“I feel sure that I shall meet Morcom again”

Thurs 13 Feb 1930, Alan Turing’s first (and unrequited) love Christopher Morcom died. Turing was 17. “I feel sure that I shall meet Morcom again somewhere and that there will be some work for us to do together…” (Hodges, 1983/2014, pp. 61-62):

Dear Mother,

I wrote to Mrs Morcom as you suggested and it has given me a certain relief. […] I feel sure that I shall meet Morcom again and that there will be work for us to do together, and as I believed there was for us to do here. Now that I am left to do it alone I must not let him down but put as much energy into it, if not as much interest, as if he were still here. If I succeed I shall be more fit to enjoy his company than I am now. I remember what G O’H said to me once ‘Be not weary of well doing for in due ye shall reap if ye faint not’ and Bennett who is very kind on these occasions ‘Heaviness may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning’. Rather Plymouth brotherish perhaps. I am sorry he is leaving. It never seems to have occurred to me to try and make any other friends besides Morcom, he made everyone seem so ordinary […].


Andrew Hodges (1983/2014). Alan Turing: the Enigma. Princeton University Press.

I like the way you know / That I like how you look

Hannah Diamond (2014) [Every Night]:

I know you like the way that I look
And it looks like I like you too
You know I do

I like the way you know
That I like how you look
And you like me too
I know you do

I see you look at me
And I know that you think
You like what you see
I want you too

Thomas Nagel (1969, pp. 10-11) [Sexual Perversion. The Journal of Philosophy, 66, 5-17]:

At some point Romeo notices Juliet. He is moved, somehow, by the softness of her hair and the diffidence with which she sips her martini, and this arouses him sexually. […] Juliet now senses Romeo in another mirror on the opposite wall, though neither of them yet knows that he is seen by the other […]. But now, cleverly calculating the line of her stare without actually looking her in the eyes, he realizes that it is directed at him through the mirror on the opposite wall. That is, he notices, and moreover senses, Juliet sensing him. […] But there is a further step. Let us suppose that Juliet […] now senses that he senses her. This puts Romeo in a position to notice, and be aroused by, her arousal at being sensed by him. He senses that she senses that he senses her. This is still another level of arousal, for he becomes conscious of his sexuality through his awareness of its effect on her and of her awareness that this effect is due to him.

A story about 3am

(If you’re looking for the 3am poems they’re over there.) Here’s Tracey Emin (2006, Feb 10), My Life in a Column.

And there, a row of gas-workers’ cottages, surrounded by nothing but wasteland. He stood outside one of the houses, and as she cycled up with a smile on her face, he said: “You’re not coming in. I didn’t ask you to follow me.” She looked down sadly and replied: “So I’m supposed to cycle all the way back then?” “OK,” he said, but with absolutely no humour, “you can stay the night. But whatever happens, you are not going to be my girlfriend.” As she closed the door behind her, she smiled, and said: “Sure. But I bet you anything, before the night is out, you will say I’m your girlfriend.”

Read on…

Stargazing, by Amanda Torroni

I wasn’t admiring
the freckles on your skin;
I was stargazing.
& when I said I wanted
to make love to you,
I meant all of you.
& when you felt my fingers
tracing poetry
over parts of you that
were supposedly broken,
know that all I saw
were prisms, refracted light,
& everything I wanted
to make mine.

“Cheer up love, it might never happen”

“It’s like when you have a broken heart. I always think of it as a piece of paper. It can only be folded eight times. Each fold is like the heart closing in on itself – and one more fold after the eight and it will spring open. The thing is, you never know when the origami master will come along. Oh, you have to laugh. The pseudo-philosophy we give ourselves to try and stay sane.

“Cheer up love, it might never happen. Tell me about it.”

– Tracey Emin (2005, 9 Sept), My Life in a Column, The Independent.

The Mind I Lose, by Sophie Hannah

Whether the things I feel are true
or just illusion on my part,
I think that I’m in love with you
and wouldn’t want to doubt my heart.

You say my heart may not exist.
I know it does, but isn’t what
I once believed. This adds a twist,
the like of which can save a plot.

Feelings and thoughts are kept apart
unfairly by the words we choose.
Find me a better name than heart
by which to call the mind I lose.

“This is exactly what gentleness is”

“Another day, in the rain, we’re waiting for the boat at the lake; from happiness, this time, the same outburst of annihilation sweeps through me. This is how it happens sometimes, misery or joy engulfs me, without any particular tumult ensuing: nor any pathos: I am dissolved, not dismembered; I fall, I flow, I melt. Such thoughtsβ€”grazed, touched, tested (the way you test the water with your foot)β€”can recur. Nothing solemn about them. This is exactly what gentleness is.”

– Roland Barthes (1977), A lover’s discourse: fragments

Words, by Pauli Murray (1970)

We are spendthrifts with words,
We squander them,
Toss them like pennies in the air—
Arrogant words,
Angry words,
Cruel words,
Comradely words,
Shy words tiptoeing from mouth to ear.

But the slowly wrought words of love
And the thunderous words of heartbreak—
These we hoard.

Core, by Kerrie O’ Brien

You need to be very still
To hear the concert of your body

To think about what you contain

Salt and water
Know what it’s doing
Renewing itself
Back to earth

It is a quiet thing
This is where our riches are

We are all red inside
Brimming with love

All fluid and quiet and fire.