BEAUTIFUL PRISON

Here’s the thing about a Beautiful Prison.

Sometimes, you don’t even know you have a warden.

Sometimes, you aren’t even aware of the steel bars that shroud your face.

Sometimes, you take restriction for love,

The writing is always on the wall.

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BEAUTIFUL PRISON2

AVAILABLE ON OPEN SEA

L.A. GIRLS

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“L.A. sunset glows against the old muscle car. The L.A. Girls rule this part of town with their disintegrating beauty, always balanced delicately on the edge. Neon stiletto teases the beer can on the ground which in this hazy glow sparkles like diamonds. They are owned by no-one and their freedom is carried firmly in their beatnik sneers and dark red lips. They learnt a long time ago to trust no-one and to love only this wild urban landscape.”

AVAILABLE ON KNOWN ORIGIN – HERE

AFTER QUARANTINE

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They continued to wear their masks long after the quarantine restrictions had been removed. The fear lingered long after the virus had gone. April had borrowed her Granny’s antique plague mask months ago and now wore it even to pop to the shops.

STREETQUARANTINE4Sometimes they were followed. Beige men with gas masks on were on the streets still, a government hangover from the quarantine days.

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They were not sure when it would ever feel safe again. There was a salutary comfort in the masks, shielding them, hiding them from prying eyes. They couldn’t remember a time when they didn’t wear them…

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Amphitrite’s Beach

GLASSBEACH

“Come to Glass Beach”, she whispered. “Come to see the colours created by the God of the Sea. Years of sculpting away the rubbish left by man, to create something of infinite beauty”. She stared past me, ancient headdress intact.

“Glass baubles float all around…man’s discarded rubbish is Poseidon’s treasure…” her words were pacifying but said with infinite sadness.

“This was my favourite beach for centuries – many came to worship me here. It was a holy place. Then men came and left rubbish all over my precious and scared beach. I was so sad. I blew away all the rubbish into tiny fragments, a long long time ago”, she looked down, “all that was left was broken glass. I begged my husband to sculpt them into something of beauty. To reverse the destruction wrought on my sacred beach. He would only do it if he could keep me here forever. To be the guardian of this beach. To be a prisoner here. I agreed to the pact.” she turned to me, tears glistening, “worship my Glass Beach, please?”

Artwork tokenized on the blockchain on KNOWN ORIGIN, Anna Louise Simpson, 2020

Words, Anna Louise Simpson, 2020

WEST HOLLYWOOD DISINTEGRATION

WEST HOLLYWOOD DISINTEGRATION“There was a blue shade to West Hollywood this evening. Even flash of crimson red could not distract her. Cars flashed past on the Drive, as bright sunshine attempted to include her. This was not really her part of town and no-one really noticed her. Everyone looked through her as if she was a ghost. A West Hollywood Girl, she thought wrly. There was an atmosphere of utter disintegration in Hollywood this evening that no-one could touch but she felt it in the blue pigmentation of the West Hollywood sky.”

SPACE TWIN PORTRAIT

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Time seemed to stand still. Moments shifted in front of her in a glitch. She was dimly aware of the ground moving slightly and colours merging. Then all of a sudden, she was standing facing the Space Twins. One was hidden but the other one was staring right at her with a look of such intensity that she had to look away. It was all over in a second but it was the longest second of her life. Everything shifted back into normal reality. She tentatively looked down at the shaking camera in her hand and wondered if she had caught a snapshot of the pair.

A Space Twin Portrait.

This artwork is logged on the blockchain with Known Origin.

AFTER HOURS PLATO

AFTERHOURSPLATO

He was always more of an After Hours Plato. Always going on about this law or that one, in his posh voice. She was never sure if he had actually been a lawyer in a former life, but eyeing up his shabby Tesco carrier bag and faded brown suit, she doubted it. He used to prop up the bar where she worked after school; it was a tiny old man’s pub, boring as hell but she needed the cash.

She never paid him much notice until one hot afternoon on the housing estate. She had been laughing with her mate about flunking school when the old man had suddenly stood up and shouted at her, “hey Tracy!, ” he pointed straight at her, “don’t you ever laugh about screwing up your school years. Plenty of us did that and look where we are now!” at this he slumped back down and slugged back his whisky.

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She tried to laugh off his outburst but it really niggled her. She knew that she pretended to be thick at school, so she wouldn’t get bullied but how did he know that? She started talking more to him after that. Asking him about the stupid laws he was always going on about, asking him about philosophy and politics. Once her curiosity had been awakened, she couldn’t contain it. She had a thirst for knowledge that shocked her with its ferocity. No-one from around here ever talked to her like that and it was her secret. She had confessed to him that she would love to have been a lawyer one day but poor girls like her, with scruffy accents could never become lawyers. “I’m from the estate and it is too big a jump for someone like me. It is just a pipe dream.” He just shook his head at this.

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However, their talks had given her a strange confidence to tune in at school. She had been shocked to discover that she had passed all of her exams with flying colours. She was actually the top of all of her classes. As she ran into the pub, breathless, desperate to tell him the great news, she was perturbed to find his usual place vacant. She asked the manager where he was. After Hours Plato was always in the pub!

“Dunno, love. He hasn’t been in all day.” the manager just shrugged. Well, he didn’t turn up all week and she was now seriously worried.

It was on the Saturday that the pub door opened and a very official looking man in a suit walked in. He spotted her straight away and came up to ask if she was Tracy. Handing her an envelope, he nodded and pushed a crisp white business card across the bar at her, “Call me once you have digested the letter and I will make the necessary arrangements.”

She opened the envelope, reading the letter,

“My dearest Tracy,

I know you used to call me “After Hours Plato” behind my back, so I am leaving you two things. The first is one of his most famous quotes:

“Οι καλοί άνθρωποι δεν χρειάζονται νόμους που να τους λένε να ενεργούν υπεύθυνα, ενώ κακοί άνθρωποι θα βρουν έναν τρόπο γύρω από τους νόμους.”

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

You see, Plato believed only that there were good people and bad people and in between we had laws to govern both. You, my girl, are a good person. You are not defined by your childhood or your accent or the estate where you grew up. You are defined by your drive, intellect and ambition. Law knows no class. Law knows no accents. It is much much purer than that.

So, I am leaving you something else. I am leaving you my estate which is substantial. Wealth, for me was inherited but money only brought me unhappiness. I hope that my wealth will enable you to go and be the lawyer you were always destined to be, but always remember your true wealth is your intelligence and that will never leave you.

From After Hours Plato to a Future Female Plato.”

ART AND WRITING BY ANNA LOUISE SIMPSON