Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm in perhaps the best veggie buffet in North London, chapel market - the popular Indian Veg Bhelpoori House  - Chapel Market N1. I'm really hungry because  all day I had been working with no breakfast or lunch. Its 6.30ish, so i come here,  my regular north London oasis of healthy food.

Two girls walk in. They're tall, fashionable, young, fresh faced and skeletal. Now I don't mean skinny. I mean bones in Top Shop attire. It was almost like they weren't there. Only they were.  They were like whispers, like unanticipated breezes on your neck in a still place.
I'm just finishing eating paneer and green pea curry, mixed veg curry, parathas, a couple of bahji's and salad.  I went back for seconds. My plate is waxed.  I sip my spiced masala tea, fiddle about on facebook on my phone for about 10 minutes relishing the full bellied afterglow of all-u-can-eat.

Meanwhile, the wraith-like girls have been up to the buffet bar to get food and I try not to stare because I began to feel empathetic pangs of hunger, light headed, a little nauseous. This look could not be right. Bones strained through their skinny jeans and tight cropped tops. This look was manufactured.
The pre-domninant thought that came to mind is 'anorexia'. But they're in an all you can eat buffet?! They get seconds, chit chat and giggle quietly, like every other girl should  and I get over it.
Its when  I go to the ladies toilet that I see the remnant trails of vomit over the seat of one of the toilets....

"Its kinda hard to pee now." I thought. I did the math and anorexic bulimia flitted about in my head like a fat annoying slow flying blue bottle.
 I felt half inclined to tell the proprietor of this restaurant, who in good faith is feeding people for £4.50 all they can eat, and there are two people in here taking the piss. Harsh I know. I know anorexia and bulimia  are illnesses, but part of me can't help but be angry with those girls for their self-centredness. Addiction loves company and they were their validating each others affliction.
I was angry with their families for not paying enough attention to them, for letting this get out of hand. But addiction is sly, underhand, quick mouthed, brutally

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


... and he puts his hands all over her..
And he puts his hands all over her sketched and written by Zena Edwards

there are days when being a woman is tide up
in the weight of her 'knowledge' of the 'way it is'
The status quo must be kept
so keep you body right and you mouth in check
be ready to be the object I select
from this day until the next
don't complain

Her man is poisoned against her
Just because he walks down the high road
without the blinkers
and she, bombarded with kilos and pounds
of sweet and salt constraints dressed up as
good-for-your-love-life home remedies
when the visual complexities wind their way though
her subtleties and feast on her insecurity

and she will grow fat
chained to counting the calories of her
compliant voice cramming itself
back down her throat to keep the peace
chaining her to a present, glutinous
with tricky accusations of her inadequacies
as the goal post of perfection shift again
while the 'rest' of the world grunts on

she will not fail you in bearing the future
but can she give birth to herself?
perpetually pregnant, bloated with doubt

you make her wait, you make her listen
to your loaded words
as you lay your hands all over her
with spikey adoration, careful now!
don't burst her