Life spills to the beat from a loose hand
Spin, shuffle dances on sticky night club floors
Picked up by old Reeboks and Air Max soles
It hides in the patterns, crannies and nooks

Traipsed back to local estates or
Ubers to distant suburbs
Where roads see less tyres
and pavements less feet

Afterparty garage blares out speaker stacks
Tales of the old to the new
Life’s truths babbled under
Nostalgic anthems

Cigarettes handed out with
Hugs on the balcony
Fist bumps and smiles
Belly laughs, back slaps and whispers

Tinnies in the fridge or
There’s whisky on the counter
Fill your…


Nothing seems to change
but the type of distraction
Suits glued to phones
miss fiends cutting fractions
‘Miss please’, says the beggar
but all she hears is music
Chewed lips seek water
she walks past with tulips

A soundtrack of crickets
scream loud through exhaust pipes
Rivets bend under weight
Lights off alone in long nights
Walls whisper things they’ve seen
under loud sirens and cat calls
As a town kicks and screams
its way through rises an falls

Each breath’s just another
number on this A to Z
Shout loud about your life
still London aint impressed
Thinking, run back to your stars
Or…


A boozy shriek punctuates A roads
Pockets lose change
Crowds lose order
Minds lose everything
A city tries to find itself

Odds grow shorter
Hands grow dizzy
Throats grow hoarse
Traffic loops overwhelming
Petrifying, dazzling infinity

A million breaths rise
Somewhere, one less falls
Breaks a timeless illusion
As if to juxtapose youthful joy
Only time will tell our fortune

We observe for it’s all we can do
The responsibility of conscious
How else would life find beauty
Words find meaning
Scenes find clarity

We love for it’s all we know
Pass flickers of lost paths
Crave solitude but fight against it
Fear failure, shun sadness
Forgo true success and joy

Crowd as one
Until we no longer are
Lonely walks home
Distant shrieks
Clicking heels


I’ve long stopped pretending to be a morning person. Tired of snoozing alarms five, six, seven times. Tired of being tired. Instead, I wake around eleven, murkily drift out of a strange dream where I feel nothing but endless heat.

My ex-girlfriend’s called twice, something I might think strange if she wasn’t still obsessed with the score I owe here. £21.30 if she has it her way.

‘aply 4 jbs!’, reads a text from my sister. She’s the kind of person who uses text speak just so you know how busy her life is. Not even a kiss.

A misty…


The venom in her spittle betrayed false apathy, a chisel tongue whipping the air.

‘Have you lost something?’ She hissed, a safe distance from the vagrant routing through her bins.

He stopped moving. Paused a long unbreakable pause.

She thought of talk to frank adverts and wondered if she’d been too brave.

“Childhood, I guess”, he said eventually.

“I suppose if you gave me a big box of everything I’d ever lost, that’s the first thing I’d look for”

She thought of the necklace she’d lost in the Maldives last summer.

“But then again, maybe my loss is someone else’s…


The night time fisherman of London Bridge.

Last night, as I sipped a glass of saké for what I thought was the first time, my tongue spun a forgotten memory. It didn’t speak of dry alcohol or smooth musk, but of the deepest shadows, of a city at night. Whispered mantras of the change that blankets us after dark, when laws bend and honesty trumps obedience.

In that taste was a lone fisherman under London bridge, a Friday hour when even the drunks are reduced to distant catcalls and the homeless have found their peace. The flash of line in…


I smiled above the train tracks rumbling thunders.

Laughed to the air, taste bittersweet.

I’ll leave a little piece of me here, I thought.

Waiting patiently behind the yellow line.

For this town is the birthplace of my smile. The root of my hunger.

It’s roads weave amidst the lines of my palm.

Only this town can tell you who I am.

Only this platform knows who I might become.


He’s depressed.
She’s mad.
His mood swings this way.
Her mood swings that.

But what are moods for if not for swinging?
Head like the weather that’s part of life in Great Britain.

He’s boring.
She’s dull.
He can barely laugh
She acts older than her age until her age feels so old.

So tell me where’s the humanity, where’s the soul?
What kind of life’s being lived if life never take’s it’s toll?
Where’s the empathy in a man never pissed off at this world
When this world can be so cold?

An this worlds beautiful. This worlds gold.


In my dream, death follows me everywhere I go
She looks out from every anxious pause, every hue and note

She hovers on my shoulder like a caring guardian
Casts a worried eye over my life as an elderly relative might

For it’s not me she’s after.

In my dream, death seems constantly distracted
She is neither here nor there, caught somewhere between two worlds

She looks over my shoulder as a body hits the floor with a dull slump
Tips her hat towards the junkie curled outside the train station

She smiles at an old lady behind me in…


He drew greys across a golden sunset to keep her eyes on him
Pulled clouds over blue skies to dull their flames.

He swamped her thoughts and bombarded her senses
A dull exhaustion forcing her into dreamless slumber.

He gave her just enough for sweet comfort to embrace her
Dangled promises of more just out of reach on every corner.

London offered to clip her wings and she smiled and thanked him
Dreamed of flying in the corner of her heart he hadn’t yet reached.

Max Quinn

Designer. Photographer. Writer. maxjquinn.com // maxjquinn.com/fragments // broken-culture.co.uk

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