Friday, 26 June 2009

Squalor Victoria: London and back again.

After Cardiff it was London time with (definitely) old friends and the odd (relatively) new one. From the age of 13-21 I was in a young writers critique group/collective/gang of hooligans called, ahem "Inducers of Insanity." Largely for the reactions we provoked from Katherine, who was the real-life grown-up that hosted/led/cat-herded us in and out if productivity. Lots to write about those years I guess,
but the important part is that now grown, Eva Z is married to David and they live in Brussels. Shane and Becca live in Dublin. I live in Wales. Kim lives in Amsterdam and is moving to London come fall. This leaves out a few (notably James, Betsy, Deb and Arlo) but was critical enough mass for a legit IOI reunion, complete with writing exercises and everything.

After a quick coffee with Katie (swansea, then london, then back to swansea and wherever else, half the people I meet are travelers) met the crew at Hyde Park.

Hadn't seen Eva or Kim for about 8 years. People do change, but they also don't. It was strange for about a half hour, all of us riding the bus to Willesden Green where we spent the days, but then felt completely natural.

Look me up next time we're in the same city. . .
Or even on the same continent, really.

and it felt like we will.
also sort of makes me want to get a job where I'm never anywhere too long. thoughts you have on a bumpy coach when you can't sleep or write crossing over to the other side of the Severn.

the last few days have been pretty rough and tumble on all counts. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a bit worse for wear and worn out. i think i've at least got better perspective on it than last time i left a place, probably not as good as the next time.

that hardly helps in the moment, though.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Cymru Mini-Tour Gig Roundup

A show in Swansea and a show in Cardiff doesn't constitute a Cymru tour any more than a show in, say New York and Boston constitutes a "US Tour," but a guy can pretend.

June 18th @ The Crunch

Zombies and Paint Thinner
Swansea-Cardiff Blues (bellingham edition)
Rugby '08
Poetry Open Mics
Like Taking Communion
Little Red Corvette
Ambition is Critical (swansea edition)
Camarthen Train #1
Get Smart

Psychotronic Beastfight

This being the last Crunch I'd be able to attend, it was supermeaningful to me and I had to avoid a choke-up a couple of times. Adam was excellent and natural hosting, making it feel a seamless tradition. Highlights in the open mic were many, but Wood's anti-dan brown rant, Punk John's Rollins-from-south-london turn and Jess' written on the night thing all spring to mind. So yeah. All my best friends kicked ass. Couldn't have asked for a better or more supportive reception. Wood got most of it on tape, but mercifully the camera died before I decided to trot out Beastfight and like, the doom-nostrils and all.

June 19th @ O'Neil's in Cardiff
Amerika! Reading
with Mab Jones, Mao Jones.

Paintings of Famous Satanists
Feel the Buzz (Cardiff edition)
Neo Takes the Blue Pill
Story Problem

This was a gig of america-themed poetry, and I got the gig mainly because I've got that flat accent (still.) That and Mab, who organised it, knew of my impending departure and was good enough to get me on in Cardiff before I went. I think I went down pretty well, despite my oppressive-overlord status (ha) and while the books didn't hardly fly off the stand, at Mab's hard-sell encouragement I was able to coax/guilt/flirt the books into the hands of more than a few folks.

Stayed with Gemma Howell and her bf in Cathays and jumped a coach to London around mid-day. Its much harder to 1) sleep 2) write on a coach than a train. But its so much cheaper. I wish my laziness/trainfondness hadn't prevented me from exploiting that fact about the greyhounds of the UK earlier. Oh well. Now I know.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Okay, enough of that, let's rally.

I'll fore-go the whinge, the life lessons and minutiae and just talk about a few things I'm really excited about/interested in right now:

1.) Saturday's reading at the Halfway House. These are my favourite sort of readings; ones in non-trad venues, often to non-poetry types with completely different reference points to most literature/spoken word crowds. I know that when I get published these opportunities will be making themselves scarce (self-published is so much more punk rock) so I'm excited they still happen now. Hoping for a few of these back in Seattle. But we'll see.

2.) Getting "Zombies," "Get Smart," "Flicking Ash," "Neo Takes the Blue Pill" "Fear of Drowning" and "Story Problem" solidly off-book.

3.) Arriving in Seattle. Leaving is Shit and Going Home Again is Always Confusing, but there's a long list of good things too.
3.2) Meeting my new sisters. Had a convo online with Titu and she typed better english than a lot of my friends do in Chat.

4.) London in two weeks. I do like that city. Seeing Shane and Becca there.

5.) The Threatmantics record. I'll post more about this later.

6.) The way that the unfinished Marina Quay Building (wales' tallest!) and the acompanying crane stands as a symbol for so many so many so many things about this town. Because if you wrote it, it would seem contrived.

Monday, 1 June 2009

June! Everything faster than everything else.

Over a year ago I had a post called "It being March already is fucking up my chi." I think this is true, still-- i.e. perhaps my chi remains fucked up, from last March, but the fact that it is now June seems more in line with how I feel than had it continued to be May. Which is good cuz I sure as hell can't change it.
and this month is filling up. I don't have a dayplanner but maybe I should:

June 1st:
Today. Return to work.
June 5th: Minion Fest-- The Antagonist's Print Relaunch. Featuring DJ Sets from Punk John, Gothfunc and er, we'll go with Kilogram, who will be playing all the hottest* indie punk, post-rock, garage metal, ugly country and synth-thrash. F'reals.
June 11th: The Crunch, featuring Simone Mansell Broome.
June 12th: Possibly, tentatively last day of work and subsequent Rhyddings-Goodbye Party*.
June 13th: Happy Birthday, Mom. Also, Mystery Action at The Halfway House, featuring Lewis Watkins' new band, visual art from Dan McCabe and a spoken word set from myself.
June 15th: Happy Birthday, Dad, Brielle*.
June 18th: Last Crunch I'll be at for a while. Doing a farewell-type feature and hopefully "moving" lots of "units" to fund my "trip" to "London."
June 19th: Gig in Cardiff with Mab Jones at O'Neil's.
June 20, 21st: IOI reunion in London. Probably grab tea with Katie Weston and maybe look up Nia as well for while-I'm-here hellos. Happy birthday me.
June 30th: MC for Gemma June Howell's "Inside the Treacle Well" booklaunch.
July 3rd: Stuff Happens 2! MC/Organise/Oversee/Promote. Featuring Peter Read, Susie Wild, Leslie McMurty, Wood Ingham, Liza Penn Thomas, uh, Adam, loads more people and artists. Launch of the Global Poetry System website.

somewhere in there add: at least 2 Graffiti Walks*, maybe recording with Punk John, a trip to Newport with Dave Beer*, loads of more Seeing Wales and More of the UK While I can, the whole packingandgettingridofthingsthing and of course lots and lots and lots of genuine, meaningful, reflective times, unforced and completely natural. ahaha.

* probably 3 songs by McLusky, a Pavement (for a sense of history) and like, something by Neko Case and about half of "Lets Stay Friends."
* I may actually die from various bodily failures at this point, rendering the rest of the list moot.
* Hey Brielle, do you want any sweet Welsh swag?
* Taking pictures of, not making.
* At Cardiff Central I heard someone talking about Newport and took it as a sign from God that Dave and I and maybe Roy need to go to Newport and get very very drunk. I'm not even kidding.