Thursday, 16 October 2008


You do not have to remind me, I am well aware of what a feckless lanky, bog-eyed scribbler I be. Too busy to write my blog when ever I have thought about it, and failing to bring it to mind when I could have managed a quick peck or two on the qwerty.

Do you do this: think about writing something, or to someone, carry on composing the piece/letter/blog in your head – you may even go back over it to do a bit of revision and editing – and when you’ve got it finished in the Writing Room of your Mansion of Grey Convolutions, you forget all about it cuz you’ve then got the feeling that the job has been done and dusted?

I do the above daily. Years can pass without me physically writing to a friend or relation. They feel neglected but, in fact, I have been in regular touch with them by my one-way mental mail that has a nice bright red post box but no collection service as yet. It’s not an explanation that goes down with any great success, though.

Come to think of it, I did have a go at writing this blog a few weeks ago. Yards of it I wrote, straight onto the page, then, inexplicably, lost it in the ether. Computers are reckoned to be sooooooooooooooooooooo clever but they are thick most of the time. And how they try to talk to you!! Bog off! You are a machine. I paid for you, and if I want to, I will pound you to pieces with the wheel end of my office stool. Now stop talking and get on with that simple task I set you.

We had a friend once, Graham Thorley (R.I.P), who was a genius. He could do anything. He was taking and printing his own colour photos before most people had heard of them. He made all the equipment to do it and, in some instances, made the tools necessary to make the equipment with. He had a motto: ‘Anything man-made can be made by man.’ Meaning made by him, naturally. And he could. He did. He made his own computer. His computer was a bit brighter than the average. It was far in advance of anything available commercially. Graham was a terrific artist and designer too. Like I told you, the guy could do slutely anything.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttt, anyhow, with the help of programmes and posters, Lynda’s power of recall and a few stills harvested from the whirling montages of my mind, I will endeavour to piece together the events that fill the chasm opened up since my last entry, on 13th July 2008, by my extreme lack of blogness.

‘making a nOIse in libraries’

The making a noise ‘tour’ was in support of a fortnight when people with visual impairment were especially thought of. Poets are in their element here, of course, with poetry being essentially an aural/oral medium.

I took a small PA system to library after library in Cheshire, and performed my poem ‘Words’. It’s a piece that takes about 51/2 - 6 mins.

I chose the late opening hours of the libraries I went and performed the poem 2x in the hour if the late opening was one hour and 3x if it stayed open for two hours. I loved it. There were not many people about in a lot of them. Those that were there viewed it largely in a detached and bemused way. One or two people came on purpose to hear me – great - but it wasn’t really about that. It was about its surprise value and its celebration of the spoken word. What I did get – I this is the best reward – was loads of emailed requests for the poem: individuals who wanted a copy for themselves or to pass on to friends and lovers who’d missed the performances; writing groups who wanted to discuss it at one of their meetings, and a nice lady who wrote to me weeks after and offered me a gig to perform it as the opening gambit of the new year of the University of the 3rd Age at Alsager Civic Centre.But more of that later.

My first nOIse gig was at Congleton public library. Mike Drew there is a cool guy and really into what I was doing. He took a few photos – I’ll stick one of them on here in a min – and asked me if I would consider coming back to do a longer set on a Saturday morning when there would be a max audience. I’d be happy to do that. I’ve got a collection simmering away on the back burner that would be ideal. It’s a collection of poems and lyrics, a bit political and with a bit of angst. I’m calling it: ‘IT’S MY SHOUT!’ It’s built up of my roots pieces like ‘If Yer Working Class’ (Yes, yer muvver should’ve told you the way the system works/’Ow they love to be living off yer sweat, grabbin’ all the perks/From the cradle on, they take yer best, then make you obsolete/If yer working class yer on yer arse more often than yer feet. Etc. You get the idea). And poems of private pleasures like ‘Rhythmic Habits’ and ‘I Want You’.

That’ll do me for now. I’ll try and import that photo. Tootle-pip.
Oh, the only photo I can find is of me and Lynda playing in the Coachmakers. That'll have to do for now. I told you computers were thick. T'ra again.