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from When I Say I Believe Women

Emily Critchley

When I read your attempts at Latin & 'cum' & humour I

think: no one cares about you after 1 a.m. &: it's so 

exhausting, &: did your father(s) never tell you to "stop 

showing off to people." Were you never crushed & leant 

on by another? I guess that's why my weariness comes 

from & distends. Or perhaps it's just obvious bad 

manners. When I get excited because I think, why should 

I hide the fact? Does that mean I have loose morals or 

absence (social awareness) or cool. I will pretend from 

now on. When I lose heart because there are too too 

many I's for my liking, & you won't write to me these 

days because you say I lost heart too many times, & 

that's ridiculous, but OK, because you're still hostile 

after all these years that are still there smouldering. 

    Whenever I write you it blends & morphs into so many 

others. That's what comes from being informal I guess. 

Or not cool. Or erotic. When I get respite from absence, 

when I think about SPACE—annihilating all that's 

made... I don't know about presence (metaphysically), I 

never felt any. When that's all corrupt-ridiculous, a 

dream-trampling, I hear that Dundee's a satellite of 

Cambridge, I laugh & puke & think how nice to be a 

lesbian putting on plays by Olsen. When I watch films 

with '70s headscarves on heroes like they were the good 

old days. (But free love comes at a price, at least the cost 

of one or two burnt fingers). Our mothers learnt that for 

us amongst nothing.


From The Paper No 9 (September 2007)