Fly With Me

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Eagle Flying High. Photo by Montag

Well then, it certainly seems like poetry is the thing for me at the moment.

If you, dear reader, understood anything about the real Montag (although me understanding myself is something that I continually struggle with!), you’d know that I am first a poet. Everything else is secondary: prose writing, music, art, photography – they all play second fiddle to the yearnings of my poetic heart.

I starting scribbling in my early teens and continued throughout adulthood. During early manhood I needed to keep it concealed because, where I grew up, poetry was most definitely not cool. At college and university I found souls who understood the poetic aspect of me – and that was wonderful. Shortly afterwards, I started an early internet poetry zine, which attracted quite a bit of love at the time. We held events in London and even published an anthology. Continue reading

Sauce!

Untitled drawingI’m always happy in a kitchen.

I like cooking, and eating too. And happily, by some fortunate combination of genetics and discipline I’ve managed to avoid a large girth despite these epicurean tendencies.

So, I’m currently sat in my sunny kitchen, polishing off the last of my breakfast cup of coffee. I’m enjoying this moment of pre-work serenity, just relaxing and reading the local magazine.

While reading, I chanced upon an article about a local speciality known as Henderson’s Relish. It’s a dark brown liquid used to spice up dishes and has attained a cult status in the city which I currently call home. Bearded hipsters can be seen  around town wearing t-shirts fronted with images of the product. Indeed Hendo’s (as folk round here call it) has been freely endorsed by local celebrities: musicians, DJs, artists and the like. Continue reading

The Irresistible Lure of the Linear

Straight Line Cityscape

Straight Line Cityscape – Photo by Montag

Straight lines.

Great aren’t they?

With straight lines we build barns, houses, bridges and roads.

With ruler – or straight edge – in hand, our engineers design piston rods, pipelines, train tracks. Even artists use them to help create the illusion of perspective.

The humble straight line has been responsible for countless advances in the modern world.

Take the wheel, that shining exemplar of the non-linear. Wheels often only make motion possible through the use of spokes or axles. That is, straight lines.

No wonder then that we’re obsessed with the linear. But it’s not all good.

A word of caution, if I may.

Continue reading

L’Instant Présent

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Live For The Moment – Photo by Montag

If you have read any of my other pieces on here or elsewhere, you might rightly reach the conclusion that I am utterly in the thrall of the philosophy which is known as existentialism.

Indeed on this blog alone, there’s one essay entitled Existentialism In The Age of Social Media and frequent references to this intellectual love-child of Jean-Paul Sartre in many of the others. I have written existentialist articles for my other blog but I can provide no proof due to my insistence on doing a Banksy and keeping the Montag identity a bit of a mystery.

It would be easy to think then, that existentialism is the philosophical substratum to my waking life and that it underpins my thoughts and deeds in the way that a good, practical philosophy should. The truth is that this is not completely the case. It is true that I am a great admirer of existentialist thought, but this is mainly because it gives contemporary expression to aspects of a much older philosophy which has informed my behaviour through the majority of my adult life.

Here’s the story.

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JD in Bed

cropped-cropped-dsc_0008.jpg(This post was originally drafted on 22nd February 2015. Publishing today as a tribute to Jenny Diski who died aged 68 on the 28th April 2016. I was a huge fan)

Right now I’m in that bed – the one in the header image of this blog.

Coincidentally the bedclothes are the same as in the photograph (I do have numerous other sets – like I said, coincidence). The cat (Morris) is curled up next to me and we’re both enjoying beaucoup du soleil.

I’m still feeling the lovely wooliness from the ganja-on-toast that I enjoyed last night (I gave up all smoking about ten years ago but still enjoy getting stoned occasionally). So what else is there to do but chill in bed and write (plenty actually, I want to go downtown and take some photographs. I also want play some jazz on my guitar. I’ll be out busking later this year – and don’t mention the garden…) Continue reading

Jazz. Rooms.

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Original Jazz Rooms poster from 1995

It is nineteen ninety-three perhaps, or maybe ninety four.

Whatever the year, it is certainly late. It is nearly one o’clock in the morning.

We are in a dark roughhouse basement room. The walls are carelessly painted in a matt black emulsion as are the wooden benches that occupy various spaces around the perimeter. However, it is far too dark to make out any of these features clearly. There is also the odd cluster of more comfortable seating – little wooden stools with upholstered seats, and maybe a low table amongst them. That is as good as it gets here.

Continue reading