Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

more info on The Sticky Pages site
Since You Ask Me

(A Press release, October 1959)

This poetry is a picture or graph of a mind moving, which is a world body being here and now which is history ... and you. Or think about the Wilson Cloud-chamber, not ideogram, not poetic beauty: bald-faced didacticism moving as Dr. Johnson commands all poetry should, from the particular to the general. (Not that Johnson was right - nor am I trying to inherit his mantle as a literary dictator but only the title Doctor, i.e., teacher - who is constantly studying). I do not put down the academy but have assumed its function in my own person, and in the strictest sense of the word - academy: a walking grove of trees. But I cannot and will not solve any problems or answer any questions.

My life has been spent in the midst of heroic landscapes which never overwhelmed me and yet I live in a single room in the city - the room a lens focusing on a sheet of paper. Or the inside of your head. How do you like your world?
(Philip Whalen)
I like this.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So we go for a walk over the weekend and give the Villa Empain the once over. Now a 'Center for Art and Dialogue between the East and the West' it has been in its previous incarnations the Russian Embassy and the centre of operations for the Belgian television company before being left to crumble and decay. Art Deco is not a style I warm to (the Le Corbusier Protestant in me, perhaps) - and here everything is just too opulent and heavy with gilt and marble.

I decide to wait outside for the others and sit on the steps enjoying the sunshine. Then I am aware of one of the guards - an attractive woman in her thirties - asking me to move. I am puzzled - why? Because. I ask again - and she cannot give me any good reason beyond 'her superior told her so'. I toy with making a scene and decide not to (not in front of the children ... friends ... etc.). However I am genuinely bewildered why someone cannot sit on the steps outside this building. I was not defacing a wall, threatening a terrorist outrage, making lewd gestures with any part of my body. I could make a list of distinguished galleries, museums and other shrines to Kulchur that I have sat outside on the steps (eating a sandwich, writing in a notebook, simply staring into space).

What's so great - or precious - about this particular location?

One thing's for sure: I won't be going again.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Watched episodes 1-3 of Series One & enjoyed every minute of it. Another of those things that passed me by & I'm catching on after everyone else.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


'may the blessing always be with you' was left as an unmoderated Comment. I've deleted it as I'm uncertain of the sender. Apologies if it was meant nicely - one never knows ...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

As a change from The Fall and the mellifluous Mark E. Smith, I shove Comicopera into the car stereo this morning.

It's interesting to hear how Robert Wyatt's voice has changed over the decades - decayed over the decades? - from Canterbury cheeky chappy to asthmatic old geezer (a term I think he uses himself and by no means pejorative). Indeed, that's part of the power of Wyatt's music: the vocals breathed as it were in your ear. A mulling over, regretful, disenchanted sigh yet still getting through the days. And utterly devoid of rock posture.

But this morning what strikes me the most are the delicious backing parts - the brass in particular - harmonizing with the main melodic line. I hear Miles, I hear Mingus - and the way his music drifts.... Nowhere to go yet going.

Somewhere I have a documentary with Wyatt sat at his mixing desk explaining his relationship with the world: surfacing occasionally like a whale to breathe and descend again. That's the rhythm here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


sun flowers. snow upon mountain tops.
by silver lines of water running between.
O the unutterable.

if it could be concealed it would be. on
the fire & pour it on. & to go along the shore.
she had cut herself upon the stone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"He was over understood". Bowen, again, describing Leopold. A useful phrase for many
of the meetings one attends ...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The past few days - in case you've been wondering - have been given over to parcelling up the Fullcrumb series (the Post Office being shut has meant I've had to make cardboard packs), wondering what to do next and reading Elizabeth Bowen's The House in Paris.

E.B. and I have our 'history' - not that I am an avid fan or have read everything she's written. It's more her books have coincided and - as during the past few days - I find sentences, scenes, setting off chimes. She's the kind of author who understands the interweaving of life and writing, of how books get under the skin. How, on opening an old paperback the eye is arrested by an inscription, dated with precision, and a postcard which falls from the pages to the floor.

Thus, Leopold:

Getting up and pushing back the chairs, he began to pace the salon, with his eyes shut, pressing the empty envelope to his forehead as he had once seen a thought-reader do.

Or, looking out onto a drab Friday morning I find:

It grew colder; the season had lost its way. May is seldom quite up to time; this year there was a grey chilly pause ...

Then there are the disconcerting assertions that seem to slice through to the truth of something:

With no banal reassuring grown-ups present, with grown-up intervention taken away, there is no limit to the terror strange children feel of each other, a terror life obscures but never ceases to justify. There is no end to the violations committed by children on children, quietly talking alone.

I admire, too, the way she prises apart a moment - 'Your mother is not coming; she cannot come' (p66) - repairing the temporal wound on page 191. The intervening pages - 'The Past' - focus on Karen (the mother's) life ten years before leading to conception of the child. 'I should see the hour in the child' - sentences like these linger.

"The non-poetic statement of a poetic truth" is, of course, E.B.'s famous dictum for the kind of novel she's attempting. Certainly it can be seen at work here.

Goodbyes breed a sort if distaste for whoever you say goodbye to; this hurts, you feel, this must not happen again. Any other meeting will only lead back to this. If today goodbye is not final, some day it will be; doorsteps, docks and platforms make you clairvoyant ...

She feels objects and rooms - I'm reminded of Rilke here - as in this sequence from Part Two:

It is a wary business walking about a strange house you know you are to know well. Only cats and dogs with their more expressive bodies enact the tension we share with them at such times. The you inside you gathers up defensively; something is stealing upon you every moment; you will never be quite the same again. ... To come in is as alarming as to be born conscious would be, knowing you are to feel; to look round is like being, still conscious, dead: you see a world without yourself ... (p77)

And there's this:

Blurs and important wrong shapes, ridgy lights, crater darkness making a face unhuman as the moon, Mrs Michaelis, like the camera of her day, denied. She saw what she knew was there. Like the classic camera, she was blind to those accidents that make a face that face, a scene that scene, and float the object, alive, in your desire and ignorance. Nowadays a photograph is no more than an effort to apprehend. (p.118)

And plenty more besides.

So if you've not read this novel - or E.B. for that matter - it's worth a few afternoons of your time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So ... Britain goes Conservative (again) - only this time with a peculiar marriage of convenience with the Lib Dems. It's a depressing prospect, to put it mildly.

I'd write more - but what's the point?

Let's wait for the cracks to appear and the whole circus will have to begin again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The suggestively named new CD from The Fall: Your Future Our Clutter arrived today.

And good to see the Sticky Pages aesthetic at work on the CD label.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

"Perhaps she got stuck in the everlater."

(E. over breakfast this morning.)

The Sticky Pages Press goes public at the Art Gallery, St John's International School, Waterloo (Belgium).

If you're in the vicinity - drop by ...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Given the upcoming exhibition some explanation is probably necessary. I'll print this up as a little booklet and leave it around for the puzzled ...


The pwoermd is trespass. Who goes there? Friend or phoney? Frankenstein language. OEDipals of Oedipus fathering the mother tongue.

The pwoermd is disobedience. Shatters the Commandment: Thou Shalt Abide by the Letter of the Law. The Fallen Word. & Forlorn. Lonely only.

The pwoermd is physical. Skeleton language. Bonus letters. Work out! Flex and articulate those joints!

The pwoermd is a word made of machines. But what makes it go?

The pwoermd is old. Gnomic and riddled. Thorns to prick you into speech.

The pwoermd is unspeakable. Cross your eyes and pursue your lips. Think is to thong as tongue is to thing.

The pwoermd is joyous. Textual excess. Incarnate in carnival. An arcade ear. Language full tilt.

The pwoermd is toothsome. Sushi and so shy. Pop it in your mouth. Inviting. Impacted wisdoms and truths.

The pwoermd is Now. And then. And still coming. Tensed and squeezy. Juicy? Not just gist. It forces you to do time.

The pwoermd … IS.

Monday, May 03, 2010

soundtrack for today - Service by The Fall ... synchs perfectly as I drive down onto the Ring (rain, traffic) Mark E. Smith's voice moving in and out and behind the piano chords and drum riffs ...

why do you have a cloud in your eye?/ walked downstairs/ got my hat and corny brown leather jacket/ street bloody clean for a change/ must have been the rain/ thought transference/ and this man endangered me with cut-out two or three teeth out on the floor/ winter is here, unlike yourself/ pull, pull my shirt off/ service/ kick the leaves/ learning about time/ time of the wolverines/ this is watching the leaves kick the brown branches, it is here/ I came home and found I could say the word "entrepreneur"/ and my problem began/ service/ and my feet were running. Laughs at anything/ and my head worn to left and nothing/ and I'm just in between this day's portion ...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The entire series will be available in a sleeve case.

Let me know if you want one.

The Fullcrumb Series no.s 1-20 (i-iv)

That's it folks - the entire set of volumes representative of one month's work.

Yes, there are inconsistencies, errors, things I ought to correct - but it's as good as I can make it time allowing.

Not an easy title to type into Blogger - but you'll get the idea. Three more main volumes to do plus apendisease I-VI - a sort of hold-all for pwoermds that arrived late or don't seem to belong anywhere else.
  • t x t/e = (no. 2)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

(phrase I & II)

Swim then breakfast at the Belga.

I notice the man behind me composing on the flip side of a beer mat.

Good idea ...

This one came together yesterday evening and during the night. So up early while everyone else is still abed & ...

  • riversing (no. 18)

. Driving into work the other morning with 'Village of the Sun' playing & humming & drumming along  & think...