A BOOK by Shane Levene (text) & Karolina Urbaniak (photography). Foreword by Martin Bladh.

The Void Ratio is now released. Please buy a copy if you are able. I've given years and books of free writing here and on various other sites, will continue to do so, and would appreciate enormously  your support with this printed book. 

THE VOID RATIO is the amount of black space in the psyche, the unresolved conflict arising from the trauma of dying and the consequence of living.
Through a series of photographs (Artefacts of Self-destruction) Urbaniak isolates and records the forensics of a ‘lifescene’ (here being the author’s own drug paraphernalia) at times discovering a breathtaking beauty emitted by the objects. Urbaniak’s lens turns the otherwise inanimate objects into landscapes, monuments, horizons, revealing the universal blackness of history and corporeal qualities of the user in the traces of blood and carbon left behind.

For his part, Levene focuses on the physical body and the abstract mind, the struggle to come to terms with and accept time, existence and mortality. It’s quickly understood that 15 years of hardcore heroin addiction, over 60‚000 intravenous injections, have been administered in an attempt to fill this volume of void. Far more than the stereotypical writing so often found in drug literature Levene’s texts employ heroin use and addiction as a means to explore far grander themes of history, nostalgia, consequence and trauma.

*      *      *
“Levene’s words are something like when you find a long lost old faithful, a throbber on the shin, aaaaah.....''
‘The Void Ratio’ left me dreaming again of the fucking nightmare...'
“...far from serving solely as a portrait of a mutual friend, Urbaniak’s work in the Void Ratio captures the debris left behind in the wake of the virulent drug epidemic sweeping Britain today. Stark, powerful, poetic... The Artefacts of Self-destruction is the perfect companion to this small collection of Levene’s words.
Shane’s writing is by turns beautiful, scabrous, funny, heartbreaking and dangerous. In my opinion, Shane is one of the few, actual honest-to-God Poets we still have writing today. “
TONY O'NEILL – author.
Black Neon, Digging the vein, Down & out on Murder Mile

64 Pages
Soft Cover bound
Size 18x22cm
Standard Edition £20
Collector's Edition £40*
To order a book please contact

*Collector's Edition of 26 numbered copies will include book, two  18x22cm photographic prints and a mounted 'heroin art work' made and signed by Shane Levene.

Collector's edition artwork

(Click on image to enlarge)
heroin art chasing the dragon
Dirty Rotten Heart

Blackbird weeping

The Decadents

Medusa grieving
Tattoo Brut
Black Spider
The Beast
Road Kill
Skull & Bones

Union Smack Jack
The whip &the lash
The void ratio
Junker Man
Egon H
Dead Dog

Chasing the dirty dollar
Burning heart organ

Black Heart
Schizoid in Nilsen's glasses


Lucifer Grieves

Collector's edition photographiuc prints 18 x 22cm

My fathder during his 15 minutes of fame

heroin art chasing the dragon
Levene injection collage


I am on all fours, in the bathroom, over a plain white towel.  There is a spoon (handle end) and a screwdriver shoved up into my arse and stale stodgy shit all over my fingers. The towel beneath me is covered with dark drops of blood and small currents of excrement. A sharp pain arrives and cuts my guts in two. I am convinced I am dying. It's nineteen days since I last passed a bowel movement and I have resorted to self-surgery. I summon up my strength, brace myself against the pain, and strain once more. Trapped wind immediately forces its way through my buttocks and up my  lower back. I freeze, awaiting the agony to pass.  Thoughts of almost three weeks of food inside me, turned to waste and going nowhere, are scaring the hell out of me. I am thinking internal poisoning, septicaemia, a ruptured colon, burst blood vessels in my head and brain haemorrhage. I am soaked in perspiration. For a few moments the trapped wind subsides. My stomach muscles ache so much that it hurts just to strain. This is not constipation. Constipation is what I had suffered the previous nineteen days. What I have now is fecal impaction (a blocked rectum) caused by the initial week-sized boulder of shit which was too large to excrete. That's what is so terrifying: when I strain, I am shitting.  But with the anal passage blocked the shit has nowhere to go and so backs-up, fills out my rectum, which in turn expands and pushes inside my buttocks.  My arse is literally full of shit...

--The Forgetful Arsehole

*    *     *

Fuck.  That hurt. Sometimes it hurts so little and other times it hurts so much. And you know, I've known every type of pain there is.  No pain is serious. It's just, well, painful. Death doesn't hurt.  Dying is easy.  It's holding onto life which hurts. People don't realize that. Junkies don't realise that.  Numbing the pain is holding onto life, not chucking it away.  Don't be fooled by peoples' make-up or myths. What I'm doing isn't self-destructive; it's  quite the opposite. The Médecins sans Frontieres are self-destructive. Applaud them. Hero-worship them. Walk about pretending to be them.  I'm not willing to die. I'm doing everything and more to stay alive...

--Deathly Hallows

*    *     *  

As we speak all the ghosts of my life are within me: all my mothers, all my lovers, my entire childhood and youth and my now. Tomorrow is a day away. Tonight I am home and I have bed and heroin and company. If I am to die, at least it is in this place where I killed myself.

When I arrive back in Hackney off the night bus I am alone for the first time since arriving. I want to break down, just for a moment, surrender myself to the streets, have as much of my body as possible touch against it; have my city enter me and cleanse me and then filthy me and poison me. I have not eaten all day and I'm hungry. I buy some fried chicken and chips. If this is to be my last night then this is my last supper too...

--Will He Murder Myself Tonight



JoeM said...

I just adverted you on Facebook - soon you will end up on James Champagne's shelf!

Anonymous said...

Very excited for you Shane! I admire your writing and can't wait to purchase. I would read this whether or not heroin was the subject. I think you are a tremendous writer. Looking forward to reading your book,

Anonymous said...

You seem to think you are some kind of sophisticated writer and artist. The drugs have obviously clouded your mind.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

I've never said that anon.... so it must be you who thinks it. If you knew even the slightest about psychology you'd never have written that. And what I do know is that when your work makes others jealous then you really must be doing something quite special. Don't you comment over on DC's? Why trying to sneak in anonymously here then? Oh, you must be ashamed of that jealous, bitter streak... that's it. XxX

oyzz said...

Im so Glad that your work is getting published and in such a cool format .

Go Shane , you're awesome !!

its always great to see someone who can give birth to such creativity despite and inspite of the difficult opiate struggle and the cloud it tends to hang over one's life.

I know for one that when i do slip back and give in to the junk, that for a while yes my creativity does tend to soar for a while but it then comes crashing down very quickly and also all my senses take a nose dive with it, life dulls down without you even realising it , because youre so caught up in the nothingness and the relentless push to look for funds , look for a source and fend off the sickness and then sometimes maybe enjoy the high , it leaves not a a dot in your brain willing to write out a beautiful line or a meaningful parable

so once again, well done man :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh please, either this so called "book" is entirely fictional, or then the writer is a total fraud. 60.000 injections in 15 years? That would mean (roughly calculated) staying awake 24/7 for 15 years and injecting 10 times a day, once every two and a half hours.., That is just bullshit. And the photos... Tins all wrinkly and smeared with black crap. If H leaves even the slightest a trace on the tin before the last 5mm, it's SHIT QUALITY or not H at all, and any junkie with half a brain would never smoke his/her shit on a wrinkly tin, instead of injecting it. And furthermore, anyone who knows even the basics about anatomy, would understand that 16 days without taking a dump would mean a ruptured colon. You can shove a baseball bat or a human arm easily halfway up the ass, if YOU STRETCH IT properly, so even the "arse full of shit" -bit is just not true, or the writer is a total retard. Get your fuckin' facts straight or even better, stop writing utter bullshit like this all together...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Oh look, another sad bitter little cunt who is stewing in the shit of his life and so becomes totally embittered about someone else's. You've just shown up your own ignorance in just about everyway. As you're such an obvious retard i will only pay you the respect of shitting on you briefly and will let life continue on with the rest. 60000 injections are obviously not all full injections you fucktwit, it reflects the enormous problems of getting a hit once most the veins are collapsed and burnt out (as you'd know if you was clever enough to actually read the books you comment on. hehehe). I could have have doubled that (and it would have still been truthful) if i wanted to be shocking). An injection that blows out a quarter or half way through is still an injection, and for every injection I manage (as many long term users will know) I have at least 5 blow outs and often have to spike myself 30 different times before getting a vein.

Smoked heroin. You're obviously no expert and a complete idiot. In your tiny experience maybe you've only ever come across one type of heroin, but when you grow up and have travelled and lived a little you'll find that there are many different cuts and they all burn and run differently. The colour or how it runs has nothing to do with quality: it merely reflects the cutting agent. If I cut 70% pure heroin with paracetamol it will burn up black on the foil but it's still 70% pure!What a fool you are. So eager to want to discredit people because of your own failure in life that you did so without even considering what the fuck you were talking about. . Go back to your miserable existence... though I am glad that your jealousy for my achievements went so far that you actually spent time doing the math on it! Oh Jesus, what a tremendous loser.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, thanks man, I just had the best laugh in years. MY ignorance? If you don't know how to shoot up after 15 years of poking yourself with a needle, you are just plain dumb to even try. I feel sorry for you, do you really consider writing a fuckin' leaflet full of shit an achievement? That is just pathetic. You really think you are something special, don't you... I got news for you buddy, you're just a fuckin nobody, a lying piece of human waste with a pen and a big ego. Do you really think you have something to give to the world? Some words of wisdom? All I can gather is a whining junkie who has never even seen decent H. I don't have to read your sorry little leaflet to know that YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT. So yeah, good luck with your "book" and sad excuse for a life, I really couldn't care less.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

get a life you jealous ignorant cunt. you've just made an arsehole of yourself. XxX

Anonymous said...

Whatever man, I think everyone who reads this thread can gather who is the real "arsehole" here...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

You've made yourself look a fool, man. All your points were answered and in a way in which you couldn't respond to. And as my response was designed to do, and I knew you would take the bait, I lured your in further with two VERY basic psychological tricks so as to have you reveal your real motivations. Do you think people cannot now instantly see your huge hang-up and obsession concerning me having a book published? Your preoccupation with trying to belittle the achievement - you go on about it constantly which is a projection of your real, underlying bitterness. But you cannot belittle me as there are thousands who read my writing and people greater than you'll ever be saying wonderful things about it. That's your real problem and it's blatant for all to see. You're a very sad guy... so sad and pathetic that it comes through even in a single paragraph comment. I'm sincere when I say I hope things pick up for you and you do someday have the success that is frustrating you so much. Really. XxX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

You've made yourself look a fool, man. All your points were answered and in a way in which you couldn't respond to. And as my response was designed to do, and I knew you would take the bait, I lured your in further with two VERY basic psychological tricks so as to have you reveal your real motivations. Do you think people cannot now instantly see your huge hang-up and obsession concerning me having a book published? Your preoccupation with trying to belittle the achievement - you go on about it constantly which is a projection of your real, underlying bitterness. But you cannot belittle me as there are thousands who read my writing and people greater than you'll ever be saying wonderful things about it. That's your real problem and it's blatant for all to see. You're a very sad guy... so sad and pathetic that it comes through even in a single paragraph comment. I'm sincere when I say I hope things pick up for you and you do someday have the success that is frustrating you so much. Really. XxX

Anonymous said...

Think for a second who is the one playing psychological games, before you post the same comment twice... I busted your ass, and you fuckin' know it. You are as fake as one can be, this thread proves it. The people who actually believe your bullshit stories are just witless, ignorant and easily amused idiots. Thank you for exposing and incriminating yourself, dumbass.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon, I've not bothered to read your comment- and purposely made you wait for any response just to lure you in again to see how much you "really couldn't care less". This is how much you don't care:


They are all your obsessive visits. It seems you care a little more than you let on... XxX

ps: mail me. I'm sure I can help you with your writing (for free)... and even if you still don't get published (as i can't promise that) at least you'll get over your insecurities and will have your own little goals to work on in the future. Let me know, my friend... it'd be no trouble. X

Anonymous said...

I don't need your help. I admit I feel slightly annoyed because you got published but that doesn't mean your a better writer than me. I'M BETTER THAN YOU!!! I can't believe someone like you got published and I can't. Yeah, I admit that riles me. But I don't need your help!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Well Looky here... hahahahah. Ok, you're not at all jealous. Oh my God. Well done. Hook, line and sinker. X

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahaha, now I am posting anonymous messages pretending to be me, if that isn't pathetic, I don't know what is.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hook, line and sinker... you just ain't got the intellect me ol' mucka... ya just ain't got it. Oh, and is that you still obsessively on my site? LOL XxX

Anonymous said...

I am obsessed with you!!! You vile pussy getting published!! FUCK YOU!!! I'M BETTER THAN YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

Just erase the whole thread, please. I'm sorry for anything I said. Creative frustration, sure.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Well I won't erase the thread. maybe think before you send comments. You're a young kid, that's obvious.... mark it down as a lesson learned. XxX

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard the phrase "winner in his own mind"? That's me! HAHAHHAHahahHAHaHAHAHH anyone reading this can see who the IDIOT is! I only asked you to erase the thread so that you would reply! VICTORY!!! WOAHHHH!!!Feels so good! Who looks like an "arsehole" now?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hang on, I've just called the MENSA EMERGENCY Hotline... they're looking for rampant intellectuals like yourself. They'll be around to get you within 15 minutes. XxX

dan said...

hi shane
i see youre having fun n games as ever lol
i wuz laughing too at anons fixation of your 'leaflet'
it all came out in them few lines
& lol at his comment that good B runs clear cuz
any 'good' B doesnt run at all! u buy any no.4 n it just burns up black.
i think he must b talkin bout that moody gear that
runs all day but never touches you 'drought B'.
take care bud and dont stop givin it to the the anon trolls!

JoeM said...

This could be a great short story!

I'm confused as to who 'Anonymous' is - at the end.

Who was You and who the Real Anonymous?

What disturbs me is that you can track our visits, minute by minute.


But, uh, how do you do that?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

HeyJoe... Yeah that arse up above sent the first three I believe and then on after was sending nothing but abuse... T(they probably came through to you). To frustrate him each time he posted I copied it and then slightly changed the text and reposted it making him look like an idiot. It was a lesson to show that making anonymous comments can backfire, as I couldn't have done that if he'd have commented under his real name. So he wanted to hide behind anonymity, and found that it's not as foolproof as he imagined. I can't see induvidual people but blogger has some visit statistics you can look at and you can see the times visitors arrived (but you don't know who). As noone ever visits this little post I knew from the statistics that whoever was visiting must have been him checking for replies. If he'd have done that on the main posts I would not have been able to tell one visit from another (only the times the site was visited). So if you visit my site at 10: 02pm I can see someone visited at 10: 02, see what tbpost they read but I cannot tellif it was you or my brother. Becausebhe commented, on a post noone reads, I could see his comment time matched the visit time on that post. When suddenly someone was constantly checking that post I figured it could only be the anonymous commenter. But I only even then checked the statistics because he thought he was being clever... I've never taken any notice of them before. No have a little visit counter which let's me know how many people visited per day and that's enough for me. They're so inaccurate that I don't even look at that anymore. So I do not know who visited just that someone did. However there are software's you can use IR pay for which gives people much more info. You'll see on other sites, in the sidebar, a little widget that has your IP address and 'visitor from Lyon, France 'advertised. But even with software like that you could still not be 100% sure it was me or another person from Lyon.

Someone would have to be pretty sad to spend their time mulling over such stuff anyhow. New post almost ready Joe... May will get posted later. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

PS. Excuse some confusing sentences... Was written on my phone and the autocorrect made some bizarre choices. X

JoeM said...

It just makes me all the more want to evaporate from on-line.

Who was that 'anonymous' from DC's?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey again Joe... Oh, don't disappear... We need good honest people like you always!

Again, I'm not sure that the other anon was from.DCs.... It was an informed guess using logic. That comment came through just after DC had put up our weekend launch and because ofvthat the way I posted this post was to avoid a conflict of interestwith the DC weekend and so only yourself and two others actually new this post even existed (you're all personal friends I respect way past reading my writing). So the person.who was anonymous then could only have come from DCs as the link was nowhere else. There'ssome history witha few over there who have never likedme and have been.very nasty in the past... One even openly on fb. So I knew they came after DC had put up the link and to make them think twice about being so cowardly I bluffed it (though am.certain I was correct). There's two in particularI suspect but would preferto keep it private as its pure conjecture.X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Dan... Oh, as you saw he left an ill-thought out comment (too quick to think he had stumbled across the proof of some great swindle) and once I had answered his accusations (in a way he couldn't contest as it then made perfect sense)he was only able to descend to childish abuse and idiocy. His real agenda was one of bitterness (I get it a lot). But I did warn karolina (photographer of the book) that this could happen. In fact I advised her to not publish some photographs of the heroin I used when she was over as it was a dark grey colour (which even i hadn't seen before). I even queried my dealer when i opened it and asked what that fuck it was... especially because he was charging double for it. It turned out to be one of the strongest cuts I'd evr had. It cooked up almost black and ran black on the foil, but the taste was absolutely gorgeous. Still, if karolina had have published those photos she would have risked losing all credibility as arseholes like the one above would have been convinced it wasn't heroin adn it was all a great scam. If he has any experience at all he'd have come across different cuts in his life and know that the way smack runs or cooks up is nothing to do with the H but the cutting agent. As I expalined to him, if you cut 70% pure H with paracetemol or subutex it will just burn up bmlack on foil (not run at all) but it's still 70% pure H! But all that, him rushing to ridiculous conclusions is the symptom of a much greater problem: some kind of bitterness residing within him that the book got published. If you read his words carefully he has a huge complex about it and at every opportunity tried to belittle the book... because that's what it was really about, not the silly contentions he had with it. He's one of many. I get at elast two emails a week of anonymous people picking through my words and then mailing me conclusive proof they've found within which proves its all bullshit. X

JoeM said...

Well I won't disappear from here that's for sure.

I have an idea who you might think the DC poster was but I don't think it was him.

Next time we email would be the best place to speculate.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that rant with Anon and yourself being half anon-self. I have read the comments before and laughed, though I had forgotten half of them.
Scary though being able to change peoples words if they profile themselves as anonymous.
I do it as something happened which I didn't understand when I tried to do otherwise.
I'll try another time to not be anonymous and be officially me. Exciting stuff...
Still waiting eagerly for more posts....oh yeah,awaiting email of Karolina about buying the book....
Kate from Over bloody cast Swansea. Xx

Kate from Sunny Swansea said...

I'm going to try to be not anon. We shall see!

kate from Sunny Swansea said...

Fuck, that was easy! God knows what happened the first time I tried this, but it wasn't what happened this time xx