Interlude: Madonna knows…

“Where do you live?” she asks when we meet later. Dalston, I say. The name doesn’t register. Stoke Newington, I add as a pointer. “That’s not even in London,” she scoffs. And it isn’t, to be fair. Or not in this London, at any rate.

Dude, should’ve said ”north of Shoreditch.” I know Madge would feel that.



#20 – Dalstweets

Real excerpts from Dalston’s life on Twitter. Continue reading

#19 – A Dalston Miscellany

When a traveller in north-east London takes the wrong turning at the junction of Mare Street just beyond Amhurst Road, he comes upon a crowded and curious quarter.

Dalston is where it all began, and whence it will all return. Theosophists have identified it as the original Omphalos, the ‘navel of the World’, although a recent exegesis of an encyphered John Dee manuscript has suggested that ‘navel’ may be a euphemism for another circular feature located further down the human abdomen. Continue reading

#18 – Petrarch was a bloody idiot: a Somine sonnet

The moonlit lentils blazed a blinding white
From the altar in Hackney’s Holy See
There I saw the divine revealed to me
Deep red turned pale, and my stew waxed bright.
Orbited by her Turkish satellites
An Imam swooned, they yelled ‘bayildi’
And so did I, beset by lunacy
Her soupy eyes soared into stellar flight.
She glittered coyly like a meze tray
For my Marvell-mistress was too discreet;
Scattering cous-cous I stood up to say
‘Ye must gather ye rosebuds while ye may’.
Let the words tumble down Arcola Street:
This day I found my love, in Somine

-Dan Hancox

#17 – Ballad of the Media-Worker

I work at a failing magazine
And I live in Dalston, o
The editor has fired our art director
And hired a graphic designer from Maxim, o

Should I go freelance?
I might have to move to Clapton, o
Where the water is green, because of algae
And the rent is cheaper, o

’twas but two years gone
we had a big party in the Tate
but now it’s too late, too late

Many a year at university
And now I’m writing bilge, o
I should have gone travelling round India
And dreadlocked my hair, o

Summer’s kiss has faded
Yet news-stand sales stay low
The brand management team is closing in
And soon we will all go, o, o, o

[refrain, repeated until everyone gets a job in PR]

– Trad. arr. Blind Joe McQuark

#16 – Dalstopia

Valasca surveyed her domain from the roof of dsquaretower1. She turned to the east and saw E5 and E9. Fallen. Northwards and N16, Stoke Newington, burned. The mummies were dead. Only the international airport remained. The blades of her fleet of rotoflyers glinted as a patch of sunlight broke through the cobalt. Turn. And smoke shrouded Newington Brown. Coming near full-circle she spied the border with Islington. N1. Between her and the prize. The looted palaces of old-times. Not to mention access to the tunnels. She needed the tunnels. Imagine. She could clear them of ratverminwormscum. She could send her hipstermameluks through the tunnels. To kill the inbred children of the South. To raid the small farms of the West. They would fear her. They would fear Dalston.

But first Is-Ling-Ton. She tasted every syllable. She would taste the blood of angels. Their tattooed wings would be removed. Their skins worn to fright whoever else dared make war on Dalston. Yes. Good coffee would be drunk tonight. Flickies would be watched. Hipstermameluks would feast at thepizzaexpress. It was time. She gave the order. Rotoflyers skyward. Shiny tights, new era and neon, her kamikazes ran down Englefield road. Screaming they approached Southgate. Nearer and nearer. The border. Sound of ripping. Explosions. Hot blood. Dalston.

-Morgan Lloyd

#15 – Edgy haiku

A Dalston bedsit.
Full of edgy artists, blud.
O look! Pashmina.

-Francis Sandbrook