dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Friday, 29 July 2011

Quiet Time

Because I’m spending too much time online. Period. And social networking isn’t real. More pen and paper, less keys and mouse. GayBook, Twatter, DeadBubble and Blagger can do one for a bit. Toodle pip!


c u when we get there

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Stockpiling Pottery

Not much pottery going on in 2011. While daylight is the best for viewing detail, some things just look better under electric lighting, in a glass tank, in a museum. Presentation is absolutely everything. As more pieces are assembled, and the concepts get more intricate and refined (but not necessarily better glazed, because the finish is always so unpredictable), inferior pieces get regulated to the reject league.
What once seemed good now seems crap. At first, it was like hey everyone look, I made something with my own hands! Wow-ee! Get me a shelf quick so I can put it up! Oh I say there, wouldn't it look suave in a silver display cabinet from Ikea with fancy backlit mirrors! But then you look at it months down the line or compare it to another person's work and think what the hell is that? Pass me the bin! The gratification of the idea and implementation of a successful design, construction and painting process can often outweigh what is often a disappointing final result. Even if something turns out like a sack of pig plop after it's been dried and fired and then painted and then fired again, there's still something fulfilling about threading laces of clay during the first step of the build.
It helps to judge whatever you do by the standards of someone who does it for a living. If you have a hobby for nothing more than time-killing or personal enjoyment, then fair enough, but if you are serious about something, it pays to be realistic too. You may have finally learned to juggle 3 tennis balls after years of practice and now believe you are the best thing since cheese slices, but how do you react when you come up against some master clown from the circus who has been juggling up to a dozen skittles at once, blindfolded on a tightrope since she was a nipper? Do you say "sack this" and go back to doing your day job well, or flex your pecs, man up, and go for 4 tennis balls? Man or mouse? Chump or champ?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Rubik's Cube

The municipal building in the centre of Widnes looks like a Rubik’s cube. I used to play on the top of this as a kid. I was all over it last night in my dreams. There was a running track built onto the side of it halfway up and I was getting some fitness in during break times from office hours.

It’s occurred to me that maybe the highest places or principal landmarks from our childhood territories linger in our subconscious for many an old devil moon.

I told my cousin A.Michael, the Horror Apprentice, that I’ve been dreaming every single night without fail for months. He said that’s really excellent, and confided in me 3 new dream secrets of his own.

1. He paused a dream once, like a videotape.

2. He blacked out in a dream, then came back to, still in the dream.

3. He got shot in a dream.

Not to mention a nightmare he can still remember from when he was under 10 years old, featuring a chimpanzee on a coach.

He’s no expert on ASTRAL PROJECTION, but here’s what he said about flying.

Focus on a point ahead, or on the skyline, or where you want to be, but don’t will yourself too hard. The harder you try, the more you’ll skim the floor. It’s all about 100 percent total concentration. It’s a form of meditation, of visualization. You need to be able to picture the scenery from miles around. Once you start to create that landscape, you can look down on it. There are several kinds of dream flight – this hovering, bird’s eye view kind, or the much harder, run and take off from a standstill kind.

No wonder they write whole books about it.

Do you believe in this kind of talk, or are your rests like a black, blank slate?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Bad Guy Speech

Don’t you love the crimelord’s justification passage at the end of some movies? Every flick worth its salt has a henchman’s speech. Here is a decent one from a well-known British actor, although the first 2 that spring to mind in my memory are Michael Gambon from Layer Cake (2004) and The Architect from The Matrix Reloaded (2003). You seem to learn more valuable “intel” from these short but intense vocabularies than you could ever learn from school or real life! There is always at least a golden nugget of knowledge in them. Don’t get me wrong, it may be all higgledy-piggledy, but I for one at least like to pretend that there are answers out there. If someone is willing to explain how the world works, I’m well prepared to listen, even if they are an egotistical, power-crazed maniac!

Thursday, 21 July 2011


A small screen on PooTube will never do this justice, and it literally is 10x more magnificent on a big crisp TV, but the link above provides just an idea of kickass Japanese animation manga at its very impressive best anyway. One dude batters an army with fearless skill and flair. TWO WORDS – TOO GOOD! Simple as. Show me a more inspiring special effects sequence, and I’ll show you a big fat liar. FACT!

Just sat through Appleseed Ex Machina (2007), another animation (they’re the best), and am now about to watch Immortal (2004), because I have just discovered that Immortal, along with Casshern (2004), were the first of their kind, in as much as they were the first movies to be shot entirely on a “digital backlot”, blending real actors with CGI surroundings.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011


"Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.

They exist in each other all along."

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Wow, this guy man. He's 35, with the voice of a seven year old! I have to say, Eminem ain't got nothing on him. MC Chris exhibits, in this track, the most entertaining rapping going. It's virtually a short story, not a song. How he remembers it only he knows. Is it about Star Wars, or Star Trek? It has a fantastical element to it, whatever it's about. It's a repeater. A playerer over and overerer.

I won't ramble on. The video above is the best quality, but there is a lyrics one on YouTube, the single best feature of the interweb, after free Bollywood downloads, and there is also a live concert version. It's remarkable how you have never heard of someone this darn tootin' rare!

There's no other tune like this peach, in my booky wook. Every other MC can just call him SIRE!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Fighting the Good Fight

My biggest fear is that mein work becomes warped beyond all recognition. Certain books are defined by and carry certain emotions and themes, not necessarily positive. All I do is report upon my own human condition. The message I picked up from A SCANNER DARKLY (2006), is that when looking at a glass half filled with water, your perception is split 50/50. You either see it half full or half empty. This is where the two halves of the brain come into play.

Every book digs deeper and unveils a little more of the psyche. This is more important than the technique of words and sentences. I see unpleasant aspects in both my own character and in other people. These aspects seem to take a stronghold in the work, but I would hope my justification is this: That the dark parts only serve to balance and enhance the good parts. The unknown territories in each of our capabilities may be vast and deep, but so long as a modicum of good, of light, exists, then all is not lost.

A handful of light is all you need to find your way.

It’s easier to destroy the light in oneself than it is to destroy all of the darkness in the surrounding world, but I don’t believe you can ever fully eradicate that inherent beacon within, that intuitive flare that casts wrong against right, and that knows remorse, shame, guilt. Compassion, fellowship, kindness. Love.

Not in my storylines, anyway. They say you should write about what you know, but if you truly want peace and serenity, write what you don’t. Remove yourself from your pitfalls. Focus on the top half of the glass, ignoring the bottom. It may not be as passionate or truthful, but passion and truth are blind to other people’s feelings.

I started chapter 3 of book 15 yesterday, after over 2 months off it. I’m determined to make it shine. Goodness will flow through it like the wind through the trees.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Steam Fair

mine's the yellow one in the middle between the blue one and the green one. can you see it.
the UN were in town. Kofi Annan was waxing his moustache in the back.
hairy bikers. roadkill pancakes for supper. think!
never eat anything looking right back at you.
engine sketcher. be handy if they moved out the way.
lydia: above her only sky.

the driver of the yellow bus up top, as if unhappy with the levels of attention rolling in a machine like that brings to oneself, decided to dress in smart black trousers and shoes, NO TOP, a black bowler hat and a necker-chief.

note: the necker-chief was a bandanna, worn like a napkin

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Chris Moyles / Fish n Chips

It’s not enough that we have to put up with him on the radio, but now we have to hear that he has a new contract worth a million pounds sterling.

That’s just great, that is. Thanks for that. I’m struggling like an old rag n bone man and meanwhile that get is raking it in. Why are we bombarded with gossip about how well some folk are doing, when not two minutes before we are having the recession forced down our throats?

I’m not interested in government cuts and fat cat bonuses. The common man is nee affected. I stress about my own pocket, and the rising price of oatcakes in the supermarche. C'mon, let me get on with it, and cease throwing insulting figures down my throat.

Have you noticed how nobody hardly mentions a million anymore? All you ever hear about are billions now. Radio 4 do my nut in. For the final time, I don't care about your politics or your numbers or your interest rates. Fack them, and fack you. We all know IT'S ABOUT MONEY, (6) and that you're alright if you have it, but no one gives a shiz if you haven't.

A Yorkshire pub has broken the world record for concocting the biggest ever serving of fish and chips. The traditional English dish weighed in at almost 100 pounds. The chefs carted it out on a tray that looked long enough to be a stretcher.

There was a time when breaking a world record really meant something. World’s strongest man. World’s fastest land speed record. World’s longest ski jump. Skyscrapers, battleships, construction bridges. There was a time when a man doing a million and one keepie-ups with a football was about the dullest record around.

Now, we have professional worm eaters who can scoff 200 of the yucky invertebrates in 20 seconds. We have glutinous greedy guts dunking hotdogs in water so they can slide down their throats with zero resistance. We have morons piercing every available inch of their anatomies. And now this, fish and chips. A waste of time and money, and I’d bet my bottom dollar it went uneaten.

Whose ever idea this was should have their trousers and pants pulled down in front of a studio audience so paint-ballers can shoot their raw butt cheeks. Pillocks.

Friday, 8 July 2011

David Haye / Wimbledon

They say he talks trash, and that he’s cocky. He does, I agree. But like Muhammad Ali, that’s absolutely no problem if you can back it all up. If you can walk the walk, you have the liberty to talk the talk until the cows come home.

Unfortunately for David Haye, and sadly for British boxing, it wasn’t to be in Hamburg, beaten on points against the awkward, boring but effective giant that is Klitschko. Which Klitscho was it though? They could almost be twins. Perhaps the Klitscho corner swapped brothers halfway through the fight.

We all anticipate a knockout with the heavyweights. It’s hilarious to see a punch-drunk zombie falling around the ring. These cagey, cautious affairs may be value for money, but for all the smack talk beforehand, you’d think that they’d try to kill each other, not dance around like fairies.


Andy Murray. If he wins, he’s British. If he loses, he’s Scottish. He moans when he strikes the ball either way. I thought it was only women who moaned during play. I call it Women’s Orgasmic Tennis, championed by the chief warrior Sabrina Williams herself. It’s so animalistic and sexual, don’t you think? All that grunting and groaning. Ugh!

What the hell have you got to do before you get disciplined for putting the opposing player off, strangle them at the net? It would be easy to disguise a yell or scream or shout within a moan or grunt or groan. Think of all the possible noises you could make. Agh!

Why are the celebrations always so emotional at the end? Talk about drama queens falling to the floor. Is it not rude to celebrate in front of your beaten opponent? And why shout ‘come on’ after you have won the point? Please, show some courage and shout it while the ball is still in play. Now that would impress me.

Have you seen the way the players point at the ball boys too? It looks so arrogant. And why do they bounce the ball so many times before serving it? What purpose does that repetitive bouncing actually serve?

Big tennis games look great on screen. The gasps of the crowd as the ball trickles along the net. Scrambling legs, drop shots, lobs and volleys. The drama is up there with penalty shoot outs in football and deciding frames in snooker. When you’re picking your own balls up in the park, however, hardly able to string a rally together, it’s a very different game indeed.

And please, Nadal’s biceps really aren’t that big.

It always rains when Wimbledon is on. Solution: Ban Tennis

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Transformers Duh

Oh no, not another one. When will Michael Bay stop abusing our eardrums with his boring explosions? All this guy cares about is flipping cars. Okay, it’s great for kids, it’s in 3D, with stunning special effects and a spectacular finale, but as an adult, I think I’ll stick with adult movies, like Skyline, and District 9, for my kicks.

Mark Kermode, country’s top critic, did the best review of a film I’ve ever seen on his video blog. It was Transformers 2. All he did is bang his head against a metal door. No words needed. Pity he couldn’t have banged his head into Shia LaBoeuf’s face.

I lost all interest when the huge shape-shifting robots started talking back in the first one. I was half a fan until they started talking. I like to ‘buy into’ a movie. I like to be able to imagine that it’s real. I just can’t get my head around the fact that these technological warfare monstrosities have personalities.

Someone said that this is like sticking your face into a blender. I wouldn't go that far, like.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Monday, 4 July 2011

Swede Mason

Now and again an artist comes along and makes you take notice, and make no mistake, in these times when the word artist is banded about so loosely, attributed to Pop Idol wannbes, Swede Mason is one sure hell of an artist. The true sense of an artist to me, beyond the paintbrush and charcoal stick, is someone who, by the power of their works, is likened to a magician. Because of the wow factor. Because of the amazement. Because of the talent you can’t even relate to.

This guy’s crazy editing skills and stylish funky tunes make a special combination. The way he has focused his energies into something so comically light-hearted is a great credit to him. I think he arrived in MASTERCLASS SYNESTHESIA. I think he was getting into his flow in GIMME BACK MA GUN (featuring Mel Gibson), and then peaked doing this latest overwhelmingly popular project. To make so many people smile must be a swell buzz. And at the very least, they are smiling. More likely, they are laughing. Laughing, sharing, and dancing. I dare you not to smile.

The comments are true. I don’t need to add any more compliments. Apart from the fact that this video is a day-maker. Someone said it’s the best thing they have ever seen. How can a YouTube video be the best thing someone has ever seen? you might ask. Surely that person has led a very dull life. Well, I wouldn’t be so quick to judge. In fact, I’d most probably agree with the guy. I can understand why he might say that, and mean it. I can understand that completely.

This is a concentration of craftsmanship, all over an unsuspecting public like chickenpox. I'm lapping this sh*t right up. It’s joyous.

Check link beneath for a mini Masterchef play!


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Solstice Woes

I didn’t even realize it’s that time of the month. A new month. A new moon. Is it a new moon? Can’t be far off. I’ve lost track of the lunar cycle since moving geographical locations. I used to be on top of all that, even to the point of sending off for newsletters from The Sky At Night. Now, sunsets and moonrises don’t exert the same pull over me. Inside, maybe, but whenever I get the impulse to get off my butt and go stargazing, or sky watching, or whatever, I do what lazy people do whenever they feel the urge to exercise – lie down until the feeling goes away.

It’s no trivial matter. The soul aches internally over such issues. It’s not a pain, it’s not even a mild throb, or a dull ache; it’s more of a soft purring inside, a hushed whine. And this is the kind of prose I should be putting into a project I have on the go, so I’m going to have to stop there.

When your favourite constellation is visible from your front doorstep, it’s hard to complain though. Cassiopeia, the W, reminds me of two smoking guns, one in each hand. A cowboy. Still, there’s nothing like lying on your back in the dark and spotting a shooting star. Neglecting the heavens spells doom for the dreamer. The Death of Hope.

I put the hours in when writing a novel at about 20 years of age. It was about the universe and dinosaurs and space and time. I threw all my eggs into one basket with it. The amount of research notes amount to the length of a book in itself. Since then, I moved on from all the mysteries of existence and focused on the day to day psychological pressures of modern reality. Perhaps I ought to go back. I’ve always thought that one novel is enough to say whatever you have to say. Everything else, afterwards, is indulgence, rehash, commercial.

I still can’t get my head around this blogging business. Christopher Fowler has a quality blog he updates daily, which you are supposed to do, but a lot of the time, when reading other people’s blogs, I cringe. The amount of personal detail they go into seems so self-indulgent. What can you do, eh? Trust me to be a f**king writer.


Friday, 1 July 2011

The Dream Is Real

Sex in church. Lions on the roof. Driving backwards down the motorway in glue. Anything goes in dreams. It’s like the brain is only half on. I had a dream within a dream the other night, like in the movie Inception, only they had to go too far and have a dream within a dream within a dream. By a dream within a dream, I mean that I was telling people about my dream so far before I had even woken up. A kind of running commentary, to other people in the dream, as it went along. It was in chapters. Do you ever dream in chapters?

There can be as many as six or seven different scenes or stages in one night’s rest. Vivid ones, vague ones. Sometimes, just a mention of something on the news late in the evening can trigger the memory of a dream the night before. It’s treacherous territory even discussing them. The subconscious is pure and genuine. It does not repress, deceive, lie, shirk away, cover up, exaggerate or forget. It’s a mishmash of unexecuted ideas and thoughts waiting to flourish when you switch to standby. It’s the signal behind the TV set. You may only watch one during the day, but come bedtime, all those hundreds of channels flicker on behind the scenes. Even the ones you never watch, and sometimes the ones you don’t want to watch.

Kevin Levrone, legend Bodybuilder turned front man, sings: “I see faces in my dreams, looking back at me, the strangest faces in my dreams…”

Now I’m certainly not about to go into the star headliners, side attractions, bit part players and cameos who appear in my dreamscapes, which are all in high definition full colour with surround sound by the way, but I will share with you a stranger or two who I don’t recognize. I wake up with a sense of wonder. Who was that person? I think. Often, when someone is hazy, we assign someone we know to fit the role, but now and again there will be a complete unrecognisable stranger who we have never met in our lives. Do you agree? Just nod and say yes if in doubt.

Funny old world innit. The mind boggles.

Plain Jane (below) aka ‘Indecipherable’ appears in a character’s dreams. She’s one of those lovable murderer types. I’ll tell you all about her and her story in another post. Until then, thanks for reading, come again for some more of my repetitive claptrap about enduring creativity, stay true, and may your God go with you.

Art Till Death