Friday, August 20, 2004

E is for Enthusiasm

I just heard about Travis backing up Susie Hug on her new record - A is for Album. This entry has been prompted by listening to the second album by The Katydids who glowed briefly in the late eighties/early nineties. The first and eponymous album was by far the best though Shangri-la still surpassed most collections of its ilk. (Can you tell I have been reading the review on the media player?) Anyway, I may see about getting the new one but it’s only available from certain places. Many of my Friends heh?

Excuse me while I bliss out to Some Mysterious Sigh.

3-2-1 - You're back in the room. Actually I have decided now that Shangri-la is nearly as good as the first album. Must be getting old.

So what has happened at Scouse Towers this week? Every organisation in Liverpool seems to have attached a Capital of Culture badge to their logos in recent months. I suppose the problem is that the culture in Capital of Culture has been widened in scope to include basically everything which humans experience. After all, I suppose that is what culture is all about anyway. Never mind. As a poet, I can quite safely say that I am covered. Not that you'd know from these pages. Let's see if there's anything for you today.

Fading Away

Rain falls at me, vocations in the spheres and lenses
downed by salty fluctuations,
each drop a carrier of other routes
of other universes, where the famous dead
still live and eat with me.
The wide drawl of me as southerner,
an American, has dragged this wave-equation
back through many miles of cracking air,
of radio and Heavyside to singularity of now.

That’s me up there, the calm and cool,
protected by guitars and lights and monitors.
I dream then of being now and normal,
of tea and afternoons in rainy, cheap resorts,
with oil and scandal fading on my fingers,
an affair someway back in life,
made clear in all the glass of time
as one-way street, as me up there.

The right way comes to me,
a festering of half-caught phrase
and resonating, Celtic poetry.
This preacher, black, at the sea-edge
declaims Civil War nostalgia
with a sniff and gesturing
from filmic dreams and scientific shadow.

How's that? It proves my credentials if not my talent.

Well I finally finished Vernon God Little. I was steeled for a squalid ending. You will have to read it to find out whether I was justified. I can say that I was gradually drawn into the story which had (as I am sure you have found out if you have read a few proper reviews) plenty of echoes of The Catcher in The rye and even The Bell Jar. Worth reading for my previously-made assertion that this is how Martin Amis thinks he writes but doesn't because too much Martin Amis comes through in all his narrators. VGL took so long to finish because I read Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now in the middle - stacked as it were. Now HKIMN takes me back where Andrew Collins took me with Where Did It All Go Right? Mr. Collins is a nice guy with wide areas of interest and yet he still distills the ache of the first day away from home into an easily-readable but punchy paragraph. I left home at 18 and I had exactly the same sense of despair on the first day at college rather than the first night away. I'm all OK now though - I think. Now confusingly, I am also about to start another book called Where Did It All Go Right? This is Al Alvarez's auto-B. Report on that later maybe.

Good Byche

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