Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Playlist - Best Albums

This was a difficult list to put together - there were a few others I could have included, but at the moment, I think these are my favourites, one album per artist, no greatest hits or best ofs...

Green Day – American Idiot
Indigo Girls – Come on Now Social

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Goldfrapp – Black Cherry
Sons and Daughters – Love the Cup
Portishead – Dummy
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes

Thursday, February 22, 2007


She is panic attacked by the vertigo of wanting you,
the sweet sad darkness of desire,
the magnetic north of you.
The undertow.

Dream-stated by watching you dance
she anticipates more than fate could give,
loses sleep and weight,
creates unconsoling poetry from stolen glances,
waits for chances that will never come.

She is haunted by the knowledge
of all she will never know,
wishes the impossibility of you
were not so complete.

Wants to learn
how to fall.

The Body Knows for Poetry Thursday.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Journalling the Everyday - GPP Street Team

The GPP Street Team prompt this month is to journal the everyday. I used a small junk mail brochure (not only a useful base material but also very everyday!). The pages each show some aspect of my everyday life, using publicity materials, photos from magazines and my own artwork. The photos in this post are the pages for: love, cinema (showing information from Edinburgh's Cameo Cinema and a ticket from a film showing at the Edinburgh Filmhouse), languages (showing part of the front page of the Italian language magazine Focus, which i like to read to practice my Italian) and clubbing (including a flier for an Edinburgh goth club). Over on Crafty Green Poet, there are pages on technology, our pet rabbit, green lifestyle, nature, Edinburgh and poetry, which can be seen here. I could also have included pages on clothes, work and reading.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Night Begins with a Question - Poetry from Austria

Gestern habe ich an der Scottish Poetry Library, ein Vorlesung von Gedichte aus Oesterreich gehoert. Dichterin Evelyn Schlag, Dichter Peter Waterhouse und Redakteur Iain Galbraith hatten 'The Night Begins with a Question' diskutiert und Gedicht davon vorgelesen. Diese ist ein Buch von 25 Gedichte von verschiedene Gedichte aus Oesterreich, auf Deutsch und in English Ubersetzung. Es war ganz interessant andere Dichter su finden aus Oesterreich. Ehe, hat ich nur die wondershoene Gedichte von Ingeborg Bachman gelesen. Die Gedichte waren interessantes, in verschiedene Stile. Ich find es schwerig vollig Gedichte auf Deutsch in Vorleseung zu verstehen (weil ich langsamer auf Deutsch denken!) und immer ist etwas in Ubersetzung verloren. Trotzdem war es eine tolle Vorlesung und es ist ein interessantes Buch.

Last night I was at the Scottish Poetry Library for a reading of Austrian poetry. The poets Evelyn Schlag and Peter Waterhouse and the editor Iain Galbraith had discussed and read poetry from 'The Night Begins with a Question' a new anthology of 25 Austrian poems in German with English translation. The poems here were interessting and covered a variety of styles. and I enjoyed finding some new Austrian poets, as previously I had only ever read the wonderful poetry of Ingeborg Bachman. I find it difficult to follow poetry read aloud in German (because i think pretty slowly in German!) and I think there is always something lost in the translation of poetry. It was however an excellent evening and it's an interesting anthology.

The Night Begins With a Question is a new anthology of 25 Austrian poems, one each from the years 1978 to 2002, published by the Scottish Poetry Library in association with Carcanet Press. Supported by the Scottish Arts Council and the Austrian Cultural Forum

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Comme un Roman - Daniel Pennac

This is a wonderful little book about why we read and how to encourage children to read. It is totally inspiring and thought provoking, though sometimes the style is a bit annoying. It includes the ten rights of the reader:

The right to not read
The right to skip pages
The right to not finish a book
The right to re-read
The right to read whatever you want
The right to 'bovarysme' (think Emma Bovary here....)
The right to read wherever you are
The right to browse
The right to read aloud
The right to stay silent

Its a must read for anyone who reads and anyone who wants to encourage others to read. And yes it is available in English, as 'Read Like a Novel' (if memory serves, i saw it in a second hand bookshop, just as I was finishing reading it in French!). Thanks to Bookcrossing for the French language version.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bolts of Silk

Moving over to new Blogger gave me the opportunity to bring all my blogs into the one account. I had made a separate account for my poetry blogmag Bolts of Silk, this had made sense at the time but now I'm happier with all three of my blogs altogether.

I'm happy to consider poetry on any topic, as long as it is less than 40 lines long and is unpublished (though if it has only previously appeared on your blog, that's fine). If I like it enough I'll publish it. Poems that have any sort of seasonal content will appear in the appropriate season, so don't send me Christmas poems in January.

I don't approach individual poets to send me in their work, so, if you want me to consider publishing your poetry in Bolts of Silk, please email it to me on:jmw AT nanouk DOT fsnet DOT com!

I've already published some wonderful poetry from poets from across the world so, pop over and have a read!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Playlist = best bands to see live

Partly inspired by Gel of Emerald Eyes with her Tuesday Afternoon Tunes and partly by GPP Street Team's archive prompt of Playlists, I decided that I will post playlists on a random and occasional basis, usually on this blog, sometimes over on Crafty Green Poet. Today I was thinking of the best bands I have seen live. The bands that give the most memorable performances, the concerts with the best atmosphere, the gigs when you return home thinking 'that was awesome!'.

1. Cruxshadows. Live they are truly fabulous. They really put loads of effort into their concerts and both the lead singer and the violinist wander through the audience, most of whom are devoted fans.

2. Indigo Girls. In terms of sitting down to listen to music, Indigo Girls are at the top of my list. I've seen them in concert three times (it would be more except they don't come over here very often!) and there's always a great atmosphere and good audience sing alongs.

3. Dead Kennedy's. The new lead singer was obviously a fan of theirs previously and looks totally awestruck to be on stage with them, which is really sweet. They totally rock.

4. Screaming Banshee Aircrew. Like the Cruxshadows their lead singer wanders round the audience. Great concerts.

5. Dream Disciples - partly I say this because the concert we saw was at a goth Christmas event and was my introduction to world of goth clubbing. It was a fabulous night and I've not stopped dancing since!

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Rockstar Moment

I recently discovered GPP Street Team, Michelle Ward's inspiring blog of creative challenges. I intend to join in on the challenges as they happen in the future, but first I think I'll catch up a little on the archives. So here is my Rockstar Moment. This is a couple of years back when I was one of only two poets performing at the music stage at the Meadows Festival, Edinburgh's best community festival (sadly the festival has had troubles recently and didn't really happen last year and may not happen again). It was slightly surreal but great fun to be on stage between two excellent local rock bands! It was also very sunny, hence the shades!
Since GeL asked, here are links to a couple of the poems I performed. I'll add more if I can, though some of the poems I performed aren't online:
I don't think I'm famous, but I've been stopped in the street on more than one occasion and recognised in restaurants.....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fourteen Forms of Farewell

I tried to write a poem on this theme for Sunday Scribblings, but it didn't work so here's a list instead:

leaving school and the friends you made there
the moment of first leaving home
a goodbye kiss to your partner on the way to work
walking out of an unliked job
relief as a difficult colleague hands in her notice
fond farewells as a friend leaves town
the last look at the place of your 'once in a lifetime' holiday
relief of leaving the 'hotel from hell'
uncertainty on leaving your country for two years abroad
sadness on leaving the country that had been home for two years
ridding your mind of thoughts of someone who haunted you
mixed feelings of leaving a lover gone cold
Sadness on the death of someone well loved
An elegiac farewell to a life and love now lost

If you're being kind you could read that as a list poem, but for those who would rather read a real poem, luckily on Crafty Green Poet, I recently re-posted a farewell to a species - Passenger Pigeon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Proving Love

1. Proof of the Impossibility of Love

Let x represent me
Let y represent a beautiful stranger

If x and y
show infinite attraction
but travel on parallel lines
then they will never meet
and their spark will never
become fire.

2. The Impossibility of a Mathematical Proof for Love

I don’t know the mathematics of love,
have never measured the angular
vector of desires, used geometry
to prove my passion or yours.

The way to our happy place
lies beyond numbers
as we break free of gravity
in the only necessary proof of love.

Proofs for Poetry Thursday

Over on Crafty Green Poet, there's Proof of Spring in February