Chumi Falls Out | Tincture Journal, Issue Twenty

“He went out for a walk. There was a group of ducks on the river, near the wetlands. One of the ducks swam towards him. He told it to fuck off, and it moved away. He sat on the edge of the river with his legs drawn up, hugging his knees. It was a warm morning, so he took off his shoes and socks. His socks were slightly damp where his problems had seeped out through the soles of his feet. He dangled his feet in the water. The ducks swam away, far from the slick of worry on the … Continue reading Chumi Falls Out | Tincture Journal, Issue Twenty

Playful Arrangements | from Roomers #59

He’s up with the birds, usually. Before them, even. Reeling at the shock of cold water splashes on pasty skin. This is always where the day starts: staring out into the sky, into the depths of dark yard silence. Waiting for light to peel over the edges. In this way, he considers the things done the day before, and how these activities might easily become those for the day ahead. He could visit once again the strangers who live by the bridge. He could stare along the river’s reach, towards the lumbering shipyards, and at the fishermen dotting the rocks. … Continue reading Playful Arrangements | from Roomers #59

Front of the house

Look at him working. The way he smiles at every customer. He’s impeccable. But when he goes to his room at the back, at the side of the kitchen, the smile is gone. He sips clear liquor from a teacup, swears under his breath, and watches everything through the small glass in the door. When he sees a new customer, he’s out to greet them, bounding over, showing them to a table. Then as he bows slightly, moving away, he nods to a waiter to bring menus, water. He returns to his room, sits down, stares through the glass, sips … Continue reading Front of the house


‘None of this is real,’ he said. ‘Didn’t you know that? Did nobody ever tell you?’ ‘They told me other things,’ I said. ‘Stories and rules. But not that. These trees, and the sky: they’re real, aren’t they?’ ‘None of it. All of it doesn’t exist. It’s a confection; as real as a puff of dragon’s breath.’ ‘But dragon’s breathe,’ I said. ‘And I exist. My skin is warm.’ I took his hand, and placed it onto my bare chest. ‘ Where I touch myself, here. There’s life beneath my fingers. Can you feel it?’ ‘It’s illusory. All of it. … Continue reading NOTHING


I woke in the dark. The cabin stank of stale cigarettes and beer. I pulled on all of my clothes, but couldn’t find my shoes. I walked barefoot up the steps, leaving Cubby’s hulk snoring in the dark. The moon was huge and the light falling on the deck was bright grey and harsh. The boat heaved. I rubbed my eyelids, shivered, and pinched a large painful grain of sleep-sand out of the corner of one eye. It felt satisfying to roll it round in my fingers. We were floating in swollen inky water, overhung with the moon. I coughed, … Continue reading Cubby