George Ttoouli was born in London in 1979 to Greek parents. An Honorary Teaching Fellow for the Warwick Writing Programme, he co-founded the Heaventree Press in 2002, has worked in the education team at the Poetry Society, and co-edits poetry blogzine, Gists & Piths. He is now mostly skint, in Coventry. George’s articles, reviews, poems, short stories and essays have been published widely. In 2004 he received a Jerwood-Arvon Young Writing Apprenticeship to work on a novel, which he still hasn’t abandoned. Static Exile (Penned in the Margins, 2009) is his debut collection of poetry.
You know this feeling.
The air carries a sense of erasure
and for the first time you notice
the streets are scrubbed of anyone
who might offer the phantom you’ve become
a smile. The last bus pulls from the kerb
like a page ripping out of a diary and every pavement
is a shapeless mask, all the escalators full
in other directions. You are
the only person on the platform
to which no train will arrive.
Something in you expects this, made a choice
to fill the streets with negative spaces
and the tyres of every feeling you have in you
to the point of bursting on the first bend.
First though, a flood; some dark mist
congeals into a whisper and scours the streets,
tubes, shops and cafés, kitchen counters
full of plastic-wrapped packets and bottles,
cuts clean with its meniscus every trace
of people from the surface. This is more
real than you imagined, the skin
of the manmade dulled to a dark grey,
until the world is a unified obsidian
though soft like the flank of a panther
nearing extinction, growling yet.
Published in Static Exile (Penned in the Margins, 2009).
Order Static Exile.
Join Penned in the Margins for the launch of George Ttoouli’s Static Exile and James Wilkes’ Weather A System at The Slaughtered Lamb, 34-35 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 0DX, on Sunday, 8 November, from 8pm till late.
Nearest tube: Farringdon.
Simon Turner and Holly Pester will be supporting Ttoouli and Wilkes.
Entry is free.