Momus – A Card From Islington

From the album ‘Stop This!‘ (1996).


I saw her at the theatre, I was standing very near her
She stood there tearing tickets on the door
Her face was like a man’s face, there was something strange about her
I saw her legs and wanted to see more

I met her two weeks later and though I was still a stranger
She looked at me as if she thought we’d met
We chatted at the interval and I tried to hide my joy
At her suggestion that I come back to her flat

There were vermin in the dustbin and a sculpture in the stairwell
And the neighbours threw junk jewellery down the well
All the rooms were frozen and the windows had big holes in
Through which every type of filthy weather fell

There was something tragic in her and her face was even thinner
Than the outline of a slender sickle moon
She put on six red cardigans, two tarnished silver brooches
And an overcoat that looked like a cocoon

She said she’d had a baby she’s taken from a pushchair
She’d hi-jacked in a large department store
She took it and she cared for it and when the baby bored her
She gave it to a friend who was a whore

She told me very slowly I could only become holy
If I gave all my accomplices away
She said "If you don’t believe me you can try it and you’ll quickly see
How far you get and find out what they say"

When I kissed her she looked ginger like a pauper at an auction
Afraid to move in case she made a bid
She asked me to excuse her and sat down at her computer
And wrote ‘Only you can make me truly naked’

She knelt and gave me tenderly the greatest gift of enemies
Curious to see if I would come
And when I gave my answer its reticence surprised her
And she formed the words ‘You love me’ with her tongue

Considering the energy she spent on making love to me
It’s strange the way she never went to sleep
I woke up, it was four o’clock, my head was full of alcohol
She was at the basin scrubbing at her teeth

And later in the sitting room her face was like a tombstone
She looked as if she’d stepped out of her grave
She whispered very softly she had no desire to hurt me
Then she told me she was walking with the saved

It was different in the morning, we lay there without talking
And the room was full of timelessness and charm
She rolled over with her back to me, I touched her very tenderly
And started tracing letters on her arm

We were eating toasted crumpets which we dipped in pots of honey
When the shoulder of her T-shirt fell away
Was she trying to be sexy? I felt something like a goalie
Trying to judge which way to make a save

There’s a sandman in the library, the bus is very cold today
I think I’ll never make it on my own
But I know that she is happy for I gave her lots of money
To travel or to spend her time at home

And even now she’s left me her ghost still breaks in regularily
Interrupting me with other girls
She says "Sorry to disturb you but I think you should be careful
Wear a condom and make sure you take your pills"

She sent a card from Islington saying she’d bought a kitten
And how sometimes she felt lonely late at night
And if she needed boys again she’d meet them and make love to them
And if she didn’t that was quite all right

next >>>