Skin hangs in bags around him,

He smokes in darkness.

Around the corner, his son

Waits for the lift home.

He tells himself,

There is nothing you can do about it.

In a city of men,

He would be the worst Dad.

His son would be the worst Son.

Self-induced desperation

Clings to him like nicotine residue

And stink.


Sun-flies and banshees.

A wendigo walks the roads of Nottingham.

Golems trip balls outside co-op.

Their spirits hooked on pills and cheap tinnies.

Nausea-nymphs fly through streets in miniskirts.


At the centre of it all,

He finishes inside a witch.

In virginal blood-cast runes on bedsheets,

The night ends the man.

The Basin.

Spencer held the others mesmerised, a circus clown at home with an audience. He was down on one knee, animatedly describing to a circle of peers his last fuck.

I passed through garbage-fire gloom and sat on the grizzled river bank, smoking and sighing. It was raining again, the kind of rain that greases the streets like semen on sheets. A community of wretches is a community nonetheless. There was thirteen of us in The Basin, ten men and three women. People were usually brought in by someone already living here, though the women had all turned up as a group. They tended to stay like that as well. Right now, they were sat against one of the tunnels walls, sharing a can. I wondered if they grouped up as some kind of passive defense against the desires of the men around them. Truth be told, I think most of the men here had forgotten what sex was, and if any copulation happened, it was hidden and desperate.

The rain began to melt the clay of the bank, and it bled into the water like a gigantic wounded animal lying on its side. Looking back into the underpass was like looking down the throat of the animal, the trash cans glowing like sickly glistening tonsils, the silhouettes of people and boxes lining the mouth. I suppose the trains which rumbled through could be the slow and irregular heartbeat, but it’s not an animal, it’s just a stinking place under a bridge.


I want skin on skin, in someone else’s fleece. I want faces to bite into. I want belly to stroke and a handful of tit. Pubic hair to idle a hand upon and wonder about going further down. Good god going down… I want another body to share the depression of my bed.

I want to evolve but worry I’m not. An infant who wants to be a foetus. A man shaped toddler. I want the womb back so I hold my breath in the bath but my lungs are too fucked to help me pretend, and I burst from the water with none of the wonder of a rabid new-born.

Baba Yaga.

Vasilisa looked at the old man and grew hungry. She watched, with hard eyes and pale skin, through a broken window in a derelict upstairs apartment. The man lay dead in the grey mud. Unconcerned light filtered in, produced by a morning that seemed to have lost the ability to bring worldly change with each sunrise. Every day just grew a little colder, and their hunger became ever more present, until it almost seemed like the stomachs inside them were ready to tear their way out and find a higher yielding host. Kliment had told them that the first time you swallowed a piece of person was hard, but it tasted better than rats and glue. She looked at the man, and she judged herself for a moment of empathy for whoever the corpse used to be. This city would not accommodate people who cared any longer, they belonged to the world before. Before an army surrounded the city. Before they had eaten the pets and the dirt-bread and the glue. Before, when mother was still there to kiss her eyelids and wake Vasilisa up for school. She turned to look at Alexei, who was sitting in the dust in the middle of the room, drawing on the floor with a piece of charcoal. Alexei would eat, she had sworn it to mother.

He was sketching a black house on the floorboards. Each motion of charcoal kicked up a cloud of particles, which swirled and danced and defined the bloodless beams floundering through the window panes. Alexei was beautiful, and if he died, so did she. He was still a child though, and Vasilisa wanted to keep him ignorant as to where their next meal would come from. At the back of the apartment was the fire escape, which ran straight down to the street. The stairs had been blown apart, but the building stood for now. Kliment had offered to fetch the man with little protest, he knew Vasilisa would not leave her brother. If people saw someone stealing a body, the police would come, and rumour had it that corpse-eaters were locked up with others of their kind and starved until they ate each other in their cells. People-eaters were shot on sight. Vasilisa felt sick as she watched for Kliment to appear on the street, and when she saw him a nauseous dread loomed from within her. It seemed to cocoon her, and she wondered what she would be when she tore her way out; herself or a monster? She thought of Baba Yaga; the child-eater from her mother’s stories.