"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



Slow Is The New Quick, Just As Quiet Was The Old Loud

If Jack and Megan White had grown-up
eating saveloys out of old newspaper, then
they might have sounded something like this.
The girl next door. The boy next door.
Rapunzel on perpendicular percussion.
Metrosexual Rockabilly on skiffle guitar.
Like old school-friends with grass-stained knees,
they coo-coo in perfect harmony as
Winter’s first snowfall flurries outside.
The yule-tide period is a notoriously
turbulent time for affairs of the heart.
I can vouch for that. Relationship meltdown is rife.
The number of break-ups suffers a razor sharp increase.
And so, Slow Club’s repertoire of busted-love strumalongs
and ballads about the impermanence of things, seem to me
to be all the more appropriate at this festive time of the year.
Between my feet, I’m cradling an exotic plant that's
still wrapped in its protective sheet of clear polythene.
It's a Euphorbia pulcherrima. Better known as a poinsettia.
It's flaming red foliage a long way from Southern Mexico
on this cold and icy December’s eve.
The girl who gave it to me, was worried
as to whether or not an exotic plant was an
appropriate gift for me to be taking along to a gig.
But I assured her that the poinsettia would be fine.
That it really wasn’t that kind of gig. And that
besides which, the seasonal bloomer might even end-up
benefitting from the whole City of Steel anti-folk musical experience.
It definitely appears to have grown a little taller since the start of the night.
But maybe that’s just my imagination?

Slow Club sing 'When I Go': Busking Bandstand Session



Single White Soulmate (Maximum Length 500 words)

I got off the train one stop early
and followed her down the busy platform.
She was wearing a patterned dress over thick tights
and a pair of loose-fitting flat-soled shoes that made her
shuffle a little as she walked towards the escalators.
Her shoulder length hazel-coloured hair
looked like it had been spun in a poppy-field
and then left to dry in the wild wind for a week.
Her cardigan had small holes in the elbows.
Her cheeks were lightly flushed.
And she was carrying just the right amount of
excess weight around the bustle and the corselette.
I followed her towards the fluorescent Way Out signs,
through the barriers and out into the glare of the streetlights.
And then she was gone. Consumed by a shoal of oily fish.
I never asked her name. We didn’t even make eye-contact.
It’s certainly possible to pick faces out of a crowd.
Godfrey Reggio’s film output is proof enough of that.
And so I continue to live in hope. And so I continue to let my gaze wander.
I’m looking for someone wearing Grandma’s hand-me-downs.
I’m looking for innovative use of multiple
hair-clips and designer spectacle frames.
I’m looking for a piercing too many about the ear
or the nose and maybe even the bottom lip.
I’m looking for lips recently stained by spaghetti gravy.
I’m looking for freckles in hard to reach places.
I’m looking for someone who scribbles
reminder notes on the back of their hand.
Someone studying the yellowing pages of a dog-eared
Picador or something published by Blacksparrow Press.
A girl you can imagine telling your darkest secrets to.
A girl you can imagine finishing all your sentences.
The kind of girl you’d dream about naming a distant star after.
The kind of girl you’d look forward to sharing a sleeping-bag with.
The kind of girl who could play the kazoomaphone
or knit herself a woolen beard. Preferably both.
But oftentimes, what we’re looking for turns out
to have there all along. Sat right beneath our noses.
Which is another way of saying, girls are a lot like philtrums.
Which is probably why the Ancient Greeks considered
the infra-nasal depression to be one of the most
erogenous spots on the human body.