A market stall in Camden Town
(After A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg)
What thoughts I have of you tonight Amy, as I stumble through the sideroads from
King’s Cross to Kentish Town, with a wine-dark head.
A wrong turn on Crowndale road, past the tattoo parlours inking hearts
and horseshoes in the early hours, to the stables!
What deep-fried prawns and what doughnuts! The Goths haggling for jackets!
Indie boys sporting band tees, punk girls in neon! - and you, Dappy, what were you
pocketing by the water?
I saw you, Amy, boney beauty, totter-toed wino, bumming fags from the rudeboys
and licking the salt from your chips.
I heard you singing questions to the mannequins. Why don’t you come on over?
What is it about men?
I followed you around the strange store fronts, trying on hoops and one pound
scarves heavy with the smell of incense.
We strode down to the Ice Wharf, gulped vodka tonics premixed in a bottle and
laughed at the tourists screaming at the pierced man.
Where are we going, Amy? The Hawley Arms will close at one. Shall we go to the lock
and watch the ghosts of our glory days float down the river?
(I croon Love Is A Losing Game to the crowdless dark, your death hits like a hangover).
Will we split an earphone wire and hotfoot to the Electric Ballroom? I can reapply
your eyeliner in the ladies loos, let me look after you.
Will we stare at the blue and yellow bridge, remember the Town as it once was, a
technicolour shelter for the weirdos, the lonely?
Ah, dear sister, fibreglass-thin soul singer, how could the pumping heart of Camden
not save you, doner kebab and sweet and sour noodle you to nourishment? Did we fail you,
moonspilled lover, sleeping alone in your apartment? How could we not see that you were
the one who was burning?
Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane
Pressing a laundry-fresh cape / renegade rows
in the front room / the smell of 3am toast / he
asks about your day / so he can tell you about
his /anniversary dinner, missed / empty-bed
nights picturing the girls tucked in the
crease of his bicep / remind yourself you
are the Planet’s best reporter / you do not
want to know about his day / an evening
when he sweeps you up and shows you a
canopy of stars / weeping in your arms,
homesick / a frontpage scoop / asking him
to make love with his glasses on / wonder if
you’re drifting / apart /on his knees with a
ring / green and glittering like Kryptonite /
Cat is a poet based in London, with an interest in exploring the human condition through
fictional and famous women, and her Turkish/Jewish family. Her work has been published in
The Rialto, The Lighthouse Literary Journal, Re-Side Magazine, and was longlisted for the
National Poetry Competition.