Friday, 16 February 2018

Making Friends With Fold Out Flaps

My short story, "Making Friends With Fold Out Flaps", has recently been published in The Black Room Manuscripts: Volume Three by the Sinister Horror Company and as usual I'm blogging about the gestation of the story for those who might be interested. There may be spoilers for those who haven't read it.

As is usual for me, this piece was born from the title and a couple of other ideas which tangentially coalesced with it. In this case the title came from another title - from a simple children's board book: "Making Friends (Just Like Us)". At the corner of the book runs the phrase, "with fold out flaps". It doesn't take too much imagination to put those two things together, and the resultant phrase carried with it a suggestion for a possible story.

Two other books also made their way into this piece, both works which I'd been considering using as launch pads for stories for some time. The first was a book on silhouettes which I picked up at a school boot fair several years ago. Silhouettes as a metaphor for what we are and what we hide has always been of interest. Additional to this, I find what we have hidden physically within our bodies as well as psychologically is also fascinating. Who thinks on a daily basis about all our interactive internal organs which run our bodies almost independently of conscious thought? This never been illustrated better in my opinion than through the plastination work of Gunther Von Hagens which I was lucky enough to view at the London Bodyworlds exhibition in 2002. I picked up the catalogue at that event and often find myself flicking through it.

Silhouettes, the workings of our bodies, making friends with fold out flaps: this is the kind of story which falls together quite simply from its constituent parts. Here's a bit of it:

The bonus with silhouettes is that they are one-dimensional. But people aren't. The truth embodied in a silhouette is lacking from that in a person. With them, it's not so much about the surface, it's about the things people keep hidden: their thoughts, their repressed desires, their understandings, their internal organs. To get at the real person you have to undress them, utterly. I could equate this to locating the kernel within a fruit or a nut, or a grain or seed as of a cereal grass enclosed in a husk. Or - to use the computing definition of the word - the kernel is the main component of most computer operating systems; it is a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level. The kernel can provide the lowest-level abstraction layer for the resources that application software must control to perform its function. It was the lowest level that I was interested in.

Finally, I wrote the story whilst listening to Radiohead's "Hail To The Thief" album on repeat.

The Black Room Manuscripts: Volume Three is a charity anthology where all proceeds will go to Shelter, the homeless charity. It's a hefty book - over 400 pages - and as well as myself features in order of appearance stories from Paul Tremblay, Adam L G Nevill, Guy N Smith, David Moody, Ray Cluley, Michael Bray, Paul Kane, Chris Kelso, Preston Grassmann, Phil Sloman, Daniel Marc Chant, J R Park, Anthony Watson, Glenn Rolfe, Orrin Grey, Lex H Jones, Linda Angel, CC Adams, Lydian Faust, Ash Hartwell, James Jobling, Andrew Freudenberg, Kerry Lipp, Jonathan Butcher and Jack Bantry.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Volta: an obscurity of poets

An extract from my neo-noir crime novel, "People I Know Are Dead", has recently been published in Volta: an obscurity of poets published by Salò Press. This anthology is a project birthed from a series of literary nights in Norwich throughout 2017 - titled Volta - which have mostly occurred at The Birdcage in the city centre.

My partner, Sophie, runs these mostly-monthly events which regularly achieve audiences of between 40-60 people and feature a mix of invited readers and open-mic from the floor. The nominal £2 entry fee covers payment for the room and also enables her to pay the main readers. After the first three nights in 2017 it was clear that a profit was going to be made from the event - a profit which she was reluctant to keep. The idea came that an anthology of the year should be produced - funded by that profit - which would then be given away free to contributors with any surplus copies sold at a discounted price, the sales of which would enable her to continue bringing fresh voices to the event with the book also being a thankyou for those who have participated. The resultant anthology contains single pieces from 58 contributors who read during 2017, the only omissions being a handful of performers who decided not to contribute and several who couldn't be traced. The pieces chosen were those performed on the nights and the running order matches that of the events.

Norwich is a Unesco City of Literature with a vibrant local literary scene. This anthology perfectly encapsulates a year in this scene, as well as providing many of the contributors with their first publication credit alongside more established poets/prose writers.

I've occasionally read open-mic at the event and therefore was eligible for the book. I chose an extract from my yet-to-be-published neo-noir crime novel, "People I Know Are Dead" (the third in my Mordent PI series). It's a piece I've often read at crime events. My PI sees the world through noir-coloured glasses and in this short extract he experiences a noir-dream where the dialogue is exclusively noir slang. It makes sense to include this here in it's entirety:

I met the stool-pigeon watching the bangtails. He was a bit of a daisy and we bumped gums for a while before getting down to business. The pigeon was nervy out in the open and suggested a dive which looked more like a can house despite the canary doing business with gusto on a low stage. Nearby a tomato with great gams drank tiger milk and in one corner some bums obviously out on the roof shot rats and mice for mazuma.

The pigeon was a weak-sister even to be peaching. He took a smell from the barrel but was hinky and twitchy as though he expected droppers at any moment. I told him to break it up or I'd take it on the heel and toe, but I was waiting for the Chinese angle. Then a guy broke in with a bean-shooter and the wild eye of a snow-bird. The pigeon was a wrong number, probably on the nut, and I was the patsy set for a fall.

I was in a jam, told the pigeon to climb up his thumb and then kissed him in the kisser to make sure. The dive lit up with Chicago lightning and the pigeon got zotzed. I pulled out my roscoe and hit the snow-bird across the button, smashing his beezer into his puss. Then the bracelets were on and he was bundled into the boiler, set to fry or gain some Nevada gas under glass.

Later I returned to the joint and chinned with the tomato who wasn't fussed I held a ticket. Before long we were drinking out of the same bottle until we were smoked and goofy and the number we came to was one.

Volta: an obscurity of poets is available to purchase here.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Memories of Olive

My short story, "Memories of Olive", has recently been published in #231 of Ambit magazine, and as usual this short blog post serves as background to how the story was written.

"Memories of Olive" is one of twelve stories which I'm hoping at some point will be published as a collection themed around golden-age celebrity Hollywood deaths. Fusing facts with fiction, gossip with direct quotes, movie memories and false memories, these stories are fictionalised biographies of actors who died too soon - whose promising lives were cut short. In this case, the story is of Olive Thomas, a silent film actress who accidentally drank a mercury bichloride liquid solution believing it to be drinking water (reports vary) whilst intoxicated. Her apparent words after realising what she had done were "Oh my God!" I've used this phrase throughout the telling of her story, a poignant coda to a truncated life.

I took the title, "Memories of Olive", from this painting of Olive by Alberto Vargas:

Here's an extract:

Oh, my God!

"Head back."

Brown hair cascading - oh how it cascades - to shoulder length. Red barrette, just so. Eyes closed. Lips parted. What was I thinking? Visible upper set of teeth. Jack: delete set, sounds false. Pale pink rose twixt thumb and ring finger. Black silk gown bunched, on the slide. Such exposed flesh. Breathe in. Breathe in. Left breast clutched (echoes of Wah!), nipple palmed. Right breast exposed: a masturbatory tool. Such sweet scent.

Topless portrait  of Olive Thomas (Memories of Olive), painted by Alberto Vargas for Florenz Ziegfield. Current location unknown.

Oh, my God!

Ambit #231 also contains poetry, prose and art from Khairani Barokka, Victoria Kennefick, Lisa Kelly, Judy Brown, Elaine Beckett, Martin Bax, Dominic Kennedy, John Saul / Sinead McGeechan, Caitlin Newby, Imogen Cassels, Vala Thorodds, Helen Nisbet, Rosalind Brown / Laylah Amarchih, Bridget Khursheed, Stephen, Kate Schneider and Helen Charman, Sophie Larrimore, George Ayres, Gillian Walker, N.J. Stallard, Lydia Popowich, Sophie van Llewyn, Phoebe Eccles, James Stradner, Théo Mercier.

Finally I wrote "Memories of Olive" whilst listening to "Gravity Pulls" by Echobelly on repeat.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Best and Worst of 2017

Well, it's that time of the year when everyone is doing their 'best and worst of' lists, so here is mine. I'm going to list the books and movies I read/watched in 2017 and then pick my favourites. This isn't restricted to what was new in 2017, but what I actually watched and read - some of these items might be very old indeed.


I read the following in 2017:

Rosalie Parker (editor) – Strange Tales V
Trevor Denyer (editor) - Ghost Highways
Chris Beckett – Dark Eden
Paul Trembley – Headful of Ghosts
Stewart Lee – Content Provider
Ted Chiang – Stories of My Life
Adam Nevill – Last Days
Dennis Potter – Blackeyes
Raymond Chandler – The High Window
L P Hartley – Facial Justice
Joan Lindsay – Picnic at Hanging Rock
Sapper – Bulldog Drummond
JG Ballard – The Drought
Helen Callaghan – Dear Amy
Colette de Curzon – Paymon’s Trio
Jeannette Ng – Under The Pendulum Sun
David Wheldon – The Automaton
Alison Moore – The Harvestman
Nicholas Royle – Ornithology
Cameron McCabe – The Face On The Cutting Room Floor
Tim Robbins – Tibetan Peach Pie
James Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Hank Janson – Operation Obliterate
Tom Robbins – B is for Beer
Paul Meloy – The Night Clock
Christopher Kenworthy (editor) – The Sun Rises Red
Gary Indiana – Horse Crazy
Vladimir Nabokov – Mary
Amber Royar – Free Chocolate
Philip Roth – The Human Stain
Paul Cain – Fast One
D F Lewis – Weirdtongue
Joel Lane – The Edge of the Screen
Joe Gores – Interface
Jeff Noon – The Body Library
Steve Nuwar – Crystal Garden
John Elliott - Dying To Read

That's worked out at 37 books this year, down from last year's 43 which is probably because I find it increasingly hard to stay awake reading at night. There was nothing I loathed this year, although I did find Ballard's "The Drought" very hard going and also the expectations I had with Paul Tembley's "Headful of Ghosts" fell far short of reality. Paul Cain's "Fast One" also didn't earn the merit I'd been told it had. Other than that, there were some good books this year. Special mentions to Philip Roth's "The Human Stain" (my first experience of Roth, and despite a couple of reservations it was a gripping read), Paul Meloy's "The Night Clock" (absurdly, beautifully skewed), Tom Robbins autobiography "Tibetan Peach Pie" (which prompted me to write to the author from which I received a nice personalised reply), Vladimir Nabokov's "Mary" (it's Nabokov: word-love from the opening sentence), Nicholas Royle's "Ornithology" (a collection of short stories almost making the top three), Cameron McCabe's legendary bizarre "The Face on the Cutting-Room Floor", Adam Nevill's "Last Days" (brilliantly written horror), and Chris Beckett's "Dark Eden" (brilliantly written SF).

Before the final reveal I also want to mention three books I proofread this year for Angry Robot. I usually don't include 'work' books in my listing (in some instances it would be unprofessional to do so, and it would bump the number up by another twenty titles), but appearing this year "Under The Pendulum Sun" by Jeannette Ng was an intriguingly plotted theological fantasy, and being published next year are the inventive how-can-this-work-but-it-does "Free Chocolate" by Amber Royar and the enjoyable "The Body Library" by Jeff Noon. All well-worth seeking out.

As usual, I'm going to base my top three from my Goodreads review. This is very straightforward for 2017 as only three books received 5/5 and putting them in order feels quite natural. So, without further ado, here they are:

In reverse order:

"Interface" by Joe Gores

This is a cracking crime novel, about as hard-boiled as they come; superbly paced and brimming with danger. It also includes the best car chase I think I've ever read in a novel - and considering I'm not even a fan of such in movies that's really saying something. Involving, frenetic, and clever, I have no reservations in including this in my top three, especially due to the totally left-of-centre perfect ending.

"The High Window" by Raymond Chandler

Everything I've read by Chandler borders on the brilliant and this is no exception. So many good lines, so many perfect wisecracks and scintillating descriptions. The plot hangs good, takes a surprise turn but finishes neatly wrapped. I couldn't fault it.

And the winner is:

"Horse Crazy" by Gary Indiana

I thought this to be an outstanding dissection of a relationship (in this case, homosexual). In some ways - obliquely - it reminded me of the obsessive love story, "The Tunnel", by Ernesto Sabato which I also adore. And whilst this book is in many respects completely different to that, the resonances meant that I enjoyed it all the more. Packed with anecdotal detail, occasional comedy, and utter frustration from the narrator, this short novel feels painfully real - a perfect example of how love distorts reality, opaquely, in which the madness revealed is just as tantalising as love's absence, of how obsession can wreck even the most logical of us. This is easily the best book I read in 2017.


I watched the following in 2017:

Rear Window
Love Crimes
A Man Escaped
La Grande Bouffe
Our Man In Havana
King of Devil Island
The Royal Tenenbaums
The VVitch
What Have You Done With Solange?
Capturing The Friedmans
Ex Machina
Anatomy of Hell
California Split
Bunny Lake Is Missing
La Femme Coquette
The Owl Man
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Modern Romance
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
About Schmidt
Un Chien Andalou
The Chase
La Rupture
Homo Sapiens
The Bitter Tea of General Yen
Mr Deeds Goes To Town
You Can't Take It With You
The Lady From Shanghai
Le Révélateur
The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki
The Tenth Victim
Funny Games (US)
The Virgin's Bed
The Assassin
Inherent Vice
Les Hautes Solitudes
The Hitch-Hiker
In A Lonely Place
The Reckless Moment
The Revenant
Summer With Monika
Les Gouffres
Baby Driver
3:10 To Yuma
Maps To The Stars
It Comes At Night
Scabbard Samurai
Cries and Whispers
Murder by Contract
Blood Simple
Intolerable Cruelty
The Passenger
Annabelle: Creation
Suddenly, Last Summer
The Magnificent Ambersons
La Ville des Pirates
A Nos Amours
The Signal
Blade Runner 2049
The Towrope (La Sirga)
Le Chinoise
Shinjuku Triad Society
The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds
Four Flies on Grey Velvet
Rainy Dog
White Ant
Autumn Leaves
Experiment in Terror
Dead Or Alive
The Fountain
On Body and Soul
Daddy’s Home 2
Wet Woman In The Wind
Irma Vep
Once Upon A Time In America
Radio Mary

That's 99 movies this year, a sharp drop from 144 last year, but we've tended to have a more involved social life this year! Of course, it's still a long list to narrow down to my top three, and unlike books I don't have a site equivalent to Goodreads with which to guide my memory.

As usual, however, I'm discounting movies I've previously seen. So this knocks out Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window" with that slo-mo Grace Kelly kiss, Dali and Buñuel's always enjoyable "Un Chien Andalou", and Godard's colour-coded "Le Chinoise". A surprisingly small number of re-watches this year.

Those movies which I found annoying or awful are easy to chronicle, and this unfortunately includes the 1965 pulp flick "The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds" which should have remained lost, "The VVitch" (which I really wanted to enjoy but just seemed too silly), "Ex Machina" (so much potential, inadequately realised), "Dunkirk" (just not my kind of film, underwhelming), and - no doubt controversially - "It" (I simply felt it was unsure of it's audience).

This leaves us with some great movies. I thoroughly enjoyed "Youth", directed by Paolo Sorrentino (whose "The Great Beauty" I will never stop raving about), "La Grande Bouffe" (a film about a group of friends who plan to eat themselves to death), "The Royal Tenenbaums" (sheer comic joy from start to finish from Wes Anderson), "In A Lonely Place" (classic film noir), "Les Gouffres" (slipstreamish French film, weirdly disjointed), "Baby Driver" and "Blade Runner 2049" (both of which I saw at the cinema and were thoroughly enjoyable), "On Body And Soul" (a close call not to be in my top three, a Hungarian love story set in a slaughterhouse), "Homo Sapiens" (a documentary film about forgotten or abandoned places, from Fukushima to Bulgaria - no voiceover, but featuring only natural sounds to create beautifully eerie scenes), Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars" which I now barely remember other than that I enjoyed it, and the Japanese "Antiporno" (which I saw between Christmas and New Year and almost made my top three - visually beautiful, challenging and potentially heartbreaking).

I get the feeling that another day might produce marginally different results, but - today - here are my top three movies I saw for the first time in 2017
Again, in reverse order:

"Symbol" (2009) - Hitoshi Matsumoto

An absolutely bonkers movie where a Japanese man awakes in a glaringly white room and sets off a weird chain of events by depressing the genitals of cherubs in a certain order. Meanwhile, in Mexico, Escargot Man prepares for a wrestling match which he surely can't win. Somehow - through sheer audacity - these storylines converge in an unbelievably audacious ending which must be seen to be believed. Constantly inventive, humorous, and strangely life-affirming, "Symbol" easily makes my top three this year.

"Persona" (1966) - Ingmar Bergman

Can't believe I hadn't seen this before as I've enjoyed a lot of Bergman films, but from the start I was held captive by this intense and beautiful psychological drama. The themes of duality, insanity and identity resonate perfectly, and the ambiguity inherent in this enigmatic film is powerful and compelling.

And the winner is...

"Le Révélateur" (1968) - Philippe Garrel


Thanks to my subscription to Mubi I've discovered so many interesting works which otherwise would have been unknown to me. This film by French director Philippe Garrel is one of these. A strangely affecting experimental narrative with some wonderfully beautiful, jaw-dropping scenes. The central 4-yr old child is played incredibly well, appearing much older than their years. The title describes the procedure to develop or 'reveal' film negatives, and this slow - totally silent - movie entrances throughout. If you like this kind of film, it's a masterpiece. The above image doesn't do it justice, so here's another:

So that's it. Looking forward to reading and watching more in 2018!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

My Writing Year 2017

As has become annual I thought I'd do a quick blog post as to my literary achievements during 2017.

I've had two books published this year. First was the non-fiction film title, "Buñuel's The Exterminating Angel: a personal analysis" through Rooster Republic Press, and also an anthology I edited for NewCon Press, "Elasticity: The Best of Elastic Press". Both have received good reviews. Additionally, my novella "And God Created Zombies", has been reprised as an audio book and is available through Audible.

I wrote twelve short stories this year: "A Preview of Coming Attractions", "Buckle Up", "Memories of Olive", "Honeypot", "My Tormentors", "The Ice-Cream Blonde", "Oh, Superman", "Tonight Is Today", "Alfalfa", "The Harvest", "The Good Girl", and "H is for Hollywoodland".  Most of these form part of what I have come to call my 'celebrity death' stories, a themed collection. Without doubt, they are my best work.

I sold six short stories: "A Preview of Coming Attractions" to Great Jones Street, "The Call of the Void" to Milk: An Anthology of Eroticism (Salò Press), "Silent Bridge" to Confingo, "Shipwrecked In The Heart Of The City" to Midnight Street magazine (the magazine has subsequently folded, but the story will be published by them in a future anthology), "Memories of Olive" to Ambit, and "A Pageant of Clouds" to Doppelganger.

The following five stories were published this year: "A Preview of Coming Attractions" in Great Jones Street, "Cold Water Killer" in Spark volume VIII, "Clusterfuck" in Ambit, "The Call of the Void" in Milk: An Anthology of Eroticism, and "Silent Bridge" in Confingo.

I was also interviewed and had four books reviewed in the excellent Black Static magazine. I've almost delivered my sixth collection of short stories to be titled "Frequencies Of Existence" to a  publisher I'm not yet allowed to name for publication in 2018. And the aforementioned collection of celebrity death stories, to be titled "Candescent Blooms", has been completed and I'll start seeking a publisher for it in the New Year.

Also this year I continued assisting my partner in her publishing venture Salò Press, where she published the books, Milk: An Anthology of Eroticism edited by Sophie Essex, and poetry collections, The Shape of Things by Bradley J Fest, Everything, Desire by Owen Vince, and Sphinx by Cat Woodward. All of these deserve  your time.

I have a handful of stories awaiting publication that were originally accepted in 2014(!)/2015/2016/2017, and my next main project will be a novella based on The Mysterious N Senada. A few novels are also under consideration by various agents/publishers, although I'm not writing a novel at this moment in time.

It's been a quieter year on the publication/acceptance front, mostly because I've been holding stories back so originals will appear in the next two collections. Even so, looking back on this, 2017 has still been rather a good year.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Silent Bridge

My short story, "Silent Bridge", has just been published in Confingo #8, and as usual I'm blogging about the gestation of the piece. There may be spoilers for those who have yet to read it.

This is one of those stories whose background is distinctly nebulous. Some pieces are fully formed in my head before I sit to write them, others I have a vague idea about, but with "Silent Bridge" all I had was the title and the time in which to write (this time is precious, and not to be squandered, so sometimes it's essential just to sit down and write on spec; as for the title, I can't remember where that came from). I recall researching silent bridge online, and finding references - perhaps unsurprisingly - to music, which I realised I could work into the story. I also found a piano piece online (also called silent bridge, which I subsequently played throughout the writing of the story), which set the scene, and I was also heavily influenced by the writing of Anna Kavan, whose novel, "Who Are You?", I had recently read and is also set in the tropics, detailing the relationship between the main character and her boorish husband. With this in mind, and pitching art against brutality, "Silent Bridge" was formed.

It was a difficult piece to place as it is more mood piece than story. And whilst there is story there, it is certainly open to interpretation. So much so that I'm not entirely sure as to the meaning of it's conclusion, although I certainly know what the story is about. This ambiguity continued with some readers, one of whom has said "I found it very compelling, even though I am not sure I understood it in a paraphrasable way - and the second reading didn't help, but deepened the compulsion." I enjoy writing works which make the reader think, and I believe the story has found it's spiritual home here at this great magazine. This is my third appearance within Confingo.

Here's a bit of it:

Marcus said she had legs he would kill for.

She hesitated in correcting him, then she said: you mean I have legs to die for.

He had nodded, slowly, without understanding. There was a bullishness to his behaviour, a dour brutality, which she found infuriating; however, it was this exact rough sensuality that tousled her in the sack. She would kneel astride him, her straight straw-like hair brushing his chest, moving her hips as though they were fingers on piano keys, that rhythmic, turgid movement.

I wrote "Silent Bridge" whilst listening to "Silent Bridge" by Elodie Sablier on repeat.

Confingo #8 also contains poetry/prose/art by Tom Jenks, Nicholas Royle, David Wheldon, Peter Bradshaw, Mike Fox, Zena Barrie, Jo Howard, Chris Emery, Lee Stannard, Shiv Dawson, Sarah Longlands, Roelof Bakker, Megan Powell, Alison Criddle and Richard Conning.


Friday, 27 October 2017

The Call Of The Void

My short story, "The Call Of The Void", has just been published in 'Milk: An Anthology of Eroticism' through Salò Press, and as usual I'm blogging the background as to how the piece came to be written.

The title arrived after I discovered the French expression, l'appel du vide (translated as the call of the void) which is a term used to describe the urge one feels to jump from a precipice or high building when standing at its apex. If you've ever been to the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, or the Jaws of Death (in the Gampians, Australia) - as I have - then you might relate to this. The sensation of vertigo coupled with the freedom of falling and the rush which comes with that can be intimated from the threat of the drop. Perhaps it relates to our possible bird ancestors, or at least taps into that section of our subconscious which embraces fears in order to dispel them, but in any event it's common enough for the French to have a phrase for it.

Around the same time, I then discovered acrophilia - sexual arousal from heights or high altitudes. You can see where this is going...

Thirdly, I saw this photograph of a 1930s baby cage which I believe was originally part of a BBC news website article. These contraptions were designed to allow babies access to fresh air when living in apartment blocks. Would it be far-fetched, I wondered, for someone exposed to a baby cage to experience an adult thrill regarding heights? And coupled with that sexual thrill, would it be too far a jump - pun semi-intended (second pun possibly intended) - to experience l'appel due vide?

As often happens when I write, the convergence of two ideas together with a title kick-starts the piece and then it more or less writes itself. Finding a place to submit this story, however, wasn't easy - it's a 'literary' piece without any of my usual genre overtones, and as it's primary theme is masturbating off tall buildings the subject matter might have proved distasteful to some. As it happens, my partner's publishing company, Salò Press, announced a call for an anthology of eroticism and I cheekily asked if I could submit. Whilst this might seem like nepotism, rest assured I went through the same process as everyone else, including a vigorous edit. It's fair to say that "The Call Of The Void" has found it's spiritual home.

Here's a bit of it:

I've masturbated off the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Chrysler Building, the New York Times Building, 70 Pine Street, the Trump Building when it was known as the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, Citigroup Center, 8 Spruce Street, 30 Rock and the Bloomberg Tower. I've done it off 570 Lexington Avenue, 345 Park Avenue, 919 Third Avenue and 400 Fifth Avenue. I also did it off the Singer Building before it was demolished in 1968, and of course I did it within One World Trade Center and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Finally, I wrote this story whilst listening to the Nick Cave album, Push The Sky Away, on repeat.

Milk: An Anthology of Eroticism is edited by Sophie Essex and contains poetry, prose, and non-fiction by Kailey Alyssa, Andrew Darlington, Alison Graham, Brian Howell, Rhys Hughes, N.A. Jackson, Jane Jacobs, Nooks Krannie, Francesca Kritikos, Socrates Martinis, Jared Pollen, Rosie Quattromini, Jessica Rhodes, Sarra Said-Wardell, Fred Spoliar and Nina Ward. Purchase it here