Category: books

::::negate the meat::::

the end of days are an eternal condition
always looping back
heavy with sign and portent.
He falls with the contours of the pavement,
letting the uneven footsteps guide his drunken compass
down hill and past the wrought iron fence.

Even though the sun shines you can’t help
but feel the drowning vegetation
through your damp feet.
the flow of the water –
it must lead somewhere. Maybe they’ll know something.

The way it presses against you. Almost
incidiously, like a creepy uncle.
His voice curls endless whisper to
meat. These people are like
gaping flesh wounds. It isn’t good to look.
Also advisable to plug up your lugs with gauze
and vaseline. Unfortunately, this attracts
You desperately need to hide yourself
in some way – if only for the benefit of
future generations. The fear
that these people work in television
is very tangible
you worry that the condition may
be infectuous.

You knew a guy once – swallowed
up by the artisan cheese
Only thing left of him
a memory. Skulked
the twittersphere for days
like a bad instagrammed meal.

He leaves quickly so
as not to be noticed.

The city doesn’t hum,
it creaks and moans.
Glasgow has real old bones
polished up real good
in the spirit of
homogenised milk.
Doesn’t mean you can’t smell it. That dust of living decades.

On the underground this smell condenses – almost pure vapours.
Catches you in the back of the throat. Hard not to gag.
Going around
and around
the circle line
feels like being sucked
through an unpleasant future.

Great Western road is straight as fuck, a runway straight out of the city.
shoot along it like a morphine
Forget the troubles
that aching metropolis, but only if you got the means to pay the ferryman.




::::breathing fumes::::

the city doesn’t hum, it creaks and moans. Glasgow has real old bones polished up real good
but that doesn’t mean you can’t smell it. On the underground the smell condenses – almost pure vapours.
Going around and around the circle line feels like
a time machine.

book cover mockup


You find yourself in synch with the blinking lights; crossing lanes with a rare kind of precision. Pistons and feet in fiendish conjunction.


Couldn’t quite make it out – the light destroyed all vision;
only fragments of millimetre wave to make sense with.

On the second floor of the Mitchell library, in the male toilets outside the special collection room, above the urinals, there is a hole. He couldn’t help but notice. Couldn’t help but put his hand up into this cavity, like it was the most natural thing in the world. As natural as the fact that such a dark hole was in need of a secret.

But when he put his hand into the recess and felt about there was only lack.

Nothing. Just chipboard and wooden struts.

Long after he finished pissing he stood there, staring into that void. Just couldn’t fathom this absence. Eventually there was nothing to do but walk away
but even then this absence stayed, felt as if a cavity had opened up inside him, swallowing something vital.

The next day he came back.

::::Navigating the Meat::extract::::

So I’m writing this novella where psychogeography, glasgow, biography and (excuse the cliche) cyberspace are blended into a heady brew of literature. Or something. As I go I will be posting rough extracts on EITHER/OR/BORED for your viewing pleasure.


This black foul liquid which passes for substinance wouldn’t past muster in an Orwellian horrorshow. Churns like a polluted ocean guts and organ meat, sickly grey slivers of liver swimming in gravy so thin even coco chanal would vomit into her jimmy choo handbag at the sight.

This was a mistake.

Chlorine catches in the back of the throat and strips away vital mucal linings and now i’m sure to catch whichever infection passes for a fashion statement around here. I drain the cup and try to repress my gag reflex.

Outside doesn’t fill me with joy. The grey-sheet sky all the more unwell in the failing daylight. The kind of drizzle which turns skin semi-permeable, puffy like a corpse left face down in a puddle too long; has such a large surface area that it bleeds through layers of clothing and turns them against you. An agent proveceur of autumnal inclinations.

The healthy glow from betting shops contrasts with those shuttered cafes, newsagents and indian takeaways that are just beginning to stir in this early night. On Maryhill Road you will find four such establishments within 5 minutes walk of each other – feeding off the povertystricken minds trying to get by on brew and desperate for those neurotransmitters that light up reward centres like puggy machines. Everybody needs some kind of fix, some salve, a rush, no matter how fleeting and illconsidered.

The archetype of the lonely midnight diner is a distinctly north American image, a romantic thought form tangled up in art and culture; from Hopper to hard boiled literature, making a distinct home for itself also in cinema. It’s a specific, if multi-faceted and fragmented, semiotic tied up in melancholy, insomnia and alienation – all hallmarks of the underbelly of the American dream. A place where people go to be alone with other people. It’s also a place of chance encounters.

In Paul Auster’s ‘new York trilogy’ it fills all these roles and in New York, “a city which never sleeps”, it’s presence and purpose is woven into the very fabric of its mythology – perhaps into that of America itself. The U.S. is such an expansive, wide open land that the idea of an atomised pseudo-social arena carries a dissonance and irony that speaks of submerged truths which go all the way to the bedrock of he nation’s psyche.

::::the paradoxical connundrum::::




It’s true. I have a book coming out. A certain someone has been giving me a hard time over not having any physical objects she can help flog. CAN I JOIN YOUR DEATH CULT? Is the result of that nagging. Often surreal, usually melancholy, regularly angry, this collection of poetry will stick in your throat and make you wish you never remembered your dreams. WATCH THIS SPACE.

What started as an imaginary book cover became a handful of pages from the imaginary book. the imaginary book is no longer imaginary. It is called ‘tapeworm folios’ and consists of fragmented prose juxtaposed over my photography. The book will be creative commons in its electronic form but will eventually become a physical specimen which you can buy for cash-money. maybe.

I am interested in the phenomenon of ‘seeing’ because it
encapsulates the mystery of meaning. The moment of recognition
happens as if by magic; and yet, when we reflect on it, we see- its
very name tells us this-that it is impossible without prior
experience. What becomes puzzling then is the phenomenon
of insight, the creation (apparently) of new meaning. Here, we
forget that to recognize can mean to re-think, as in think through
differently. It need not always signify mere repetition of a former
cognition. We say in such cases not only that we recognize x (as Y),
but that we realize x is Y.

In fact, we almost never use the word ‘recognize’ -even in the
most straightforward cases of identification or recall – unless there
is some problem: we don’t see her face clearly, or she has changed,
or we met only briefly years ago. That is, ‘recognition’, even in
apparently straightforward cases, involves re-organization of
experience- an act of contextualization, a sensing of connexions
between aspects of immediate experience and other experiences.

Thus, the experiences of seeing how an assemblage of parts must
go together, recognizing an old friend in an unfamiliar setting, and
understanding a metaphor are species of the same phenomenon.
They all involve insight, understood as re-cognition; a gestalt shift.
And this is the original of meaning.

— Jan Zwicky, Wisdom & Metaphor

Cat Hepburn

scriptwriter | spoken word artist | arts facilitator


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