Sunday, 26 February 2023

Can You Feel It?

You may think that I had forgotten it was Twin Peaks Day (the day that Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in the eponymous town of Twin Peaks for the 'first' time in the seminal TV 'documentary' series (I have to put that in inverted commas because it's 'not true')) on the 24th, merely based on the fact that I had forgotten.

But had I? A number of phenomena I experienced will tell you otherwise.

In fact, I had the theme tune playing in my head for most of the afternoon. Okay, you're not convinced. You say, quite rightly, that I could have had any number of the show's songs as an earworm, any day of the year, and it proves nothing.

What about the fact that I decided to treat myself and make a 'proper coffee' before work? Of all the days I've been wanting to do it, on Friday it just felt right somehow, like I was being called to do it from someone or something beyond the sycamore trees... Still not having it? Well, at least I can tell you that it was a damn fine cup of coffee.

Okay then, how about the fact that, in the middle of my shift that same day, everybody stopped and went silent, and a mysterious giant appeared to me in a beam of silvery light. A sound, as of Tibetan meditation bells rang out, and he implored me, "It is happening again. It is happening - again." Yeah, explain that one.

So I'm sure we can now all agree that there was definitely something here that the FBI will want to investigate and designate a Blue Rose case. But for now, let's gas up the jet and fly away from this bizarre little digression.

Take care, and remember: the owls are not what they seem.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

 I am genuinely only posting this because I haven't posted in so long that I feel that I'm going to lose the ability forever.

How are you folks?


All the best,



Monday, 4 July 2022


Inside the safe, they are shelling.
The distance between me and the safe is about two metres.
The shelling intensifies.
A wind picks up, and some of the smoke -
hardly kaleidoscopic in grey, blue, and black -
escapes the leaden box.
Inside, one of them waves at me.
Inside, one of them waves to me.
Inside, one of them stops waving.

On the radio, I hear mangelwurzels are the new superfood.
The Primer Minister has eaten them,
says he credits his success to their vibrancy.
That, and cheating at Whiff-Whaff.
It's a choice between the radio and the safe.

[I wrote this poem in a Quiet Compere workshop, and performed it at a Quiet Compere poetry showcase.]

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Beyond Compere

Right, I'm not going to start this post off by saying how busy I've been, and how time has flown (over six weeks ago? Really!?!). I'm not going to do it. You deserve better. Anyways, way back on May 14th, I had a lovely day. Sarah L Dixon was back in town with her Quiet Comperetour, so the day started with a workshop - led by the Quiet Compere herself - had the addition of another cup to Liverpool's cabinet in the middle, and in the evening ended with the Quiet Compere's poetry showcase. It was so good to be guesting again. Last time I was on the bill, hmm, when would that be? Probably Peter Barlow's Cigarette, but how many years ago I dread to think. I can't explain why it means something to me. Maybe it's about validation on some level, but it doesn't feel like that. It's more likely that being billed increases the pressure and feeling of scrutiny, you know, you really want to give your best, whereas if it's an open mic, I feel a bit more like I can take a liberty or two. Well, one or two more liberties (we are talking about poetry here!). Speaking about being on the bill, though, I really like the Quiet Compere's philosophy that no names are bigger than any other. She doesn't give any lengthy intros that list achievements, it was purely and simply the artist's name, and getting on with the readings.

The showcase began with an open mic session, and this exemplified the quality and diversity over the whole night (this is what's so exciting to me - all these different styles and themes all rubbing up against one another!). A number of my friends read out - Jim, Voirrey, Matt, and better-half-Becks, who were all great performers with wonderful material - and a few others, Griff Jones, who I've seen on the local circuit before, and a student Clodagh (who was at the workshop at the Nib Crib, too), who really impressed me by performing from memory an experimental piece with a complex interweaving of repetition and progression. The future's bright with such stars around.
I enjoyed the second half of the evening as well, which featured the featured writers. Even all this time later, I remember fondly how Zoe Lambert made us laugh with her keen observations of what it's like to grow up and discover oneself. Peter Kalu was great, and tackled big themes with warmth (and encouraged us to throw money at him, which was something new). JJ Journeyman really got me thinking. I suppose I normally regard 'character poets' with a bit of suspicion ('can't it just be about good poetry' is my usual thought), but his performance broke through my cynicism, made me laugh and think, and I'm gutted that I overthought the throwing of his bear into the suitcase (nope - not going to give you any context for that). Sarah Corbett was great, too, and her pieces felt very finely crafted, with a magical music in them (reminds me, I must look at getting a book or two of hers...). Big Charlie Poet was good, too, what I'd describe as 'rawly personal', having written touching work about, for example, depression and relationships.
Sarah's post here tells the story of the night better than I could, making my whole post here rather redundant:

Check out the rest of the tour here (next one on the July 1st!): 
Look out soon, as I'm going to post one of the poems I wrote at the workshop, which I also performed at the showcase.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Event Incoming!

One week today ( :O ), The Quiet Compere comes to Morecambe on her 2022 tour!

First, she will be facilitating a workshop at the dear old Nib Crib at 5 West Street, Morecambe (1530 - 1700hrs).

Later (1900 - 2130), she will be compering a night of poetry performance at the West End Playhouse, around the corner on Yorkshire Street. There'll be open mic slots to begin with, and then featured local poets, of which I am one.

I was hoping to have a picture of me in my snazzy Quiet Compere tour t-shirt, but I'm waiting to get it off a friend. Incidentally, t-shirts are still available to order, and a selection will be available to buy on the night.

Hope to see you there! :)

This is the Morecambe page, btw:

And the overall Quiet Compere 2022 Your page:

Tuesday, 15 March 2022


I was talking to a friend the other day about mental health. He's someone who is quite sensitive, too, and it was refreshing to have a conversation about it. Surprising, also, that he's had such similar experiences to me. The world can make you feel alone when you're not - not really. I suppose I'm writing this now so maybe other people think, "Yeah, that happens to me, too!"

One of the things we talked about was people who say they're there for you and aren't. I don't mean to make any of this sound easy, because at the minute it isn't. It will get easier, but it depends on how people in wider society act, how normal things become. It's getting better, and I know I need to work on things as well as others.

We've had people saying to us, "Here if you want to talk," like that's it, job done. I've been in relationships where it's been such a passive 'believe I care for you because I'm telling you I am'. For so many people, maybe men especially (because of the traditional roles and stigmas), it takes a huge deal to open a door and let someone in. I've done this before, tried to talk about what's on my mind, have told people how depressed I am. I wasn't asking them to fix everything for me, but when that person you've opened the door door interrupts you time after time, doesn't acknowledge what you've said, or even asks why you're not doing anything about it, the door you've opened for them closes a little bit more each time.

Then they say it again. "I'm here for you." Where? Where are you? Outside. You have the address, but not the key. I was letting you in, and you didn't step inside. That's fine. I've dealt with that from many people. It still hurts, but life is suffering. The question is now, how to deal with it again?

I'm glad at least I can sometimes get to talk to this friend of mine, but I wish I had someone there regularly, someone who said they cared and showed it. Anyway, I'm sounding maudlin now... I also want to help myself to trust more, to be more emotionally available, and hopefully in the future have more tools to be able to use in relationships - platonic or romantic - where this happens.

I hope if you're reading this that you're well. Please take care.