Friday, 29 May 2009


can't live with them.
can't kill them.
like a scab that won't heal.
just itches and festers...

Saturday, 16 May 2009

the red gods

no more need be said.

well okay here's something for the also rans. coventry city in 1983. brilliant.

Monday, 11 May 2009

george eliot

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it,—if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass; the same hips and haws on the autumn's hedgerows; the same redbreasts that we used to call “God's birds,” because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?

The wood I walk in on this mild May day, with the young yellow-brown foliage of the oaks between me and the blue sky, the white star-flowers and the blue-eyed speedwell and the ground ivy at my feet, what grove of tropic palms, what strange ferns or splendid broad-petalled blossoms, could ever thrill such deep and delicate fibres within me as this home scene? These familiar flowers, these well-remembered bird-notes, this sky, with its fitful brightness, these furrowed and grassy fields, each with a sort of personality given to it by the capricious hedgerows,—such things as these are the mother-tongue of our imagination, the language that is laden with all the subtle, inextricable associations the fleeting hours of our childhood left behind them. Our delight in the sunshine on the deep-bladed grass to-day might be no more than the faint perception of wearied souls, if it were not for the sunshine and the grass in the far-off years which still live in us, and transform our perception into love.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


for those of us living in the north east there is much of spoken word interest happening courtesy fo the wordfringe festival which, although it's already started, lasts the whole month and features a whole host of things to divert.

true it includes john hegley who, i believe, some people actually like. no really, they do.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


You Will be Hearing From us Shortly

You feel adequate to the demands of this position?
What qualities do you feel you
Personally have to offer?


Let us consider your application form.
Your qualifications, though impressive, are
Not, we must admit, precisely what
We had in mind. Would you care
To defend their relevance?


Now your age.
Perhaps you feel able
To make your own comment about that,
Too? We are conscious ourselves
Of the need for a candidate with precisely
The right degree of immaturity.

So glad we agree.

And now a delicate matter: your looks.
You do appreciate this work involves
Contact with the actual public? Might they,
Perhaps, find your appearance

Quite so.

And your accent. That is the way
You have always spoken, is it?
What Of your education? We mean, of course,
Where were you educated?
And how
Much of a handicap is that to you,
Would you say?

Married, children,
We see. The usual dubious
Desire to perpetuate what had better
Not have happened at all. We do not
Ask what domestic desires shimmer
Behind that vaguely unsuitable address.

And you were born?

Yes. Pity.

So glad we agree.

poetry news

carol ann duffy gets the poet laureate. the best that can be said of it is that it gets poetry in the news. duffy reads a poem, the bbc has a voiceover while she's doing it. it may make the news but listen to poetry. oh no! almost immediately they pruriently skirt arund the issue of her being a woman and a lesbian! as if these too categorisations might somehow prevent her writing poetry. not that anyone should be too surprised after a week in which the britsh newspapers, yes all of them, are awash with the story of how a plain woman can sing a song. wow!

unfortunately being a woman and a lesbian almost certainly has been a limiting factor for the likes of ua fanthorpe, who departed these shores this week and who should, and most likely would have made a better poet laureate than andrew motion. she wasn't my favourite poet but in looks she reminds me of my mum and her poetry and her reading of it puts me in mind of a wordless something that will always be england in my head. my wee mum has never written a poem and classes herself as 'just a housewife'. maybe now she's happy with that but both of us know she could have done and been much, much more.