Violet laughter shot into the room via the two-and-a-half-inch gap generously yielded by the suicide prevention windows in the award-winning, architect-designed, university halls I rather reluctantly found myself in. (I’ve always had a thing about Wisconsin.)

Hen nights, pissheads, ravers, and druggies ensconced outside the Co-Op. “Can you spare any change, love?” (How often you’d use the word transcend.)

The passive voice is lilac.
It occurs to me that anorexia is the ultimate anti-consumerist statement.

Mango
in my mouth
spit
no will
to swallow.

My belly is a little flatter. Good. All I do is think. There’s no such thing as “too much thinking” (a man once told me), “only bad thinking”.

I Tweet: “Is it possible to make a room bigger if you dance in it?”
(No reply.)

“Forever – is composed of Nows –”
wrote Emily Dickenson.

I dance.
Naked.
I feel.

Importantly, Palenque.
2003.
I swirl my hair, think about cutting it,
but I won’t. I’m always saying that. I’m like Nietzsche. I indulge.

In Oaxaca, I swallowed ice-cold Corona. Lime all zingy-zu on my lips. My hair was my secret. I tied it back. Mostly.

I slip. My toes plot coordinates. My heels turn into hooves in the earth. Google: “Wisconsin geography”. Get: “Rolling green hills extend across the western third… Uncountable lakes (mostly small in size) dot the entire landscape…”

You called it a day.
Quite sensibly, some might say.
“Let’s quit while we’re ahead,” (working-class cliché).

My body swirls around the room like raspberry-ripple to ‘Fear is a Forest’, by Jen Cloher.

Touch is like a tourist
You know when you are home
It’s not that I’m a purist
I’d just rather be alone

Denudation,
my body, him.

On waking,
he is still the first thing.

Kurt Vile tells me he’s got a ‘Wild Imagination’:

I’m looking at you
But it’s only a picture so I take that back
But it ain’t really a picture
It’s just an image on a screen
You can imagine if I was though, right?
Just like I can imagine you can imagine it, can’t you?
I got a wild imagination

All the shops in the vicinity were out of cool-air fans. The assistant at Wilko’s was a Portuguese PhD student. He suggested we buy a hot-air fan as it had a cold-air setting. I said I didn’t want a hot-air fan.

I tried out the lift, and complained to some girl in the corridor about the suicide prevention window.

And I’m afraid that I am feeling much too many feelings
Simultaneously, at such a rapid clip

[Chorus]
Give it some time [x3]
Give ya some time [x2]

“It was the ambiguous loss. The cut off.”, I told her. We were in Room 18. It was a Friday.
Saturday. I tied myself dutifully to the bed in order to mark my allocation of twenty-nine Micro-Research Reports, which all happened to contain a near on identical ‘Limitations’ section under Methods.
I drank.
My throat, droughty.
(How you’d come at me from behind, smother me).

The word Arnolfini was stenciled onto the walls. Remember that student, Annie, who cried during her exhibition set up, as they’d misspelt her name with a ‘Y’ and she had to iron it onto the wall with her hands? Bristol used to be sectioned by tides. Crisscrossed with ships. Enchanted by lanterns at dusk. Luminous.
Now the harbour

floats.

I took to finding unpopulated jetties in the evening after work and lying down using my rucksack as a pillow.

Cutlery clinked
from a fifth-floor window.

Canoers sculled
quietly from the quay.

The raven-haired bookshop assistant with a fringe cut with a spirit level kept glancing over as I leant on a book tower to take notes on scraps of paper whilst reading. I picked up a yellow book because it was yellow: Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living(2018).  My fingers traced the prose.

Remember when you and Susan were late to her lecture at Kings?
Deborah talked about Freud.

You hovered in the aisle, hanging on
to her words.

“To separate from love is to live a risk-free life. What’s the point of that?”

 

 

slt-author-shot.jpg

Sam Lou Talbot is a singer-songwriter, poet, and artist of no fixed abode. Her debut album ‘Mer-Made’ (2018) can be streamed on all digital platforms via www.levelmusic.lnk.to/R03M0V 

Visit samloutalbot.com 

@samloutalbot

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