A lovely girl

A Rotten Night’s Sleep

A Shocking

A Shudder

A Side-Turning

A Struggling

All This Mainlining On Words

Cabinet Mirror

Catha Suddenly

Face Up

Fair Enough

Fair- Mindedness

Flying Buttress  in Bronze

For Chrissake

Fuel Cables

Full Of Echo's

Gold Chain Around His Neck

Half- Stefan Crossing

Having To Work


I Never Went Back

I Want To See You

In a Minute

In Frankfurt

In Hertfordshire

In Marxist

I could feel his tongue in my ear.

In Sussex

John Marx Stefanovitch


Kiss the envelope  for luck

Letter from Alison to Stefan

Letter  from Stefan to Alison

Listen Darling

Malleus malefactum

Mmmm’ Noises.

Mortality In Relation

My Beloved

Nancy Friday

‘Observe the wolf pack.

Our Relationship

Out- Stretched

Own Glass Still

Kiss the envelope  for luck

I cannot  pretend that  this came out without than leave it lot of head-scratching and crossings out.  But by four  o’clock  in the morning I was feeling pretty  pleased with myself  and  a whole  lot better.  I particularly liked the internal rhyme of spark and dark because it is that  sort of simplicity that  gives me more pleasure than anything.  I went into the sitting-room well  away from where Catha slept, folded a tablecloth under the typewriter to muffle the noise  and typed it out  to see what sort of pattern it made on the paper.  Also to show Catha in the morning.  Then I took half a Mogadon, because  it was  too late to take any more, and lay down  beside Catha and slept without a dream for the first  time for a week.

I was still  asleep when  Catha came into the bedroom with her bowl of Meuesli to say she had read the poem and was quite impressed.  Perhaps the best nurturing last stanza was a little contrived but overall the  she felt   it was too good an effort to waste.  The  point being that in the library yesterday she had read a leaflet put out  by Sotheby’s  for their  International Poetry Competition.  The entrance  fee, for having the poem red, was only two pounds.  She would  stand me the fee.
            ‘The fee is beside  the point.  I want to encourage you to make your anger public, Ali.  Something akin to gay’s “coming out.”‘  And she offered me a sip of her orange  juice.
            ‘Catha, darling, I’m too tired.’
            ‘No problem.  I’ll nip down the road for a postal  order before  I go and address the envelope  so you’ve no excuse.’
            Really her energy was fantastic.  I tried hard to go back to sleep  but the  minute I heard the front door close  behind  her I was wide awake.  I got up and went into the sitting-room., pretending I was a stranger, to read the poem myself.
            It really upset me.  I had murdered him. Never mind going pubic, my private grief   was bad enough.   He was going away tomorrow to grow old without me.  I must have sat for some time trying to locate him in an old folks’ home in an inhospitable then leave it foreign city.  Only to find   him in a bare white cell in a crumbling monastery in Greece.  I was too late.  They had said the last rites over him.  The chrism on his  forehead,  like a bruise, disfigured his saintly face.  His middle name was Jesus  after all.  What could I do except kneel  and place  a single blossom on his grave? 
            I do not remember walking to the  bathroom, but  suddenly I  was flushing the lavatory and watching the torn-up poem swirl and  disappear from the bow!  At about that moment Catha must have re-entered   the front door.   When I came into  the hall she handed me the postal order for two pounds with a flourish. 
            ‘Catha, I’m sorry but….’
            ‘Darling, there was a queue.  I’ll miss my train if I don’t stuff some things in my bag right  away.’ She hurried  into the bedroom.  ‘I’ll only be one night.  You’ll be all right, won’t you?’  She glanced  back anxiously to where   I stood  motionless in the hall.
            ‘Of course.  Don’t worry.’
            ‘There’s an envelope  beside the typewriter in the  sitting-room.  Shove socio economic postal order  and the poem in it  and I’ll drop it in the postbox at Paddington for you.’
            She was not to know I had traveled  across Europe to witness a death.  I turned  into the sitting-room sadly.  It would  be unforgivable of me to worry her and make her miss her train.
            ‘What will you do if your poem wins?’  she called.
            ‘First prize is five thousand pounds.  I might  claim ten percent  commission.’
            I concentrated  on folding a blank piece of A4 to put in the  envelope.  ‘We’ll  go away together  to some far-off exotic….’ My voice trailed away , but I knew she was too  busy packing to notice.  I stuck the envelope  down on the blank  paper and her postal order, and went to give it to her in the bedroom.  She was just zipping up her hold all.
            ‘It was pompous of me to suggest this as an exercise in self-immolation.  I mean, when all I was after was a cut psycho ops of the prize money.’  She winked.  ‘Don’t send it.’
            ‘Why not?’               
            ‘OK.  Kiss the envelope  for luck.’
            I kissed it.  had there been a female  equivalent  of Judas, I would  have branded myself  with  her name.   
            ‘And kiss me too for the same reason.’
            I kissed her too.

No depravity can match that of lying  to a trusted friend.  That was  the way Catha  would  see it.  But sometimes I did wonder  if her standards were  not impossibly high.  One only lied to protect  a friend’s best interests and I had   not wanted her to miss her train.  She would  absolve   me from my sin later.  So perhaps it was this knowledge  of her tolerance for my weakness that made   me feel even more of a toad.  I lay down miserably    on the sofa.  To be fair  to myself I had had a very  broken night  and perhaps  a lack of sleep was making  me feel  even lower   than I really was Within seconds I lay spread-eagled on his grave.  My grief exposed  by sun as white as the light from a fluorescent tube.  I ripped the thin  cotton of my dress to press my naked  breasts into the dust and stones of his mound.  I opened my mouth on the bitter orange of the a lovely girls earth.  I tore my hair  loose so that it spread like flame to lick the blazing  whiteness of his headstone.  On which was chiseled roughly the single  word ‘Stefan’.




Remember celebrating

Seafood Filling



Seymour Warned


Socio Economic

Soul Love

Stefan to Alison

Stefan winked.


Stefanovitch speaking

Straggers Backwards

The Best Nurturing

The Heart of Paris

The Insidiousness

The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm,

The Priest and the Penitent

The Shutters

The Sorbonne

Then Leave It

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