Friday, 24 February 2012

UPDATE...

Should I say things have been eating my mind, or should I say my mind's eating me? I always get carried away extending these idioms/metaphors and tripping over my tongues and blahh blah yawn.

Nevertheless, today's been a good day. And, bonus, Aaron Ramsey hasn't scored any goals; celebrities can sleep safely till tomorrow.

Poetry

The poetry world seems to be thriving. Weds night saw another "Mash-up" style merging of two poetry nights - Sage & Time and Come Rhyme With Me - and it was an enjoyable one with mixed energies; I like that. I managed an open-mic spot at the end and left with a warm feeling.

The next poetry gig I'm attending on Sat sold out earlier this week (Poetry events selling out! And way in advance! Who would have thought?)  but managed to wing a couple of tickets. The idea is, various poetry collectives are going to be battling it out for the WWF Page Match title! I happen to know people in different collectives  so I won't take sides, but it'll be fun.

On the TV side of things, Channel 4's Random Acts have been showcasing a lot of spoken word... one of the most recent was David Jay, seriously talented performer of "makes me wanna give up poetry" legend.
So it really does looks like UK audiences are more receptive to poetry (although remind me to add a few clauses to that statement tomorrow).

I have a few gigs coming up... more info later, but I've updated the upcoming bar above.
I have a poem in my head... I may post this later/tomorrow/not at all... we'll see.

And that's it for now, folks.


Prose 

Progess on THE NOVEL = not bad.

I haven't been counting words this week as I'm editing one section and beginning another, but my target is to have one big, workable chunk to play with in the Spring, with first draft complete - finally - in the Summer. (No, I do not believe in writing a novel in a month. Yes, I'm sure others have done it but that's not how I get down.)

I also plan to be blogging more on Huffington Post in the next few days, so keep checking there. Last post - my first - had a mostly positive but mixed response, which is the whole point of these things. I still stand by my neutrality on Ken - and neither Ken or Boris should be London Mayor again, in an ideal world - but the way in which we pick on certain words/turns of phrases should receive as much scrutiny as these arrogant characters who use them.

Going off on a tangent, it reminds me of something I once read by (whats-his-face - insert name when less tired) about the whole signifier/signified relationship to culture. The example given was a tree, I believe: if I read the word "tree" now in a poem, my cultural conditioning - having lived most of my life in Old Blighty - means I usually have something oakish in my mind, even though the writer may have a palm tree in mind, or a yew, or something completely different. While we pride ourselves on "language" per se, and the mot juste and the "sophistication" of expressing ourselves through words, most of the time our heads are doing guess work. All that to say that it's not what we say but what we choose not to.     

Life...

is a series of doors waiting to open...



Yep. You may have guessed... I've been clearing some of my computer files to make space: photos, random extracts of poetry and chunks of paragraphs from things I've written.

This particular gem feels like yesterday, although it was mid-Autumn, as can be deduced from the leavage.

Time flies. Space hovers.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

On Procrastination...

Still to come:
an update
a post I started earlier this month
a poem, perhaps
something Valentinesy from last week
me filling in the upcoming events bar, and what I've been reading/writing etc

Plus:
me ranting about something or another
another piece of illegible writing from when I was in my teens
some kind of photograph

...and by the time I've done all of that, another word of the day, maybe with a cryptic comment 

AND TODAY'S RANDOM WORD IS...

...Handful

Monday, 13 February 2012

Artist's Impression...




(Ronnie Scott's, amazing gig, woman to my left penciling away on an A4 sketch pad, me sitting back down after my set and - voila - her flashing me her impression. Talk about instant feedback...) 

Teen Angst, 4 or 5 (I lose count)

click to enlarge...

Consider it a Valentine's offering: for all you star-crossed lovelies out there, something from out of the pile of stuff I wrote when I was 15 (and - goes without saying - heartbroken... ehm, long story). If there was ever a true cynic, I was certainly trying my best to imitate him/her!

And for those of you prepared to brave a few romantically themed verses of a more upbeat - and, dare I say, spicy - sentiment, I should be at the Brixton library tomorrow...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Febbrrrr-uary!

London'sWild West

So, after one night of snow over the weekend and a wreckless bus driver skidding his way all the way home, I'm still here.

It was great to be back at Rum Punch Tuesday night after their 6-month hiatus (although, like everything else, seemingly, it's moved to Shoreditch). A good night in all, complete with one poet pretty much propositioning the barman from the mic ("I want that 90% Madagascan chocolate type of guy", she says, pouting), one comedian who decided he felt too uncomfortable to continue, following a joke that was, well, uncomfortable, another poet who delivered a poem entitled Dalston, about being love-wrecked in Penge, during which one woman jumped from her seat, screaming, "That's my ends! That's my ends! ______ Road! Yes, yes!". And who said poetry nights are uneventful? I grabbed the mic towards the end and did a new-ish poem which I hope chimed with the second comedian, who shared some wicked fatherly advice that had a lot of people in stitches.

Poetry-wise, things seem to be going well. I was chuffed to get a shiny certificate for "Best Performance by a London Poet" the other day and I'm working on a couple of projects which should come to light over the next couple of months. I've also got a couple of gigs next week, starting on Sunday with Jazz Verse Jukebox at Ronnie Scott's and then Brixton Library. Love is in the air, apparently (just in case you haven't been outside and seen the tons of places selling heart-shaped bars of soap and the coffee shops with "Valentine's Menus". Puleeezz!) and I'll be dusting off some of my finest bars on love and desire, in between my more usual stuff.

I haven't been writing much in the way of new poetry in the last couple of weeks, but I do seem to be making serious headway on the novel, partly thanks to a breakthrough aided by a book recommend and a serious chill pill. However, it means I've had less time for other things, always the one big let down of being absorbed in writing. This thing will write itself, if I allow it to, but I have to trust the story more than my own instincts which are telling me to steer clear of certain themes. Does that sound cryptic? I hope not. All I mean is I see certain eyes rolling if I say it's going to have a significant section on gangs, more eyes rolling when I mention the supernatural and religious elements... and let alone the sex part, which I haven't come to yet ("Why you can't just write a nice book, eeh?")

Meanwhile, I was (un)fortunate enough to be at home this afternoon and in between chapters, so I watched the Prime Minister's Questions today, which just serves to remind that we are all at the mercy of a bunch of rowdy lads making cheap digs at each other across a desk. I switched off and fooled around on the internet for a while, and my increasingly-nosy YouTube account recommended me this video


which is a response to the new healthcare bill, which will hopefully be shot down sometime soon, perhaps along with Andrew Lansley (not my words, but an apparent "leaked statement" from Number 10 insisting he should be "taken out").

Anyway, it's late... signing off abruptly  

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

And Today's Random Word Is...

...Divine

(Good heavens...! To recap, every now and again, I use the Random Word Generator, located on my links bar, either for free-writing, or just because I feel like it. A lot of the time the words work their way into my writing, sometimes they don't. And, just occasionally, they spark an idea I like to run with.)  
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UPCOMING....


See Coming Up tab at the top of the page