Showing posts from 2011

A Christmas Message to the Readers of Suffolk Punch


Tom Waits - Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis


Bob Dylan - Here Comes Santa Claus


Gerald Nicosia on the Kerouac Estate

Over at our sister station THE BEATNIK we have something of a scoop today: Gerald Nicosia, the only really serious biographer of Jack Kerouac, writes about the recent Florida appellate court ruling on the will being used to direct the operations of Kerouac's estate. It's a forgery, people. There have been questions raised about its authenticity for a long time, but now all those Doubting Thomases (or Toms, since Kerouac fans tend not to like formalities) and all the conspiracy theorists who attach themselves to the other side of anything involving money and power, have been proven to be right. Go and read Nicosia's account, today. It will enrage you and cheer you up at the same time, since the good guys have finally been vindicated (although nobody is pointing fingers at anyone when it comes to the question of who forged the will). Where the good guys can possibly go from here, however, is anybody's guess.

My Gulliver Piece, With Added Comments

I spent half a day writing this crap for class and then it wasn't required because the lecturer was ill. So I thought I'd share it here. Might as well do something with it, although casually flaunting my laboured academic prose in front of Suffolk Punch readers is a little like doing a naked jig in the high street. The task? Take a passage from Gulliver's Travels and analyse it in 500 words using at least one 'secondary source'. Well, here we go...(I have, by the way, interposed a few comments not in the original script.)
Gulliver’s Travels Book 1, Chapter 4 “Which two mighty powers have…”
In this passage from Book 1, Gulliver learns from Principal Secretary Reldresal (sounds like redressal, that does) that a difference about how eggs should be eaten is the motivation for the long war between Lilliput and the neighbouring empire of Blefuscu. Reldresal has been asked to give this historical account to Gulliver in the hope that he will use his size and strength to suppo…

Harry Potter To Play Allen Ginsberg? Surely, A Calamity!

Daniel Radcliffe, who apparently played a young chap called Harry Potter in a series of children's movies about witchcraft which made a lot of money, is going to play Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, a film about the murder of David Kammerer by Lucien Carr, an episode in the history of the Beats familiar to specialists and casual Beat readers alike. The response of the media to the news has been striking for its emphasis on the sexuality of Ginsberg. Our 'arry? Playing one o' them? Go here for an interesting article about the homophobic twaddle that almost every reference to the film has contained since it was announced.

Lunch Poems: Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Colonel Potter: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

I was saddened today to hear of the death of actor Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Sherman T. Potter in one of my favourite TV series, 'M*A*S*H*'. He was 96. The internet tells me Harry also appeared as Officer Gannon in the 1960s revival of Dragnet, and on the short-lived and long-forgotten early '70s cop show Hec Ramsey - although I've never seen the former and can't remember the latter. He can be seen, if anyone still likes Westerns enough to look for them, in two of the greatest examples of the genre ever made, The Ox-Bow Incident, with Henry Fonda, and John Wayne's fabulous, moving last film The Shootist.

But it is for 'M*A*S*H' that some of us, at least, will remember him. Sherman T. (formerly 'Hoops') Potter, that eccentric veteran of multiple wars, with a love, as I recall, for Zane Grey (or am I imagining that?) and a horse called Sophie. I watched every episode of that show again and again and I never tired of the counterpoint Potter&…

Siddhartha sets out on the path


Happy Rohatsu Everybody

Men, women, children, cats, dogs, cows, sheep, tigers, lions, leopards, monkeys, fish, trees, rocks, grass and everything outside and in between.

Bob Dylan - Sara (Live)

I live in my own little cultural vacuum where nothing has happened that I don't want to be aware of and nothing has any legitimacy unless I give it my much-envied seal of approval. Maybe we all do, although I understand there is a strange species of people out there who designate themselves "open-minded" and condemn my selectivity. I condemn their unselectivity. It indicates to me a curious lack of passion.

An Unexpected Guest

I wrote a poem this morning. I call myself a poet so this should not really be newsworthy, but since I haven't written anything since September I'm rather pleased. After reading Jon Swift over my morning coffee, I stepped reluctantly (as ever) into the bath and there was the poem, knocking unexpectedly on my mental front door asking to come in for breakfast. Needless to say, I let it in. It was a lot more welcome than some of the visitors who've been knocking on that door recently. And it looks good, at first, second and third glance. When I've taken a fourth and fifth glance I may even share it with the world.

I bet you can't wait.

The Death Of Emmett Till / Alabama

John Coltrane recorded "Alabama" on November 18, 1963, just two months after the racially-motivated Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls and injured several other people. I've always loved the hellfire kind of protest as demonstrated, to some extent, by Dylan's "Death of Emmett Till" because sometimes rage and explicit statement are the only appropriate responses to a terrible event. But Coltrane's track works on a different level aesthetically, presenting the bombing as a human tragedy, one that everybody civilised enough to feel can understand, while never disengaging from condemnation of the perpetrators. Music is subjective but to borrow a phrase from Dylan, I hear "tears of rage [and] tears of grief" in the track.

Jonathan Swift

There's more truth in a teacupful of Jon Swift than there is in a bucket of Will Shakespeare. Click the link.

An Excellent New Song Being The Intended Speech Of A Famous Orator Against Peace by Jonathan Swift

Allen Ginsberg - full show


Kerouac and the Clones

A correspondent suggests that Jack Kerouac has no place in the slice-and-dice Penguin anthology even though Ginsberg has, and would have made the cut but for those evil money-grubbers at HarperCollins. I've heard this kind of stupid prejudice against Kerouac many times, but I still can't help wondering what planet people live on. Everybody who isn't looking for the employee of the month badge at McDonald's or next year's £50 000 Anaemic Poetry Prize and the big seat at the English Department table in the University of Clones knows Kerouac is a great poet. Here's Ginsberg's own view on the matter from an old issue of Gargoyle Magazine.

Dove: Digging Deeper

I've been reading further on Rita Dove's decision to exclude Ginsberg and Kerouac from the new Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Verse and I've unearthed a couple of interesting details. First this old quote from Dove, which demonstrates she has no particular prejudice towards Ginsberg (I'd never heard of her before I read about the anthology, so what did I know?):

Allen Ginsberg's importance was in its twilight for so many years that it took his death to bring it to the front page. He electrified an entire world! And he continues to do so! There are generations who stumble across HOWL and find it speaks to them. Yet it takes a tragedy to make people notice.

Dove says in her introduction, apparently, that she couldn't afford to blow her whole budget on hefty permission fees from copyright owners. I don't know if she refers specifically to HarperCollins and Rupert Murdoch (I am so out of t…

Ginsberg: The Ugly Spectre of Revisionism

The rather wonderful Allen Ginsberg blog ( reminds us that Allen's poetry has been left out of Rita Dove's Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry.

WHAT??? Who the hell is going to represent American poetry at mid-century and into the Sixties then? Robert Lowell?? Kenneth Patchen??

This doesn't warrant a polite "Boo!", Ginsberg people, it warrants a howl, if you'll pardon the pun, of objection. It's philistinism. Absolute philistinism. And an absurd attempt to rewrite history, excluding the only serious challenge to the strangulating dullness of respectable literary life in those times.

I recommend we all write emails and letters of strenuous complaint and refuse to buy any more Penguin books until they correct their ridiculous error.

Rohatsu Is Coming, Bard Rolls Out The Mat

We Boodhists are fast approaching our favourite day in December, which is called Rohatsu. Rohatsu falls on December the 8th, and since the word itself, in Japanese, means "eighth day of the twelfth month" (at least according to About Buddhism) that would make sense. December 8 is the day Japanese Buddhists observe the enlightenment of the Buddha of our aeon, although of course, there have been countless Buddhas in past aeons, and I suppose there will be countless Buddhas in the future.

In Zen monasteries, Rohatsu is the last day of a week-long sesshin, which is to say an intensive meditation retreat in which monks focus on their meditation practise at every moment of the day as a means of redoubling their dedication to the search for Enlightenment. This, after all, was the historical moment when Buddha himself entered into the final stages of his search, confronted Mara and freed himself from cyclical existence.

I try to observe a mini Rohatsu week every year at the Bard Ga…

Misogyny Thy Name is Bard

I learned today that I have a reputation at the University for being a woman hater as well as a loudmouth and a bad poet. I can only imagine this is based upon my recent declaration that the two lecturers who grate on my nerves are female. Well, okay. I won't dignify such nonsense with a defence of my liberal egalitarian principles. Let people think what they like. I'm reaching the stage where I don't really care what people think, as long as the people I love still love me.

The Ordinary Madness of Charles Bukowski - Part 1


Library Fines: You Must Be Kidding Me

I heard the other day that the library fines at Northampton Uni are £1 for every hour your book is overdue. That means I owe them £24 on a really stupid critical book attributing Esther Greenwood's behaviour in The Bell Jar to penis envy. I took it out and then effaced it from my memory for a day because it was so ridiculous.

Well, so are the library changes, ladies and gents. I'm not paying. You can email me; you can call me; you can send the bailiffs round; but I'm not supporting your middle class comforts and crap university architecture with my hard-borrowed cash. Lower it to a £1 a week and we'll talk.


I'd completely forgotten, may the Gods of Poetry shame me, that yesterday was William Blake's birthday. All bow down at the feet of the Bard of Albion.

Paris, Midlands

I have two essays to write in the next two weeks for this degree I've managed to get myself jammed into sideways, and the computers at the university today are refusing to open any file that might help me research them. Fine. Just another one of the cute little frustrations of electronically-dominated twenty-first century academic life. (I don't have a computer at home, you see, so I can't go there and do the work instead.)

But who gives a crap. I have a few days yet. And I have so much reading to do, that should keep me busy (ie: away from anything important) until whatever's wrong with these computers is made right.

I was watching Paris, Texas last night. It's one of my favourite films. I first saw it in '84 or '85, the first time it was shown on tv; and as I watched it - does anybody remember the beautiful haunted loneliness of Harry Dean Stanton's Travis? - I thought how nice it would be, if only for a while, to go back to the way things were then.…

The Sorrows of Old Hoddther

I've noticed my eyes have started streaming whenever the wind blows or the temperature drops. I should go and see a doctor probably, but I like the way it makes me look like a melancholy German Romantic weeping at the sadness of the world.

(HQ) Allen Ginsberg Sings Hare Krishna to William Buckley


Mop-Tops in Manc

While I'm in Beatles mode, here's a fabulous old Pathe News report on a Beatles concert in Manchester in 1963. It looks like it comes from another world, but I was only a year away from making my own grand appearance. Small wonder I feel like an alien from the other side of Mars when I sit in a lecture room full of teenagers at the University.

Hammell on Trial

I've always thought this was the best statement about any of the Beatles.

Back in London: Spectres of the Fantastic In and Out of Class

I went to the Big City yesterday with Northampton University to take part in a symposium called "The Fantastic Imagination" with Richmond, the uni for American students in London. I did a presentation with my friend Martyna on "The Female Gothic" - a subject I know very little about, I hasten to add; it was just the first thing that popped into my head when the Head of English at Northampton asked what we were going to talk about. It seemed to go well. One of the American lecturers there said we looked like we were presenting the Oscars. Really? A portly, grey-bearded middle-aged man and a 23-year-old Polish Goth?

Unusually for me I had very little to contribute for the rest of the day - other than when we were freezing our arses (or perhaps I should say asses)off in the courtyard smoking area at lunchtime - because I know absolutely nothing about fantasy literature, almost nothing about Gothic literature, and the only science fiction author I've ever read is …

The Return of the Egregious Angel

You'll be delighted to hear I'll be posting more regularly on here from now on. I've become a bit soured with Facebook, its ephemerality, and the way it has of sucking you into the consensual world by exposing you continually to hundreds of other lives. Perhaps to anybody other than a writer it would be a good, healthy thing to be able to plug into the public brain every day at a moment's notice. But a writer needs a more arrogant, solipsistic relationship to what is presumed mistakenly to be the real, inevitable world. Well, I do. My isolation from what I see as the lies and the bullshit of ordinary life has always been my power. So from now on there'll be less Facebooking - less discovering who went out last night, who's watching the X-Factor this weekend, who thinks we should stand up and weep before a Union Jack every morning for Our Boys In Afghanistan - and more writing my own stuff, more creating a picture of my own fabulously uninteresting world for any…

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

I watched the Martin Scorsese documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World last night. The wondrousness of George's best songs is not something you ever forget, but it's nice to revisit them, especially on a guided tour hosted by a great director. The movie lacks a little of the cohesion of Scorsese's Bob Dylan: No Direction Home, which was structured around Dylan's conversion to electricity and the "Judas!" heckle at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, but it's still a marvellous trip for anybody who remembers those times, has a feel for those times or who's interested in general ideas of counter-culture, and new/old alternatives to Capitalism. If you can afford the £10.99 most shops are charging for it, maybe you should give it a whirl.

Literary Leprosy and Clasping Assholes

I had Ron Whitehead on video performing "I Will Not Bow Down" with Southside this morning. It provided me with a much-needed, mind-cleansing dose of abnormality. Reminded me I was an artist … Ron has the ability to live and to work as an artist on no one’s terms but his own, whereas sometimes I see myself as I think others see me and internalise their prejudices about what I do, what I say, how I look. It’s a bad old habit which I acquired many, many years ago. A lot of Ron’s stuff speaks with absolute defiance about who he is and what he believes, like a blues song with an education, or Walt Whitman drunk on red wine jamming with a rock and roll band. It inspires me tremendously, and I probably embarrassed the hell out of him when I told him so.

I write well enough when the wind is fair and my dander’s up, but most of the time it comes out in uncontrolled spurts like the gyzm of Onan, and it ends up in all the wrong places. I should make an effort to get some of that stuff …

There's Still Power in a Union (2)

With a wave of industrial action expected this summer in response to the Coalition’s severe programme of budget cuts, we hear voices from the Right and the Centre calling for a further ‘tightening’ of union strike laws. We see no reason to change the laws at the moment, the Tories say (and the Lib Dems warn, as if they were reluctant passengers), because at the moment things are working fairly well, but we may have to review the laws at some stage if the situation changes. As long as the unions co-operate with us, in other words, they’ll be fine. If they don’t, we’ll start making their lives difficult.

That’s a fine example of democracy for you, isn’t it? They’re not doing what we want them to, so we’ll make it harder for them to defy us. They say the unions do not have a sufficient mandate from their members for the next wave of strikes. Most members, they point out, didn’t cast a vote either for or against industrial action. Perhaps. Although there are issues about how furtive a uni…

There’s Still Power in a Union (1)

When my friend was talking to me about the problems at his job last night I thought, and said (not for the first time either), "If everybody in the workplace joined a union it would make England a different country overnight." And it would. Most bosses say they don’t recognise unions and won’t negotiate with them; but if everybody was in a union, they would have to recognise them. So why don’t people join unions when pay and working conditions are dreadful for so many? A common thing you’ll hear in objection to unions – from people who can be bothered to engage in a discussion about it – is that the unions are "in it for themselves". Some unspecified person at your or my union’s head office is cynically using the union cause to seek publicity and profit. Well, it’s natural they’re going to get publicity during disputes and negotiations because the media is following them around asking for interviews. But what sort of masochist do we suppose would actively seek the …

Jamie Cullum: The Triumph of the Dull

Last night, as I was waiting for my friend to arrive, I put the Radio Two Jamie Cullum Jazz Programme on for some diversion. Once again I have to conclude that he is the most boring man on radio. The dumbing-down of the jazz content on his show is bad enough – it avoids the seriousness of John Coltrane/ Sun Ra-era jazz the way Labour avoids any public connection with the unions – but Cullum’s vacuously enthusiastic twitterings drive me mad. The last time he was on I actually told the radio to shut up in an empty room. And then I turned it over. I should have known better last night too – same show, same presenter – but can I be blamed for my goofy optimism?

Eliza Carthy: Good Folk

Last night while I was doing other things on the internet I watched a programme about 'folksinger' (since we must classify everything) Eliza Carthy. It was narrated by one Tom Ravenscroft. He wouldn't be the son of grievously-missed John Peel (born John Ravenscroft) would he? or am I exhibiting a romantic side to my nature I would do better, in the defence of my hard-won image as an emotional ice block, to conceal? No matter. In addition to Mr. Ravenscroft, whoever he may be, the programme also featured Eliza herself (obviously, you might think, although if she gets very famous she will absent herself from such flummery), Billy Bragg, 'comedian's comedian' Stewart Lee and Eliza's parents 'folk legends' Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. And I don't know why - who can say what happy commingling of astral forces and bodily courses makes these things come about - but from the beginning to the end of the show I was mesmerised by the music, the interv…

The Winter of Discontent: Rubbish Piled Up in the Mind.

In keeping with my current political mood - which seems to have been provoked by the appalling spectacle of Mr. Cleggeron in white shirt, tieless, with sleeves rolled up (have we really reached such an idiotic and transparent low in political propagandising?) walking around a hospital ward "listening" to nurses and patients - I watched an old documentary about one of my heroes Michael Foot this morning. In doing so I discovered something I'd forgotten long ago: those "memories" anti-Labourites and lazy political agnostics who don't want their consciences pricked or their inactivity disturbed haul out every time you talk about the years immediately before Thatcher - the ones about "rubbish piling up in the streets" and "bodies not being buried" because of the strikes - were actually grossly irresponsible sensationalist headlines from a Tory Party Political Broadcast! I'm sure it happened in a few places - it wasn't just the busine…

The Tyranny of the Old

On Saturday that venerable old programme Desert Island Discs changed its format for a week and featured the 8 songs that listeners would wish to take with them to the hypothetical desert island. They had been writing and emailing their selections in for some time, it seemed. I immediately succumbed to the same temptation I imagine every other listener felt who hadn’t already sent in a selection and chose my own 8 songs, just for personal amusement (and to see if I couldn’t prove my intellectual and cultural superiority to my usual audience, the silent the walls of my living room at the Bard Gaff). This was the list I produced:

John Coltrane ‘Alabama’
Neil Young ‘Mansion on the Hill’
George Harrison ‘My Sweet Lord’
Elvis Presley ‘Mystery Train’
Bob Dylan ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’
Billie Holiday ‘Strange Fruit’
Fairport Convention ‘Mattie Groves’
Rolling Stones ‘Gimme Shelter’

(With Carl Perkins’ ‘Honey Don’t’ and Waylon Jennings’ ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ waiting in the wings if any of the o…

When Grace Departed

Browsing around on YouTube this morning I found footage of Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock in ’69 singing ‘Somebody to Love’ (which isn't in the movie). What a mighty band they were with their powerful, complex, multi-layered songs and Grace, the most devastating frontman (person?) of the era - only the ingrained sexism and lack of imagination of critics and historians makes them say Jagger.   I flipped forward a little over a decade after that, drawn by a masochistic desire to wreck the high Grace's booming voice and startling blue eyes had put me on, and watched ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ by their Reaganite incarnation Starship. (Or were they Jefferson Starship? I dunno.) My memory of it turned out to be accurate: they were fucking hideous. Grace is still there out front but all of her charisma, all of the sexual power she had, is gone; and with her hair piled up on her head and a gaudy jacket on she looks like a groupie at an Elvis Presley concert. The rest of the band a…

Southbank at the Millenium: FML

It was December 31st 1999 and something was supposed to happen. It had been in the news for weeks. All the computers in the world were going to crash when midnight came because for one second it would be 00.00 hours on 01.01.00. For some reason they weren’t going to be able to cope with that, and when they couldn’t, we would be ‘hurled back into the Dark Ages’.
That night I was working. I was a carer at Southbank, a residential home in Kettering at the top of Northampton Road there. Looking out of the window in the big rear lounge, we had a tremendous view of half the town. I used to sit and look out of that window quite often when I was supposed to be working. I always imagined that I was somewhere else, or wrote poems in my head that I would transcribe in the toilet later on. But while I sat there I was sure to keep a pile of papers in my lap and a pen poised over them so anybody passing would think that I was busy. I was, after all, in charge while the manager was elsewhere; and I …

Yes, We All Love Him (Well, It's The Law): Barack Obama In London

Barack Obama’s speech to the Houses of Commons and Lords yesterday was mind-numbingly dull. Perhaps that isn’t surprising if you’ve been following him more closely than I have; my interest in politics comes and goes, usually as the tension in my own life increases or decreases as a result of forces completely unrelated to national or international affairs. The last full speech of Obama’s that I heard, actually, was the famous “Yes We Can” speech he made just before he became President. That was almost a miracle of inspirational rhetoric. Perhaps his speeches have been losing their lustre for a long time as he faces up to the grim reality of having to deliver on his promises. But yesterday he sounded flatter than a squashed carcass on the A43 road to Kettering.
The highlight of the speech, according to the radio, was the moment when he hauled out the increasingly dreary chestnut about his being the grandson of a Kenyan farmer or leather belt manufacturer or British Army van driver (wh…

Looking for Lucia Joyce

It occurred to me this morning that I can print off the Prajnaparamita and DiamondSutras rather than waiting for them to appear in book form (and being able to afford them). Then I can study them alongside my revision for the exams and my reading of James Joyce's Ulysses.

I'm up in Kingsthorpe now, though - 9a.m. Sunday morning, on a beautiful cool sunny day - to find (at last) the grave of Lucia, Joyce's daughter. I don't know why I've wanted to make this trip for so long - don't know why I've put it off for so long either - but here I am. I was thinking as I walked up from Semilong: how fitting this is, I have to walk for 45 minutes and then journey around Kingsthorpe Cemetery in circles with no guarantee of success, to locate physical evidence of Lucia, but her father I can pick up off my bookshelf.

On the way up, two Care Assistants with regulation cardigan over blue uniform sitting on the wall outside the E.P.H. smoking. Great anti-corporate image! Then …

Email to Sarah Uldall

Sarah Uldall is running for the Liberal Democrats in my ward in the local council elections in Northampton, U.K. on May 5th. Here is the email I am sending her after discovering unwanted LibDem campaign literature on my doormat when I came home yesterday.

6th April 2011
Dear Sarah Uldall,
Recently I left a note at my door asking for no Liberal Democrat newsletters or campaign leaflets to put through my letterbox. So imagine how disappointed I was to come home today and find another edition of your Focus on my doormat.
Please stop sending me this material. Quite apart from your rudeness in ignoring my original request, I do not read anything either you or your new ideological bedfellows the Conservative Party send, so you are wasting your time. It all goes straight into the bin.
As far as I am concerned the local Liberal Democrats are inseparable from the national Liberal Democrats; and your Westminster masters, after misrepresenting themselves and their agenda shamelessly to con disaffecte…

The Tory Mind Takes Over Fastest Where Daddy's Money Buys It

Jeeeesus it depresses me to encounter so much conservatism among the young these days. I’m doing a degree for dubious reasons at a university in the lower 90s of the uni league tables and I keep meeting young people who support David Cameron – who want to sleep with David Cameron, for Christ’s sake – young people who support the vicious cuts the Prime Minister and his previously Liberal Deputy are making to deal with the budget deficit. Fuck the libraries. Fuck nationally-owned woodland. Fuck EMAs and higher education – the tripling of tuition fees isn’t a problem – better do that than risk our capacity to defend our beleaguered shores by getting rid of Trident missiles. Better privatise the NHS than stop making foreign wars. You think I’m exaggerating the conservatism of these kids? You should talk to them. I get treated like an old lunatic when I suggest there’s an alternative view in these matters. They have absolutely no sense of how the inroads true liberalism and socialism made …

No Immunity for Bush

Bush & co. did violate the human rights of prisoners at Guantanamo & that should be impartially investigated, whether the "Enemy" did worse or not. We have to stand up for "our" own values. Not be hypocrites. Hypocrisy is the crack in the wood that admits the worm. Unimpeachable, we take away powerful propaganda from those who would spread murder & hate.

No "Enemy"/ no "our" really, we're all human beings, all fleshy organisms requiring food & sunlight for energy & love for sustenance of the Spirit. & there's no "England", no "United States", no "Pakistan" or "Iran" in Nature, just land & rocks, grass, trees, mountains, rivers. Borders got there by ancient wars & nobody wants the bad karma of inherited blood & suffering do they? Like Kelsang Pawo says, compassion! Bake a cake for your so-called Enemy & apologise to them for your lack of mindfulness.

written aft…

Drive Thru

Drive thru the old village today, then into Kettering, ghosts '68 to '04 everywhere. Hello child me, mother, father, vanished bus stations & garages, hello 'Motor Cycle News' car park, hello boarded-up old teen college, hello gone Southbank & intact Elm Bank building lost friends & loves still hovering, meet my new life, meet my new friend, ain't she gorgeous

Don't Make Myths

Yesterday I looked at some old poems I tried to write about a place I worked called Elm Bank (in Kettering) & three women I knew there, all of whom I fancied, one of whom I had a brief, unsuccessful fling with, & one of whom I ended up being the immasculated mistress of for three years. The poems had some good moments in them, but generally they didn't work. & now there seems little point in persisting with them; the energy has gone. I wondered, though, after looking at them, how I managed when things had started so well to fuck up three potentially beautiful friendships & I realised that in two out of three cases it was dishonesty (& foot odour probably). I liked to think I was a big pot-smoking vegetarian storm-the-barricades hippie radical & I was actually a shy, arrogant, inexperienced, stay-at-home book-radical writing anti-Conservative screeds in my journals to be discovered by lit archaelogists decades hence & occasionally sending out average poe…