In respect of a particular type of emotional exorcism, all I can do is write. Some folks, I guess, turn to paints and oils for distraction, others maybe to drink and drugs (I’ve already done that and it seems to have made things worse).
So, I write. I attempt to purge the obsessional poison out of my system by means of the tap-tap-tap on the plastic piano. I descend upon this battlefield of the soul armed with metaphor and simile, protected only by the metal jacket of wit and self-deprecation, and fired up with the flyogaric of my internal turmoil. The forces which confront me are many – perceived serendipity, connection and affection. They overwhelm my calm, unexpectedly breaking through the order which I had lovingly cultivated for years. It is like an earthquake of the self. One minute all is serene; blue skies and summer. Then – the very ground heaves and splits beneath your feet. The buildings – solid stable structures in which you sleep in – come crashing down around your ears and you are lucky if you make it out alive. These are very formidable forces which I pit my feeble weaponry against.
I will try. This weekend, I will leave everything at home, Mlle Shrodinger. I don’t want to know, don’t want to hope. I need to slay this thing. So if when I return, things are still in that quantum indeterminate state, then I will slay it anyway. I will remove the possibility of my being able to open the box. It will forever then remain a mystery. A possibility. Potential never realised. That is my strategy. I hope that I will win the fight.
Thirty years on from 1989, and the start of my love affair with France, I find myself back in the spot where it all kicked off; one of the large cafés around the perimeter of Place du Capitole, Toulouse. I wish that the youthful me, with eyes all enchanted during the bicentennial Bastille celebrations, could have known that thirty years hence, I’d be back here downing a café espresso, getting ready to work in trendy offices around the corner.
What a journey it’s been! It certainly has been enjoyable. Was I lucky? I certainly had a lot of help from friends, lovers and others – but I also had a lot to fight against. I hope today’s youth have similar opportunities. Somehow – and sadly – I suspect not. It will also be extremely interesting to experience what life inside a Toulousain office will be like.
Let’s see shall we. Here’s to thirty more years of growth. For me, for you, for the planet.
Right now I’m in Zum-Scheuen-Reh bar which my host for the week Ina, told me means The Shy Doe – as in ‘doe a deer, a female deer’. It’s almost hipster in here. It probably is hipster; and I’m a bit pissed. The fucking Italians in the restaurant I ate at earlier served me free grappa at the end of the meal. I didn’t want it. I was already a little tipsy from the glass of wine I had – the last thing I needed was grappa.
The little volume of mine which I referenced in a previous post and which ennobles some of the poetry I’ve posted here over the past few years can currently be found at a few cafés and establishments around central Sheffield (e.g. Dina Diner, Union St Cafe and Fusion Cafe). It’s free – I mean would anyone buy it really – and it is only a limited run; fifty in fact. They are all numbered, art style (e.g. ‘3/50’).
The book contains various shout outs, directed at individuals or organisations that have inspired me in recent times. The poem in the photo above is me bigging up the How The Light Gets In festival and its curator Hilary Lawson. This particular poem makes reference to many of the speakers and artists that I have enjoyed at the festival including: Robert Rowland Smith, Steve Fuller, Tankus and the Henge, The Correspondents, Mary Midgley, David Nutt and more.
More example shout outs to be posted in the coming weeks. The next one might be you!
It’s been a while but I’m very pleased to be active on WordPress again. I will immediately begin posting my usual mish-mash of poetry, blogs and the occasional essay. I must admit I missed it. I was of course continuing to write while I was away but I missed the feedback and the likes – they help a writer to feel that they are not simply shouting into the void.
I have been busy in other ways too. I published a small volume of my collected recent works. There are only fifty copies and if you are lucky enough to live in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and you frequent some of the better cafés and arts spots in the city centre, then you’ll be able to get your hands on one.
Aside from that, I am really pleased to be back on WordPress and am looking forward to sharing vibes with you soon.
I’m going to be making Revolution From My Bed unavailable for a little while. This is because over the next few months, I shall be contacting publishers to see if anyone is interested in setting my work down in print.
Wish me luck!
Naturally if I fail in this mission I’ll be back. If I succeed however, I’ll still be back, but with a link to my shiny new collection.