Thursday, June 21, 2007

Through Life

Through Life
(words by pupski picture by Jeff Soto)

I drove myself to love
through regimented parks where picnickers
spread their checked rugs
and old men pass the time of day,
nodding like dogs in the afternoon sun,
where babies romp on hard-baked grass
and bald boys bounce their balls in the dust.

I drove myself insane,
running amok amidst shopping malls
lined with cash machines
whose angry mouths spit at the world,
where doughy men suck
burgers, kebabs and hot pastries
their greased skin glistening under neon lights.

I drove myself down lifts, escalators,
through petrol-scented car-parks,
running amongst Renaults, Fiats, Rovers,
slipping and sliding on oil-slicked floors,
parking-ticketed and surveillance-filmed,
gulping greedily
at the exhaust-fumed air.

I drove myself to work
in leaden offices where suits and skirts
vie for a place at the water cooler,
where bored secretaries dab at limp keyboards
with chipolata fingers ringed with gold
and nicotine-stained men
suck cigarettes behind rusting bike-sheds.

I drove myself to drink,
in gardened pubs where black-boarded dinners
are chalked in green and red
and umbrella-ed girls lounge
on splintered benches
one eye on the water feature
and the other on the time.

I drove myself to death,
through the myriad streets of my life,
down terraced roads where bedraggled girls play,
their skipping-ropes snagging my tights as I pass,
where ragged washing hangs,
dull and lifeless between the houses,
strung like headless corpses from the telephone wires.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll ( well rock and roll)

I don't know if it's the anti-climax of getting all my work handed in and the end of term looming, or if it is hanging out with all those bright young things. Or maybe it is simply spring and the equivalent of itchy feet, but just recently I have wanted to go wild and party.
The trouble is I can't sustain that kind of behaviour any more. Last week for instance I went out with some people from my course. I had three large glasses (buckets) of wine suddenly felt really drunk and had to go home - I was in bed before midnight! Of course according to the latest government statistics that is classed as binge drinking!
So anyway here I am feeling slightly washed out after two nights of socialising and wondering how the heck I used to do it every night.
Another element of the urge to party is the urge to dance; but there doesn't seem to be anywhere for adults to do that in Norwich. What I need is the grown up equivalent of the teen disco! I am also listening to tons of music, which is great rediscovering gems from my youth plus a whole host of new stuff - haven't managed to convince my son to like Led Zeppelin yet though - but I'm working on it.
Here is this weeks top 10 albums (in no particular order)
1) Muse - Origin of Symmetry
3) Radiohead - The Bends
4) Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses
5) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Greatest Hits
6) Pearl Jam - Rear View Mirror
7) Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
9) The Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
10) Mich Gerber - Endless String

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In Through the Out Door

In Through the Out Door
Originally uploaded by pupski
Having a Led Zeppelin kind of week this week. Now that this terms work is finally all handed in I can let my hair down a bit (that's why I'm posting at 1.30am) and that means reading novels, writing poetry, listening to music and watching music videos on You tube

I have to say Youtube is great and I feel slightly less guilty about this little vice since I learned that George Szirtes is a fan too. I have been watchinng all kinds of great bands - some of whom I haven't seen for years.

I also had a reorganise of my cd collection last week - it has now outgrown its' shelf. I was shocked to discover that I didn't own a cd with the track "Dazed and Confused" on it and had to rectify the situation immediately by purchasing Led Zeppelin I from ebay. I find you just can't have enough Led Zeppelin!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Taking a Cabbage for a Walk

On Monday I have to attend a meeting where we are told what groups we will be in for our theatre project next term. I have to admit to a certain amount of trepidation about this. Besides the obvious worries about ending up in a group with someone difficult I have very little theatrical experience. It's funny really, I loved theatre when I was young. Appearing in two Gangshows - one when I was 6 and the other when I was 13 - were the high points of my childhood.

My friend and I even tried to join Thetford Amateur Dramatic Society, but weren't made to feel particularly welcome so only went once. I suppose I was a bit of a drama queen as a teen. My friends and I used to pull stunts like ringing people up and trying to keep them talking or attaching a lead to a cabbage and taking it for a walk like a dog.

Where did all that dramatic energy go I wonder? At what point did I stop being a big show off and become more introverted? Was it gradual? Is it maturity? I'm not sure that I know the answer myself - it's not that I want to be a show off now, but I wouldn't mind getting back some of that unselfconcious self-confidence that comes with youth - it would certainly help me with my drama project.

Anyone fancy coming for a walk with a cabbage?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stop and Look Around You

Roller Wire
Originally uploaded by pupski
I have wondered for a while about the story behind this paint roller, which is susended on a telephone wire on the street next to mine. Who put it there? Why? How? It has been there for at least six months now - I suppose they would need a crane to get it down.

I noticed a lot of odd things around my neighbourhood when I was doing my latest visual project. There is a huge amount of rubbish on the streets for a start. Some of it is litter dropped by passers by, but quite a bit has been dropped by the dustbin men and the recycling truck. There is all kinds of graffiti - some of it funny, some of it artistic and some conveying a message like the stencils on the pavement with a picture of a dog, that say "bag it and bin it." Then of course there is dog mess - there always seems to be more of at this time of year - last year some bright (or mad) spark went round sticking cocktail sticks into it with little flags bearing messages like "pooh", "shit" and "clean me up". There is an abundance of cats and of skips overflowing with greenery, broken toilets and rubble. There are discarded recycling boxes, bin bags that never quite made it through the letterbox and now residing in someone's hedge. There are hundreds of singing birds - especially blackbirds and pigeons. And if you are out early (or late) enough you might be lucky enough to see a fox (N saw two on our street a few weeks ago).

What I came to realise is that this is an interesting neighbourhood - despite its' downside - and everywhere has them. Sometimes it's good to just stop for a minute and look at what's around you - or take a camera and really look at where you live - not at the obvious - cars, houses and the like. Look beyond that, at what's beneath your feet, what is in the gutters, in the hedges, in the trees or hanging from wires!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Out of his skull

Am I the only person in the world who thinks putting fifty million quids worth of diamonds onto a skull is pointless and not really art?

Well I suppose it can be considered art - but to me it just seems like someone with too much money making a point. Damien is reknowned after all for his penchent for splashing the cash. But this kind of thing just leaves me cold - when I compare it to the work of Antony Gormley or Andy Goldsworthy - or an exhibition that I went to last weekend at Salthouse Church in Norfolk - there is just no comparison.

The exhibition at Salthouse Church by Britz and McGowan entitled "Stars, Stones and Bones" is the best thing that I have seen in a long time and definitely the best use of the church that I have ever seen. There are a lot of differnet types of work in this show - paintings, collage, installations, mobiles - but they work together as a cohesive whole. Everything in the show is made from natural resources that can be found in Norolk - in itself quite a feat - but some of the pieces are massive. The most impressive works for me were a series of large paintings/ hangings that are placed between the windows. These paintings are massive and are made using mud, sand and clay from the Norfolk coast. Some of them have been made by placing pebbles on the paper and pouring mud over them, adding detail later. There is also a beautiful (if a little smelly) installation made using wire and starfish.

This is a breathtaking exhibition and well worth a visit if you get the chance - this is real art that comes from true inspiration and hard work and touches the heart and soul in a way that a diamnond encrusted skull never can.