Accusatory Glance

I’m lodging in a family’s house and it has thus far been uneventful, when the landlord looks at me
And says:
‘Have you seen our cat? Our cat has gone … missing’
Brief moment,
6 seconds approx.

He looks at me
Exhibits the sceptical strain that I’ve seen so often in security guards, bosses, lovers …
Words invisibly typed in the space

Between us

That say:

‘Did you


I sit at a group table
I can feel every atom of my body
And also as far afield as Pluto
I move my phone 20mm to the right

Then to the left
Outstretch my arm
Then stretch it back in again
Were they always

This long?
What’s next?
Oh, great
The indignity of

Asking for the
WiFi password

Future Proof

I was thinking about moving to the Hebrides and becoming a recluse, as buzzfeed reliably informed me you can get a two bed detached there for, like, £30k. I’d be totally cut off. No wifi, nothing. I mean I think you can get wifi there but I wouldn’t use it, you know? It would be the only way to know that I had all of my autonomy. That everything I was doing was for me, without all the fraught connections and approval asking eyes. I imagined simple things like the sound of me clicking the gas on. I’d notice all those little things in the Hebrides. I’d be very thin once my daily bagel habit had inched off the edges of me. In a sort of half haunting, half hot way. But then I thought ‘Sara! Just be a recluse in LONDON. That way, you could still go to the cinemas, the parks, and the libraries.’ Oh yes! Good idea. I’ll just be an
Urban recluse

Widening Scars

I can’t believe I said that
I can’t believe I said that
I can’t believe I said that
I can’t believe I said that
I can’t believe I said that
That was so bad

Don’t worry
No-one takes you seriously
I don’t even
Take you seriously
And I am you


I say:
I’m really socially awkward
Social situations terrify me

They say:
I don’t see this at all?
You seem very confident!

Then they
Attend a
Social event
With me

‘Oh yes, yes’
They say


She does her advice face and she says:
‘There’s two types of people you see, Sara, there’s radiators and there’s dr-‘

I cut her off:
‘I know
I saw that on Facebook and
I’m a

Save yourself’

It’s Just You

I would always say to myself:
Fresh start now

Fresh Starts 1996 – Present

Secondary school
Ok maybe not
Ok fine
Ok hasn’t panned out
This job
Ok no then
That job
Ok next one
Ok leave
Ok didn’t see that coming

Sorry – wait –
When’s the fresh start here?

Other People

Other people
Are better than you
Other people
Don’t destroy themselves as you do
Other people
Live better than you do
Other people
Love better than you do
Other people
Have more upper body strength than you do

Deconstructive Criticism

She said I was
Self absorbed
I thought
Oh god,
Am I?
I start thinking about how self absorbed I am
Like – a lot
Am with friends, ask them repeatedly
‘Mate … Mate … We can go back to you in a sec but first … Am I
Self absorbed?’
Am at a party
‘Hi everyone sorry can you all just stop what you’re doing for a moment? Thanks – listen do you think I come off really self absorbed? Yes? How so? Can you elucidate on that? Please tell me more about me’
Am at work, phone ringing off the hook but I’m thinking
To what extent am I absorbed in myself?
Am sat on the priority seat on the tube, a pregnant woman gets on but I don’t notice because all I can hear is
‘You are so self absorbed’
Am with family, but I don’t hear their conversing because I’m
Subediting a poem on the notes section of my iphone about a girl calling me self absorbed once

The years pass
I am increasingly
I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that
She might


I start these
Candid conversations
With people at
Really formal events
Start waxing all those lyrics about
Love, existence, et al
And they stilt, initially
Look at me as if to say
‘Should we be talking like this?
Is this … indecent?’
And I
Look at them as if to say
‘The universe wants this’
‘The universe demands this’

The Helm

It occurs to me that we mostly break
Our own hearts
What was it that she said again?
What was it that she did again?

She’s not even here now
She’s not even doing anything now
Was she

‘I think I made you up
Inside my head’
I think you made me up
Inside your head

Is it
Is it really then
Only our
Own hearts
That we get to

Tales Of Aching Alienation In Middle Class English Villages In The Mid 1990s

I remember I used to lie on all the coats on those
Dinner party beds
Listen to the white noise down there
I could feel the
Small talk
The small minds
The small food
Liked it up here
Felt safe up here
Floating on this little sea
Liked to rest my flushed face on the cold leather jackets
Liked the smell of day old perfume
Preferred the trappings of people to the actual people
Yes, I
Would listen to that
White noise
And I would wonder
What the appeal was of
Going downstairs
I would wonder:
Is there something wrong with me?
Is there something wrong with them?

And It Was All Going So Well

That moment
We all have it
You’re chatting away and you’re thinking wow this person is
This person has reawakened my
Joie de vivre
This is the conversational equivalent of
But then…
They say the thing
The heart sinking thing
And you think
Oh god
You’re a
Or a
Or a


Miriam says:
All your pictures are just taken of things
Like you’re just wandering around
I think:
Yeah, that is what I’m doing
But really I say:

Anyway shall we get coffee?


She said
What ya doing?
I said
Oh I’m just rewriting every conversation I had last year and posting them on my blog so I come off better than I did at the time
She says


She said
You look well!
I say
Yeah but listen let’s talk about the
Existential angst
I still don’t have any answers
I just got more questions
With glazed eyes and glazed tones she says
Yeah yeah I gotta be


Much planned for the weekend?
He asks
I think
I will perseverate about lost loves until I can barely handle it anymore
Torment myself with all the things I could have said, could have done, could have been
But I just say:
Oh, just a quiet one I think!


My father motions it’s a play
Then he points at my sister and me
And makes a cross sign
I think for a moment
‘Vagina Monologues!’
A silence ensues.