Saturday, August 10, 2019

It's easier to tangle than to untangle

The Willesden Herald: Envoi:



Seconds and moments don't follow, they permute.

One on the microwave countdown cannot be understood

as two together tangle with the next and prior

...



Env-woh?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Ink is the blood of ghosts


if      I       should  dream   ghosts

they    would   be      real    there

should  be      as      dreams  are

dream   real    people  become  ghosts

me      too     dead    alive   here




if      they    should  dream   me

I       would   be      real    too

should  be      as      people  dead

dream   real    dreams  become  alive

ghosts  there   are     ghosts  here


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Whitton Avenue

By the corner house there used to be
Shrubbery and a recumbent tree
Where small birds liked to play.
Now there's a block-paved yard,
A useless space for man or bird
But the landlord likes it that way.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Strawberries


We have a strawberry patch out the back in a raised bed and it produces this sort of harvest every two or three days at this time of year.

Update 14/6/2019: Furthermore

View of the raised bed

Where they hide

Friday, March 29, 2019

A small child's "why?"

I will share a writing tip that I was keeping to myself. After every sentence you write, imagine there’s a child in that wonderful phase when to everything you say, they ask “Why?” Then you will have your next sentence. Its main use is in getting started. It gets you from the diving board into the water. But also, later on, it might help you to resume when you’re a bit stuck for the next sentence.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sort of memorabilia lost and dog okay

Last week I was at home with a recuperating old dog. I'm decluttering the place. We're living in a terraced house beside a wide, busy city street. I put the section of concert seating that was used in a famous recording (John Lennon and Jagger/Dirty Mac?) into the front garden, thinking maybe I ought to get rid of it. I changed my mind and went back out, but a clownish Beatles memorabilia merchant and assistant had already loaded it into their van. I explain that I'm not discarding it, look inside for a minute and ensure the dog won't get out, but when I return they've already gone. And a little way along the road, they have left a long panel they didn't want. It's sticking out in the street, a hazard to cyclists etc. I walk there and move the panel straight alongside the kerb. The dog has managed to get out but he's pottering about in the front garden and goes back in with me, safe and sound.

Dad rolling a spliff

There are big bales of herbal marijuana here. I'm not too worried. Dad is game to try some and begins working on rolling up a spliff, something he has never done before, at the table. But then someone's boyfriend is coming in. I hope he's not a policeman, looks a bit like he might be, a big guy. I ask him and he says he is. He stands looking out our window. I assume he won't bother about us having or smoking dope but no, he says he cannot overlook it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

"You want a little pepper with that?"


I dabble in cartooning. Sometimes I even amuse myself. I expect this gag has been done before, not sure, but probably a lot better. That's one of the problems with cartoon ideas.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Longhand return, headlights & Italo Calvino

I just can't be creative typing into a box on the screen, as I am now, after all. It's too busy, too noisy, too bright, too oppressive. When are they going to make silent desktop computers? The one I have has a solid state disc drive but still runs a cooling fan. (Notes: "Still Runs a Cooling Fan" possible bodice ripper?) I had to seek out my writing book and call up the old fountain pen out of retirement. So how did I get on? I spent a while getting the ink to flow (hint: put the nib for a second under a warm water tap). Then I wrote out something about why I'm not writing anything.

That turns out to be because I have no end in view. E. L. Doctorow (?) said that writing a novel is like driving unlit roads at night: you can only see as far ahead as your headlights reach but you can get to your destination that way, so not to worry. He might not have said not to worry. But that presupposes you know where you're going. Otherwise you're just driving around at night for no purpose. There might be novels that do that, perhaps Italo Calvino style, but more usually you need to know your ending. You don't need to know exactly how you're going to get there but when you start out, it helps to have an end in view, and I think in fact it's essential, at least for me.

So I wrote something like that in my writing book (A4 hard cover, spiral bound), admiring the flow of ink from the gold plated nib. And nothing else.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The wet edge

My son is an artist, among other things, and told me about the need to keep the wet edge going in certain sorts of painting. Don't ask me what sort, I'm here to talk about writing. So, right or wrong, and I'm not checking effing Wikipedia, I say that leaving a story unfinished for too long can make it hard to resume. This I suppose is like the wet edge that you have to keep going. Also, I read an idea recently from someone that you should stop writing each day (yes, in case you didn't know, you're supposed to do it every day - do as I say, not as I do) when you still know what you want to write next, instead of draining it all out, the theory being that it will then be easier to resume.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Writing: If I can’t do it with a light heart…

…I’m not going to do it at all. There are so many other things to do. Re-sealing around the bathtub, for one. What, that’s not important? It is. And when you realise that nothing you write will make a bit of difference, won’t stop your kitchen ceiling from coming down if your bath seal leaks, won’t stop the ivy from strangling your trees, won’t hoover the stairs, won’t do much of anything at all, then it had better be pleasing, amusing, joyful, exhilarating. Okay, let’s not reach for the stars, but it had better make me smile because if it makes me frown, it’s out the window.