The Night Lou Reed Died

by Paul Hanford

The night Lou Reed died, I was at a sex party in a Manhattan loft. As erections brayed like seals around a circular bed where two women slid and licked across each other, 69 kilometres away in his Long Island home, the guy who wrote Femme Fatale and All Tomorrow’s Parties had just lost his battle with liver disease at the age of 71.

Social Capitalism Is Still Capitalism

Turning oneself into a financial asset through the transformative power of a screen is little more than a simulacrum of past modes of accruing status; and yet increasingly, this is the sole method of operating within the modern media.

Peckham Is Not a 'Melting Pot'

While some cities do better jobs than others of encouraging that salad to be fully mixed, in many cities we see fragmented communities segregated down lines of culture and interest, operating alone in the same space.

Drinking Pals and Firefighting Gals

So, there we were, tearing round bends, wind clawing at our hair, shrieking like cats in heat, and after each turn we’d look at each other and laugh, like – that was a good one, right? Only then, after one of those turns, somebody’s gone. Just, gone.

Talk to Me Baby

A few years ago, I briefly dated a man whose recent ex-girlfriend was the stuff of nightmares: an ethereal giantess and beauty, an artist and musician. He was telling me about one of their arguments. “And then came the baby voice,” he finished. Wait. What? What?

Never Leave

At the edge of a ploughed field sits a burned-out Smart car. Its squat dimensions make it appear as if compacted in a Thames Estuary wrecker’s yard, prior to being set alight. The carcinogenic hulk against a pastoral backdrop is a particularly Essexian sight, as is the detritus scattered around it: a chalky, transparent baggie and a discarded Durex packet — Es and sex.

Desire and Disability: A Complicated Coupling

In this age of paradox around disability, how do disabled people juggle their internal desires for love, affection and yes, even sex, with external perceptions of desirability that actively ignore their existence and have remained unchanged for decades?

Gloomy Sundays

November 29th Pulse: frenetic Hair: resolutely static Unclear how body is capable of sustaining both states. Suspect insidious damage. Nevertheless, symptoms frustratingly slight and socially invisible. A has a story that she tells about heartbreak. It’s not a story, actually.

Limerence

When she saw him, her heart did all the things a heart must do: it swelled, it leapt, it skipped a beat. She crossed without looking left or right and stopped directly under the ladder – because, of course, it had already happened to them both. The terrible luck.

Anna-Sophie has a Drink on Sunset

The other day, my mother handed me a pot of yoghurt, cultivated from my great-grandmother’s vagina, across the antique wooden breakfast table, before I had had even the first of my morning coffees. But, of course, I tasted a spoonful out of politeness. It was gloopy and unpleasant.