash on the Jukebox, Walk the Line. In a truck stop with bloodshot eyes, all-night drivers, and builders in blue jeans with arms as thick as legs….

The Trader’s Bell

Maharaj and Co. General Suppliers, Established 1888. Large strips of scruffy Canadian pine cover the floor of the old warehouse. Sailors haul cargo from clippers, docked and resting…

Fava Beans

Tonight’s soup with crusty bread, as on Saturday, but tonight, with some Fava beans from Franks. A dirty window-box, overflowing from above, when I arrived. Poor Mrs Rodriguez,…

The Night Watchman

The brothel was cold, but inviting and the numbness of her panting, surreal. Unhappiness and self-pity. And then asleep, her snoring pleasurable, gentle in the murky slumber. Foul…

Manet

f/2, ISO-200, 0 step, 6mm, 1/8 sec.

St Augustine’s

Marked cards and letters, filling the top drawer, in a gleaming butler’s desk. Two long years, correspondence, and poems and notes of love and want. He remembered the…

The Funeral

Thinking back, thirty years, to that hazy day, a cool breeze moving cherry blossom petals, pink confetti swirling. A plume of blue grey rises up from a spent…

Bank Station

f/2.2, ISO-160, -1.7 step, 6mm, 1/50 sec.

Samurai

f/7.1, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/400 sec.

Sticky Rice

A wonderful evening with my daughter, with sticky rice and green tea; sweet and sour, her favourite. We laugh and she tells me stories about new love and…

The Line Dance

Clothes pegs, in a line, on a line. Little dancing people, moving to and fro, backwards, and forwards, this way and that. Elegant and charming, graceful in silk…

Columns

f/7.1, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/400 sec.

Tania

f/4.5, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/160 sec.

Broken Homes

It’s not easy avoiding them, on a dark path, in the early morning. Try in vain, the lack of light, but it all ends in tears. Hidden shapes…

The Snuff Box

He dressed eccentrically at the most, with striped trousers and a top hat bowler. And a long coat and gaudy shirt. His eyeglasses would swing on a chain,…

Uncle Patrick

In a dirty, dingy dive, in a dire haze of old memories, I sit with Uncle Patrick, dead quiet as always, with his Campari and Soda, to soothe…

The East End

Stilettos and hard black shoes, clack-clack, they walk the Christmas pavement. City dwellers and workers rush to the tube and pubs for warmth and bitters and peanuts in…

Oxford Street

f/5, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/200 sec.

The Priesthood

A dormitory and a single bed, two chairs and a corner window. Moments in solitude, time to reflect. In the distance, the low hills. Twenty-three weeks until the…

Photo Albums

The pictures taught him respectability. One of a young Jewish girl, with tattered stripes and the yellow ‘Judenstern’. Another of broken bones and ash cloud plumes above chimney…

Golders Green

f/3.5, ISO-125, -2 step, 6mm, 1/15 sec.

Easter Lilies

I toss a small cube of sugar into the mix, and watch it bubble up through the vodka and champagne. And you smile. And we talk about art,…

Inducing a Migraine

She serves the warmest smile, and pulls a perfect pint, her eyes like a goddess. Like Dionysus. Red wine in abundance, warm in texture and plentiful by the…

Reflection

f/2.8, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/500 sec.

Lorenzo’s Girl

I’m sitting at a pavement table outside Lorenzo’s, and a bus drives past, a big red bendy one with dusty adverts down its side. It snakes down a…

Hyde Park

Children on scooters, on hot concrete scootering. And bicycles with stabilisers squeak through a mass of mums and dads, eager to sit down before ice cream becomes a…

The Paisley Dress

Cold sores coming into flower, more than one, but less than four. A shiny pointy chin and white teeth beautiful. In a three-piece suit, he stands in that…

The Yellow Digger

Train-track engineering and planned maintenance. Hard graft. And that cunting yellow digger wakes them up at 7am. With dirty little teeth, it smashes away at virgin concrete clean,…

Broken Chair

f/4.5, ISO-200, -0.3 step, 50mm, 1/200 sec.

Escort Services

Amplified sounds from a short-circuiting buzzer, echo through a quiet hallway, a salvo of bursts ringing out into the darkness. She’s on time, and his primal craving of…

Elated No More

The elated cyclist smiled like a pony, after a lump of sugar. He had huge sunken eyes, and teeth like a white picket fence that protruded from a…

Pop Life

f/4.5, ISO-200, -0.3 step, 50mm, 1/200 sec.

Solstice

What brittle, keening wind is this that stings our ears and dulls the fingers? The coachman of the foulest season whose kiss lingers on bloodless, frigid lips. We’ll…

The Steaming Beast

Spring has sprung, and new blossoms burst. Hungered by the lack of fuel, the compost heap beckons him from across the garden, angry steam rising up from its…

Christmas Day

His nine-year-old loved her nursery, and she loved climbing trees, and reading her books about history, flowers, and trains. And she loved her father, and he thought of…

Page 33

Women seeking men, hard font on dirty paper, the Classifieds. Wanted:– Good looking, well-built male, to make gorgeous blonde, 29, happy again. Tina, Mandi, Brandi or Cindy, all…

Mice

I need something else, something other than the hum of silence that carries through my wide-awake bedroom. The heating thermostat clicks on, the temperature dropping to a bitter…

Stripes

f/3.5, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/400 sec.

Triptych

three sons of Uusimaa washed upon a foreign shore. the first shrugged and grunted and planted himself fast and there toiled to build a house rooted in worldly…

Columbus

A calm expanse, the body, broken and still, floating on an immense surface, vast and mighty. No alliance between man and ocean. the Sunday papers, trying to cross…

The Lady

f/3.5, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/640 sec.

Harvey

Tabloid revelations, the nation shocked, no surprise:- ‘Blair secret promise to Bush on Iraq Invasion’ On my table, a newspaper, a gin and tonic, and a tin of…

The Drought

Perverse, powerless, swelling in your barns, fruit and produce, blight and mildew. And on the land, the cattle fall. Frustration, sworn to soil and dust, the sand beneath…

Chinatown

f/2.8, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/80 sec.

Showman

f/4.5, ISO-100, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/160 sec.

Charlotte

I asked a girl on a train if I could take her picture. She said yes. It was a small portrait in black and white, with defined shadows…

The Evening Dress

Untouched, a beautiful size 12, pressed up hard against teeth in a cold vice gripping. Naked in isolation, she waits for a strand of cotton, and the dub…

Desideratum

A beautiful rose of England, an English rose, sitting on a winter bench reading Brontë, water glistening across a soft summer face, braces in a gentle mouth, smiling…

Early Morning

f/2.5, ISO-125, -2 step, 6mm, 1/15 sec.

Rachel Kadinsky

Soft fingers on rolled paper, red lips waiting. Please may I use your light? I flip the lid of my old brass Zippo from ’86 (the hinge sticking…

Tickets

f/7.1, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/400 sec.

Albion

f/3.2, ISO-200, 0 step, 40mm, 1/640 sec.

Little Bird

I watched you die, little bird, how you squirmed, the crazy cat plucking you gracefully from your aborted flight, crimson spurting, eyes rolling loosely as you slipped into…

Another Journey

Two days in my bedroom, with tins of super strength lager, and Lucky Strike cigarettes from Rachel. A headache again, the alcohol surging to inspire. Warm sentiments of…

The Clocks

Under the fluorescence of the beer garden, oak gleams white compared to pine, tables with places where ashtrays once stood majestic, coasters with pictures of maidens, and empty…

Volta

she’s charming software so exquisitely written each byte perfected mark you her plugins are tough to strip from my registry.

The Honey Jar

He tormented the natives almost every day, to the point that they refused to bring his tea and biscuits. Sometimes he would hide it under his hand, sometimes…

Rafters

Taut line of thin manila, rope creaking, on dusty rafters swinging. In your shame. On your record player, the crackle of stylus on vinyl dry, Nina Simone, in…

Andrew Fenner

f/3.5, ISO-80, -2 step, 6 mm, 1/30 sec.

Queen’s Head Yard

f/2.2, ISO-125, -0.7 step, 50mm, 1/80 sec.

Coffee

f/3.5, ISO-100, 0 step, 40mm, 1/1000 sec.

From Zerbst

Across the Russian wastes, towards Leningrad and Moscow. Across the flats, the galloping horses thunder on, the supreme Empress, pressing with God-Speed from Riga, before the snow and…

Spark and Flint

I don’t put faulty Zippo’s in the post for maintenance or repairs. Once damaged, they are kept safe, and stored in a small wooden box in my study….

John

f/4.5, ISO-80, 0 step, 6mm, 1/25 sec.

Black Bits

I’m sitting at a bar, with the bar counter blues. For some, anyway. Like last night, for example, when the girl with the flower in her hair didn’t…

The Night Veld

Outside on a spread of lawn, behind the fishpond. Dinner with Grandfather. Tender pepper thighs, and a splash of water, a table of reminded wisdom. Pockets of cropped…

Saturday Night

They wait on motorised chairs, and plastic seats, with stalks of shiny steel that rise up above balding heads and greying hair, bags of saline, intravenous prick. In…

Her Boots

Her boots and her laces tethered. And her shawl, sloppy around weary shoulders. Always the same. In the distance, a frozen lake, her absolution. Arctic crystals float by…

Your Last Orbit

Hold on a minute, did you just die, I can’t hear you anymore. Frantic, out of control, you buzzed your last, while trying to escape the blinding light…

Neptune’s Crown

My daughter called it Neptune’s crown. I guess it was. Once a shiny hubcap from a ‘76 Chevy, before it came off, and rolled into the river. Now…

University Braille

Technical diagrams raised a millimetre high. White glossy paper, shining in the glow of an underground train. Her eyes burn and squint erratically, her soft hands gliding smoothly…

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