Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Day

The first flush of rays and I’m yours to make or break,

To mortalise, immortalise,

To make a prize fool.

*

You are cherishable, perishable,

We could do magic, you and I.

*

Or will you be grey? Are you mostly? When white?

At the promise of my birth?

Or at my death?

*

Mid-morning I have your number,

Can insist,

Can run with you,

Getting it.

*

I want you more now I know you better.

Now I know you better I want you more.

Can’t get enough,

It’s you, you’re giving me the reason.

*

Else I can resist,

Can race from you,

Can set my cap at the second flush of rays.

*

The afternoon you’ve got me stuck,

You’ve set me up,

I am your bitch.

*

My best laid plans smiling in the air

Or sidelined,

Muffling underground.

*

And then the night, great charcoal void,

Kicked from your cab,

Facing my diary-less soul.

*

The abyss of the maybes,

The numberless ruler,

The stars and their minuteful lights.

*

When you end and we’re over,

It’s sudden and still.

Applauded, deplored for the dids and did nots,

Both with an eye on tomorrow.

*

But me no longer me

And you no longer you

And our one chance a history.

-*-

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What you did last night

It is 10 o’clock, warm. I am sitting in my garden by candlelight, smoking.

And what are you doing?

I can hear you are clearing your plates, talking, watering your garden, driving, crying, flying, committing a crime, getting caught.

And I cannot hear that you are wishing, laughing, dreaming, fucking, eating, writing, sleeping, thinking, watching, dancing, walking, craving, hoping, skipping, being born, dying, drinking Campari, planning, plotting, surrendering, rehearsing, understanding, forbearing, delivering, turning, falling, cowering, seeing and loving- I hope that’s what you were doing, were you? – but you were.

I know, for sure, you were watering your garden because you watered me too.

Look, I got wet:

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Soop!

When Frank and Leo¬† set up their City-based eaterie, Soop!, five years ago, they weren’t 100% sure they could make a success of it.

Lukewarm friends since their Cambridge days (in cardboard manufacturing) they also disliked each other’s partners:

‘I was living with a gold-digger and Frank… Well, let’s face it she was a slapper.’

‘I know. That’s what I liked about her, mate,’ joke the pair.

What’s more, neither of them could add up and they were completely lacking in vision.

‘But we both felt passionate about soup. We thought it was as dull as fuck.

And that’s when the idea came to us: let’s sell shedloads of it to bankers.’

The duo enlisted the help of a business angel to put together a proposal, at the heart of which was a commitment to local, organic ingredients from sustainable sources, with an emphasis on customer satisfaction.

But slowly the idea began to change shape.

‘We did a taste test and realised that, once it’s peeled and liquidised, you can’t tell if a carrot’s got three heads that glow in the dark.

And it’s so much cheaper if you fly it in from abroad. The children in these countries have got the most nimble fingers- you should see them,’ urges Leo.

‘Yeah, we often have a laugh about our Yeti-sized carbon footprint,’ adds Franks mischievously.

‘But on a serious note, there’s a lot of guff talked about Fair Trade. I mean, fair to whom? Johnny farmer picking corn in the sunshine after a siesta or Muggins here, grinding away in the urban jungle?

It just depends on your point of view.’

The suggestion that businesses founded on the principles of quality and craftsmanship thrive, is met with suspicion.

‘They may be smiling in the glossies but look at their bottom line and it’ll stink.

The day we made profit our God was the day we came of age in the restaurant business.

For the vast majority, food is fuel and- what can I say?- we sell petrol.’

‘Hi-test. Vegetable,’ qualifies Frank.

The future certainly looks rosy for the entrepreneurs, with new branches opening in Notting and Primrose Hills (‘Our expansion strategy’s based on tailing rich Americans at the week-end’) and a sister brand, Bred!, in the pipeline.

For anyone thinking of following in their footsteps they have this advice:

‘Surround yourself with workaholics. They even turn up on Christmas day- it’s fantastic.’

‘And don’t offer employees any company equity. That way, they still rely on you, even when the cash is rolling in.’

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