Leaving me with no choice but to turn up in my suit
Which drew some curious looks
From the bouncers at the front door.
The first beer went down, a bit too well
In a full measured stroke
As we both laughed at the support act
Pulling time, with a casual swagger
With how I dodged a horrible case
In the morning, only to end up on a botched robbery
That went on and on and on and on
While you carried on moaning
About your boss who was about to leave.
By the time the band you wanted to see
Came on, we were both half cut
On three and a half pints of Skullsplitter
Which left us wobbling all over the club
Stitching our drunkness
In out of synch singing
When-ever the band started songs
You said you knew,
Ribboned in energy.
When World upside down came on,
I stuck my head up with a primitive yeah
Adding unwelcome backing vocals
With a drunken slur
Gliding over the guitars
And drums bursting into life,
Only for you to fall into me
And sending me spinning
All over the place.
Waking up afterwards
I was told I had fell backwards
Spinning around in a huge circle into
A small group of chairs
That could have seriously hurt me
If the drummer hadn't leapt from his stool
Like an Olympic diver,
In a frantic panic
To make sure that I was okay.
I found out afterwards
That was John Lever.
(John Lever was most famous for being the drummer in 1980’s and early 2000’s Manchester, UK band The Chameleons which was my favourite band but also played in bands such as Chameleons Vox, Sun and the Moon, Weaveworld, The Professionals, Wilson and others I no doubt have forgotten about. This story above was a personal memory put into a poetic form about a gig I saw at the Band on the Wall in Manchester in 1997 when he drummed for Wilson which has been wrote upon hearing of his sad passing recently).
The following write up has appeared on the publication page of The End of Summer by Michael Holme (for which i am grateful for) Right from the start of the first poem in this collection, I realised I was reading words penned by a writer very different to myself: “The first few times we met / was under a crossing of invisible bridges…” Whilst hard to picture, it seemed ironic, then not, crossing bridges separate, whilst it was established that a meeting had occurred. Andy’s words are sometimes simple, sometimes hard, and at other times plain obscure. I thought he offered a set of poems levelled at all manner of minds. My own poetry often mentions the season, more often spring than any other, and I like the seasons as a theme in Andy's poetry. Do not expect clichéd descriptions here though: “After Summer / autumn is always brushed / under the carpet / like a half baked afterthought…” Expressions such as “womb sunrise,” “forgotten shadows,” “splattered hammers,” “colliding motionless,” “like a postcard out of breath” and many more, make the poems the readers own. They offer an ambiguity that begs the book is reread with a different angle on previous suggestions. Some poems, for example, Out of Reach II, make me imagine parallels with the abstract painters, but not total abstraction. Again, there is left an offer for the reader to define the looser parts. In “Edge of the Flames” I recognised a poetry I was more accustomed to, and it’s presence in the volume only added to the overall richness. This, as an example, was admittedly, an easier read for me. But still offering gems like, “Before morning / the night was as vicious as ice / and the wind branded the windows / with a punk like sneer.” And the poet doesn’t always restrict himself to formal sentence structures, something I have never had the courage to do myself. Does it lack because of that, and the odd missing comma? I don’t think so. It’s like further food. For me the clearer works like “Divorced Memories” were favoured. Then I though, is that a laziness? And I loved seeing local references. I felt the last piece summarized much, in a hope and mystery perhaps?
Ghost Story IV will follow on from Ghost Story I to III looking
at horror over a series of at least 30 poems told in 30 days.
In previous stories, we explored horror through a tram crash
in Salford where a ghost came to warn a man about the forthcoming crash to a
shooter at a un-named train station and a poisoned rat king running amok, Ghost
Story IV will follow a new theme and turn the volume up louder than before.
In this story, although the core characters from Part I to
III will remain Andy and Michelle, a human and a ghost trapped in a whirlwind of
a puzzle of a up coming un-seen horror creeping into play, Part IV will focus
on a character who came into the forefront Ghost Story III right at its end, Mandrake
with his war that was hinted at during Part III now boiling over and exploding
from one point onto the streets and into the underworld.
Andy and Michelle will still be an important part of this
story and the full narrative, as will Inspector Brooks and Ghana and all over surviving
characters (so far) but Ghost Story IV will look at things at a slightly
different way before spinning back into focus and dragging the reader on a gore
As always told over 30 days, Ghost Story IV will consist of
short and sharp poems designed to build up the tension and by the end of the
sequence will leave the reader battered to the point of exhaustion but filled
with an excitement what next?
Label– my interview podcast with writers, poets and all kinds of artists
and I managed to do 36 separate podcasts throughout 2016. It is currently
sleeping but the second season of it should start towards Spring 201The archive for this can be heard
maintained doing solo poetry readings through 2016. Although none were
videoed – highlights of some audio can be heard on my own bandcamp page
(A series of epic fantasy –
swords and sorcery poems set in a world which has a land called The Wall in it –
the first one is now called Enemy of the Wall. All being good when the third is
done – I’ll then be able to start looking for a publisher for the book and then
work on the next three)
and Jokers (A joint comedy novel with Adam focusing on two very stupid
kids akin to the Inbetweeners who get fed up of seeing the local drug
lords make loads of money and decide to join in with chaotic results)
Author Series – more likely 2018 at least but this will be a rewrite of
childhood novellas wrote focused on a character called The Author who is a
Charles Bukowski ish kind of character mixed with John Carter from Mars
who stumbles his way into all kinds of adventures.
A few of you know I go to Write Out Loud Stockport and always love getting the report from John Keane who runs it with his always fun write ups.
Here is the one for December which features my pieces only:
Lightening the mood, Andy gave us a remix of an old poem, a fictional thank you letter by Snow White to Father Christmas – predictably full of fun, frolics and (cough) innuendo. Caught up in the spirit of the season, Andy read us The Snowman Came Alive, a poem vaguely inspired by Raymond Briggs’ soulful fairy tale. Sadly, the Snowman’s ruminations came to nought in the end. And we were lucky it wasn’t Simon’s Snowman… Andy delved into The origins of Evil (with the Birth of Evil aka The Origin of Billy the Kid) with an evocative piece about a gangster in Stretford who went by the name of Billy the Kid. He ended up in Boot Hill – no surprises there, then. Andy’s poem (From a new sequence Europa II – Part VIII) seemingly contained the deathless line ‘Moaning like Lanterns’ – a phrase worth the price of admission right there.