Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Back To Work Tomorrow

Finished six of the bass tracks tonight. I think they're sounding good... all things being equal. Which, of course, they're not. Need a name for the bass player now. The thing about names is - it's not really meant to be a funny book as such. Not the sort of book where the drummer is called Basher Skins and the singer is called Larry Inks. Britpop Dylan? Well, the songs are a bit wordy and a couple of them do have a Dylanish feel I think. Well... we'll see.
Back to work tomorrow. I was hoping to have the children's book finished by the end of August and I'm only half way through. Hey ho.
Noticed today that the bit where I write this posting has two little headings top right. One says Edit HTML and the other says Compose. I was wondering where my font and sizes bar had gone. Then I notoiced it was set the wrong one. I clicked Compose and the bar returned. Is this of use to Michael I wonder?

Good night... sweet dreams.

Travels of a Poet (7)

Number Three

I sat with a poet
In an old fashioned café

She had a baked potato
And a cup of tea

I had a number three*

*one sausage, one bacon, beans, tomatoes and chips.

Birmingham (Part 1)

Feel like I’ve landed
On another planet
Called Birmingham

When Lucas was suffering his lapse
In Star Wars Episode 2
Attack of the Defunct Imagination
Maybe his designers
Honed their skills
On Birmingham

As I wander around
I am trapped in a huge
Steel and concrete executive toy
Picking my way
Through the rubble and stubble
The building site moves in slow motion
Through the city and back
As it did thirty years ago
When I was half past boy
The building site’s a wandering sore
A crazy man-created monster plant
Cloned from the carcass of its past
Scattering its of vines and tines
Its seeds and spears
Willy-nilly across the park
The hard and dark
Bewitching and bemusing the inhabitants
Of Birmingham

Monday, August 30, 2004

As Today Was a Holiday...

We had our holiday at home this year
Dad bought two tons of sand
And dumped it in the garden
He hired a huge spotlight
And tied it to the guttering
So it looked like the sun was blazing down
Like in Spain

Then we put on our cossies
And sat in deck chairs
Listening to a tape of ocean waves
It was dead realistic

Dad painted a washing-up powder box
With pound signs
And stuck a handle on it.
Then we kept pushing our money through the slot
Until it had all gone.

Dad said the ice-creams were a fiver
And mum said we couldn’t afford it.
It was dead realistic.

We paddled in a tin bath
Full of dirty water.
We played beach tennis
And had the beach to ourselves.
I cut my foot on a piece of glass
And had to go to hospital
For a jab.
We pretended we couldn’t speak the language.
It was dead realistic.

Next year dad says
We might have an Italian holiday
In Mrs Pasolini’s garden.
She lives next door.

(from The Monster That Ate the Universe)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

And There Were Drums

Well, I finished the drum tracks today. There are now twelve sparkling songs consisting of nothing but slightly dodgy drumming. I need a name for the drummer. Any suggestions? Working on Dan Dee at the moment but all suggestions greatly received.
Next up the bass lines!
Meanwhile Jilly has sorted out the rubber stamps in her corner of the office and actually completed a couple of mail art pieces. One passed on from Mr Leigh.
Next Michael's Floss project.
It's a holiday in the UK. You can tell that from the atrocious weather.
My daughter and her family are camping in Hastings at the moment. I hope their tent doesn't blow away.

Let There Be Drums

Started recording the drum tracks today. Five done and seven to go. Hope to do them tomorrow. I'm not a brilliant drummer and so I'm pretty confident that they'll sound pretty much like the not-very-good-drummer in the Molecules. The drums are on the landing and my PC is in my office so the mike leads have to stretch a long way. I've therefore enlisted the aid of Jilly to do the mixing business. Quite pleased with the results so far.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Giving Up a Blog

I’m going to give up my other blog. Just don’t have the time. It’s pretty boring anyway. The Rabbit Press website is nearly ready and up and running.
More on that to come, don’t worry. And the first Rabbit Press book. More on that, too.
Meanwhile – still searching for a name for the fictional band. So far – The Mighty Molecules is favourite.

Donkey Haiku

Was that a donkey?
Or did some monster lung just
Swallow a trumpet?

Love Is Deep (Shrine to Dylan) (Song)

I am walking through the trees along a path I seldom take
Down to the shrine to Dylan on the island in the lake
When I see your figure standing in the shadow of the firs
And the silence is completed and nothing more occurs

But I swear I left you crying in your house down by the sea
A thousand miles away in a town called Galilee
When you broke my heart I knew that I would always be alone
Now I wander through the woodlands on the mountain I call home

When he called to fix your swimming pool you wore your briefest gown
And he gazed into your future as you lay upon the ground
And you knew that he was shallow and your love he would not keep
And you begged me for forgiveness ‘cos you knew my love was deep

So he climbed out of the water as you floated half asleep
I was knocking on your front door as he climbed into his jeep
The roaring of his engine was enough to wake the dead
When he drove into a paint shop and he painted the town red

Wake up, wake up, I cried aloud, say those rumours are untrue
You said that he meant nothing just an underwater screw
Well, you just sunk your boat babe, and you may think me mean
But from now on my torpedoes are for some other submarine

So I hauled up my anchor and I headed for the shore
‘Cos I felt that I’d exhausted this particular metaphor
So I bought myself a jeep, a nice red one, and second hand
And I headed for the North country and started up a band
Well, I made myself a million and I put it in the bank
Then bought myself a trailer park, and I’ve only you to thank

I am walking through the trees along a path I seldom take
Down to the shrine to Dylan on the island in the lake
When I see your figure standing in the shadows unforsaken
But my memory plays me false, it isn’t you, I am mistaken

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Bang, Bang, Bang
I wake up and wonder
What scary monster
Rattles the darkness.
My bare feet

Slap the wooden floor
I peer down the stairs
Screw up my eyes
In the bright light
Mum and Dad kiss

A policeman
Smiles at me
Mum says, Back to bed.
It’s only a dream.
Her tears taste of the sea.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

52 Ways of Looking At a Poem by Ruth Padel

One of my summer reads. This is both an entertaining and hugely informative book. Worth looking out for. As George Steiner says, on the back cover -

Ruth Padel combines two major gifts: she is both a distinguished poet and a quite exceptional reader of the poetry of others... The result is a book which opens doors and offers a wealth of insight.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

How I Failed To Win Her Back

(she said)
those big
on your letter,
it's good
that boys
can cry

(I said)
they're not tears

(she said)
I see...


The stars in the sky
Blink out, one by one
Like the lights in a house
At midnight
As the old woman goes to prayer
And summons darkness

I am standing
On the last grassy hill
One billion years in the future
Gazing at the faint stars
I sigh and follow the path to the tavern
For directions

Friday, August 06, 2004


I am writing these words
As she sleeps
Beneath the tulip duvet
That we bought in Ikea

There is silence
Troubled only by the quirky whirlpool
Of my stomach
The dog’s raspy breath
The singing in my inner ear
And my pen, making the softest scratching
As its tip lays ink across this page

The distant rumble
of a late-night car
The hoot of an owl
And the bark of a fox

Beneath the tulip duvet
That we bought in Ikea
She grunts
In a dream

In her dream
She is lifting a heavy weight.
A box of ball bearings, maybe
A load-bearing wall
A bag of slights.
A bag of disappointments
Some guilt-edged investments.

But the task is soon accomplished
And the silences resumes
Where it left off
In the room where we sleep
Beneath the tulip duvet
That we bought in Ikea

Monday, August 02, 2004


I’ve had a stack.
Too many to mention, really.
Girls in the main.
They say that it’s a knack
I never was a flirt
I mastered that too late.
A shame.
I could have taken centre stage
Won them over with a well-worked speech, I’m sure
Or hammed it up
Or dazzled with a fancy line of dialogue
Or pratfall (actually I tried that – just got hurt)
My mind was dancing
My head was thinking of the craic
For that’s what being young is for
In truth I was too self-absorbed
Assembling the programme
I didn’t see the exit sign
Above the door

A Long Distance at Midnight.

Book title or non-runner. Opinions sought.

Blood Dream

Why, in my dream, did I cut my hand, spilling blood on the wooden, polished table? And how did you know to run the bath before I left? Left where? I’ve forgotten already. Where was I going? I’m sure I knew at the time.
What is the significance of the blood?
It’s not the usual stuff of my dreams.