Dan Robinson

Dan won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2018 for his novel-in-progress The Two Ys. As artist, writer and tutor he often works on projects about place. Previous short fictions have been exhibited and published by Grizedale Arts, Ikon Gallery, Liverpool Biennial and Ordinary Culture. He lives between Leeds and North Yorkshire.

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I am Butcher. I have stewardship of meat. I cut clean and decisive. I dress meats with curly leaf parsley. Yes, it impregnates my skin. Yes, I made a tough decision to invest. Yes, I like rock music. But I don’t play around. I haven’t decided my future. Maybe there’s room for another shop, in the centre of town. One day I’d like to live in Italy – the South, grow orange trees and sit in partial shade at a table.



I met him for dinner and pounced when he mentioned Antigua. Yes, I had experience of engines. Yes, I knew Lord Falconer. Yes, I could say ‘investigation’, whilst looking him clean in the eye. Yes, I would take the contract, but only if it were extended to five years. Yes, I wore my Paul Clan brogues. Yes, I laughed.



Outside the house the road is chewy. It has a certain give. Chunks peel off at the kerb warm to taste. Tiny oil slicks dance in the bright, then soak back at dusk. Held for the night. In and out, the road breathes. I inspect it close, a miniature lake, black rainbow. I flatten myself jaw to road, long knees. Faint metal mouth.



Huddle. My fingers, so fatigued. From what? I can barely loosen the ends of my gloves, stuck to my fingers in this cold. How long must I stay hidden? It is damp. There are mice.

Wake me for dinner. Bring tartine. No, not that. No reds, more muted. Corn shavings, milk-parsnip. I need porridge, rice, starchy potato.

I collected moths. Used the moon and white sheets as a trap. Scarce nutrients. They say we are mostly water. I am more fat.