Tour Guide

I saw parts of London
I will never see again.
I’m not sure if I’m at all
OK with this.

I saw parts of London
I needed to see now.
It was what I had to feel
Is there any other way – how?

“What the fuck is going on here”
you’d say as we window-glanced in Soho.
Explained the Trafalgar monument
History lessons I did not know.

South Bank bombing sites.
And ferryman clay pipes.
Rivers flowing out at night.
Markers on walls from the tide.

Grey skies darkening
With a storm hovering
Atmospheric, pointing upward –
The Eye.

The Tate, and a wrestle
With my arm in mock fight
Laughing, mocking, annoying
And charming evening into night.

Warm Bloomsbury, the smell of bar
Wood, warmth by a radiator
at the window, Marta watched
when you entered.

Asahis poured, conversations flowed
Alcohol blocked my brain
Numbing everything above, and

Not Just Her by Juan Carlos Noria

We must eat! How about sushi!
“I can take you to a nice place”
he said twice, I heard
but my brain, intoxicating, blurry.

“I could use a smoke!” And so it was:
you floated flawless in the crowd
for a pack of 20s, forget Dalston,
we lit up in the choke cloud.

Dinner: orange pasta and meats
Two bottles of “Le Poesie”
Blacking out starts
That I can’t see the irony.

Was there poetry in him saying
“You’re so bloody annoying”?
Was there a point to him being
So bloody unflattering?

I turned off my brain,
I was already in a fog
Stared at a table of Arabs speaking French
Like in Montreal.

Paid up, walked out.
The Intrepid Fox now.
Drunk, losing sight of all the fun
Of the earlier warmth of brunch.

Of Austrian love travelled 12 hours
To Paris, France just to be with me.
Of California/Brittany G working late hours
Just to have dinner with me.

Of Brick Lane Wednesday
With Adam in Hoxton Square
With Kelly and Mike laughing
Rocking out to the long-haireds.

And Wakefield warmth
Over seared bass and virgin cocktails
And Wakefield weather
Predicting storms, or calm, or gales?

I was so loved and on my moral ground.
I was so confused when he kissed me on the mouth
Only to ignore me to put on a poppy
But helpfully tell me Gower Street runs North to South.

I saw parts of London
I will never see again.
I’m not sure if I’m at all
OK with this.

He knew the shortcut to Russell Square.
He had been living there 20 years.
He knew shortcuts through my own life.
I’ve been living mine 39 years.

I saw parts of a person
I will never see again.
I have to be OK
With this end.

He knew I knew very little of the London of which I wrote.
There was no place we did not go.
There was no place we did not go.

When I returned home
It was empty. It was still.
When I returned home
He was in me; I was filled.

It was hard to shower.
I took care of business on my own.
Having had bodies as close as can be close,
I was now truly in mind and heart – very, and utterly


For there was no place we did not go.
I went to where we needed to go.
I have nowhere to go.
I have nowhere to go.

I am not at home in my home.
What, notice I did not say ‘who’, will guide now?

I do not know.
I am alone.

© Sylvie Hill 2013

ART: dixon / “Not just her” / 50x50cm /spray paint and enamel on canvas / 2008 //