Arthur Sadrian

Atop A Primrose History: Arthur Sadrian

My friends and I sometimes travel to primrose hill

in the springtime. To feel the matted grass beneath

our bare feet as dried mud congeals under our

toenails. To see the drunks ramble on benches,

blissful in their misery.


Take me to a place where dogged days do not

discard beer bottles, wafer wrappers and coca cola

cans, and the omnipresent stench of marijuana does

not choke my nasal cavity.


Take me to a place where bodies do not stack atop

bodies, and I do not stand surveying the pincushion

cityscape, aware that just meters below lies the

reason for its existence.


I like to use past tense. It reminds me all that

occurred here was fleeting. “Was” versus “is”.

“Suffering” versus “suffered”. Or perhaps “were” to

denote a plural. To denote that Londinium winters

used to be perpetual. And when white thawed, it

stepped aside for an inky black proboscis to inject

oozing toxins into bedraggled streets.


I am pulled into those streets – pulled where a

grittier sediment cuts my toes in red infectious

gashes, and a hobbling cart bearer cries “bring out

your dead!” I choke on the stench, potent and

heavy, dripping with the rich tar of history. Fathers,

grandparents and children amalgamate in stiff piles,

final shivers long emitted from frozen pores.


I sense the tip of a jagged scythe as it rests on my

shoulder, dissolves this projection of misery and

re-grounds my feet where the grass still grows

– regrounds me in that itch, the swirl of

unterminated lifelines as they writhe atop one



There is a fork in this road where one path falls

away to look upon the other. Picnickers do not

notice this shadowy figure, nor the millions it

dumped in unceremonious piles – steadfast

onlookers as empires oscillate indifferent to past



Here this hill is progress and, its composition,

sacrifice. We play atop that hill – take for granted

the stolid asphalt pathways until flesh, breath and

soul dissipate into soil, six turns to negative six, and

it is our turn to doze under the granules of mistake.

Arthur Sadrian has been an avid writer and novelist since his crayon days. He has written over a dozen novels, novellas, novelettes and poetry books by his own initiative and has been published in literary magazines such as Beltway Quarterly, Down in the Dirt and Teen Ink. He has also served as a Junior Editor on Polyphony Lit, Chief Content Officer at a startup, Copy Editor of his school’s yearbook committee and is alumni of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio.