A Tourist’s Guide to the East End

Wood becomes hammered after the public type: medium. London’s truth fingers it. London is the foot of one, differentiated towards the east; for the city punishes the outside, the manufactured. Question the person who causes the stone, voluntarily, to move. It may prohibit you from reaching out, to be with him. Compare him to theContinue reading “A Tourist’s Guide to the East End”

Paternoster vs Babelfish

Thanks to George Ttouli for translating some work in progress that I’d posted up here using various Oulipian techniques. I think it was Joe Dunthorne who introduced me to The Oulipo via his brilliant univocalisms. The following is a version of The Lord’s Prayer which has been put through Altavista’s Babelfish software about fifteen times.Continue reading “Paternoster vs Babelfish”

Various Poetastings

I’ve been out and about a fair bit this last week, handing out flyers for London Word Festival of course. A promoter’s job is never done. Firstly, The Poetry Society’s annual lecture at The Bishopsgate Institute on 31st January. This is where I organised London Lip with Iain Sinclair et al. and I’ll be seeingContinue reading “Various Poetastings”

Different Trains

   I’ve owned a CD of Steve Reich’s Different Trains (1988) for just over a year now, and I find it an incredibly moving piece of music – something I return to again and again. Reich’s use of the sampled voice as a musical instrument is – or, then, was – revolutionary – capturing the lilting tones of elderly AmericansContinue reading “Different Trains”


Whole books are written in the quest to define the art of poetry. Not a definition as such, but I rather like this, which I came across in Karen Armstrong’s The Great Transformation. She’s talking about the rituals of the Aryan people of the late Vedic period (c. 500 BCE). When the king arrived back safelyContinue reading “Brahmodya”

London in film

Luke Heeley recently sent me a DVD of his London Triptych. Watching it made me think of the films I’ve enjoyed that are about and/or set in London. Not including period dramas such as Shakespeare in Love, which recreates the Elizabethan city with its brothels and playhouses, or film versions of London novels (eg. Dickens). Horror /Continue reading “London in film”

New writing (more to follow)

Liverpool Street Station arrives flat-packed, instructions enclosed. At point A, where the main escalator run-off intersects the natural course of left-right of Essex commuters, cut along the dotted line between the confectionary and jewellery stallls until i. the departure board ii. the monitor at platform 5, and iii. the frontage of WHSmith are in perfectContinue reading “New writing (more to follow)”

Christmas parties

A brief hiatus in slowly bankrupting myself in overpriced gift shops allows me a moment to update this is yogic, and to extend seasonal greetings to anyone reading. It’s the time for drunken exploits at Christmas parties. Working mainly from home as a freelance, I have no office or official ‘co-workers’, but did organise Bah Humbug! – a ratherContinue reading “Christmas parties”

Cultural (mis)adventures

Two recent adventures. Two weekends ago I travelled up to Cambridge for the annual Procession for Advent at King’s College Chapel. This is less famous than the Christmas Eve Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (broadcast annually on BBC Radio since 1928), but no less atmospheric. With its giant nave and astonishing fan vaulting the Chapel is one of theContinue reading “Cultural (mis)adventures”