The Big Sleep – Matt Pitt

The Big Sleep

Everyone smokes and the smoke never gets
in your eyes. The music bebops and swings.
The girls wear tweed. The boys wear trilby hats.
Buildings are big, bold Art Deco-y things.
I get up late. Pack a Colt. Ride the Olds
to somewhere nicely lit. I drink a shot,
crack wise with the barman, punch a guy cold,
then snarl and slouch through the rest of the plot . . .
Of course, you’re not there. I do this alone.
But if sometimes in my bachelor pad,
I pour a scotch, plug in the gramophone
and dream about the life we never had,
well, sister, that’s the price I have to pay
for solving the clues and saving the day.

Matt Pitt is a poet and screenwriter from Brighton. He has published in Acumen, Ambit, London Magazine, Prole and Under the Radar. His second feature film, Man of Sorrows, begins shooting in 2021.

The Interviews – Matt Pitt

The Interviews

The radio was playing Lovesick Blues
so I poured myself another cup. Then
I got up and went to the interviews.

I opened my book, I flourished my pen . . .
I sat in sumptuously appointed rooms
with slick-heeled women and serious men.

I nodded, smiled, crossed and uncrossed my arms.
I straightened my tie. I steepled my hands.
I made the same rehearsed joke seven times

and laughed at one I didn’t understand.
I said the word “synergy”. Tried phrases
like “bulge bracket”, “Big Four”, and “meta-brand”.

I ate a pink biscuit. Drank four glasses
of lemon tea. Sucked a Polo. Said no
to sandwiches, rolls, raspberry slices

and a rich, beguiling Chateau Margaux.
On Lombard Street, I sneaked a cigarette
and slugged two-thirds of a latte to-go.

Twice I was early. Three times I was late.
Once, I told a long, elaborately
sustained lie about my employment dates.

I argued, parried, challenged politely,
conceded, agreed with, said that perhaps
it was not but then again it might be.

I rode lifts. Climbed stairs. Clung to the straps
of buses and trains. I studied connections,
calculated journey times, scrolled through maps

upside down and memorised directions.
I signed registers. Smiled for a mug-shot.
Waited for hours in neon receptions.

I started out at Bank. Then came Earl’s Court.
I dog-legged to Dalston, swung a wide left
to Latimer Road (where briefly I got

lost) and rattled on to Queensway West.
I visited Frith Street, Fleet Street, London Wall,
Chinatown, Greek Town, Little Bucharest . . .

And over and again, throughout it all,
the rail, the road and the interviews,
I heard the sound, the soft, insistent call

of a radio playing Lovesick Blues.


Matt Pitt is a poet and screenwriter from Brighton. He has previously published in Ambit, Acumen, London Magazine and Prole. His debut feature film, Greyhawk, was shortlisted for the Michael Powell Award at the 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival.