Monday, 28 September 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

Just had a very busy -and pleasant- weekend, so I've not been able to write what I intended to. So, instead, I'm posting a couple of short poems which were spin-offs of earlier TFE Monday projects:

5 minute haiku

Sat in the bathroom
with a blank piece of paper.
What to write? Time's up!


It's late: dark rain
rattles on the glass. The wind
moans like a pessimist and I
must make the effort to get up
from my chair and go to bed!

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Friday, 25 September 2009

Supermarket Music

I had a dream last night. I was in a supermarket, conducting an orchestra. I don't know how the musicians could see what I was doing, since they were distributed around the various aisles: woodwind down by the baked beans and dogfood, violins and violas bathed in the cold light of the freezer cabinets, brass at the back of the hall, with the alchohol and crisps. A solo cellist sat by the checkouts. In the dream, the music gradually subsided, leaving only the solo cellist whose melodic line rose and fell to the movement of my hands.

Something like it would, I decided, make a wonderful piece in real life. The listeners could come and go as they pleased: there would always be a cacophonous wash of sound in the background but they would hear the music played by the musicians closest to them in some detail. At any one time, some musicians would be closer than they usually are in a concert hall, others further away, mostly invisible. Various soloists could wander around. There could be multiple conductors.

As for the form and style of the music, in my dream the music was discordant and varied between the frenetic and the static. There was no sense of musicians playing together in strict time. Thinking about it today I decided the music could ebb and flow like a tide: what would begin as discreet sounds surrounded by silence would build into a rich, chaotic climax, only to subside, then build again, and so on. It could go on all day. In fact, if the musicians operated a discreet shift-system it could go on indefinitely.

No doubt such a piece could be composed and organised. This would involve a huge effort. However, I offer it here as a "thought piece", as imagining it requires virtually no effort at all!

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Monday, 21 September 2009

One Day

Left click on the image to see it full size. The TFE project this week was to listen to another piece of music -in this case, Tracy Chapman's Fast Car- and write about it.

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Friday, 18 September 2009

Dad's Photos

Ever since I began looking at John Hayes' series of posts based on his father's photographs, I've been meaning to dig out my own collection - of my father's photographs, that is. I have inherited a carousel packed with slides. A lot of them are of me and -don't worry- I'm not going to post all the inevitable baby-in-the bath pictures and suchlike. However, I can't avoid the fact that I keep popping up.

The one above is of me, climbing. It doesn't say where, but I would guess it was in Devon or Cornwall somewhere. The next is one of my favourites, a team of shed demolishers, an old man called Mr Woods with assorted male relations. It was taken, I think, in the early '60s:

Then there's my mum and I, on Dartmoor:

And finally, me (again) at one of my less-than-recent birthday parties. I have no recollection of that pink jelly thing. We lived in the country, in Lincolnshire. The baby, the older boy and his sister were all neighbours of ours. I do remember the girl, bouncing along on a seat on the back of her mother's bicycle singing She Loves You, Yea, Yea, Yea as her mother cycled past down the unmetalled track at the side of our house. The song had just come out and it must have been about the same time this photograph was taken.

My dad probably took that photograph with the Kodak Colorsnap 35 he bought around that time. It's sitting here beside me as I type. It came out in the late 50s and -for the benefit of any readers who are about my age- seems to be more-or-less the same as an Olympus Trip.

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Monday, 14 September 2009

Words and Music

The TFE project this week was to listen to a piece of music and write about it. I put my chosen piece on the record player the other day, full blast, immersed myself and... Well, this is what I came up with:

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Saturday, 12 September 2009


A while ago, The Weaver of Grass took a photo of our cat, Sinbad, sitting in the garden here. It's an arresting photo, I think, and I've been meaning to post it for a while. (He was named not after the sailor from Basra but after an eponymous fictional cat rescued from the English Channel by the crew of the Goblin).
He is as friendly and strokable as he looks: unless you're a rabbit. I had to rescue a cute little thing, just like an illustration from Beatrix Potter, from his affectionate clutches only this evening.

Totally off the point, Taken with a Twist has just posted one of my favourite quotes from John Cage...

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Monday, 7 September 2009

Love in the Café

Just across the way from me
sat a woman, drinking herbal tea.
Her other hand played on the screen
of a shiny new hand-held machine.
I drank up, left, felt very green:
it was the coolest phone I'd seen.

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Sunday, 6 September 2009

OK, Alex

A Short Story

I’d sat up late, as I did most nights. I’d slouch in the pilot’s chair in the dull glow of the red night-lights, watching the screen. Usually nothing happened. Now and again computer would flash up a line of text telling us where we were, or what we were passing, internal systems that would need servicing in the morning, and so on. It was warm (everywhere on the ship was warm), the effect was hypnotic, and hours passed like minutes. There was no need for me to be there, as the ship was well able to look after itself. It’s just the way I was then: a teenage insomniac...

The rest of this story can be read over at the online scifi short story magazine Nihilist Scifi.

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Saturday, 5 September 2009


Today, the fences cast no shadows
and a green flag hangs,
furled into an S,
and I watch how, as we move,
a tree moves against a hill
as if to emphasise its otherness.

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Thursday, 3 September 2009


Maybe by Dominic Rivron

I was really chuffed this morning to see a comment from Doug Laustsen to say that he'd included the last post, Number Nine, in his show, Endless Possibilities on the WRSU campus radio station. Thanks Doug!

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Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Number Nine

Number Nine by Dominic Rivron

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