Friday, January 05, 2007

Changes / Cut Throat


David Bowie Changes album cover It is hard to describe the abject misery of returning to Leamington after my fortnight's Christmas break. I did not want to go back at all.

The New Year was blissful. Tongue and Groove put on another magnificent show in Lewes. We saw 2007 in with champagne while the band belted out a fine rendition of David Bowie's Changes, with one of their sons, a boy of 10 or 11, on the lead vocals. He was brilliant!

'Changes' seemed a particularly apposite choice for the New Year. My life needs to change; this split existence between Lewes and Leamington is tough. It is too exhausting and expensive, and the things that have happened to me in Leamington town over the past eight months have stripped it any allure it might once have had for me.

Tongue and Groove in action

I am not drinking alcohol for the first 39 days of the year; this gives me time to think. I also want to get my weight back down to twelve and a half stone. 
When I think of all the things I need to sort out, it feels like there's a mountain to climb. And even without booze, there are temptations: the book I am currently reading, Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, and the poem I am revising, January Blue.

I must persevere.

Cut Throat (Flashback to Wednesday, 12 April 2006)

7.39pm, according to the Leamington Clock Tower with its funny little turret. Emotionally I have been all over the place today. My head has been playing nasty tricks on me.

Someone has had his throat cut in the park (Pump Room Gardens) which our living room overlooks. I first heard about it on the radio while purchasing cheap lager and cleaning fluid at Costcutter (I only drink the lager).

The police had cordoned off the area where the attack happened. After they left, I inspected the scene of the crime. There was plenty of evidence of drug-taking - abandoned, dirty syringes - as well as as broken biscuits and crisps. I could not find any traces of blood. I guess forensics had already removed them. With a throat being cut, there must have been blood.

I wonder what happened. I wonder if anyone will ever be charged; if it will even make the papers.

At lunchtime, I had another go at I published a note explaining that the blog was in development and would be launched at the beginning of June 2006, at the same time as the new poetry website Oliver's Poetry. I also had a go at writing my profile.

I did not put up my age as that's a secret (44), but I did reveal my birthday (22 December) which got turned into Capricorn on the blog. Actually, December 22 is on the cusp between Capricorn and Sagittarius (and astrology is a load of bull).

The interests section was easy: poetry and photography. I could have added comedy, having run stand-up comedy clubs in London for more than eight years, and drinking (a disastrous pastime for as many years as I can remember), and salsa dancing. But it is best to keep it simple. At least at first.

On music, I did not do well at all. I left out many of my favourite groups, such as The Beatles. Films, I managed to think of a few. Books, I also failed. Along with Music I shall have to redo it later.

When I get some pictures up on the blog, I don't think it will look too bad, although it would be nice to have extra features such Poem of the Week.

My dear sister-in-law, Catriona Clutterbuck, is a poet and a charming lady. At Christmas she gave me a 2006 Calendar containing one of her poems. She is Miss October (or rather her poem is). I am currently looking at the April folio which bears a poem called Blackbird by Kusi Okamura. Rather good, albeit morbid.

I am restive. Also cold. I have my one window open to try to air this sloping room (the floor is concave meaning this computer is on a gradient, as is the king size bed, although it slopes the other way!)

Too tired and freezing to carry on writing. I might go down to the music open mic night at our local hostelry, the Jug and Jester, but, first, I must round off that poem.

11.25pm. The Jam at the Jester was once again an excellent evening. Very much the same cast as last week - some brilliant, some mediocre, one or two who conceivably took too much LSD in the 1970s.

I drank while thoroughly enjoying the vibe: people from teens to dotage making great music together. The superb, grey goatee-bearded guitarist from last week was back. A cut above the rest. There was a dodgy folky moment in the middle; some groovy boogey woogey, and a surprisingly thrilling finale of Motorhead and AC/DC covers. (I hated those headbanging bands when I was DJ-ing in the 1980s but can now see the value of at least a couple of their tunes).

Otherwise, I am striving to warm up this cold little garret for the nocturnal battle ahead. I nearly always get duffed up in my dreams and wake up in a bad state.

And that poem? Almost complete.

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