Monday, 29 March 2010

Canned bums.

Tristan calls.

He says to my answering machine: 'Hey Jannie, that film featuring my bum is going to be shown at Cannes. I've been invited to go over there. Never thought my bum would make it in the movies.

Nurse Caz (who had a role in the film) said my bum was too thin and scrawny but I reckon it will appeal to the effete French sensibilities.

I need a holiday, haven't had one for years. It is also an opportunity to meet up with some people I've yet to meet. Talk soon.'

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bukowski, ice hockey and nobility.

He said:

Your aspirations are noble but irrelevant.

that shut me up.

For a while at least

Then I realised he'd been watching ice hockey all night

sucking on beers the way Bukowski liked to talk

noble but irrelevant

I felt good.

Noble even.

Scared dog in the alley.

No muse.

Yet I sense a muse creeping up on me. I can feel her breath on the back of my neck.

Hackles rise.

I am a scared dog in an alley

Overjoyed by the fear I sniff on piss stained things

Glad to tear open a binbag of creativity

and then worms

With the muse

etc etc etc

Saturday, 27 March 2010


The guys here are talking basketball stats.

I never thought I would ever write that.

But stats is stats and stats never lie.

I'm writing about stats and that is a stat.

Slam dunk.

Hugo and IS

Sitting at home dealing with stuff that needs to be dealt with.

A professor in Massachusetts reminds me of how it is as an artist... 43 years ago in his kitchen I saw a burnt toad in the hole hanging on the wall above a door. That was when I first realised that art could be anything you wanted it to be. I have been burning sausages ever since.

I remember he was a schoolboy then and then he wasn't and then he was in a band to die for and then he wasn't and now he is a professor in America and what is the future tense of wasn't?

Isn't I know is present; Isn't is in the building.

But what happens after isn't

Isn't has left the building... Ladies and gentlemen I give you... IS


Dinner last night with Marycigarettes:

He is a star.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

salt on chinese food.

Why has no one done this before.

Eating my sad bloke meal for one from a local supermarket (I will not advertise); chicken chow mein if you must know. I thought there was something missing, something that soy sauce could not provide.

I sprinkled on a little salt.

My last remaining taste bud exploded in a cacophony of exultant delight. I was gobsmacked.

Tomorrow I shall try tomato ketchup with spring rolls.

This must be what they call 'fusion'.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A bag lady's murder attempt (in your dreams), Papal bull and show business.

A busy month looms.

I am putting on another event in May at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill; again a mix of spoken word/poetry/music. Details will follow soon.

I find the whole process of putting on a show quite exhausting but exhilarating. Well worth the effort though.

Tristan phoned yesterday to tell me that he had dreamt of the performance; while he was on stage Moll the bag lady stepped out of the audience and attempted to stab him with a kitchen Knife. She was disarmed by security staff and dragged away cackling.

'If I'd died' He said 'It might have made me a star'.

I told him that there is a Papal Bull which states that no man may be martyred as a result of a woman's actions. Whatever she may have done to you you will never be considered a saint.

'That I do know'. He replied.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Rusty, bones and repercussions.

This morning I visited Rusty in his garret for a coffee and donuts.

He ushered me in, showed me the coffee pot then sat down at his kitchen table which was strewn with what appeared to be human bones. He started whittling one of them.

'They look very much like human bones Rusty' I said. 'What are you doing?'

'Yup' He replied. 'They sure is. I was going through the family closet and found em there. I'm making a marimba'.

'What on earth for?'

'Well Jan, I've been writing a family history for some time and it recently occurred to me to put it to music seein as musicals are all the rage these days... And then I thought what better instrument to accompany the story than a marimba made from skeletons found in the closet'.

'Scary'. I said.

'Not as scary as the story'. He replied as I poured the coffee into black and white mugs.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


St Patricks night at the cow... 1,300 pints of guinness sold.

Another sad day.

My ex father in law and grandfather to my daughter died today... RIP John.

What makes the day doubly sad is that it is my grandsons 6th birthday. I often amazed at lifes grim coincidences. This is the second this year.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


You know when I want somebody to not do something, you are my guy.


I am sitting here with a man who earns $5oo,ooo a year, he is the unhappiest man I know yet I do not know how to respond to his unhappiness.

You cannot buy that kind of unhappiness. It buys you. It pays you a salary with expenses. It fills your phone with vacuous numbers. It surrounds you in the bars you trawl. It courriers over your hangover regular as clockwork. It greets you with the words 'good bye'.

I've said 'Do the math. How long can you live on a beach for?'

He said Is that with Russian whores or without?

I got up, walked down to the edge of the water and stared out over the horizon.

Not a ship in sight.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Portobello scenes.

Who is the girl in the red dress?

Stockholm syndrome and the BBC.

A funny night spent sitting in the Cow reading Gunter Grass and watching a very drunk girl, fresh from a funeral in gold stilettos repeatedly falling off her stool and looking as pleased as punch for all that.

And meeting a film maker friend to discuss future projects.

Stockholm syndrome cropped up in the conversation and we talked about marriage and how one half of a marriage or the other was suffering from the syndrome.

There is a film to be made here.

I met a splendid woman from the BBC.

It occurred to me that most employees of the BBC are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Another imaginary overheard conversation.

I'm not in love with you anymore. I love you but I am not in love.

Funny. I'm in love with you... I don't love you. I don't even like you but I'm in love with you!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Mapping the muse

She is my North, my South, my East, my West. My new found land; my Detroit.

Apologies to metaphysicians everywhere.

Zen and toad licking.

Rusty called tonight. He spoke about his new pet, a Mexican toad, said he'd been licking it.

I told him I was a little depressed.

He said:

The only way you can fall now is up... Let go.

Your kind of gravity only exists because you believe in it

And if you take 'IT' out of gravity you get gravy.

You can do a lot of sensible thinking on the back of a rodeo horse.

Or licking a toad.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Relationship day in the real life section.

The title comes from a one time muses blog.

I posted a comment saying that it sounded like a title for a gloomy 'British poem'.

I write this as the CFO of an international corporation sings James Taylor songs and Joni Mitchell and Carol King and plays the harmonica and I wonder at this strangest of friendships and feel as comfortable as I have felt whilst writing in the midst of company..

A happy creative environment but bonkers for all that and I think about the idea of prose moving into something that is almost recognisable as poetry in the way that stilted acquaintance blends into friendship. nothing rhymes yet there is something lyrical.

We learn most about people by getting to know them slowly and keeping an open mind.

And not bullying them

And not letting them bully us because we want to be popular or liked

And not bullying ourselves into distance from other people

Friends dribble into our lives.

Or by osmosis creep in.


Relationship day in the real life section.

Then come and go unconditionally with a bagful of memories

and an invitation to return

on relationship day

In the real life section.

Come back: The happiest meant words possible to say

And the happiest to hear.

Tristan called round tonight. He said he had had enough.

I believe him.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Sitting here, eating a pot of chocolate ice cream, Missing

It suddenly dawned on me that 'missing' is just another word for looking back.

It also means insecurity.

missing is just having a hole to fill.

Like a grave.

Spiders from mars.

I am reminded of a meeting years ago.

I had met a young man in Marine Ices in Camden, his name was David Jones but he told me he was thinking of changing his surname to knife (like in Bowie I said) he thought about that.

Anyway I took him to see my old pal Siggy Spielman who lived up the road. I told him about Siggy before we got there:

'Siggy plays guitar'. I told him

I also told David that Siggy reckoned he had a spiderplant from Mars, judging by the way it grew.

'Are you ok?' David said.

Hunky Dory David. Hunky Dory.

Eurotrash bag lady, desire and Tennessee.

Tristan sends me a text message, I am the victim of textual harassment. He thinks he is clever.

He sent me a poem. I am tempted to send him a blade from a grass cutter (poetic in joke)

Oh glorious eurotrash bag lady
My heart soars, a skylark.

Under sumptuous silks from Dior
Lie grubby pants from Primark.

I knew at once you'd be trouble, bubble of bliss be it may

Bubbles burst...

I'm too depressed to write any more and cannot be bothered to trawl any more wheelie bins of desire.

'A wheelie bin named desire' Now there's a thing. I remember telling Tennessee a long time ago that it would be a good name for a play. He just kept looking at my biceps and sippin his julep.

'You could be a contender'. He told me.

Portobello Road.

I have no idea what was going on here but they look happy.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hooray, high fashion and tarted up bars.

OK sorted.

Having picked up the new computer courtesy of good friends we adjourned to the Portobello Star; a recently refurbished Portobello Road boozer. Normally I am anti the stylification of local boozers but the Star as it was was un-enterable to all but the most hardened of drinkers and it's new incarnation is welcome.

We discussed the impossible nature of 'haut-couture' shoes of the Lady Gaga variety currently filling the glossies.

I would like to say that I am left cold by it all...

Strangely I find myself hot and bothered by the alien footwear.

But not as hot and bothered as Lady Gaga's feet.

I took myself home for a steak pie and a large vodka.

Friday, 5 March 2010


Beer all over my computer.

Funny that!  I was celebrating.

I will be quiet for a day or two until I resolve this.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

I've seen the future.

i have this idea for a futuristic movie thats why i'm using lower case and bad punctuation because its the future and the world has gone to pot

anyway it is about the last englishman to have a job

he becomes very famous for being the last englishman to have a job

he becomes so famous that he is in constant demand for interviews and public appearances

so much so that he is sacked for absenteeism

he is replaced by an ironic imigrant

A fine photograph.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Poetry in an unsatupon chair.

I once came to the conclusion that a chair, when not sat upon is a meaningless object; a non item in search of something to do.

It dawned on me that, if I wrote something meaningful on the chair it would create a purpose for the unsatupon chair. I wrote a schmaltzy, cheesy poem (about loss of a woman) on strips of paper then pasted them onto the piece of furniture.

It worked. When sat upon the chair was a chair, when not sat upon the thing was a poem.

The problem was that each time I read the poem(which was often) I would burst into tears. The memory of the lost love was too much.

I eventually chopped the chair up and fuelled the fire with it; another use for an unsatupon chair.

Monday, 1 March 2010

I wish I had said that.

We seek the teeth to match our wounds.

Ken Tynan.

All gong and no dinner.

There are many ways to skin a cat.

But why? What's the point, there are no uses for a skinned cat that I know of. You cannot even eat them.

And then it dawned on me: It is the skin that is important. the packaging is the desirable thing, the contents are just packing material and worthless.

Retreat and jelly sandwiches.

Rusty telephoned this morning from Cerne Abbas where he is in retreat.

Retreat from what? I asked him.

From the truth. He replied.

He went on to tell me about a pub in Brinkworth that did a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich (he had had one for lunch on his way down there). I never could understand the concept of that particular Americanism. I told him.

That's rich coming from a native of the land of marmite, he said.

'But i'm a Dutchman rusty.'

Silver sofa surfer.Work in progress.

A bird of passage, wandering albatross
sleeping on the wing
or perched precariously
on the cliff face of others hospitality