This poem, by Anne Mullane, is a bit like ‘I’d do anything for love’ by Meatloaf.
We are mesmerised by the word.
The one you just said.
In this brightly lit café
It lies between us
Acid sharp, it flays the table.
And the future lurches
And you are placed apart
Cut off from the herd.
You look at me, expectant,
But I cannot help you
I don’t know how,
I wasn’t expecting
Here’s an extract from writer Jeff Achampong’s latest novel…
What do you mean I need a pass? Kwik was right in the face of the doorman who stood patrolling the VIP area. Were on the list! The doorman took a step back and wiped the spray from Kwik’s tirade from his forehead and iPad screen. He cleared his throat. Im sorry, sir, you are not on the list because there is no list. You need a pass to access the VIP room, so would you mind stepping aside? Youre blocking the entrance.
Yeah, blood, come out the fucking way. All five of Kwiks group turned to see a crowd of eight or nine guys none of them looking like they were going to make it past the dress code check at the entrance.
Kwik turned to Darron and then back to the group noticing that they all had bottles in hand. Man, whats your problem, shut the fuck up and wait your turn. Dont you see Im chatting here? Jasmine and Sharon realising that this had the potential to go bad at any moment quickly unravelled themselves from Darron and Kwik, backing away.
The problems yours, bruv, not mine. One of them, who was holding a champagne bottle, pushed through to the front and went nose-to-nose with Kwik. Darron who had seen this exact scenario play out many times before where Kwik was involved, was about to push the guy back, but iwas taken by surprise as his friend Bram pushed him to the side and muscled his way between the two; careful to make sure he did not spill his drink on either. Chill out man, this ain’t worth it.
By this time, the Beastman from the main door appeared from inside the restricted area. He didnt need utter a word; the smile, along with his utterly impressive but surely steroid-created physique, was enough for all parties to know that Bram was probably right. Champagne-bottle man stepped back a pace from Kwik, took a swig from his bottle and looked over the two girls. Any of you gals wanna come in VIP? Come party with us. Fuck these losers. The doorman lifted the barrier and they bundled past Kwik, Bram and Darron and went inside. At least two of them made sure they stepped on Kwiks shoes on the way past, and Bram noted that none of them showed any sort of pass. Sharon and Jasmine looked at each other and then followed them through the barrier before Beastman slammed it shut.
The three of the group left delicately made their way up to the rooftop terrace which was inhabited by a dozen or so smokers, as well as a few couples chatting. They found a table and Kwik lit up a Marlboro.
Bram was first to speak, Well, that when less than well.
Kwik took a drag on his cigarette. Shut up Bram, I dont need your analysis right now.