She strings out the wracked cream undershirts of sailors along the stones, Wraught with salt, the sea laps lapels, starches the soiled seams, And the pebbles snuggle up against the buttons. The sea marbles her feet, nails varnished, classically artful in coral. Nausicaa pulls her hair from its tie and lays it in the water, The fish swim in its darkness. Molluscs hanker from their rock grips for the tendrils of tenderness opening and closing their puckered lips towards her, ruffled like feathers in the wind, Poor shells. The crabs stagger to be near her. And Nausicaa’s cheek is pressed against the sand, She has closed her eyes and is imagining it’s a hand.
The trope of the bridge is extremely useful when thinking about the space of launderettes and the spaces occupied by washing-lines. Waiting rooms and bridges are spaces between. Neither here nor there, they occupy the same emotional realm as held breath, paused clocks, and the decks of ships pointing out to sea. This is part of the pleasure taken in the launderette, a pleasure which has been transferred in modern advertising to the pleasure of the random sexual encounter, clothes to one side, all bets are off, anything could happen.
This Friday we saw NEW HOPE FOR THE DEAD in a hay barn amphitheatre in a carpark in Peckham. I like seeing people climb into windows made of hay and then fall back out. I like Campari cocktails and cheap white wine spiked with elderflower cordial even more. The night was one of good smells, end of the world viewscapes, backward caps, pulled up socks, and poems about YouTube sensations and the arts cuts.
The night is a literary review hosted by Florence Welch and Stuart Hammond. They had seven living writers read words they had written before reading words by someone dead. The readers were Sam Buchan-Watts, Rachael Allen, Matthias 'Wolfboy' Connor, Sam Riviere, Heather Phillipson and Craig Brown.
Thinking about the internet often makes me want to cry so I'm not sure how I feel about writing about it. The poets Rachael Allen and Sam Riviere managed to do just that very beautifully and succinctly. You can read Sam Riviere here and Rachael Allen just below.
Boxxy you are the home of the anonymous.
I liked to read on you all my false news
it went across your head like
The Financial District and how you glowed
with it. I got tipex and painted you
as an angel on my childhood rucksack
and wore you proudly to school
you’ve got the kind of fame of girls
Who killed other girls in childhood
I wonder if you’ve ever seen lamposts
In LA? Do they have crabs where you are?
Sometimes everyone thinks you’re dead.
I saw a rainbow today but it had nothing
on you. Your eyes held entire months
of teenage summers when my skin smelt
of a scented diary from the garden centre
or an Impulse set from Safeways
anyway I think where we lost you was
somewhere in the Californian sun squint and glare