• cold shoulder on a mild morning

    I haven’t done this kind of thing in quite a while. These days, I’m normally the guy who steps aside in any given condition to let someone pass and offers a smile even when the other party doesn’t say thank you. It’s fine. There was a point when I would sing a few bars of You’re Welcome from Moana but I’ve grown out of that, unless I really want to make one of my children cringe-giggle....

    Jan 26, 2024 - 3 minute read
  • A 2024 Indieweb vibe

    In 2024 I would love to see more writers, poets, artists, performers, musicians, thinkers and creative anomalies embracing and advocating for the indieweb and other independent platforms rather than looking to the same cultural and corporate monoliths (digital platforms, broadcasters, organisations, prizes etc) for exposure and authentication. The truth will always be that we will be compromised by the recognised platforms unless we build the platforms ourselves. Just because we may be “creators” (scare quotes because it’s not a term I like using) doesn’t earn us the right to default to passive consumer mode when we chose our platforms....

    Jan 1, 2024 - 4 minute read
  • Why London's most vital art is far from the cultural elites

    I have a lot of mixed feels about London’s arts scene and its relation to the obscene wealth it happens in the shadow of. A lot of the most significant art from London comes from migrant and w/c communities with deep familial links within the city. They have done so for decades with very little of the city’s wealth trickling down to them. A lot of this art is invisible until a Kae Tempest, George the Poet or Stormzy breaks through and makes it more visible....

    Jul 9, 2023 - 3 minute read
  • On recently learning of the death of the poet Niall McDevitt

    On the whole, it’s been good being out of the loop with regard to social media and the poetry scene. That said, the occasional catch up foray onto facebook can sometimes reveal that someone you knew and admired had passed away and that you had also missed the funeral and all those attendant chances to celebrate their life with others. This is how I learned of the death of one of my poetic namesakes, Niall McDevitt....

    May 3, 2023 - 2 minute read
  • My annual monstrosity

    Getting to the end of the academic year and my thoughts are circling the idea of a thing that I will make in the liminal time between the last bit of marking and when the kids finish school and are home for the summer. It would be lovely to be a constant fount of creativity all the time but life gets in the way when you’re a knackered, middle aged parent....

    May 2, 2023 - 1 minute read
  • More substack gripes

    A few gripes about substack as posted on my mastodon I stopped posting regularly on Substack at the end of last year for a few reasons, fatigue was one of them, but there was something about the constant announcements of new features that seemed flakey and nebulous. All of it seemed to be in direct response to the bird site and the rhetoric had that airy venture capitalist quality about it....

    Apr 18, 2023 - 2 minute read
  • Fragments 18/4/23

    the train stops at the town of my birth so the driver can check if something went under it love is not an economy – know where love comes from – there is no balance line by line i learn how not to be a writer the massive policeman at the door has kind eyes when i open it the local toffs ring 999 about anything two young lads on the train seats opposite one keeps complaining about the sun in his eyes but doesn’t change seat...

    Apr 18, 2023 - 1 minute read
  • Skimming Poems

    Comment I ended up not posting on a thread on another platform about poetry and whether poems should be skimmable: Is there any other way to read a Frank O’Hara poem, for instance, than skimming it? I often think multiple skims of his work render more meaning than the pinned down aspect of a close read. The pace and energy of the poem is as much a part of understanding it, much like Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount by Johnson intentionally slows the reader down....

    Apr 12, 2023 - 1 minute read
  • Netflix

    Just got a notification from Netflix inviting me to relive my favourite moments from shows I watched. I clicked on the notification and was presented with a list of shows, most of which had been cancelled by Netflix.

    Apr 11, 2023 - 1 minute read
  • Substack Notes

    The way in which #Substack has promoted their new #Notes microblogging feature is very similar to how they promote all their other new features, mainly by fawning on all the writers publishing on Substack who gained large followings elsewhere. They just don’t seem too concerned with making something that can help smaller writers to grow their audiences. My blinkered idea of what the internet should be for writers is along the line that if you write well in a way that truly differentiates you from others, then maybe a few thousand people might enjoy what you do....

    Apr 11, 2023 - 1 minute read
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