Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Out to research television stands for my parents which entails visits to M&S, Tesco and Argos. Meanwhile I'm turning over ideas related to the 'barcode' exercise - as with the pwoermds (which also began during a similar visit to the UK back in April) - routine chores seem to allow another bit of the brain to work. That my parents have just bought their first computer gives me an additional excuse to muck around.

I'm simply allowing images to take shape during the day. Some work more verbally - barred code/bar(c) ode; bark odes; Bach coda - others more conceptually (systems of measure & value) - others more visually (the rain cloud, the zebra & Vermeer). Does this matter?

Of the lot I think I like the coin one most - but then what do I know?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who's dropping by - and all the other contributors. It's a great exercise.

barcode (ix)

barcode (viii)

barcode (vii)

might try to tidy this one up tomorrow ...

barcode (vi)

barcode (v)

asemic writing (i)

asemic writing (ii)

(Sandhurst station 29/6/)

you wouldn't believe it - but true

barcode (iv)

(after View of Delft by Vermeer)

barcode (iii)

(for Gary Barwin)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Busy, busy, busy ... a day when to be up & out at eight feels late - the day already ten steps ahead. Swim, breakfast (yoghurt, oats, melon, strawberries, toast, tea) then down to the bike shop to drop E's bike. On to Schleiper's in town to buy paper. Looking around I begin to see what possibilities there are. Like wine, like tea, paper offers a whole new world to discover. I literally feel my way - rubbing sheets between finger and thumb - thinking what might work. Thinking, too, of the dangers of going too far towards 'beaux livres' and preciosity. I buy some A1 sheets of Japanese papers and interesting A4 100 gr. Either tonight before I leave or later next week I'll put together a follow up volume to wr:the. Working title: in(rypt .

Home via the Mediatheque and the supermarket (salmon for tonight). In the Mediatheque I nose round and nothing catches my attention. Until ... in the racks near the door a box set-

first draft edition
also known as Walden


(2 DVDs plus accompanying volume)

How could I resist? (That uncanny sense I've mentioned before of it lurking there ... waiting for me ... ).

I've just watched Reel One - and it hits right between the eyes. Bypassing everything you think a film should be. Deleuzean 'affect' to the max. The movement of camera and images, the micro poems as titles, the dislocations of soundtrack (Chopin, thundering subway, waves), abrupt shifts from colour to b&w, in-focus/out of focus, above all the quotidian ordinariness (a coffee for breakfast, brushing hair, picking a flower, a face in profile). A million doors open at once. Revelation.

I live - therefore I make films
I make films - therefore I live

Light. Movement.

I make home movies - therefore I live
I live - therefore I make home movies

They tell me I should be always searching
But I am only celebrating what I see

I am searching for nothing, I am happy
I am searching for nothing, I am happy
I am searching for nothing, I am happy

It will take me at least the next eight weeks to unfold the implications of this statement - and these films. Films which send seismic shocks out into writing and thinking and perceiving.

To find this set today feels like a gift.

And that phrase: 'home movies'. What, I wonder, if one were to start making 'home' poems? Or is that what it's been about all along?

... the exam papers are on the desk & I'm writing with a sense of time running out. Finals all over again ... several sections to do ... the other topics ... & I'm woefully underprepared ... why, in fact, am I going through such an ordeal again? This was years ago. I'm several paragraphs into one question yet knowing how much is still to cover. & I'm writing in pencil, too ...

Thus the Teaching Unconscious purges itself during the night.

Friday, June 25, 2010

As of midday term is officially over.

I come home, make a coffee, listen to this week's edition of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Then a swim & off to collect the girls.

Not a bad start.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yesterday I went for a walk in the forest by way of composing a speech I have to deliver on the occasion of a colleague's retirement. For several reasons it's not an easy task and I'd been putting it off and putting it off for weeks. As I'm walking so the thoughts and phrases that have been turning in my mind over the months start to coalesce. Memories, images, personal tics of the person surface, too. And, as if following my footsteps, so the speech starts to declare a path. Strange - yet oddly reassuring. There's a shape and a rhythm - a logic - of which I hadn't been aware.

Typing it up this afternoon I realise that this, too, is writing (do I put a capital 'W'?). That perhaps I'm wrong to make too hard and fast a distinction between the 'real' writing and what I'm required to do as part of the job. Thus an e-mail to a parent, an article for a magazine, reports, references can all be 'occasions' - or not, of course*. It's a matter of attention - when, daily, distractions are ever more available. And that's not to take into consideration the writings in air that constitute teaching: the ephemeral riffs and rambles in real time. Those moments when things cohere and take wing - and those other times when it's just like stirring cement ... . Talk talk talk ...

So perhaps I can find a way out of the vague and disconsolate feeling I've been having for the past few weeks - a sense of nothing being accomplished, an aimlessness. It's been going on all along just through different channels.

And maybe I should take a vow of silence for the next eight weeks? Let things start to grow again.


* as Creeley shows in his introductions and prefaces. What could be simply routine and perfunctory in his hands declares awareness and (that word again) occasion.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

As so often, a bit too hasty to get something finished before bedtime. Looking at yesterday's effort, I realise it should be entitled:


and the cover text and image need realigning.

Will buy more paper & card today and revise tonight.

One lives and learns.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fresh off the press!

Wri.the - a little volume of asemic writings.

The first attempt at printing on fine paper - and my scanner doesn't like the grey tone of the cover. So these photos are done with Photo Booth. And badly at that.

round table (i)

An example of a series of six produced this afternoon between 1:30 and 3:15 p.m. (with some post production tweaking).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

England's performance against Algeria confirms my grim predictions: that - as so often - if 'we' do go through it will be by some twist of the statistics.

Luckily I didn't have to suffer the full 90 minutes. I've discovered a written commentary via the iPod Touch and so it's possible to keep track every so often while continuing dinner and the conversation.

It's not as though I was going to miss anything ...


Reading Aaron Tieger's Days and Days that Geof Huth slipped in with a batch of other books. Really enjoying it. (I suspect it might be a nudge and a nod and a wink). Ordered Secret Donut on the strength of it.


Playing about with the asemic writings, experimenting with different arrangements and turning them to see how they look - some work, some don't. I'll try to put together a selection - this time on better quality paper.


For anyone who might be interested & in the vicinity: I'll be driving to the U.K. next Sunday (27th) and back on the Thursday (1st).

Friday, June 18, 2010

This morning.

L: Do you want a tattoo?

Me: No.

L: Yesterday, I tried writing IDIOT across my forehead - but after I-D I forgot how to spell it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The last set of exam papers are nearly done, then it will be the remaining reports to write.

This year we set Bob Kaufman's Bagel-Shop Jazz and Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush. Once again the majority of essays make for depressing reading: so little personal engagement with the writing, so much evidence of unthinking use of exterior sources. And, above all, such unwillingness to listen to the language - to respond to what is actually happening there on the page.

Having spent the best part of a year encouraging students to read with their EARS - it's hard not to feel depressed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Father's Day here and these are two images to illustrate the fact. Each, in their way, representative.


Intermittent posting is the result of continuing distractions (exam grading mostly) and the little time available being directed to a specific project. (Watch this space).


Wasted a couple of hours last night watching England draw 1:1 with the U.S.A.. And, as so often happens, I regret the decision afterwards. I could have done X ... and Y ... and ... instead.


Saturday was spent running a stall in the school's Garage Sale. A first time for me and fascinating for the sociological insights. Who is drawn to what. The people who return. The ones who drift by with scarcely a glance. The psychological effect of a box marked 'EVERYTHING ONE EURO - EVERYTHING MUST GO'. Anyway, we covered out costs (and a bit more).


The freebie CD with July's Wire (experimental music from Poland) is well worth a listen.


Disappointed by James Corden's performance at some Awards ceremony. Gavin and Stacey begins to wear thin towards the end of Series Three and the interviews on the Extras CD smack of self-indulgence and mutual back-slapping. It's funny but ... . Much the same goes for Corden himself, thinking about it.


Recurrent dreams of not remembering where I parked my car. Sexual, no doubt. `


Strange feeling of camaraderie with Frank Skinner (someone I've never felt particularly close to) when he admits to an obsession with The Fall. He, too, got into them late. What is it about the music that's so compulsive?


Start reading Elizabeth Bowen on Italy - the build-up to Rome in July. I appreciate her self-confessed incompetence with directions and maps.


Irritation with the wide-eyed awestruck manner of the iPhone video presentations. Disturbing memories of Tony Blair on Iraq ... Cult leaders ... . The grey T-shirts, too. Nostalgia for those 1940s-style wooden Public Information films: "Now, Mr Cholmondely-Warner, this is what we call a telephone." "A what?" "A telephone. And if I hold it to my ear ... ". After all, it's just another bit of kit and an indirect way of milking more cash out of the customer for Apps and such like. I remain - defiantly - with my iPod Touch. (Which is to say, not very defiant ... but still ... ).


Anything else?


And the weather continues fine.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

... so it seems that tea really is good for you. Check out:

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tomorrow, the last classes of the academic year. Then internal exams and the inevitable grading and report writing. And then the summer beckons ... . For those of you interested in a Fullcrumb series, I'm going to have to do a corrected text and reprinting. That will be one of the projects for the holidays. Otherwise ... well, let's see ... .

Monday, June 07, 2010

arrived today - unbeatable value at around 30 euros for all 22 discs.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

after/image (i)
One of the really busy weeks of the school year both in terms of my students and the girls. Speech writing, last-minute grading, Graduation rehearsals, Graduation itself, Emma's Circus show, Lara's choir, parties, friends over ... . Writing, reading & other stuff have had to take second place. The weather, too, has been superb - not conducive to sitting at the computer screen.

Geof Huth has been busy nonetheless - his level of productivity never ceases to amaze me (in addition to his daily diet of books and films). His most recent project is a letter a day and - it just so happens - no. 10 is addressed to me. Have a read over at:

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