Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Otoliths 24

Here's a link to some asemic photos of mine in the new Otoliths, which, as always, is full of Southerly goodness:


Monday, 30 January 2012

The Eye of Silence

If I was true to my truest Self, I would sit in silence for the rest of my life. Since the world however, makes demands of me, and I have to move through it, I have to move through it as a poet.

The true Self is secretive, hidden in the eye. So the only way to uncover it is by gazing longingly into the eye of another. The true Self is really only found in another. Once it is found it is stirred to sound, to make language. These tiny movements of language are the true sound of the Self in the world.

Tiny movements, tiny sounds. The still, small voice. 'Ah', 'E', 'I'. The sounds of our deepest Selves, stirred from silence, gazing longingly on the world.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Dream of Ailsa Craig as a Concrete Poem

Ailsa Craig is a volcanic plug in the Firth of Clyde, off the Ayrshire coast where I holidayed in Girvan as a child. It's a beautiful green/grey rock which sometimes wears a hat, sometimes wears a skirt. For a while now I've been dreaming of Ailsa, not as memory, but in a more mysterious, perhaps symbolic, perhaps even revelatory way. It occured to me that She is a natural object of contemplation, whose beauty appeals to the human gaze and naturally touches the human heart. So perhaps, I thought, the dreams are speaking to that part of me which is contemplative; so the rock becomes a symbol of the Self immersed in awareness of Itself, a symbol of the meditative state. Seems plausible. Often the dreams involve images of multiple Ailsas arranged in hilly, rocky clumps along the horizon; often they are shadowed, dark, misty. Perhaps then these multiple Ailsas are symbols of the divided Self, fragmetation, parts of my psyche which aren't wholly integrated. Do I sound like a Jungian? Well, maybe I am.

The rock is of course a huge letter in the middle of the sea - a glorious 'e' surrounded by wind & waves. She tells tales of an ancient past in her curling outline and deep rooted plug. And an 'e' is of course wholly, logically geological. To me at least. In my dreams, where language is picture and picture is language. Dreams as concrete poetry!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012


It's my dad's birthday today, or rather, the day of his incarnation, his earthdom, his physication. This is for him in the afterlife - the layers of reality peeling away new landscape's revealed all languages his. It might even be a new direction, or the first in a series of experiments, or something that's been tried a thousand times before.

(You might need to click on and zoom in to read the back text code. That's something I'll develop if there are any more of these.)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Envelope Pension Poems

Yesterday, while dinner was being prepared at my sister's home, I started doodling on an envelope lying at the table, addressed to my grandpa who is now in hospital suffering very late stage Alzheimer's, but somehow still managing to channel a grace towards his family. I sketched a truly awful visual poem and a couple of tiny texts, then my sister added this, which I rather liked, as it reflected the way we were going to eat dinner:

tray knee trainee

The best of my own efforts was probably this concrete mini:




Not very good but still reflecting the content of the envelope, information regarding my grandpa's pension, with a rather pretentious nod to the French "pense" - "think".

There was this too:

"pense yawn"

and a lot of other punny poems, again with a nod to the pension and the dinner being prepared and the family gathering around us.

What mattered was the collective input while the more important task of food preparation was on the go. A kind of poetry cook show. And of course the meal itself, which I don't have any photos of, was delicious, all the more for the words which surrounded it.

Later we wrote a play, a male equivalent of The Vagina Monologues called "Penis Patter - Practise & Malpractise, the Ins & Outs". It had everything - politics, religion, sex, laughter, conflict. A true gem!


Leaf Garden Press - Three really weird stories of mine are out now in this lively journal, so weird, I wonder if it was me who wrote them. I think it was, a while ago, but only now seeing the light of day. Weird!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Tiny Sequins













lakelicklakelicklakelick lap








Monday, 2 January 2012

Little Red Leaves Textile Series

A nice start to the New Year!

I'm delighted that my chapbook "YesYesY" has been selected for the Little Red Leaves Textile Series. It should be out later in the year. These chapbooks are remarkable hand sewn objects, very beautiful and delicate, and made from such stuff as sheets and shower curtains. Look out for my book, or better yet, subscribe to the whole series at the website.

All the very best for 2012! If the world does end, it'll be with a whimper, or a long slow exhausted exhalation! But you can always read my chapbook on the way out!