Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Gloomy am I, opppressed and sad; love is not for me while winter lasts,until May comes to make the hedges green with its green veil over every lovely greenwood. There I have got a merry dwelling-place, a green pride of green leaves, a bright joy to the heart, in the glade of dark green thick-grown pathways, well-rounded and trim, a pleasant paling. Odious men do not come there and make their dwellings, nor any but my deft gracious gentle-hearted love. Delightful is its aspect, snug when the leaves come, the green house on the lawn under its pure mantle. It has a fine porch pf soft bushes; and on the ground geen field clover. There the skilled cuckoo, amorous, entrancing, sings his pure song full of love-longing; and the young thrush in its clear mellow language sings glorious and bright, the gay poet of summer; the merry woodland nightingale plies incessantly in the green leaves its songs of love-making; and with the daybreak the lark's glad singing makes sweet verses in swift outpouring. We shall have every joy of the sweet long day if I can bring you there for a while , my Gwenno.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Snow wind-whipt to ice
Under a hard sun
Steam-runnels curdled hoar
Crackle, cannot run.
Robin stark dead on twig,
Song stiffened in it:
Fluffed feathers may not warm
Big-eyed rabbit, lost
Scrabbles the snow,
Searching for long-dead grass
With frost-bit toe
Mad-tired on the road
Old Kelly goes:
Through crooktfingers snuffs the air
Knife-cold in his nose
Old Thomas Kelly
Thrusts his bit hands, for warmth,
'Twixt waiscoat and belly.
HOPE ALL HAVING GOOD TIME
REMEMBER NO BORDERS ARE NECESSARRY
FIGHT THE CUTS
and if you can
keep on dancing, keep fires burning, faith and strength.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
A day, a live long day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light towards zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odours, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cats, dogs, butterflies, and people.
John Steinbeck - The Winter of our discontent._
Sunday, 19 December 2010
STEAL SOFTLY THRU SNOW- Don Van Vliet.
The black pepper between a mourner braks my heart
The moon frayed thru dark velvet lightly apart
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow
The wild goose flies from winter
Breaks my heart that I can't go
Enrgy flies thru a field
'n the sun softly melts a nothing wheel
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow
The black pepper between a mirror breaks my heart that I can't go
The swan their feathers don't grow
They live two hundred years of love
Breaks my heart to see them cross the sun
Grain grows rainbows up straw hill
Breaksmy heart to se the highway cross the hills
Man's lived a milion years 'n' still he kills
The black pepper betwen a mirror
Breaks my heart that I can't go
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow.
Friday, 17 December 2010
Which will last to the end of the world.
My patron is Elphin...
I know why there is an echo in a hollow;
Why silver gleams; why breath is black; why liver is bloody;
Why a cow has horns; why a woman is affectionate;
Why milk is white; why holly is green;
Why a kid is bearded; why the cow-parsnip is hollow;
Why brine is salt; why ale is bitter;
Why the linnet is green and berries red;
Why a cuckoo complains; why it sings;
I know where the cuckoos of summer are in winter.
I know what beasts there are at the bottom of the sea;
How many spears in battle; how many drops in a shower;
Why a river drowned Pharoah's people;
Why fishes have scales,
Why a white swan has black feet...
I have been a blue salmon,
I have been a dog, a stag, an axe in the hand,
A stallion, a bull, a buck,
A grain which grew on a hill,
I was reaped, and placed in an oven,
I fell to the ground when I was being roasted
And a hen swallowed me.
For nine nights was I in her crop.
I have been dead, I have been alive,
I am Taliesin.
Ah Taliesin, the Welsh wizard bard. He probally lived in the sixth century, was same age as the chieftain who became the 'King Arthur ' of later romance. Taliesin's legend and poems survive in the 'Mabinogion'. In legend and medieval Welsh poetry he is often referred to as Taliesin Chief of the bards / poets ( Taliesin Ben Beirdd) .
The witch Ceridwen once prepared in her cauldron a magic brew which, after a year's boiling, was to yield three blessed drops. Whoever swallowed these drops would know all the secrets of the pasrt, the present, and the future. The gift of prophecy. By accident this happened to be Gwion Bach, the boy who helped to tend the fire beneath the cauldron. When boiling drops fell on his finger, he put it in his mouth, and then, realising his danger, fled. Ceridwen pursued him relentlessly. After numerous transformations, the ravenous witch as a hen ate the fugitive boy disguised as a grain of wheat.
Thrown into the sea at last, he was caught in a fish -trap, and called Taliesin, the meaning of which is 'radiant brow'. His knowledge dumbfounded king's bards and amazed the common people. ' I have been dead, I have been alive... I am Taliesin.'
Taliesin yw fi.
Dw'in canu yn mesurydd perffaith,
Pa diwetha hyd ddiwedd y byd.
Fy noddwr yn Elphin...
Below of Taliesin (Bedd Taliesin) on the shores Lake Bala in Wales, believed to be his final
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
within its breath
a field of wonder
that comes out
prods and attacks
in avalanche of broken stones
in places where
we come together
that wish us to be silent
does not suffer inhibition
waves fists of explosive anger
into the streets
below the pavements
always planting extra seeds
has drifted among us for years
shouting resisting singing
Never an easy ride
but once trusted
provides for and protects all
will support when falling
under the cloak of anonymity
indefitagable and strong
Like a bonfire ready to ignite
without it life has no meaning
open your windows,
it is unstoppable
let it in, let it grow.
Monday, 13 December 2010
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY
The world seems on fire at the moment, a character who responded directly to this yesterday, dedicated to speaking in tonques, profound and abstract was Kathy Acker. Born in New York City, Acker was raised by her jewish mother and stepfather.( Her mother sadly committed suicide when Acker was thirty) )
She went to University at Brandeis and the University of California, San Diego.A brilliant mind , her underlying passion was diversity. She developed a thirst for writing, in her own explosive, idiosyncratic style, not belonging to any rigid school, but borrowing liberally and loosely wherever she could, as we all should, she owed a particular debt to the work of William S. Burroughs.
I remember when I first encountered her words in the mid 1980s, they were like doorways to another reality, unafraid to shoot bullets into my heart, and I was glad. She mapped a world that I had yet to explore but offered me immediate possibilities. Hers was a world of direct engagement shattering the comforts of my illusionment. Towards the intimite , the deeply personal, and all its brutal engagements, she bought me delight.
I came a little late for punk and its shenanigans but she gave me a thirst and a connectedness to that way of life and to the beats and other exhilerators. Living at the time in a largely conservative world she offered me sanctuary and a gateway to another place, a land of no borders and places of free imagination. Comfort I found was not a necessity, rules could, and should be broken. Amidst pessimistic times her words grabbed me and gave me hope, opening my eyes to another truth, one that rejected conformity, general hypocrisy and bullshit.Though I am capable of a least two of the aformentioned!!
A writer of numerous explosive books all worth a look (theirs a link at bottom if you would like some lists), always bold and experimental.
She had her demons, addictions,physical and emotional, but her passions seemed to drive her on, finding unswaying belief in words great adventures. Nothing was to be left to the margins, their was magic in her world, truth, it was up to us to find them wherever it lay. There is nothing in the world more uncomfortable than for us to forget possiblities, otherwise humanity might as well be like a worthless scrap of dust lying hopeless on a dung-heap of despair . Possibly!!
I believe Spirit and creativity is on increase, that to me is good news. Kathy Acker seemed to care about this, and the word in it, how we use our language , how we abuse it and what our language costructs and deconstructs in the collapsing world of an unfolding virtual reality. Her views could be shocking, brutal, not everyones cup of tea, she challenged us, taking risks , daring to be as provocative as she could, testing us with her subversive wit and intellect. Searching , following freedom , in all its uncensored glory.
Sadly she succombed to cancer at only 50, having found some sort of fame in the 1980's but she left her words, alive , burning on the pages. A brave voice lost to soon. My kind of Angel. I still hear her screams in the thunder sometimes, the world needs rage, words that leap of the page and grab us by the throat, that challenge the status quo. Hey w'ere all fucking different. That's what she taught me anyway. She was also a mighty fine polemisist, I leave you with an extract from one of her finest, still relevant,and very pertinent in these days of wikileaks and media manipulation. We need more explosive tirades like hers, aimed at pulling down all the garbage that society holds dear. Anyway that's my belief, hey ho. enjoy
The Task 0f the Writer
This is what I want to talk about: a time out of joint. The name of the collection of essays from which I've borrowed, which I've used, these bits of Arendt's writing are from Men in Dark Times.
For many of us, these are dark times. Are they harder or easier than the times in which and about which Hannah Arendt wrote?
A useless question.
Certainly these times are hard, if not for us, then for our friends. If not for our friends, then look at the streets, the homeless, the ghettoes, incurable diseases, the persistent if not increasing presence of racism, homophobia, of prejudice heaped upon prejudice and hatred upon hatred, worse, fear upon fear. We are aware that we know both and, perhaps, are both victim and victimizer. For historically we have and still do participate in so manyof the ownershipin this world.
We can throw away history, our history, as we seem to be trying to throw way education for all but the rich. But if we do throw history away, if we do not accept historical thinking, what kind of civilization are we negotiating? What kind of culture? IOf we throw history away, we are depriving ourselves of potentialities, potentialities for actions. Models and paradidms for actions. Potentiality is kin, and I an talking politically, kin to the imagination.
If we don't throw history away, if we think historically, what do we do about the hardships, the sufferings that we both experience and cause? Hannah Arendt suggests that the meaning of a "committed act," that is her phrase, is revealed only when the action itself has come to an end and become a story susceptible to narration. That is "insofar as any mastery of the past is possible," thus, insofar as any mastery of suffering is possible, " it consists in relating what has happened."When Arendt talks about story, about narration and narrative, she is not talking about language as it moves from one point to another point. She is talking about meaning as it reveals itself and so is co-equivalent to language.
Arendt knows that writing, narration, does not end suffering: writing masters nothing. Narration, writing does something else. It restores meaning to a world which hardship and suffering have revealed as chaotic and senseless.
But what if times are really hard? So hard that the very existence of witing , which bestows humanity, is in danger? The loss, not of art, but of community, the loss of history and of writing as the ground of history- that loss in this world is a kind of death.
If we look at the litrary industry today, writing is in trouble. Very few writers who spend most of their time writing and those who wasnt to spend most of their time writing, can make a living by doing what they do most of the time and by what they love to do most. Those who can and do support themselves writing do so, on the whole, by virtue of something called copyright . Copyright's existence, I believe, is based on the following assumption or sentences: An author is the only person who has written her or his own work; an author owns her or his own work.
Now in the first sentence - an author is the only person who has written his or her own work - the assumed definition of identity isquestionable. For instance, I do not write out of nothing, or from nothing, for I must write with the help of other texts, be these texts written ones, those of memory, tose of dream, etc. In the second sentence, an author owns her or his own work, the verb to own must be questioned.In other words, a writers we depend economically on copyright, its existence, because we are living and working, whether we like it or not, in a bourgeois-industrialist, in a capitalist society, a society based on ownership. One needs to own in order to survive, in fact, in order to be.
Our society, however, is in the process of, or has already changed into, a postindustrial ex-national economiv beast. I hope that I am saying this correctly. As economic grounds change, so do all others. Both language and communications and the place of language and of communication in our socirty are rapidly changing.
For instance: I teach writing courses at the San Francisco Art Institute. Each year, fewer and fewer of my students read books. I don't mean that they don't read. They do, though they might not admit it. They read magazines, 'zines, they go to art performances, to spoken word events; they eagerly participate in such events; they buy CDs in which rock stars and poets perform. More and more students and, I might add, my friends, and myself are using the Internet as a location where we can place our work. For the momentt, the Net is a free zone... for those who can afford or access the necessary equipment. Whether it will remain free or whether our government will be able to enact strict controls, or whether various multinational corporations will be able to turn the Net into a cross between TV media land and a shopping mall, an elephantine version of America Online, this no one knows. Certainly, there are those who think that the Net cannot be controlled. Now, I have no ideas whether or not it will be, that is, whether or not it can be. But either way, there is one thing I suspect. I suspect that copyright as we know define it will become a thing of the past.
I have taken a long-winded route to make one simple point, something that I think most writers now know: if it is at this historical moment difficult for a writer to make a living by depending on copyright, in the future it may prove impossible for all but the very, very few.
It is not the case that the Net is providing an alternative method of book publishing and distribution. Not at the moment, as the technology stands. No one is going to download a wholebook, for it's far easier to run to the nearest bookstore. The eexistence of the Net is threatening the literary industry in another way: my students, people who work, which means that they work more than eight hours a day and have little time to read, many, many of the people in this society are preferring to engage in writing and in writerly activities outside the realms of books. And so to a large extent, outside the realm of copyright, as copyright now exists.These are indeed hard times.
If we get rid of copyright as it now exists , do we have to throw writing away?In order to answer this question, I think it's necessary to try to see clearly, to see the society in which we're living. I should say societies, for sometimes the only entities that make our societies single seem to be McDonald's hamburgers and Madonna. We need to see how we as writers fit into our societies as and while these societies are changing. How can we, as Hannah Arendt says, even in worlds that seem to have become inhuman, remain obligated to these worlds? Obligated , for being writers, our job is to hear and put together narrations and so to give meaning even to what seems to be or is inhuman.
How can I, as a writer, be of use to and in my societies? That is the question that underlies the one of copyright.
I think that it is hard to understand that writing is in our society because writing has become so entangled with the literary industry. Entangled to the point that there no longer seems to be any difference between the two. For instance, if a writer is not big business, she or he is not a good, that is finally, not a publishable writer.
Let me paraphrase and so repeat Hannah Arendt's question: To what extent do we remain obligated to aworld even when our presence is no longere desired in that world? Are we, as writers obligated to the literary industry and to the society behind that industry? Here is Hannah Arendt's answer : " Flight from the world in dark times of impotence can always be justified as long as reality is not ignored." Flight does not mean abandonment.
As it now stands,the literary industry depends upon copyright. But not literature. Euipides, for instance, wrote his version of Electra while "Soplhocle's "copyright" was still active. Not to mention Skakespeare's, Marlowes, and Ford's use of each other's texts. My worries with copyright, however are not so academic. My worries concern the increasing marginalization of writers and of their writing in this society.Whenever writers are considered marginal to a society,something is deeply wrong with the relations between writing and the society. For to write should be to write the world and, simultaneously, to engage in the world. But the literary industry as it noe exists seems to be obfuscating relations between this society's writers and this society.
Once more we need to see what writing is. We need to step away from all the business. We need to step to the personal. This is what I mean by Flight. Business has become too heavy, too dominant. We need to remember friends, that we write deeply out of friendship, that we write to friends. We need to regain some of the energy, as writers and as readers, that people have on the Internet when for the first time they e-mail, when they discover that they can write anything, even to a sranger, even the most personal of matters. When they discover that strangers can communicate to each other.
The bestowing of meaning and, thus, the making of the world, the word as world: this is what writing is about.
In our society, the excitement, the energy, and the power is no longer located in writing, that is, in the writing world. The excitement is found in film, as in PulpFiction, or in the TV of David Lynch. Perhaps we should ask why the writing industry, in terms of the overall culture, is emasculated. (I should say, e-femin-ated.)
Back to Hannah Arendt's words. You see, my lazy mind never goes anywhere: it only returns. Writing, as defined by the literary industry, is all about individuals. I own my writing; thatis copyright. "Power arises," Arendt writes, "only where people act together, not where people grow stronger as individuals."
To write is to do other than announce oneself as an enclosed individual. Even the most narcissist of texts, say Nabokov's Lolita,reaches out to, in Lolita's case grabs at, its reader. To write is to write another. Not for another,as if one could take away that other's otherness, but to another.To write, as Gertrude Stein and Maurice Blanchot both have said, is to write to a stranger, to a friend. As we go forward, say on the Net, perhaps we are also going back, and I am not a great believer in linear models of time, to times when literature and economics met each other in the region of friendship. "The ancients," comments Arendt, "thought friends indispenable to human life, indeed that a life without friends was not really worth living."
Friendship is always a political act, for it unites citizens into a polis, a (political) community. And it is this friendship that the existence of copyright (as it is now defined) has obfuscated.
The loss of friendship, the giving over of friendship to business based on individualism, has caused loss of energy in the literary world. Think, for a moment, with how much more energy one does something for a lover or for a close friend when one acts only in the service of
In his remarkable essay about the writings of his friend Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot opposes two kinds of relationships, that of friendship and that of totaitarianism. Both Blanchot and Bataille lived through Nazism and Stalinism. A totaitarian relationship, Blanchot states, is one in which the subject denies the otherness, therefore the very existence of the other person. the person to whom he or she is talking. Thus, the totalitarian relationship is built upon individualism as closure. Individualism as the closing down of energy, of meaning. Wheras, when I talk to my friend, when I write to her, I am writing to someone whose otherness I aceept. It is the difference betwenn me and my friend that allows meaning; meaning begins in this difference. And it is meaning, the meaningfulness of the world, that is cosciousness. You see, I am finally talking about my writing.
TIME IS IDENTITY
No one he states my boyfriend'ld rather fuck
than a duck, than me. Even if Psyche her-
self begged him. He said to me. But what a man tells any
woman who loves him is lost in these winds and squalling
waters. My lover is changing water
TIME IS PAIN
Last night I couldn't sleep at all, then I woke up in a sweat
though I wasn't crying tears fall from my eyes. I'm
in pain I phone you I want to suicide you
over and over again my brain revolves you
focus obsession I see nothing else. You're my world
blindness' opening my heart. This "Love"
between us (your name) to me is blood.
Everywhere you slept you touched you came
in this house is your blood.
Iwould do anything to fall asleep. At night. But as
each dream passes
each absolute reality shows itself temporary
I obsess you. At times I hurt
like hell. At times I'm dead. Every other night
there's been a morning when I can
stand up from this bed.
Now there's only night: each night
unnatural is the ornament of your blood.
TIME IS MADE BY HUMANS
I hope there's some relief writing
this you: otherwise, none. I've never felt much pain
Say after day pain after pain how do
I count these days? Its's pain to count.
Pain to have a mind.
Worst: at the moment when sleep's ease should come,
(no coming, no you.) and thoughts are loosened,
but I don't want those thoughts.
I phone: Idon't like life.
So stopping the mind up, no
life no utterance, jail within jail within
jail, what can days dates
time matter? Only this ease
of verbally sobbing out ugliness.
Extracts from :-
Bodies of Work / essays -Kathy Acker, 1997, Serpents Tail
For more information on Kathy Ackers work see below.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
Unfold your hand
Place all of the bad minutes in a circle
in the palm of your hand
Close your fingers slowly
To form a gentle fist
Slowly turn your fist around
And let your eyes pass slowly
Over all the surface of your fist
Slowly turn your fist around
And let your lips pass slowly
Over all the surface of your fist
Tighten your fingers
tighten your fist
The fist is clenched
All the minutes are inside it
The fist is clenched
The evil hour is vanishing
Unfold the fingers of your hand
The palm of your hand is empty
Rest the back of your hand
Upon your other hand
Look into the palm of your hand
Look deep into your hand
Your hand is full
Your hand is full
Your hand is full of life
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
employ comes easily to me. I lift the extension. I say nothing. Silence too,
at his end. He replaces his receiver. Remarkably harsh dialling tone.
After seeing to a few odd jobs I decide to make a telephone call. I lift the
phone. Dead silence. Unprecedented. The telephone system in my area
normally sans pareil. At the report of the slightest fault telephone
technicians arrive post haste, on the dot, to correct. But in this case
problem palpable. I can't phone to declare the fault, the fault is so vast, so
pervasive, it so consumes, is so final, as to obstruct, without a chink of
Silent phone. Dead night.
The extension? Phone off the hook? The extension phone off hook? I
investigate. Extension secure, with a certain indolence, on hook. I am
nonplussed. Not only that. I take one of my seats and sit nonplussed.
Nonplussed. No tone. Dead night.
I leave the library, go into a phone box and dial my flat. Number
Someone is trying to do me in.
From Transatlantic Review, June 1977
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Poorly clothed houses, shadows in a back street,
Lorries and lime trees on the boulevards-
All sleep under the rain: their black and white
Faces show bewildered discontent. What still holds
Of their comfortable life? Is this new look
Deception or reality? Electric words
Suddenly flash their alphabet. Night
Moves, lit only by itself. And until
The light of early morning, you can
Repeat the letters of the night-time world.
Now a sign flashes in a passing headlight,
Then somebody's whisper, menacing footsteps,
God knows what else - as the black scene shines.
Day clothes this nakedness and
Hides the evidence of it within our flesh.
Language turns into babble, and then,
Sitting on a bench in the boulevard,
You try helpessly to remember what remains
Once night has gone, more than
A worn out negative of how things are
Under the heels of the rain.
Translated by Elaine Feinstein
Friday, 3 December 2010
In my mind I still see stars
New worlds, rippling beyond current stone
Towards another possibilty
Emerging out of emptiness
Restless beyond control
One day soon
Fallacies will fall
In this season of winter chill
Shipwrecked amongst widening gaps
Currently youth runs wise outside
Of the ground
No longer fearless, unlocked.
Tomorrow's twilight nourishes the flames
Endless drumbeats, echoing masses enraged
Nothing to gain, so much to lose
Their voices raised towards tomorrow
In the streets waves are growing
Colours unite at a moment's notice
Knotted together becoming more visible
Out with the blue and yellow they scream
Untamed they stand uncorrected
This is because they know their truth
Their playfulness and imagination makes headlines
Haunting those hiding above
Ebbing and flowing like tides of united breath
Their veins full of our future's blood
On and on, breaking words full of lies
Rising irrevocable, spreading mantles
In continued state of wakedness
Everyone watching, as they traverse outside
Shivering between sabbaticals, a clarion to all
Never saying, "Perhaps" demanding the possible now
On rooftops, wrapped around belief
Watch them grow in a world of make believe.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Joe's making a stool
i'm weaving a basket
someone's making coffee
Dee says I can sing
and she does.
Jane won't make an
Arthur's sulking because
the priest wouldn't re-
christen him Jesus.
Jane still won't make
an ashtray, instead
she becomes a dog
ggrrr Woof woof WOOF!
Dogs don't make ashtrays.
Dee's singing the
Arthur blesses me.
Sydney hasn't spoken
all morning, or yesterday
or the day before
gggrrrr Woof Woof!
Shit said Joe
I'm going to disharge
myself from this place
it's driving me mad.
realising what he had
said, he starts to laugh
i also start to laugh
the man on my left
(who didn't hear Joe)
starts to laugh as well.
we all laugh.
except Sid who wants
to die (and means it)
then we had coffee.
Bill Lewis - God is an an athiest she doesn't believe in me.
Bill Lewis is a poet, artist, storyteller and mythographer, since being hospitalsed in 1976 for clinical depression he has made a career as a writer. He has read, lectured and published on both sides of the Atlantic. He was also founder member of the Medway Poets and the Stuckist Art group along with Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. He was later found teaching Myth, Magic and Spirituallity at Kent Childrens hospital.His work explores the whole human shadow encompassing themes of madness, individuallity, spirituallity, sexuality and politics.
He has published numerous books of poetry and short stories and was included " The Grandchildren of Albion" edited by Michael Horovitz.
I admire his work, it offers a triumphant realism.
The above poem is from " Rage Without Anger, " Lazerwolf/Hangmans Books (1988)
i used to be a support worker,
who then became a user,
now live in state of limbo
inhale a lot though
some of it illegal.
Sunday, 28 November 2010
At the moment it is time to keep our bodies and heads from cold. Time to go into the kitchen for some apothecay, try and keep warm, heating bloody expensive I know, better wear some warm clothes, try and keep merry in company, best not mix with tories.
Heres a nice hearty meal thats nice to share ( Suitable for vegetarians) as CoNDem policies become increasingly surreal, mean and destructive ,this meal is at least affordable and will pehaps disract a little. It might sound like a right old mixture but I think is very tasty and quick to make. Hope you enjoy.
3 Potatoes - diced into half inch cubes
cup full of frozen peas
2 onions - finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - crushed
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 chillies red or green - deseeded and finely chopped
Lg Tin of Baked Beans
1 and a half pints of vegetable or chicken stock
half a pint of ale
3 grated carrots
125 g mushrooms - roughly chopped
knob of butter.
Boil potatoes seprately for 10 mins, meanwhile fry onions, garlc , chillies for 5 minutes in knob of butter. Drain spuds and add to large saucepan adding rest of ingredients .... onions, garlic and stock etc. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper anda couple of dashes of worcester sauce.
Simmer for half an hour and there you have it.
Oh and at end you could stir in some cream and if required grate some cheese and serve with some brown bread.
Friday, 26 November 2010
again the last ebb
the dead shingle
the turning then the steps
towards the lighted town
my way is in the sand flowing
between the shingle and the dune
the summer rain rains on my life
on me my life harrying fleeing
to its beginning to its end
my peace is there in the receding mist
when I may cease from treading these long shifting thresholds
and live the space of a door
that opens and shuts
what would I do without this world faceless incurious
where to be lasts but an instant where evbery instant
spills in the void the ignorance of having been
without this wave where in the end
body and shadow together are engulfed
what would I do without this silence where the murmours die
the paintings the frenzies towards succour towards love
without this sky that soars
above its ballast dust
what would I do what I did yesterday and rhe day before
peering out of my deadlight looking for another
wandering like me eddying far from all the living
in a convulsive space
that throng my hiddeness
I would like my love to die
and the rain to be falling on the graveyard
and on me waling the streets
mourning the first and last to love me
why not merely the despaired of
it is not better abort than be barren
the hours after you are gone are so leaden
yhey will always start dragging too soon
the grapples clawing blindly the bed of want
bringing up the bones the old loves
sockets filled once with eyes like yours
all always is it better too soon than never
the black want slplashing their faces
saying again nine days never floated the loved
for nine months
for nine lives
if you do not teach me I shall not learn
saying again there is a last
even of last times
last times f begging
last times of loving
of knowing not knowing pretending
a last even of last times of saying
if you do not love me I shall not be loved
if I do not love you I shall not love
the churn of stale words in the heart again
love love love thud of the old plunger
peatling the unalterable
whey of words
of not loving
of loving and not you
of being loved and not by you
of knowing not knowing pretending
I and all the others that will love you
if they love you
unless they love you
Thursday, 25 November 2010
The wolf of winter
Devours roads and towns
In his white hunger.
The wolf of winter
Sticks his paw into the city's rancid pot,
Wanly stirring its soup of whores and suicides.
O the wolf of winter
Crunched on the bones of the poor
In his chill white cave.
The wolf of winter . . .
The grim, the cold, the white
Beautiful winter wolf
That feeds on our world.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Paul Frederic Bowles was born on December the Thirtieth 1910 in New York, where he studied composition with Aaron Copland.Bought up in a cultured middle-class upbringing, he developed a talent for music and writing. In 1931 he met Gertrude Stein (whom he had adored since his teenage years) and other iconographic figures in Paris and visited Morocco for the first time, where he fell in love with its nebulousness. Best known today for his brilliant novels 'The Sheltering Sky', 'The Spider's House' and 'Let it all come down'. His books were often full of violent events and tales of psychological collapse, written in a detached and elegant style.His travel writings are essential reading.
In 1938 he married Jane Auer herself a gifted novelist and playwright and shortly after the Second World War they settled in Tangier, Morocco.
A keen experimenter, his life an eternal thirst for knowing. He was one of the first purveyors of what is now called World Music, he was particularly entranced by indigeneous Moroccan tribal music. A brilliant mind, intense to the point of reclusiveness, his eyes were lucky enough to gaze upon many of the greats of the twentieth century avant garde.
A keen devotee and user of Kif, the fine leaves at the base of the flowers of the common hemp plant and mescalin, they both allowed him to open his mind, and despite his legendary reclusiveness and high drug use wrote and wrote and wrote.His life spent on the boundaries and on the edge. His autobiography ' Without Stopping' was of particular interest because of what it did not reveal.
He fell in love with Morocco and stayed there for the rest of his life until he died by now like a mysterious old man of the mountain on November 18th , 1999 aged 88.
His collected letters 'In Touch'; Harper Collins 1994, are well worth searching for some of his insights into the mad, mystic space he enveloped himsrlf in.
A fine portrait writer, the following is on one of my favourite writers and heroes William Burroughs. Their first meeting was not a success but gradually the mystification of their senses bought them together and they became great friends. It's quite enjoyable so I thought I'd share it. Two genuine outsiders , two tourists at home who found bridges that became roots, As I've said before, no borders are necessary, just some kind of understanding.
'I first saw Bill Burroughs in 1953, passing along a back street of Tangier in the rain. He was on H at the time, and he didn't look very fit.
The next year he came to see me about some detail in his contract for Junky, in which he said he had been taken. I had paratyphoid and wasn't vey helpful. It wasn't until the winter of 1955-56 that we became friends and started to see each other regularly. Naturally I had been told about him: how he practiced shooting in his room down in the Medina, and all the rest of the legend. When I got to know him I realized the legend existed in spite of him and not because of him: he didn't give a damn about it.
His life had no visible organization about it, but knowing he was an addictive type he had chosen that way of giving himself an automatic interior discipline which was far more rigorous than any he could have imposed upon himself objectively. He lived in a damp little room whose single door opened onto the garden of the Hotel Villa Muniriya. One wall of the room, his shooting gallery , was pockmarked with bullet holes. Another wall was completely covered with snapshots, most of which he had taken on a trip to the headwaters of the Amazon. I liked to hear about that voyage, and always got him to talk lengthily about it.
Going there had been part of the self-imposed discipline, since the only reason he had gone was to try the effects of a local drug called Yage, a concoction made by the Indians of the region, and which must be taken on the spot since its efficacy vanishes within a few hours after it is brewed. The point about Yage is that it is, more than any other , a group drug, its particular property being the facilitation of mental telepathy and emotional empathy among those who have taken it. He insisted that with it communication was possible with the Indians, although it made him violently ill.
During the two years that I saw Bill regularly in Tangiers, he took only kif,majoun and alcohol. But he managed to take vast amounts of all three. The litter on his desk and under it, on the floor was chaotic,but it cosisted only of pages of 'Naked Lunch' at which he was constantly working. When he read aloud from it, at random (any sheet of paper he happened to grab would do) he laughed a good deal, as well he might, since it is very funny, but from reading he would suddenly (the paper still in hand) go into a bitter conversational attack upon whatever sapect of life had prompted the passage he had just read. The best thing about Bill Burroughs is that he always makes sense and he is always humorous, even at his most vitriolic. At any point of the night or day you might happen to catch him, you will always find that whole machine is going full blast, and that means that he is laughing or about to laugh.
He spends more money on food than most of us Tangerines, I've noticed; perhaps he has more to spend - I don't know - but the fact remains that he insists om eating well, which is part of his insistence on living just as he likes at all times. (Gertrude Stein would have called him sel-indulgent; he certainly is not ever hampered by even a shadow of the feeling of guilt, ever.)He goes on his way enjoying wven his own misfortunes. I've never heard him mention an experience that made him more than temporarily happy. At the Hotel Muniriya he has a Reich orgone box in which he used to sit doubled up, smoking kif. I believe he made it himself. He had a little stove in his room over which he cooked his own hashish candy, of which he was very proud, and which he distributed to anyone who was interested.
Th months that Allen Ginsberg was here in Tangier, he and Bill used to sit around half the night having endless fights about literature and aesthetics. It was always Bill who attacked the intellect from all sides, which I suspect was exactly what Allen wanted to hear. Surely it was worth hearing, and worth watching too, as Bill stumbled from one side of the room to another, shouting in his cowboy voice, stirring his drink around and around without stopping, with his index ad middle finger, and with two or three Kif cigarettes lighted simultaneously but lying in different ashtrays which he visited on his way around the room.'
Burroughs in Tangier (by Paul Bowles): (Big Table 2 9op cit);
Parkinson, T. (op cit)
The Burroughs File; City Lights,1984.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Yesterday saw a kingfisher
by the shoreline at half tide
how unusual I thought
as I chain smoked
and dived for pearls,
swam against currents
and gasped for air.
removed all labels
passed admission wards
moved beyond breakdown
and blanket exhortations.
Later avoided the news
inhaled deep breaths instead,
reached out for her soft touch
in the twilight healed ourselves,
practiced containment locked all doors.
Ah Love is a warm drug
keeps us on track,
imposes no conditions
no holding back.
Offers endless beginnings
in the morning bubbling
leaves fingerprinted petals
at the scene of the crime.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
.DO get the name and number of a good lawyer you can call if things go badly. The support group has the names of recommended lawyers on their site. Take a bit of time to read up on your rights in custody; especially the benefits of not commenting in interview.
Monday, 15 November 2010
The Censor is seated on a stool ( or possibly two stools).
The Dancer enters.
At a sign from the Censor she begins to dance.
Censor: More slowly, please.
The dancer continues to dance.
The Censor stops her.
Censor: Hold it! Show me that last movement again.
The Dancer does so.
The Censor shakes his head.
Censor: No. Not that. Omit it.
The Dancer resumes her dance.
Censor: No. Not that. Onit it.
The Dancer dances.
Censor: That's not allowed.
The Dancer again resumes dancing.
(after a while)
(after a while)
(after a while)
The Dancer no longer dances, she is merely walking about
Censor: What's this? Call that a dance? Why aren't you
The Dancer shrugs her shoulders helplessly.
Censor: Don't do that!
The Curtain starts to come down.
Censor: Just a moment!
The Curtain stops.
Censor: I won't stand for any innuendo. Gently, now...
that's better... gently ... very, very slowly ...
Translated by George Theiner
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010
Morgan's curls are matted,
His lips are cracked and dry,
His tawny beard is tangled,
And his plumed hat hangs awry:
But his voice still booms like thunder
Through the foetid jungle glade
As he marches, bold as Lucifer,
Leading his gaunt brigade.
Twelve hundred famished buccaneers
Blistered, bitten and bled,
A stricken mob of men accursed
By the monstous sun o'erhead:
Twelve hundred starveling scarecrows
Without a crumb to eat,
And not a drink for tortured throats
In that grim, festering heat.
Twelve hundred threadbare musketeers
Rotting in tropic mud
Where the reeking, fevered mangroves
Wake havoc in their blood:
Twelve hundred febrile wretches,
A legion of the dead:
But Morgan in his blue brocade
Goes striding on ahead.
Twelve hundred tatterdemalions,
The sorriest, maddest crew
That ever the green savannahs saw
When the Spanish bugles blew:
Twelve hudred rattling skeletons
Who sprang to life, and then
Like a wild wave took Panama,
For they were Morgan's men.
a captive bows begore Welsh pirate Sir Henry Morgan's as Morgan and his men sack the city of Panama in the 1870s.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Is crueller and more violent than
All other living creatures. We
Alone of animals agree
To decimate our species by
Polluting land and sea and sky.
This we must face: the human lot
Is to be capable of garrotte.
To be a creature who guillotines,
Hangs, shoots, tortures; builds a store
Of nuclear weapons; goes to war.
No other animal does this -
Not the hamadryad's kiss
Nor the scorpion's plunging thorn
Match the weapons man has worn.
No cloud of hook-beaked birds of prey
Dismembered Dresden that dark day.
The leopard nor the jaguar
Ripped apart Hiroshima.
No flame-eyed, ravening tiger fell
On Guernica. Man shaped its hell.
Wolf and hyena had no part
In Auschwitz. All was human art.
The world view of a red-eyed bull
Today is quite respectable.
Who are our Great? The school-books pick
Alexander and Frederick;
And, to impress that violence rules,
The cane and strap sing in the schools.
What is honour? a gun-bright guard,
Its files inspected in charade;
A statue in a city square
Of General X slashing the air,
The shadow of arch-violence thrown
Down the ages from the stone.
Mock machine-guns make fine toys
For nicely bought up little boys,
And tailored royals ride the street
Costumed for bloodshed, gloved and neat
Whose image many a church augments
With laid-up flags of regiments.
Each village has its cenotaph
Raised on violence's behalf.
Man is the animal that hates.
What hope for us, for nations, states?
This: only we, who hate like hell,
Only we can love as well.
FROM:- Glas-nos, Cerddi Dros Heddwch/ Poems for Peace. CND Cymru 1987.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Indeed it is a great day for humanity with even Rupert Murdoch's Sky news reporting that "30 different countries have versions of the show, but none have done what Israel has done this week.
Israel because of this is now being praised for being an exemplary , tolerant and liberal society, but how come it won't even dance with it's own neighbours. Ah the smell of hypocricy.
Keep on dancing everybody. Heddwch.
Sakineh Astiani; EMERGENCY, THERE ARE 24 HRS TO GET KEY POWERS TO TAKE EMERGENCY ACTION TO STOP HER EXECUTION.
Take action to try stop her execution here.
Monday, 1 November 2010
His father, put away for
Misbehaviour, wave goodbye.
A teenager before the
Word is born, the Army claims
Him for the coutry's fight for
Benghazi - weather sunny,
Plenty grub; that's new. Payment
Too. Peace intervenes; home to
Better off by one new suit
He's free to find a job, low
Pay, and a girlfriend, Ann, keen
Romance falls through, but there's his
Cycling, gardening, fishing,
Same boring job, same low wage,
At forty-four Henry Drake
Is made redundant. 'Sorry. . . .
Years. . . cut backs, but we . . . thanks for. . . '
To care for his mother, ailing
Fast. He does his nest; she dies
At eighty-two, leaving him
Stare awhile, at least he's hept
Some hair; he'll join . . . make new . . .
But Englishmen of Henry's
Unpriileged, no decent
Education, find themselves
Ditched by a freedom loving
Saturday, 30 October 2010
Will they, ever fade away and die completely?
I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.
Do you still cross your fingers, do you still believe in magic, touch wood, just in case! Dream today in colour, listen to the wild winds blow. Time was when children marvelled behind each fast-shut door. Nights drawing in again,time flies, listen out, take a peep over the ledge......
Scan the likely paths of green, leave behind the alleys, cast your shadows, soar to the moon and back, draw eyes a gaze with mystery.
Bobbing and a weaving, we are the branches, we are the roots, may fatigue and loneliness be overcome, tonight we sing, spin through a whirling dance.
Listen to the drum beat
as spirits awake.
a world full of equality
freedom and justice.
Friday, 29 October 2010
A BRIGHT light gleamed from the windows of the ground floor. Crossing the threshold, this light was seen to come chiefly from a large coal fire, blazing in the ample grate of the room which served as kitchen, bar, and place of reception for guests. High-backed wooden settles screened the centre of this room from the door, and occupied two sides of it. In the middle was a plain deal table, and on this glasses of beer, and of spirits and water, with some rough hunches of bread and oatcake. Overhead was a frame, the strings of which were covered with the round, flat, thin flakes of oatcake which had dried there. From the hooks in the ceiling hung hams and flitches of bacon. The settles were filled with men mostly smoking from long clay pipes; and spittoons, filled with sawdust, lay beside each on the sanded floor....
All seemed weary and worn. "Oi'n allays been agen this rowing and rioting as brings t'sodgers on us poor wavers," said Silas. "What t'farreps have we to do in feyghting wi t'red coats? Connut we creep into t'mills at neet, and smash o't' iron wavers as robs eawr childer of bread? A bit of a tenpenny nail stuck in t'reet pleck in a machine, ull break it o' to nowt, when th'ingin gets agate. Yo moit crack 'em o', when th'ingin starts i' t'morn, wi' their own steeam. What's t'use o' lettin t'sodgers get a chance at us?"
"Nay , lads , let's do nowt underhand. We'dn done a pratty day or two 's wark afore t'sodgers geet at us. There's summut righteos i'open wrath, for clemming wives and childer, but we're noan theives to cloak what we done i' t'dark... What says ta, Jonah?"
"Oim o' thy mind, Mark. There's nobbut two uses in what we'n done. If these machines can foind wark for o' onus, there mun be moor on 'em by a deal, and wen towd t'meausters at we winnt clem. But if they connut foind wark for ten times as mony machines an' steam looms as they now han, then, lads, we'n gien 'em notice to quit. They'n getten t'brass and t'edication, an' we'n nother brass nor larning, but we'n shown 'em as we'n Lancashire pluck. We're not t'lads to dee in t'ditch, 'bout kicking. But I'm noan clear which is reet --- mo steam looms, or ten times as mony iron-wavers."
"Then why smash them as tha' has helped to do?" asked Silas. "To keep t'pot boiling at whoam till t'measters han fun out t'reet gate. We mun keep t'hand loom jingling at whoam an we han nowt but oatmale, and praties, and buttermilk. t'pig, and t'garden stuff. After this smash we'st ha'wark ' bout flittin' into t'towns, and by-and-by we'st get mills all o'er t'forests."
Monday, 25 October 2010
The alarms are on fire
The oracles are strangled
Here the pious vultures
condemning your existence
Hear the greedy warheads
calling for your death
Quick while there's time
Take heed Take heart
Claim your innocence
Proclaim your fellowship
Reach to each other
Connect one another
Rescue your lifeline
Defy the destroyers
Defy the fat vandals
They cry for a nation
of castrated bigots
They promise a reward
of disaster and shame
Deny them Deny them
Quick while there's hope
Insist on your brotherhood
Inist on humanity
Love one another
Extracted from:- SHAMAN PSALM,1981. Another relevant poem for our times.
THE OMEGA NEBULA.
Saturday, 23 October 2010
HENRIK IBSEN once said "This longing to commit a madness stays with us throughout our lives.Who has not ,when standing with someone by an abyss or high up on a tower,had a sudden impulse to push the other over.And how is it that we hurt those we love although we know that remorse will follow,Our whole being is nothing but a fight against the dark forces within ourselves. Unfortunately the british visionary artist RICHARD DADD (1817 1886) succumbed to his own internal delusions and was permanently insititutionalized after killing his dad.He spent his days in the Royal Betlem hospital a k a BEDLAM,where he at least produced an outstanding body of work.So outside the perimeters some people basically go mad.A lot more actually come through,recover and survive ,not all ,though, but quite a lot.In literature and in music one finds a long tradition of writers creating writing out of the extremes of mental distress,in isolation and in groups,lets see William S burroughs,Alexander Trocchi, lets face it alot of THE BEATS ,the surrealists,Robert Calvert,Syd Barrett,T s Elliot, John Clare,Peter Reading,Sylvia Plath,NIck Drake,Ezra Pound, etc etc.All im really saying there is power in words and imaginations that can be witty,brittle,serene,remote and tortured.That can also have the continuing power to transform,inspire and challenge. Hey Ho singing to stay alive,Down at the edge of lonely street with a pink moon in their eyes..............