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HAIM - Fabrique, Milan - Sunday 3rd June 2018

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And sure enough

i.  Saturday

I don't often listen to the radio in bed, but last night something compelled me to switch it on.  I needed voices in the background to ease me to sleep.  It was doing its job admirably for half an hour or so.  If falling asleep is a journey guided by nodding trees to a cabin in the woods, or a riverboat ride to a special place from childhood, or a steep ascent on a mythical bird up, up and up, then I was as good as there - wherever there was.  I'd felt sleep's fingertips, but then - then they slipped away.  Something magical was playing on the radio and it steered me back to wakefulness.  My need to sleep was strong, but my need to know this song was stronger.  If I didn't get up now, the song would be lost in the black hole of lost songs, or at least that's how it felt.   I walked to the kitchen in a daze and found the radio show's playlist.  I found her on Spotify.  I can't remember walking back to bed, but it was likely I was asleep before …

Tread Softly

If a young woman put a poem of mine to song over 70 years after my death, I'd be chuffed to bits.  

W.B. Yeats must be fist-pumping in his grave.  

'Tread Softly' by Tiny Ruins

Berlin in Scenes

The Christmas Turkey

It will happen like this.   Christmas will come as it does every year and it will play out exactly like or something like or nothing at all like it did the year before or the year before that.  Preparations, arrangements, lists will be made.  Who will drive who, who will go where, who will get what.  Bags and bags and bags of stuff will be bought and wrapped because we are all good consumers and if we're not then we should be thank you very much god save the queen etc.  Everyone will buy their dead turkeys in good time, big fat dead turkeys who had a good life I'm sure, look it's smiling, lovely healthy free range turkey had a good life probably did loads of cool turkey stuff gobble gobble gobble.  Friends and neighbours will be invited in, hey Mrs Jones come and have a look at my christmas turkey I've called him boris not becker but johnson ha ha isn't that funny naming the turkey after boris johnson oh god it's actually happening anyway they will both stand …

On the Importance of Poetry – Part One

The year is 1994.  I am eight years old and I watch as Dad removes a videotape from its red and white rental case.  “Right then, Sonny Jim,” he says, wagging the cassette at me for emphasis.  “The first swear word I hear and you’re up to bed." 
We had rented 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' from Movie Mart, our local video shop, and I was triumphant of my place on the settee.  The film was a 15 certificate and I knew I was pushing my luck by at least seven years by being there.  As a fan of the action and war genre, Dad was surprisingly tolerant of my watching scenes of violence.  Even obscenity within these types of films was largely overlooked.  At the time, my three favourites were ‘Labyrinth’, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and - thanks to Dad - 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'.  So the rules were suspended for films containing guns, explosions and cybernetic organisms, but there was something about swear words within the context of a rom-com that just didn’t sit w…

Neil has an Epiphany at Breakfast

Neil was very avant-garde,
and too bohemian to write a card,

and as a fan of the unorthodox,
he wrote au revoir! on a cereal box.

So when some worried friends stopped by,
it was The Honey Monster who said goodbye.

He booked a flight, but didn't pack –
just left with a camera and the clothes on his back.

No one will hear from him for years and years –
until a beautiful book of photographs appears.