Friday, 23 January 2004

school planning meeting today, god what a shambles, really they had no idea of what they were trying to do, got some shape knocked into them, but i think the onus is on me to make the project work, so much for places of education wanting to be more collaborative!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2004

Today I made the front cover of the Yorkshire Evening Post sharing column inches with the death of Harold Shipman. A surreal experience for sure.

its been a good old day, I've been invited to be poet in residence for this years Ilkley literature Festival, which takes place in October, of course I've said yes, but there is a lot to work through before it is clear as to me exact brief. So front pages and solid work, that builds my reputation, just what I need. I've been working very hard for this kind of stuff to come about, it is nice to see it start to roll in a bit. Just gotta keep going, keep writing and pushing the stuff out.

tired as a tired thing tonight, been listening to the Pablo Casals 'Bach cello suites' from the 1930's, and watched 'towers open fire ' and 'ghosts at number 9' by William Burroughs with Johnny from next door. Now both our heads feel like they've been set on fire. So inspiring these films, there really is very little of this kind of stuff about, maybe some Kenneth Anger, but little else

more meetings tomorrow, nuking myself with vitamin c trying to shake this flu, at the moment I'm only managing to fulfill the commitments in my diary and I'm not creating new opportunities to network, got to get right and get out there

Monday, 12 January 2004

Just sat here listening to boards of canada's twoism; god they're good. they have something most electonic music misses, soul i think they call it.

spent the day in Bolton, hmmmm. At a meeting with Artists in Schools, genning up on their new procedures for working with them, than this afternoon we were led in a voice workshop which reawakened two things in me a desire to be aware of rhythms in ordinary things, and the correct use of silence.

Someone quoted that silence is such a powerful medium. Apparently, a recent speech by Tony Blair had been analysed and it was for that a third of it was silence, spaces. I quipped and it was also found that the other two thirds were empty.

Got offered a bit more work. All workshop stuff so far, but hey wolf off you go, come back in march and see how my door is doing.

Drinking whiskey right now, and being brave by phoning friends, I have not spoken two since before Christmas, as Christmas gets me down and I do not communicate well over that vile period.

The first interest from the press is rolling in, regarding my forthcoming party invite to 10 Downing Street. All publicity is good publicity and I need it at the moment.

I find myself reading books at a mile a minute at the moment. My intellect needs a good feed so I’m reading Sartre’s 'Nausea.' and I’m very excited 'cos I start at yoga class on Thursday. Somewhere to go beyond the borders of this dark valley bottom

Sunday, 11 January 2004

one is free it seems, to invent one's past, as easily as it possible to invent one's future, true the future is blind, but we grow from the past, and given that we have knowledge of it, why not use that knowledege to make what we want of it. the future can look after it's crippled, fumbling old self
Hello

been a flu ridden week, so work has gone forward at a very slow pace, still managed a few meetings, got my grant application off to Arts Council of England to buy myself a few months time just to write. It will arrive tomorrow so it will be 6 weeks from then until I know. I'm sweating bullets a bit as the finances are quite tight at the moment. Making a living as a writer can be tricky at times, still I am confident that things will grow and grow. Been offered a bit of work in a school in Feb and march, nothing huge but that sees the wolf off, just!!. And I got a call from Ilkley Literature Festival, I'm meeting Rachel from there next Tuesday, I don't know what the have in mind but the connection would be cool. I've had Aldbergh expressing some interest too, so cross everything it will be okay.

I woke up and cried this morning. hebden bridge is so brain dead, I think people move here to get away from their old lives, and then hang on tight is quite drab ways to what the have, & their pain. I'd love to see bright coloured hair, hear people chewing their lives over in cafes, see different colours of people relating; not here now way. Why are the English particularly the northern lot scared of intellect and emotion. Is it bad to think and feel at the same time. There is nothing to do here at night unless you drink in pubs, or you do the alternative dinner party circuit, scary stuff. I need some conversation, not a diatribe about the weather, or types of coal, I hate football and I don't drink that muck they call beer, and I want my opinions challenged, not just for sparring play, but to advance us, and I want to overturn your. Beam me up for fuck sake

just been for a tramp in the woods by a reservoir, let the wind blow me to pieces, screamed abuse to the air, feel better, but it does not cure the lack of thought I feel around me. Time to find some new ways

on a brighter note, you can have my blog emailed directly to you. If you want to have it mailed to you each time its posted email js at jowonio dot force9 dot co dot uk I've written my address like this to cut down on spamming software reading my address. Anyway if yr interested I'll add you to my mailing list and put to on the receive blog list

peace
john



Tuesday, 6 January 2004

Just finished reading Peter Riech's 'Book of Dreams' at last it has taken me so long to finish, if you remember Kate Bush's 'cloudbusting' that song and video are based on the experiences in this book. Though if you want to find a copy you'll be heard press as it has all but vanished from the world unless you want to spend a lot of money on a copy. I think it is something every one shall read.

I have to do a presentation to Leeds Libraries Reading development network this afternoon and I've nearly lost my voice with this cold that is going round, well their in for me sounding like Marge Simpson. I hate being a bit poorly, its worse than being very poorly cos you can just be wiped out, but not quite running at a good steam is very annoying.

need to continue sending out press releases today and continue developing ideas for the next book

Sunday, 4 January 2004

Off to take my mum out for Sunday lunch, Sunday lunch for us involves a wonderful Indian cafe on an industrial estate near Manchester prison. The cafe is called Shabir's and it is the best Indian food anywhere, I promise, and it is very cheap too. The only thing is it is always cold in there, so its hats on and curry in. I'm just editing up some new poems, been trying to extend my rage a bit, trying hexameter, nothing yet from those experiments that I'm satisfied with.

The new issue of Rialto came last week, and my two poems Variola & Simple Economics have been beautifully presented in it. I'm having a decent publishing run at the minute, there is another piece due this month in a literary mag, and a few other pieces sliding into place.

I'm waiting for the world to kick back in, start sorting things out with my agent, do the diaries for the next short while. Get the meetings rolling and hope that my project where I can buy some time to write comes off.

Saturday, 3 January 2004

Spent the first day at home in ages. Properly at home, fire lit, Miles Davis on the turntable. I had ‘in a silent way’ on cd and had to take it back it sounded wrong, so I’m playing my vinyl, drinking earl grey, there’s an old Sherlock Holmes on the TV. John comes round to watch it with me, we smoke pipes and I open on new bottle of 12 yr old Caol Ila, so light.

The holidays are nearly over thank god. I can go out again. I stay in a lot for fear of…. Well I know I should just get over it but something in me is broken, I know it. I do my best, I’m affectionate and wild and careful all at the same time, but there is a broken thing rattling around from the last year, it makes me ring hollow. So I focus onto work. I’ve not been beyond my front door all day

This time of year kills people. It is too much for many. I can understand that. I put my hands together in my mind and say, ‘I’ve survived it, just a few more days and its over.’

It is overcast here, the cloud is low and there is dog shit right in the middle of the street. I pour a big whiskey and tamp down my pipe.