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2 poems by Cat Turhan

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.


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