Issue Five



The first time I injected steroids, two years ago, I decided to pin my right quad. I drew the oils from the vial into the syringe with a thick 19-gauge pin, changed that for a 25-gauge, warmed the gea… Read article

The Long Slide

Decidedly it will never have been given to me to finish anything, except perhaps breathing. One must not be greedy. (Malone Dies, Samuel Beckett) Too many people are opting out. It was always expecte… Read article

A Guest

Dusk was falling when we overshot the turning. It was a Sunday in early spring, and it had been a warm day, but now, as the sun weakened in the hedgerows, the air was beginning to return to a brittle … Read article

Beyond Repair

It was unquestionably broken. No doubt about it. Looking away then looking back hadn’t improved the situation, nor had closing my eyes and wishing really hard. The basement floor where I stood was s… Read article

At Haworth

Wordsworth compared his work to a 'gothic church', while Proust wanted his fiction appreciated as one would a cathedral: to writers with a sense of their own grandeur, the book is a blueprint of a mag… Read article

Hope Behind Bars

On a hot day just outside Cape Town, a group of young men kick around a football. Bouncing it off their knees and heading it up to the sky first, they then complete one drill after another under the b… Read article

Three Notes in Scotland

1 It is already late in August when we catch the train north, but in Scotland the branches are empty. Pallid fruit cling singly here and there to the few apple and plum trees in my mother’s garde… Read article

Grandpa Budgie

Crackers used to fly freely around our old Oxfordshire farmhouse. He was free to escape, but he never did, and free to sit with us, which he did often. His favourite perch was Grandpa Budgie’s head.… Read article

On the Pill

…the women come and go… (T.S. Eliot) Tuesday. It says, as I pop the pale yellow pill through the foil. The passing days terrify me. Is this how I will measure out my life? With Dianette? I am 18… Read article

On Not Sitting Through It

It might as well start with a queue for the Gents: but it starts, when it starts, with a man in a chair. A thick-set man in an armchair, with grey beard and unkempt hair, who’s lowered through a tra… Read article