Tuesday, 30 October 2007

sort of back online

but still in need of a techie

third draft of tiny BBC play done..think that is it.. strange how something so small can divert you from other things.. should be broadcast on radio 3 mid november.


it is freezing in the valley today.. says it's 5 degrees but it actually seems colder, so big sweater, hat and gloves for me going out this morning.


the singular use of a tony blair:
though were still in the woods, it dawns on me blair was useful in one way, he taught me alway to listen to what was being said by him, his cronies and allies, or infact the news, and simply turn it 180 to see what was actually being said. try it, life suddenly becomes much happier..for example todays headline on the bbc

'Hain sorry for 'wrong' migration figures'

not sorry - certainly
that migration is a problem - is it? i wouldn't exist unless it were for migration, would you? migration is a natural thing so no need to worry then.

and on and on

the world becomes much more textured again if you turn the words back, and if you think i'm being delusional, well it doesn't change much, but i'm happier, so that's something...

Monday, 29 October 2007

internet troubles

hey all

having real trouble connecting to the net, old router has died by the look of things, and had to get a new one, and it doesn't seem to be behaving at all. need a geek, thought i had one in the celler but that was the ladygimp, who is not very techie..

long and short of it is if yr awaiting a reply to a mail.. it may take me a wee while yet.

pass the hammer ms gimp


og ps.. just to share a lovely thing, was listening to ravel's string quartet in the car.. wonderful.. seems that i like ravel.. it all started with - a heart in winter..so thanks..e.x


Sunday, 28 October 2007

did I mention the art in OMNI

Originally uploaded by PU Skunk.

Omni Magazine

1978 - Omni Magazine
Originally uploaded by brenjay.

was just thinking about, how i came to be writer, for some things i have to write over the next while. I have always been a reader, there are many inspirations and books that have fed me, but i especially remember OMNI magazine way back in the late seventies turning me on to short stories and art like i had never seen before.. used to order it in my local newsagent/post office, think i got it from issue 1 as they featured it on 'Tomorrows World' on the BBC, i can remember reading this in my last year of High School.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Friday Beauty

I'm indulging today, kate bush, mozart - string quartets, pablo neruda, and emmanuelle beart... 

music, poetry and film. mmmmmmm

friday comes and friday goes, with the background of the humble pie incident still in the air.. so there's a ho mum underpinning things..
take my refuge in beauty, dive deep..

fao: young readers

hey all, was watching that programme about kids books last night on telly, and they didn't mention any poetry at all.. If you felt like it, it would be good if you wrote to them and told them about your favourite books and writers, because it all looked like it was decided that the books chosen were the ones the tv producers thought were popular, rather than being the things that you like. so you tell them..

here's the address to write to:

The Richard & Judy Book Club

am thinking of creating some poetry posters for schools, is this the sort of thing you would like, I know some of you have been asking for things for school for a while? write and let me know.

In the mood for some Kate Bush

I read Peter Reich's book of dreams a couple of years ago, it's quite amazing reading of his father's work, and how the boy was both enchanted and lost in this wonderland of now buried sciences & passion.


last night I got such a feeling to read and look at beautiful things, to fill up. it's funny how one can get hungry in this way, and just like with food, you have to chew each mouthful, and take the time to taste things, otherwise there is little satisfaction, only the sensation of filling up.


poet in the city have created a forum to discuss poetry, family, anything you like, in the wake of last weeks reading, though anyone can go on to discuss or ask questions of Anne Atkins, Wendy Cope, and myself.. mm where is that link..


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Lessing says 9/11 'not that bad' -DISCUSS

Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing has said that the 11 September attacks were "not that terrible" compared to the IRA's terror campaign."Some Americans will think I'm crazy... but it was neither as terrible or as extraordinary as they think," the writer told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The 88-year-old added that "people forget" the IRA bomb attack on Margaret Thatcher's government in 1984.
Lessing won the Nobel prize, worth £763,000, honouring her 57-year career.
Five people died and 34 were injured when an IRA bomb exploded in a Brighton hotel where leading members of the Conservative party - including Mrs Thatcher - were staying for its annual conference.
'World calamity'
The author conceded that "many people died and two prominent buildings fell" in the attacks on New York's World Trade Center in 2001.
"They're a very naive people, or they pretend to be," she added of Americans.
Lessing, whose novels include The Golden Notebook and Memoirs of a Survivor, also branded President George W Bush "a world calamity".
"Everyone is tired of this man. Either he is stupid or he is very clever, although you have to remember he is a member of a social class which has profited from wars."
The writer also said that she "always hated Tony Blair from the beginning".
Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for her "fire and visionary power", and is due to collect her award at a ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Humble Pie

Humble Pie
Originally uploaded by davidhemphill.

oh to sleep
have you ever done that thing where you haven't slept properly for a while, and everything goes weird then you send an email which is more 'finnegan's wake,' than it should be.. well picture me all eating humble pie and trying to find words to make things less odd..

no i bet you have never done anything like that.

thanks for the lovely letters regarding the National portrait gallery show last week. it was lovely to see you all.


Friday, 19 October 2007

national portrait gallery

just to say thank you, and how wonderful it was to see so many people at the reading last night at the NPG. it was so lovely to read alongside Wendy Cope and Jackie Kay, in such a lovely venue. well done to Poet in the City for setting this up..

today I'm off to the poerty library and tate modern, fill up on poetry and art some more, then might have a wild boyish stab at some more of that novel.



Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Nabakov Quote

'it was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.'

just sharing these as they are so lovely

just browsing youtube and found this musician

it's hard to believe he's making such sounds

and a lovely video of beloved vienna.. perhaps my favourite city on earth

Sunday, 14 October 2007

secrets blog - lack of sleep - being a son, a poet, a novelist

I love this blog

truth or lies, they're all stories...


hello to my site visitors from karachi, and the states and canada.. good to know you've been by.. must do more to promote my work outside of UK.. we must talk about that.


seem to have lost the ability to sleep, feeling okay in myself, but at an odd angle to things, taking solace in some Chopin, resting in the music, not reading cos concentration is off.. this this is because I've has two weeks away from the novel to teach and make some money, I feel like a swollen dam, all the weight of the novel waiting to flow through the sluces. must find a way to write and do other stuff too..any tips anyone..???


The urge to swim around in poetry is also very high.. the Galway Kinnell reading stoked my fires, I have a couple of nice poetry cds that have been sent to me this week so I'll listen to them in the car today.. on my way to do my sonly sunday stuff and take my mother for lunch.


gearing up for the national portrait gallery reading with jackie kay and wendy cope, lead a workshop in burnley yesterday for their writer's circle, had a lovely time, and read for them, so included some of the stuff i'll be reading thursday.... be good to see you if you're coming to that, please make sure you say hello.


hey e... hope yr good

Saturday, 13 October 2007

a week of humbling moments - a list

Rush live at sheffield arena - the look of joy  & engagement on my god son's face through the whole show..his first ever gig.

Finding that photo of myself aged 19 posted in the entry below.

A lovely letter in response to my poem other people's children from Ted Hughes' daughter

The poet Galway Kinnell reading in Manchester last night. hearing him read 'St. Francis & the Sow,' 'Rapture,' and a wonderful poem by his freiend Grace Paley who died recently. lots of joy and tears in the audience..meeting him and chatting later was brilliant.. to be in the presence of a true artist touches the very depths of one's humanity. It reminded me of what I'm suppossed to be doing as a writer and as a man. It reminded me of when i first read ee cummings, how the right words can wake us back up to ourselves with a tenderness that is both joyful and wet with tears at the same time, coming from a profundity or a sense of communion with the higher through that wonderful medium of language/art.

My dear friend Linda Chase who has quite similar taste in poets to me, telling me about her now, and her recent times. we both cried during Galway's Reading. Linda's warmth and forward lookingness is always an inspiration.

Filling young people up with poetry and stories all week on a schools tour, seeing them respond to literature rather than litracy.

a contentment of centredness that has dawned throughout the week..seeing the early mornings.

trading war stories with MJ Hyland over drinks and nachos.

I have had a thread of otherness/outsiderness all the way through my life, it is what lets me write. sometimes i ask 'where is my home.' it's between the words of these stories and moments.

St Francis and the Sow - Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Wait by Galway Kinnell
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Here by Grace Paley
here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that’s who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that’s my old man across the yard
he’s talking to the meter reader
he’s telling him the world’s sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips

Monday, 8 October 2007

John at Stonehenge 1984

John at Stonehenge 1984
Originally uploaded by John Siddique.

June 21st 1984 - The Summer Solstice. Here I am with hair, with sun in my heart, and love for all things shining out of my eyeballs that have not slept for 3 days - This pic will be used in an upcoming book that I have a piece in where the writers have communicated with their younger selves.

My mate Dave and I did a hitch-hike to the festival. Bands we saw, hawkwind, the enid, roy harper, nik turner (who seemed to be everywhere.) and many many others. This was to be the last real festival the UK would ever see. everything changed in 1985, and sadly now it's all about money.

Friday, 5 October 2007


been typing and creating since early this morning.. just completed the major draft of a very short play for the BBC. a diversion from the novel to be sure, and anything that takes me away from that is almost painful to my system, but they asked me for an 8 minute play for Radio 3, and well i like a challenge. 8 mins is so short, it's tricky to keep the story close enough.. anyway, I'll let you know if it survives the producer and commissioners as it goes though the machine, have lost one piece this way already, they ask for it, then say no. not a great way to work..

managed to sneak some Miles Davis music into the piece. si I'm very happy... can't say anymore for now... just printing the script off.. very exciting.. 




just signed off facebook, what a relief. vampire bites, and superpokes, meaningless minutae..even though there are people i love and like, even some useful conatcts on there, this is no way to be in communication. also my spam levels have gone up so much lately..has to be from here. so lovers, friends, business peeps, let's visit, meet for supper or a drink, phone, write, email, but we can all do better than the dribble and waste of work and life time that is social networking.

Monday, 1 October 2007


Bach on the iPod speakers (Partita No5 - Piano), been playing RUSH all morning and rocking out, in RUSH mode here as I'm taking my god son to see them on saturday, he is 11, it's his first rock concert, and he loves RUSH. gotta love those capital letters.

my father is 77 years old today, happy birthday to you out there. blessings and love. This is a photo of him on his wedding day in 1963.

lots of odd bits of activity in my writing room today, have a bunch of schools over the next while so thinking about those and sorting the book box. Updated my growing aknowledgments list for the novel. i do these for books as i go along, It's a wonderful thing to see who is in the heart of each book, and each book would be different without the people who are there in their manifold ways.

happy monday folks from the word mines