On Margate Sands

by Octavia Bright

Margate is a thirsty place. Its switchblade tide draws back so far that by the time it turns the shore is parched. Rude epithets, scrawled in chalk, line its coastal paths. Lustful and wayward, this town is wild. With a steady drip of London transplants fleeing the city’s rapacious capitalist appetite, it’s gentrifying fast. Yet Margate’s wildness persists.

Anosognosia

She’d felt it all day. She didn’t need Gráinne Heaney 
– Roach? O’Malley? Whatever she was now – to
 make the word flesh. The diagnostic of her condition: notions. Tis far from big exhibitions and toyboys she was reared. One part charlatan, one part succubus. She hated to be crying because of Gráinne. That wagon was only happy when everyone else was miserable. But God, she was embarrassed.

Condoms, Wet Wipes, Nappies, Tampons: Fatberg!

The fatberg could only materialise now. We have co-existed with masses of raw sewage since humans first stacked mud bricks, but the fatberg is uniquely modern, comprising a conglomeration of used condoms and tampons, wet wipes, disposable nappies, and septic sharps suspended in a concretion of cloying fat.

Three Billboards, Wind River and Hollywood's Representation Problem

Great news for fans of racist and sexist films in which a grieving parent takes the law into their own hands after a young woman is raped and murdered: Hollywood conspired to grant us two of them over the last year.

In Search of Virtual Synaesthesia

The sun is going down. The green water beneath the bridge you’re standing on is glistening. The last few rays warm the apples of your cheeks, as if the sky is telling you how beautiful you are. You long to stay in this moment, but relent and raise your phone. When will we stop taking photos of sunsets? We know that the lens always fails to capture their silken glow.

Hourglass, Figured

Every morning, as my ancient machine grunted into action, my reaction to that hourglass was the same: with each of its rotations, a sense of unease ratcheted up a notch or bloomed new petals or did whatever anxiety does with its horrible metaphors. The pinch-waisted graphic popped up in the centre of my desktop, cartwheeling, and with it, that same sick feeling.

Magical Thinking in the Trump Era

On 24 February 2017, Lana Del Rey announced that she had plans to cast a hex on Donald Trump: 'ingredients can b found online,' she wrote on Twitter. And they can, as posted by a member of an online witch community dedicated to casting a monthly hex on the president to correspond with the waning crescent moon.

So, This Is America

I’m not sure I agree with Didion’s claim that Vegas is ‘the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements,’ mainly because I believe this is actually truer of Florida, Florida being a place where one can buy a local paper whose cover describes a cannibal murder (‘CAUSEWAY CANNIBAL HAD BIBLE WHEN HE ATTACKED’), but also the place they built Disneyland.

In Which We May Honour Our Boats

Edouard Glissant opens Poetics of Relation in the belly of the boat. In its horrors. ‘For the Africans who lived through the experience of deportation to the Americas,’ he begins, ‘confronting the unknown with neither preparation nor challenge was no doubt petrifying.’

The Kardashian Decade

What is odd about the Kardashian lifestyle is exactly, notwithstanding the money, how not odd it is. A lot of this show involves them fighting in restaurants; much is about whether mothers have actual favorite children — the difference being that here, the answer is: “yes, but for fiscal reasons.”