City Triptych by HLR


Thursday night in the city / 10pm-ish I think / I’m busy / doing nothing / watching / the girl in green as she trips down the escalator & cuts her knee / it bleeds a little & her friends scream. Apparently / once lost / sanity is hard to find; seeing is believing & I am blind [drunk]. I can’t remember exactly where I lost my mind but I might well have lost it here / Kings Cross no apostrophe / where the streets are mean & the people are mean(er) & I myself have nowhere to be & no one to see (I was meant to party with a drag queen but he’s pulled a sickie) & I must stop praying to a God who doesn’t believe in me & yes, the Eurostar is tempting—Montmartre in the morning—drunken dreaming? clearly: I don’t have the fucking money for properly escaping. And look at the men on a stag-do whistling / grinning / leering. Misery hates company but danger becomes me. Where I end up this evening remains to be seen but for now / for right now / it’s just me, Chablis & Sarrazin (Patti gave me Albertine for free) & the grime of city life trapped between my grinding teeth.


My London: where everything is hideously ugly & astonishingly beautiful at exactly the same time. A great place to die. Perfect, actually. So many faces / no recognition / no importance / common ignorance / united in division. Too many secret places to hide / tall buildings / lax security / Thames / parks / forests / lakes / the Heath. Bridges with no nets / platforms with no barriers / stations with no guard / bodies with no names / wards with no beds / crisis line ringing, no one to answer at the other end. Traffic / A-roads / North Circ. Drugs & fights & acid & knives & guns & so much fucking fun! Tragic & romantic & historic, MAGIC, the perfect place to disappear: out of the frying pan, into the melting pot: the perfect place to die.


Don’t look for me. If I can get lost
in my hometown, if I cannot find
myself, you haven’t got a hope
in hell. Don’t look, for me. Don’t.

HLR (she/her) is a poet, writer and editor from north London. Her work has been published by Emerge Literary Journal, A Thin Slice of Anxiety, HASH Journal, and many others. She is the author of History of Present Complaint (Close to the Bone) and Portrait of the Poet as a Hot Mess (Ghost City Press).

Twitter: @HLRwriter