Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Slim pickings here at the Bank of late, I'm afraid. I hope I'll still be able to write a paragraph or two on Vivi Tellas, as previously trailed, though the promotional value of that piece is now somewhat diminished, seeing as how she left the country about three weeks ago. The interview with Rajni Shah is almost fully transcribed now -- a massively inspiring conversation, for me at least -- but will take a bit of licking into shape; that'll probably be the next thing to go up. I think I promised something on poetry as well, but I'm guessing that probably isn't going to happen -- I had intended that that post would include reports on the recent Crossing the Line reading by Tom Raworth and the brilliant Martin Corless-Smith, and on a brace of talks by Geoff Ward and Jeremy Noel-Tod: but I made it to neither event, in the end: life had me by the ear.

As it goes, things feel pretty low here: work currently is a slog at best, and at worst -- well, one project that's particularly close to my heart seems to be unravelling, which is always a grievous feeling, and makes me wonder whether I'm ever going to be in a position to make the work that I feel most personally compelled to make. Which is not to signal any disrespect or any lack of excitement in relation to the things that are definitely happening: loomingest of which is ...Sisters, which goes into rehearsal next week. This week therefore is mostly dominated by trying to write the version of the script that we're then going to -- ahem -- break. What I really want to be stuck into at the moment is the piece I've said I'll write for Plymouth, which is going to be a play about one of my longtime great heroes, the Victorian (so-called 'nonsense') poet Edward Lear. At a personal level I'm feeling just about sad and bleak and knotted-up and self-involved enough to be able to take that on at the moment. Everything currently feels like a retreat (I don't mean the good kind where you get colonics and finger-cymbals): and I could take that project to bed with me and pull the duvet over my head and not be completely wasting time. (It turns out, btw, that you can download from iTunes a 20-minute version of Stewart Lee's Pea Green Boat, which is based on Lear's 'The Owl and the Pussycat'; I knew about that show but never saw it; it's brilliantly, cruelly bleak, though thankfully it hits different notes than I intend to with my play. £7.99 is a bit steep, but so it goes.)

What else is new? Dennis Cooper came to town, which was fun, though intense -- which is not to say that Dennis is particularly intense, but spending that much time with anybody is pretty intense; Skins ended brilliantly but harrowingly and, I suspect, is more than a little responsible for my present state of mind; Alistair McCartney's The End of the World Book: A Novel arrived in the mail, and is a delightful, excruciating, warmly deadpan read, a sort of homoerotic mumblecore orgy of Barthelme and Perec and Laurie Anderson -- maybe I'll write more about it (and about Dennis's gorgeous new book of poems, The Weaklings) when I feel more up to the task; my favourite upscale porn site, Gay Teen Studio, est mort, which is genuinely pretty sad; so is David Eldridge's blog, which I regret, though I suspect it's a good decision from his point of view; the new Fall album is a rackety bit of business and good company, though the vague and inert and wretchedly despondent William Basinski stuff with which I'm intending to soundtrack ...Sisters feels closer to my current mood. You know, I think the failure of spring to really committedly arrive has become completely associated in my mind with the terrible horrorfilm resilience of Hillary Clinton. What's to become of us, eh.

Anyway, this is not a post; ceci n'est pas un post. This is just a placeholder to say, this blog is probably going to be hiding under its bed for a little while longer, experiencing the emotional equivalent of credit crunch. Sorry for the downturn.

In other news: Two biscuits waiting for a bus. Biscuit #1: "So, where do you live then?" Biscuit #2: "You honestly think I'm going to tell you? You'll just go round and steal my laundry."

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Found proverb #2

"Astral beings have no anus."

(source: Pat Barker, interviewed in The New Yorker, March 17, 2008.)