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Tilly Houghton

It is with heavy hearts that we share the terribly sad news that our dear friend Tilly Houghton died suddenly last week. Tilly was a beautiful and wild force of energy. She was a passionate defender of social justice, a talented and critically minded law graduate and a budding poet. Tilly was a generous, engaging, and incandescent presence at IPCS over the past year. She has left us far too early and will be greatly missed.

After variations on the word ‘sleep’

I’m incensed that I was staring at the bobby pin in your hair

for long enough to become aware of myself so doing.


I can’t remember which person it was who said that intimacy

is washing the yellow stains out of your partner’s underwear


(It was Simone de Beauvoir, it has to have been). One day

I will tell you about how, when I was a child,


I would align my fingers in such a way as to make little

Japanese temples from the creases of my knuckles.


What hurts now is not so much that you will not respond

that you did it too, but that it will never have occurred to you.

Lex loci delicti

All we wanted was to eat and so we did. That was before the argument

over Polish Scrabble: o, w, z. You won. There is the law of the body,


one of the era and the state. Stand here, man in Jack Daniels shirt,

and photograph yourself with one of them. That is the virtue of being.


Human hair makes a warm blanket, as happens. We learned that

a belly full of ham sandwiches and chocolate is enough for the day.


Does the novelty of the execution wall fit the inconsistent letters?

Zachariah, Ophelia, Waste. Water, Ornament, Zyklon B.


I might have argued about whether the diacritics were applicable

to us. Years later you would tell me about the tumour on your spine.

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