Sunday, 29 July 2007

walking


Night in Vienna
Originally uploaded by artissoft.

I went to the dark side of town - it was closed

e.xx


walked for 5 hours, Vienna is one of those cities that can take you and all your stuff then as you turn a corner snap you right out of it by throwing you surprises. I just got on a tram and randomly got off, wandered for ages, until i found myself in a square with turkish music coming out of the bars, women in black dress, dust waiting to be washed away. Usually I end up chatting to someone, but tonight I want to simply be one with this dusty out of the way square, it's a sweaty night. Walking.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Invocation of the world


Reentry
Originally uploaded by davidteter.

As I emerged from the valley out of the fog into the sunshine...
The fire at the edge of the prairie...
The potatoes in the ashes...
The boat-house far off at the lake...
The Southern Cross,
The Far East,
The Great North,
The Wild West,
The Great Bear Lake!
The Isles of Tristan de Cunha.
The Mississippi Delta.
Stromboli.
The old houses of Charlottenburg.
Albert Camus.
The morning light.
The child's eyes.
Swimming in the waterfall...
...in the house.
The neighbor asleep in the next room.
Sunday's peacefulness.
The horizon.
The light from the room...
In the garden.
The night flight.
Biking with no hands.
The beautiful stranger.
My father.
My mother.
My wife.
My child.

From Der Himmel Uber Berlin

Friday, 27 July 2007

The world is not what we would like it to be


Chain - Dungeness
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

The world seems to be
sinking into dusk
but I tell the stories
as in the beginning
in my sing-song voice.
which sustains me
protected by the tale
from the troubling present.

from 'Der Himmel Uber Berlin'



the last two days has seen me firstly making mental notes of surprisingly simple testements to our humanness when I see them, and today, actually writing notes of them in my notebook, so that i may remember. Grist for the poetry mill, the need to look, the art of noticing, I dunno. Cities are full of life, but we must frame moments every now and then to know that this means something.

I find myself thinking of the angels in the film Der Himmel Uber Berlin. tesifying acts of wonder. though i am bald and have no long overcoat perhaps this is the same job that they were doing.

'To do no more than observe,
collect, testify, preserve!

Song of Childhood
By Peter Handke

When the child was a child
It walked with its arms swinging,
wanted the brook to be a river,
the river to be a torrent,
and this puddle to be the sea.

When the child was a child,
it didn’t know that it was a child,
everything was soulful,
and all souls were one.

When the child was a child,
it had no opinion about anything,
had no habits,
it often sat cross-legged,
took off running,
had a cowlick in its hair,
and made no faces when photographed.

When the child was a child,
It was the time for these questions:
Why am I me, and why not you?
Why am I here, and why not there?
When did time begin, and where does space end?
Is life under the sun not just a dream?
Is what I see and hear and smell
not just an illusion of a world before the world?
Given the facts of evil and people.
does evil really exist?
How can it be that I, who I am,
didn’t exist before I came to be,
and that, someday, I, who I am,
will no longer be who I am?

When the child was a child,
It choked on spinach, on peas, on rice pudding,
and on steamed cauliflower,
and eats all of those now, and not just because it has to.

When the child was a child,
it awoke once in a strange bed,
and now does so again and again.
Many people, then, seemed beautiful,
and now only a few do, by sheer luck.

It had visualized a clear image of Paradise,
and now can at most guess,
could not conceive of nothingness,
and shudders today at the thought.

When the child was a child,
It played with enthusiasm,
and, now, has just as much excitement as then,
but only when it concerns its work.

When the child was a child,
It was enough for it to eat an apple, … bread,
And so it is even now.

When the child was a child,
Berries filled its hand as only berries do,
and do even now,
Fresh walnuts made its tongue raw,
and do even now,
it had, on every mountaintop,
the longing for a higher mountain yet,
and in every city,
the longing for an even greater city,
and that is still so,
It reached for cherries in topmost branches of trees
with an elation it still has today,
has a shyness in front of strangers,
and has that even now.
It awaited the first snow,
And waits that way even now.

When the child was a child,
It threw a stick like a lance against a tree,
And it quivers there still today.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A passion for shorts


































would you love me less if I wore lederhosen?

i used to wear them when I was little, two or three years ago

I used to be the one in the middle
but I never spent any intimate time with a tree

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

the home stretch

from tomorrow I will be back in my office, writing, reading editing and finding beauty and the creative. It seems like forever with the freelance life making me dance to money's pan pipes. So I am going to have two months away from that. a Holiday - hell yeah.. and learning to sleep again.. but for now.. the sound of a running bath.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

a hope that has no opposite in fear

Allen Ginsberg says 'The weight of the world is love'

I've been pouring over a poem by ee cummings which makes me think of the poem 'song' by Ginsberg which that line above comes from. Pondering how we become hardwired with a particular vision of what love is to each of us... wondering how to undo my own wiring, as I catch glimpses through poems and other people...

xxexx

being to timelessness
as it's to time,

love did no more begin
than love will end;

where nothing is to
breathe to stroll to swim

love is the air the
ocean and the land

 
(do lovers suffer?all
divinities

proudly descending put
on deathful flesh:

are lovers glad?only
their smallest joy's

a universe emerging
from a wish)

 
love is the voice
under all silences,

the hope which has no
opposite in fear;

the strength so strong
mere force is feebleness:

the truth more first
than sun more last than star

 
-do lovers love?why
then to heaven with hell.

Whatever sages say and
fools, all's well 

more sleep needed














e. xxx.

so it's day off, kind of, there are a couple of invoices to do, the mailing list to update, and tomorrow's workshop of making a poetry film in a school in cumbria to plan... but It's also lunch with mum, and a chance to go food shopping, there isn't any live food in the house. I've been on the go for weeks. Also will see if the Apple shop have a new battery for my powerbook, I'm not ready to let my lovely 12inch powerbook go, as apple don't make such a small machine anymore, and this one is perfect for me. Come on Apple try listening about this one, make a 12 inch macbook pro.

met some wonderful young people this week at various events. It's that after exam period so schools want to do something special. I'm not complaining as I am about to stop workshopping for a couple of months to work on the novel some more, and it's this work that will pay all the bills..

If all goes well I'll be in Vienna in a week or so. Look out my lovelies, I'll be wanting cake and coffee, and this time I'll not be working, so it's going to be art and fun all the way.

Love

John

Thursday, 5 July 2007

a thought for naught

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.
- Benjamin Franklin
~
It is still raining here in the north, 2 weeks solid now, South Yorkshire's flood plains are somehow going down slowly, but here in Hebden this morning the river looks dangerously high, it rose several feet over the last half hour with the night water running down from the hills. I am happy at home this morning, feeling tired to my core from the last few weeks of throwing myself around the country. There is a pile of paper to sift through, and invoices to send, and books to write. I know the books should come first, but if I don't get through these papers.... well you know the story, anyway, it's raining, Autechre's glorious 'Amber,' album is on the itunes, Walt Whitman & Emily Bronte are both patiently waiting for me to read them with a cup of tea. e.xx. And the bookshop has rung to tell me Dura's 'The lover' has turned up. I bought a dedicated reading lamp for my sitting room yesterday, it looks like some kind of 1930's war of the worlds contraption, but it's all part of the drive to reduce my tv watching even further, i watch so little, but feel a deep need to nourish myself further with lots of reading.

here is a poem by Old Walt that i have been reading and re-reading

Love

John


THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he
became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a
certain part of the day, or for many years, or
stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and
white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-
bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow's pink-faint
litter, and the mare's foal, and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire
of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below
there—and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads—all
became part of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month
became part of him;
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow
corn, and the esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms, and the fruit
afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest
weeds by the road;

And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-
house of the tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass'd on her way to the
school,
And the friendly boys that pass'd—and the quarrelsome
boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek'd girls—and the barefoot
negro boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he
went.

His own parents,
He that had father'd him, and she had conceiv'd
him in her womb, and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day—they became part
of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on
the supper-table;
The mother with mild words—clean her cap and gown,
a wholesome odor falling off her person and
clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger'd,
unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the
crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the fur-
niture—the yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay'd—the sense of what
is real—the thought if, after all, it should prove
unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time—
the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes
and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets—if they
are not flashes and specks, what are they?
The streets themselves, and the faades of houses, and
goods in the windows,

Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank'd wharves—the huge
crossing at the ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset—
the river between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs
and gables of white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide
—the little boat slack-tow'd astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests,
slapping,
The strata of color'd clouds, the long bar of maroon-
tint, away solitary by itself—the spread of purity
it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance
of salt marsh and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every
day, and who now goes, and will always go forth
every day.

The little prince and the tamed fox


The little prince and the tamed fox

"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."
~
e.xx
~
getting ready for a national radio interview today, on BBC Asian network,kinda dreading it as interviewing on the BBC has become about finding something to be contentious with rather than talking about the subject. I think the BBC's objective these days is to mine for sticky stuff and exploit it, always look for the sensational.. rather than the humanity which is my motivator... listen at 1.10pm UK time if you like. www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/nikki_bedi

~
music this morning - Peccatum 'lost in reverie' - bloody wonderful wake up music



~

Well just back from the BBC interview and I had nothing to worry about, Nikki was lovely, had done her research, and was a brilliant interviewer, we had a lot of fun, talked about the serious business, and she really wanted me to read 'Cheap Moisturiser,' as well so how could I say no. i think you can listen to the interview on the listen again feature on the page above.

Monday, 2 July 2007

John the Poet & John the Wiz


John the Poet & John the Wiz
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

Out and about this morning, Visited John the Wiz's Exhibition at Spirals in Hebden Bridge, I took the photos behind us of one of his pieces, and so he has used them in the show.

~

e. x
x. - e

~

Just started rereading 'Wuthering Heights'

~

a copy of my first Chapbook 'The Devil's Lunchbox' from way back has turned up on Amazon.com through one of the sellers, I am considering buying this for myself, as i only have 2 copies of this little book that started everything off, some of the poems from it are in 'The Prize,' and I think a couple ended up in 'Northern Soul' as well. mmmmmmmm

Sunday, 1 July 2007

You take my breath away


A Day At The Races
Originally uploaded by JulyCansada.

I've been listening to old Queen albums in the car this week, Freddie Mercury is one of my heroes, i don't have many. but when i was a boy he was such a bright light for me, someone else with brown skin, biggger and wilder than everyone else, and very humble too, he sang songs to lift the heart, and if you were ever lucky enough to see him live, you'll know what I mean when i say that he was singing just for me, even though there were thousands there, he was singing individually to each of us.. this is one of my favourite songs by him..

love

John
xx


Look into my eyes and you'll see Im the only one
You've captured my love stolen my heart
Changed my life
Every time you make a move you destroy my mind
And the way you touch
I lose control and shiver deep inside
You take my breath away

You can reduce me to tears with a single sigh
Every breath that you take
Any sound that you make is a whisper in my ear
I could give up all my life for just one kiss
I would surely die if you dismiss me from your love
You take my breath away

So please don't go
Dont leave me here all by myself
I get ever so lonely from time to time
I will find you anywhere you go
Ill be right behind you
Right until the ends of the earth
Ill get no sleep until I find you
To tell you that you just take my breath away

I will find you anywhere you go
Right until the ends of the earth
I'll get no sleep until I find you
To tell you when Ive found you
I love you

Take my breath take my breath ... away

water & flame (part one)


Prayer
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

Poor old UK rain and floods that seem to be going on and on, I knew I should have started on that Ark, AND it's like the old IRA days again, bombs in cars and flaming jeeps. Though back then we never put the country into lock down. If this stuff is real, and who can tell anymore with so many lies in the past from our government - more retractions of our basic freedoms will be allowing the terrorists to succeed.

but i am sure a new round of pushing for interment, limitations to our lives, and loss of liberty will follow. having lived in Northern Ireland, I know about being careful about where you go, but you still have to live. We must keep the country open.

~

e. xxx

~

The Launch of NW 15 containing 2 of my pieces on the London Bombings was a lovely affair at the British Council this week. Met lots of lovely people, and some of the best conatcts I've made in an age, which should be leading to a better future for project Siddique.

~

Britain goes no smoking from today, as a non smoker I must say I can't agree with such silliness, If people don't want to passivly be around smoke, they can not be, and smokers can be aware of others, we don't need more bloody laws.

love from a liberty loving
John