The week after

The week after, I’ve been left with flaming wreckage. A plane engulfed by biting fire and yapping sparks has been laid at the foot of my bed like a weak old party balloon.

“Is this what courting is?” I find myself saying. Sounding strangely like a grandmother with clotted cream hair and purple eyelids.

Is it supposed to be buried beneath a flurry of sexualised messages, dirty whispers and cyber seduction? Is this how dating goes in the modern world?

These otherworldly, devilish letters and icons lead me through a maze where the end point looks to be a thick fluffy duvet and steady breathing, moaning. Crumbs lurking beneath writhing derrieres, squashed by midnight blues and swollen purples, beg for mercy.

Where’s the inane chat? The everyday tube dilemmas? The tepid English air making you croak out messages of discontent and strife?

The ‘whatcha been up tos’, the ‘how’s your day goings’ – those have frittered away in the sweat-saddled heat, morphing into ‘i want you nows’ and ‘talk dirty to mes’ and that’s where the courting feels alien. Messages sent from another planet from a little green man with an erect penis.



We swigged

And I suffered through a glass of tepid, flat prosecco

(Complimentary so failure to chug was not an option)

Then the glass turned bottle-shaped

And bubbles pierced my lips and throat

And I’m pretty sure my teeth groaned after being sugar-slapped.

After three glasses each (or two?) the bottle was empty

Like an abandoned alcoholic barnyard

Snatched off our table by a server who brought us pizza too late

And our bill too soon.

I’m sitting there swigging fizz and swallowing bubbles

And then I’m quaffing double vodkas

Served in cups which are too small

The spirit explodes in my mouth like a bomb made of fiery gasoline

Meant for cars not people surely

But dancing helps, and I soon forget I’m sipping burning sludge

And it’s onto the next, and then a shot

(Because why not?)

The hangover is awful and obscene and my tongue feels like a bristly rug

That’s been soaked in alcohol and doused in fuel

My brain is fried and my lips are chapped

All this for a boogie?

I can’t tell if it’s worth it or not.


Cockroaches are underrated

They’re universally hated

For being oh so dirty

And a little too flirty

With mess and food

And people’s shoes

So they’re stamped on and crushed

Or down the toilet they’re flushed

Gut reaction is to squash

And give your hands a good wash

People don’t realise

A cockroach can survive

Atomic bombs and other disasters

And at playing dead they’re total masters

So how about we cut ’em some slack

And refrain from taking a WHACK!

Stop objectifying chicken tikka.


for the stomach


for the soul

masala mayhem ensues.


A creamy layer of coconut and almonds

topples on top of chicken chunks

and lips are licked

while throats yawn open

like snapping crocodiles.


In and out

feeding frenzy

bite and swallow

love at first sight.


Indian food, will you marry me?

so I can plant a sloppy kiss on your spiced cheek

and live happily ever after

in one big billowing poppadom orgy.


Chutney smothering my chops

Naan bitten and torn

ripped and ravaged,

undressed, unpeeled

on our first night together.



for the stomach


for the soul

my ever-lasting love affair

with chicken tikka masala.


The House of Meat

I recently moved back home

and I guess I didn’t realise

How much meat is sliced and diced

Within these blistering walls.

Every day there’s chicken in the fridge

And pork in the freezer

A mint jelly pot lying dormant in the cupboard.

Chicken and veg sitting stupidly on a Sunday, Tuesday and Friday plate,

Chicken noodles rammed down my gizzard

At least thrice fortnightly.

Burgers on a brushed aluminium barbecue,

Flipping and flopping and spanked by a spatula,

Juices ooze and red sizzles.

I’ve had enough of meat,

I’m sick of chicken,

Fed up of pork,

Had enough of beef.

I never did like turkey

So thank Christ that never makes it onto the menu.

Maybe when I move out

I’ll start to live off pasta, rice and veg again

Because here you can’t eat anything

Without a little bit of chicken

Slipping into the mix.

(Sorry, Mum.)


Sundays are the worst.

That choking pre-work anxiety

Creeps in like Sunday doom.

Rain spits at window panes

And boots line up by the front door,

Caked in mud, smothered by weekend walks

And forest frolicking.

That insufferable discomfort

Of wanting to do everything and yet nothing at the same time

Creeps in like Sunday doom.

Hours in front of the TV feel wasteful,

Next to the promises of Instagram’s brunches,

Bottomless, boozy and bubbly –

Outings with the #girls.

Gym trips, sweaty brows,

Abs everywhere you turn

And asses everywhere you swipe.

They swap the cardio for avocado

And weights become waits,

Long ones outside cafés,

Bruising noses up against glossy menus

And fighting for seats beneath rainbow parasols.

Summer Sundays suck

Unless you’re chugging prosecco

And scoffing smashed avo.

New Orleans

We plodded down south in his red little car, the sun spewing its rays onto the chipped windscreen and me with my knees bent, resting against the dashboard, inches from my eye sockets.
Rolling into New Orleans listening to a mind-bogglingly awful podcast about American diabetes, we took shelter in somebody’s shed at the bottom of somebody’s garden. We were greeted by air conditioning units (thank Christ), a fluffy queen-size mattress and a bathroom whose toilet hung onto the wall by a thread. The previous guest, a beastly cockroach perched in one of the shower creases, had to be escorted out somewhat forcefully.
Beads of sweat covered me during those first few days in New Orleans. A boozy tapestry of dim-lit bars, brightly-coloured beads and dirt-ridden vagabonds met us at the entrance to Bourbon Street. Locals and party-goers chugged slimy-looking cocktails out of red plastic cups and then tossed them into the gutter, narrowly missing the little black boys’ feet.
They banged on upturned buckets and cones in a bid to hustle a few cents and I myself stopped alongside them a number of times, watching the sweat pouring from their brows to their noses and soaking their lips.
As we meandered down this hellish time capsule where street boozing and pissing in alleyways is par for the course, somebody hurled a load of beads at me from a raucous balcony and Boyfriend went berserk.
When the fire in his eyes finally died down, we sipped Amaretto sours in a quieter pub and watched a jazz ensemble empty their lungs into the pores of their instruments. We stumbled across voodoo stores with eerie dolls peering from the windows and great big sinister lettering plastered around the walls. We didn’t go in, I was a bit too afraid.
And then we capped our nights with feasts of authentic Jambalaya, orgasmic and unparalleled. Rice flooded the plate, shrimps tossed and turned beneath a sea of salty veg and silky meat. We made our way home, bellies full and lips moist, and then headed to Nashville.

La ruptura.

Tan pronto todo se empezó, se acabó.

Dos años y medio a su lado,

Sus labios ya no se acercan los míos.

No los buscan, no los acarician como hicieron antes.

Él, años luz de donde estoy yo, ahora,

Viajando por un país de peligros, incertidumbre y

Caminos torcidos como espaguetis.

Conversaciones por teléfono, permitidas por el wifi

Nos permiten estar en contacto

Y de vez en cuando empiezo a decir “te quiero”

O “te echo de menos” y me tengo que parar

Como un gran semáforo rojo que nunca cambia a verde.

Mientras tanto, me busco la vida aquí,

Abriendo puertas, cerrando capítulos de mi historia

Pero la puerta entre él y yo permanecerá media abierta

Media cerrada hasta que uno de nosotros se canse de la distancia

Y de las palabras que añoramos decir pero no podemos,

Hasta que él encuentre novia

Yo yo encuentre novio.

Coughing frenzy

I say a massive “fuck you” to the cough gods,

For leaving me a spluttering mess at 1am.

Gasping for air, choking on imaginary bile and stupid cat hair,

Spray leaves my mouth in a hideous display

Of air-desperate fury.

A tickle turns into torture,

Ribcage about to burst through skin because it’s been ravaged raw

By the surly beast that lies within.

Laying here like a purple blob,

Window wide open, inhaler in place, water ingested,

I’m the latest victim of a particularly nasty, heinous cough

Which I can’t seem to expel from my body.

Books upturned underneath my bed legs,

So I’m sleeping diagonal, head inches from the wall and feet slumped over a lavender duvet.

Moments pass and the cough lies dormant

Before erupting into an abysmal growl and I start spraying my innards into the palm of my hand,

Wretching into the toilet because I think I might sick up tonight’s chicken and veg,

My nemesis slides back in and leaves me a quivering mess on the bathroom floor.

Mental note: 1am is when it wakes.


As we rolled into Florida,

Pink, tasteless, gut-wrenching, blossom-coloured buildings

Adorn the sidewalks with big lettering

And lopsided decor.

Wide shopping strips full of Disney discounts

Arouse passers by with promises of cheap thrills

And bloated rollercoaster rides.

Applebees, Taco Bell, Red Lobster and Krispy Kreme kiosks

Make young mouths water and old wallets yawn open.

Guzzling Dr Pepper at a Chick-fil-a,

That famous southern hospitality surrounds me.

Please and thank you and door holding and excuse me’s ring through the air,

Orlando residents go about their busy days,

Ambling along highways practically co-owned by Disney,

Or at least it seems that way. Big, bulbous billboards featuring Mickey, Minnie and Pluto

Sit next to Florida orange juice deals

While Universal’s coasters perch idly in the background.