Saturday, 31 December 2011


Seems like a while since I wrote anything here. But then in other ways it doesn't... Last time out Jeremy Clarkson was talking shit on the taxpayer's payroll and lo and behold, he's at it again weeks later. Still, I'm probably just over reacting to a joke I don't get, right?

Anyway, there's better stuff than that in the world, and this is a belated, but nonetheless important thank you, big up, shout out and pointer to the second issue of the Caught By The River Fanzine, An Antidote To Indifference; guest edited by the wonderful John Andrews and, I'm honoured to say, including a brand new poem.

But get it for the good stuff, like I say.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

You decide...

I'm struggling to think who I would most like to have a morally courageous argument with this week...

This arse.

Or this one.

Hero of the week? No contest.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Treecreeper show this Saturday...

... at the excellent Gladstone, in Borough. A free show and a Saturday night spent in the company of London's most monotonous miserabilists. What's not to like?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Richard Buckner, The Social

I'm completely honoured to be playing tonight at The Social, in support of the wonderful Richard Buckner. His new album is so great, and he's really just getting better and better. A true writer.

So come down to The Social tonight to see him.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Here is the Events page of my new website, with details of a few live things going on in November.

I'll do a post about each one closer to the date.

Hopefully see someone, somewhere...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

An Antidote To Indifference...

... I'm very proud to have a poem included in the inaugural issue of the Caught By The River fanzine, pictured above. The rest of the magazine is very much worth reading, and can be bought here.

Friday, 7 October 2011


A two day cold snap, burning autumn foliage and listening to The Decemberist's The King Is Dead is even more enjoyable than it was earlier in the year...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

It's National Poetry Day...

... and so it seems appropriate to draw your attention, not to me for once, but to a genuine poet...

Here's my review of Alice Oswald's new book on Caught By The River.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Branchage Film Festival

Looking forward to heading over to Jersey in a couple of days to read some poems. I'll be reading some of the Sideshow work as part of the exhibition over there, and also reading some other work before the screening of Werner Herzog's Cave Of Forgotten Dreams. I'll try and get some recordings of some kind done to post here, video if I can.
Here's to the coast.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Treecreeper show at The Wheelbarrow tomorrow...

As those who exist virtually on Facebook might already know, Treecreeper has a show tomorrow night at The Wheelbarrow in Camden.
A new venture from an old friend of ours Jay (sometimes know as Beans On Toast), who used to run The Flowerpot and Nambucca before it burned down.

A free show, with plenty of good music and good times. And our roadie Cooper's birthday as well, so could be a good one.

I'll be the fat, greying guy whinging on stage. Come and say hello...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Independent Online

The Independent Online has put up a gallery of the images and poems from the Sideshow exhibition, which has also been up all week at Wilton's Music Hall.

Pretty excited about it, check it here.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

All is Greed

It seems the rioters have damned themselves in the nation's eyes by having the nerve to target luxury goods and aspirational consumer objects in their lootings. The fact that this is just a mirror to the sort of greedy, grasping, materialist society that an irresponsibly managed free market, gluttonous financial and corporate institutions and a gross over exposure to advertising has created seems lost on most commentators.

The rioters should presumably all be nice, easy stereotypes for the media to swallow and regurgitate for our simple understanding. Some dreadlocks would be nice, people, and some placards spouting vague anti-globalization messages next time, please.

Of course robbery, thuggery and seemingly un-ideologically motivated violence couldn't possibly be representative of the kind of dull, aching, aimless anger that you see on the streets every day, could it? It's just common-or-garden criminality, right? I mean, these youngsters don't look like they could spell "insurrection"...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Instant Karma

... I have to say there's a definite sense of justice (or would karma be a more appropriate word?) to proceedings at Trent Bridge today. I've grown increasingly sick of the crowing, self congratulatory articles I'd read about our world beaters in the press since the Lords test, not to mention the assumption in just about every piece written this week that swinging conditions would surely render the Indians mere cannon fodder to Anderson and the now brilliant again Broad. No thought, of course, that the Indian bowlers might also utilize the swing available. Vic Marks in the Guardian today of course, the honourable exception. Let's see what the World's Bests Pace Attack™ can do. I think they'll get a bowl today...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wilton's Music Hall

Here's the first clip from a film of me reading some poems.
These were shot by the excellent Rebecca Coley, as part of the London Comedy Film Festival's Transformations season.

SIDESHOW at WILTONS (Toothless Mouth) from rebecca coley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Music News

Adam and I will be playing an acoustic show at The Gladstone in Borough on Saturday night.

Should be a nice evening - it's a great little bar. Last time I played there was with the late Larry Jon Wilson. RIP.

Also, there's a whole load of new action on the Trash Aesthetics label front... Richmond Fontaine news, Treecreeper, etc etc... check it all out here.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

From Rainfall

From Rainfall

Floods. And a change in
everything we saw.
The landscape now seems fluid
and rhythmic, where before
it had been as solid
as the knowledge
that God
loved everybody.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Oxford In The Summer...

Friday night was really, really great, thanks to everyone for putting it on, and for the people who came and listened to the readings, it was an extremely pleasant experience. The magazine looks great as well, and anyone wanting to get one can do so, here.
There should be some pictures and stuff on the Sideshow site in the next day or so...

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Structo Launch At Albion Beatnik

It's been a manic few weeks, I've not written enough on here, or anywhere else for that matter. Everything hurts from playing too much cricket and getting old. Oh well.
Anyway, anyone in the Oxford area tomorrow night should come down to the launch of the very fine Structo magazine's latest issue in the equally fine Albion Beatnik bookshop in Jericho. I'll be reading some poems that will be featured in the new issue, amongst plenty of other brilliant stuff. See you there, maybe.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Homegame 2011...

Big thanks to Caught By The River, Fence and whoever owned/rented the crazy house for having us at the weekend.
But mostly thank you to everyone who listened with such patience, clapped like they might have meant it, and came up and spoke to me after the reading.
You made my day.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Home Game

I'm reading some poems in the Caught By The River curated poetry event at Fence Records' Home Game festival on the Sunday.
I didn't think my presence was really expected to help try and sell tickets for this. And anyway, it sold out really fast, but if any readers are up there, come by the fishing hut and say hello.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Balcony TV

Here's Bird Artist and a small, awkward interview from our recent Balcony TV appearance...

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Edward Abbey and HS2

I wrote a piece about Edward Abbey for Caught By The River, which they posted today.

I really don't want to be a nimby about that whole HS2 thing. Probably, with the evidence stacked up properly in front of me, I'd see the sense. I just walk in those woods and love them and its hard to think about everything changing... but that's what happens isn't it? Things change.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Suits You

Match Of The Day. Broadcasting as living proof that you "are what you wear". Way more expensive than you should be. And shit.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Albion Beatnik

I've been meaning to write something about this place for ages, but for one reason or another never got round to it. Anyway, a visit on Saturday re-affirmed my resolution to do so. The Albion Beatnik is a small, perfectly stocked independent bookshop in the Jericho area of Oxford. A nice little street anyway, with good pubs and all that stuff, but the bookshop is really worth a visit. Big selection of Beat stuff, all nice US pressings, a really good poetry section, second hand books, good coffee and tea, and a real genuine bookshop owner as you'd want them to be; crazy long curly hair, glasses, air of easy intellect and love of jazz.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

West Ham and the Justice In Sport Quango...

...Just watched the highlights of the West Ham game. Have to say I feel sorry for the team and Avram Grant on the basis of what I saw. It looked like a piss-poor refereeing performance and pretty much a non-footballing performance from Stoke who, as well as overstepping the boundary from cynical into outright cheating on a couple of occasions, I don't remember seeing actually pass the ball TO EACH OTHER . ALONG THE GROUND, once in the whole segment.
Looks like the Central Authority For Justice In Sport has clocked off for the summer. And on their usual date as well, fellow Arsenal fans will no doubt have observed... still, they did a reasonable job this winter in Australia, so I won't begrudge them their annual March to August holiday...

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sondry Folk...

...this is a brilliant little website, which I urge anyone to visit. Literary ramblings, art, design, clothes. all that good stuff and written by some cool and interesting people. I've just come across this, but it looks very, very good.

They have also been kind enough to do a little piece about the Sideshow exhibition, which you can find here.

Monday, 7 March 2011


It’s not a weight you hear of much today
in fighting, since they closed up all the booths.
Gone like a day’s work, or an old folk song.
Once, amid the gaslights, Lonsdale Champions and
mahogany drawers full of dead butterflies
he’d netted and collected as a boy,
he smoked in pubs and learned the local songs.
Now he sits and waits for me to come;

To listen to his stories, make his tea
and hear about the gradual decline
from fast enough his fist blew out the lamps
to faculties eroded by some other folk process.
The morning came, we went to see a football match,
he could not sing, and twice, forgot my name.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A New Poem...

... up on the Caught By The River site.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Beatnik x Macbeth...

... equals an event on Sunday night where I will be reading some poems from 7.50. There's going to be fine music as well, and a whole bunch of other stuff happening. Here is the website of the good people putting it on. I believe there is some kind of Facebook event thing as well. See you there.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Here are a couple of photographs of the bar from Tuesday, courtesy of Danny Mitchell.
Cheers, Danny...

Sideshow Review

Great review of the Sideshow exhibition here from Amelia's Magazine.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Last Night

Great evening. Had an absolute blast, thanks to everyone for coming down.
Anyone who might ever read this and wasn't there, I'll be posting some photos and a couple of the poems as well, once I eaten my hangover off.

Also, check out the Yarn website, and go to The Social and see the exhibition, the drawings are really great.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The End

I had been working there for a couple of years when it started. One day I was writing something. I can't remember what it was. Maybe an email or maybe a letter. Anyway, my head had been feeling very heavy on my neck in the mornings for a few days. My neck felt like it was made of plasticine, and thin, so that the huge weight of my head was making the neck loll around, out of my control. It would break soon, I thought, and the head roll to the floor. Peace at last. Then the next day it was worse. I felt faint, and I couldn't focus on the screen in front of me, and then, in the corner of my vision, I saw a movement on the desk. I looked straight ahead, and again - a shifting, oozing mass of black snakes was manifesting itself right at the edge of my desk. I could not turn my head towards them to look, but I could see the mass, moving over and under and on top of one another, more like one constantly slithering puddle of SNAKE than multiple, individual reptiles. The mass was oil black, like the feathers of a starling, iridescent with green and purple flashes when the light fell on it a certain way. It shone against the dull black paint of my desk, which was no black at all. This was black, I realized - yielding into the air all colours at once, and yet yielding none. The mass began to grow in size, swallowed the phone, the pot of pens, the rubber bands. I moved slightly to my left, dragging my keyboard away from the reach of the thing. Still I could not look. A girl who worked across from me was watching. She had a look of disgust on her face. Of fear. I had not spoken to anyone at work for a good few weeks. Not since I had been late one day and then later on forgotten to fasten or zip up my trousers after going to the toilet. I came back to my desk with everyone looking at me. I had leaked down my front, and I was hanging out as well. I could have sworn I'd put it back in the pants, at least. I had been drunk the night before, and had insulted another member of THE TEAM. The daggers were out for me. And now these fucking snakes. I'm finished here.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Cuts and crackdowns...

Reading about the Immigration Minister's plans to "crackdown" on bogus students from non-EU countries coming to stay in the UK and insisting that research has revealed "unpleasant" abuse of the system. How are we supposed to decode the use of that word?
It's a worrying use of a very, very loaded word in the context given. I can't honestly say my experience of life in general, or at college needed any kind of crackdown. I find myself wondering exactly what people like Damian Green actually see when they walk down the road? Presumably the streets around Whitehall and Westminster are even more full of white, British people than the ones I walk on, which seem pretty full of white, British people to me.

I found this word curious as well... "That's clearly an area where the current system is too generous."

Generosity seems to be the one thing this coalition is intent on showing absolutely no sign of. Unless you are a banker, of course.

Friday, 21 January 2011

I'll tell you something...

... if anyone thinks any opinion of mine is worth anything at all. And that is this: Bruce Springsteen is a fucking GOD. That is a F.A.C.T.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Illogical sports comment! Shock! Horror!..

I can't help thinking that commentators who are putting forward this notion that British athletics somehow does not merit a stadium such as the Olympic Stadium past the games themselves as the sport is not followed or participated in by numbers big enough to justify it, and so Tottenham should absolutely be able to just tear up the running track, have got it all the wrong way round. Surely the point of that horrible marketing speak LEGACY is that the new stadium, extra facilities and Olympic excitement will all hopefully re-generate the sport?
It all seems fairly simple to me. I have got to stop listening to Talk Sport.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Blessed rage for order...

Try and picture the inside of your own head. Does it have colour? If so, what colour ? What is it all made of? Not the brain itself, you understand, but all the stuff inside the brain. It is just out of your reach, no matter where you grasp, and you are like a drunk reaching vainly for a lampost to prop himself up. And all those half formed ideas that you barely understood loll out of the ooze. You read the page and it means nothing. It is all anger and fear. Headache stuff. There is no light in there - which is why you yearn for holidays in the sun.

But try describing any of this to a friend. They will say, Ok, mate. They will not want to know and they will tell you that the inside of their head looks like a Disney cartoon, with animals anthropomorphized and gloriously congenial to one another. There is no hint at the murder and savagery of life here - females with big brown eyes and long eyelashes, and all rendered in solid blocks of colour, definite and easily understandable.

Sometimes, though, it clears. And you feel like a Saturday night party.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I'm really pleased to have some poetry and short stories involved in this exhibition of paintings by a guy from Jersey called Jason Butler. His pictures are great, and I'm honoured to be working with them.

Anyway, the first exhibition event is at The Social for the opening night of Yarn literary festival, the paintings and poems will be up in the bar for a month, but on the 15th we will be having a launch night with music, readings and other good stuff, so go to the Sideshow Blog to find out details...

See you there.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

What would Jesus do...

"Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them..." Sarah Palin

I think this is one of the most dangerously misguided, and even downright stupid things I've ever read a politician say. While it is obvious that Sarah Palin was going to issue some kind of statement of defence, given the flack she's been getting in the last few days, I cannot believe the myopic, irresponsible bullshit coming out of the right wing media in America. Irresponsible is exactly the word - nothing "begins and ends" with individuals of any kind in a society; criminals, businesses, teachers, students... anyone. That is what society means.
But then, what the fuck am I expecting? Thatcher already told me that society doesn't exist. And then went about systematically destroying it, just to make herself correct.
Sometimes I actually pity myself for still thinking that anyone in positions of power, or aiming that way (pardon the pun), here or in the US might still, somewhere deep down, give a shit about actual human beings. And yes, that does include the perpetrators of criminal acts as well. Sorry, Sarah et al, but they too are under your jurisdiction. Or will be if you have your way. God fucking forbid. It may pain you to the core, but you have a responsibility to them as citizens as well.
Sarah Palin said she prayed for guidance, well how about this...

How about she reads the fucking Bible a bit closer, and asks herself, "What would Jesus do?"...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Not all that is wrong...

One of the things I hate most about the modern world in the west, with its technologies, TVs, computers, Iphones and the rest of that crap is that we never look each other in the eyes anymore. I'm sure there is a hugely important chunk of human nourishment that is missing from our lives since we stopped looking at each other - eating at a table together, drinking in pubs together or dancing together face to face. Now we sit on sofas, facing the fucking TV screen. I see the top of a head of hair. Fuck, it could be anybody there watching Poirot with me. Then at work we sit in rows, facing the same way. Long gone the days of interaction there, either.
I know there are all sorts of reasons why people feel so fucked and alienated and lost and miserable and able to meekly swallow the bullshit and worse that we are handed every day by the people entrusted with our welfare, but maybe this is just one little thing that we could change that might mean we start to remember what a human being actually is. We could start actually respecting that idea again, and not blithely accepting different human beings to ourselves being killed all over the world by and for our own Government.

The Ashes...

A piece on the cricket for Caught By The River...

Monday, 3 January 2011

One Saturday

One Saturday

Sat drinking in the pub, long
afternoon moves into short evening

and we are hazy and feel happy.
Cold bright winter sun,

shrill voice of laughter,
and pique of beauty in the starlings, even.

At the bar, you stand close to me and
we hold hands again, for a minute.

In bed, you come across something by Bukowski.

I wish I had written that for you, I say
Well? Why don’t you write me something?

And we are like before -
together in this great, beautiful, murderous city

and when you close your eyes to sleep,
I can again feel my breath upon your naked back.