Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I have been realising recently that my desire for an audience for my poetry and creative writing is at least partially about a need to be loved. And of course this does not truely satisfy as the audience is never enthuasiatic enough or big enough and it all passes too quickly. I am lucky enough to have something of an academic audience which I do value and could value even more, and my books could sell more copies and my audience be bigger but so what?. So I don't really need to have another audience. So there is ego stuff involved. I/you probably need a bit of ego to put ourselves forward in any case. But the important stuff is the quality of what we communciate. Not just the word but how we say them and our presence and contact with our audience. So much of that is not about ego at all. It is about being, about soul. I have dreamed of being a piano player in a tea room. It is probably beyond my grasp. Do I quit playing piano? No it feeds me and it is an expression of me. Also it is a (spiritual) discipline. I only play my best when I deeply relax and let it flow through me. Usually better at 6.30 am than 6.30 pm. Recently I have begun doing early morning yoga and then sometimes, if everyone else is awake, piano. A magic time, a communion. A few days ago at my friends' house there was an old out of tune guitar with only 3 or 4 strings on it. Encouraged by Freddy who is 6 we had a thrash session - me on guitar him on drums. A rhythmic impressive sound and great fun. That was a great performane!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

New mystic

Paul was back in his regular favourite café Fuel and being served by a new waitress called Gina, who was thin as a rake with long curly ginger hair, skimpy top, short skirt, and impossibly high heels. Paul felt rough – it was his first visi9t to Fuel, first visit anywhere since he had got himself discharged, perhaps prematurely from hospital. - Rough night, inquired Gina, placing his cappuccino in front of him. Paul nodded, he didn’t really want to speak; it hurt too much. He sat down in his favourite bay window seat and hunched over his cappuccino. - Bloody ’ell Paul…. What on earth….oh it was Ashton wasn’t it? His usually voluble friend Mickey was almost lost for words. Paul nodded. - My lads picked him up? (Mickey was a policeman.) Paul shook his head. - Why not for Christ’s sake? - No evidence, whispered Paul. - No evidence? Paul shook his head again before replying, - No witnesses, faulty surveillance camera…. His word against mine… - So you beat yourself up then! Paul smiled briefly before wincing. - You sure you should be out? Paul took a box of medicine from his coat pocket and shook out a large painkiller in response and swallowed it with the help of his cappuccino. - So what now? Paul shrugged. - Do you want me to sort him out? ...I will. - No…. or at least not yet …. Let him think he is free. - Free to mess up? - Yeah. - OK. - And. - And? - And I’m not sure he is the one. - Oh. - Yeah he’s clearly got it in for Rachel but I can’t see why he would take it out on her in that way. Frame her yes, even attack her but not a poisoned cake, that’s beyond him. - You know I think you’re right. - I am, but the thing is, who then? - I think we need to dig more deeply into Rachel’s background… Find out who might hold a grudge against her. Paul knew that Mickey was right but he did not relish putting Rachel on the spot in this way. However, if it was the only way she was going to be cleared, to be free of prison and free from the courts then so be it. Mickey left soon after, leaving Paul staring into the patterns left in his cappuccino cup. His Aunty Maud used to tell people’s fortunes from tea cups. People would drink her tea and then she would pour out the remains leaving some of the tea leaves behind and describe what she saw. She was long since dead but had been one of Paul’s favourite relatives on his mother’s side. Maud had run a popular B and B in Southport. Paul smiled as the memories flooding through him of long ago family summer holidays at Southport. Playing football with his dad on the beach followed by table football in a local café and then tea at Maud’s. Paul’s eyes blurred with nostalgia. His cappuccino cup went out of focus and he noticed a curious shape emerging in the froth. It was of a boat, long and thin, a canal boat. Rachel owned a canal boat moored near Altrincham. Paul had often cycled along the tow path past it. Maybe it had some place in the mystery, maybe not. Worth following up in any case. App came into Fuel at that moment. App was thinner than ever, if anything more mono syllabic, wearing a ‘You’re a winner’ Pet Shop Boys T shirt. App was a computer geek who often did bits of work for Paul. Paul waved him over. - Nice T shirt. - Latest Pets. - ‘Know (Paul was as ever slipping into Apps’ abbreviated way of speaking.) - App waved to Gina for an Americano and his usual brunch of a bowl of wedges. - - App can you dig out all you can find about Rachel? - App nodded. - Not the latest stuff about her arrest but anything… Anything that might point to her falling out with someone…someone bearing a grudge against her, whatever. - Will do. - Thanks. Time for Paul to go. - See you. - App nodded in reply and opening up his laptop. Paul was at a loose end. He was too sore for a bike ride and too vulnerable to meet with Martha. He’d found her care of him in the hospital and afterwards almost overbearing – even though he had liked it. He felt it might make him too dependent on her, too vulnerable altogether. Paul just could not allow himself to be that way with Martha. The price he felt was just too high. About the only person he could stomach spending time with right now was his old mate Frankie.