Sunday, 27 June 2010

SHOT NO 46, by Anthony Sides

The Louisiana architect spoke in tongues they said: licking shit-rimmed blood the forest computer children sister flowers kisses churches spirals shit smoke picnics a pig witches hills; and because I had a camera him and his cousin kicked my head around on the cobbles under a dull-red fire escape in a courtyard filled with ferns and green sunlight and the cobbles tilted and the light blew around the brick walls in the breeze.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

SHOT NO 45, by Anthony Sides

Slow kisses damp after sex. A minute and a half you don't think about hypnotises you, and pale-sided leaves ripple a few scraps of tinfoil sunlight on to the ceiling.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Richard Harvey-Morgan, a regular at some workshops I've run in Burnley has had his first book published - Away with the Fairies - described as

"a story for all ages that goes straight to the heart. A book of pure fantasy offering an answer to some of the legendary tales of old Lancashire, bringing to life well- known legendary characters of northern England. Illustrated with 30 unique colour photographs.

"Richard is a small timid 12 year old who hates weekends. His mother, addicted to heroin, depends upon him whilst his father is in prison. Richard is ill-fed and -clothed, and his home has none of the contents that his schoolmates enjoy. He desperately wants to escape the drudgery and depression of his life. His only escape, when not at school or the library, is the forest, where he spends time amongst the wild residents.

"It is whilst there that his wishes are heard and acted upon by the fairies. The result of their trickery is that he is transformed into microcosmic size and the adventures begin."

I wish Richard all the best with his book and you can contact him at

Sunday, 20 June 2010

SHOT NO 42: THE WHITE CEILING, by Anthony Sides

That summer reminds me of her. Potted plants, dusty windows, and the sunlight reflected.
"I'm a slag but - " raspberry jam falling out of her mouth.
"How can I love you when you bite?"
Her wet skin, ripple and swirl, and the sunlight reflected. Scraps of rain, dusty windows, and the sunlight reflected.
"You can't want to think, you laugh all the time."

Friday, 18 June 2010


I was disappointed when I first played Exile on Main Street. Don't buy a Stones album if you've not heard of the hits, I thought.

I kept playing it, through and through, and after a while certain passages became recognizable as they came up, clicking in to focus surrounded by unintelligible lyrics and music my brain didn't find familiar yet, and eventually I started to like it.

Though styles and paces change on the album, even when you're familiar with them the songs blur in to each other, and Exile has a continuity, like a cycle of songs.

The Stones used to work by playing a track again and again, composing and recording by using repetition and reiteration and the accretion of improvements. This record was worked and reworked, and finished and overdubbed and mixed in LA, and pieces and passages from different takes were stuck together, and it keeps a spontaneity and an impression of being a finished rough cut - one step short of a fair copy, loose and ragged and right - with workings shown and corrections scribbled in the margin. There's a layering of different voices and instruments, and one extra layer is that Exile carries with it a sense of the creative process that led to itself.

The damp cellar most tracks were recorded in is more famous than most of the individual songs, and the technical problems helped: the conscious minds of the players and producers were on the hitches and glitches and out-of-tune strings, leaving their unconscious minds free to play and create and improvise freely.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I've finished Carrie again. I read it only 20 pages or so at a time because it's horrible - Carrie's home life and how lost she is and her school life, and the doomed feeling all through the book.

In his intro King writes, "I was frightened .... of the level of cruelty I would have to describe."

He continues, "I was also frightened to revisit what I'd not had the wit or moral courage to stop," and Carrie is horrible not because it's horror but because of how real it is.

I've read about 40 of King's books, and that's a lot of pages, and I'm grateful for the pleasure of the time I've spent in his company in that way.

Though his books and stories are sometimes too long, and not all of them are good, I hope that while we have him around we properly value him for the entertainment, sensations and insights he gives us in his writing.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

SHOT NO 41, by Anthony Sides

All the lies you wish. All the cruel people. All the spin-the-bottle. Pink champagne and chances. Never connect. The taste of copper, and the winter sun in circles bouncing pennies in your eyes.

Saturday, 5 June 2010


You can you can't you haven't. Am I am I I might. It's him that's weird. Planned and detached in life. Distant. Distant. Guided by fear. Tea, TV. Spilled pills, faded pretty hills. Broken little soldier, told he just can't cope. Scared of a windowed room, scared of the street. Sleeps in daylight and shouts.

Friday, 4 June 2010

SHOT NO 39, by Anthony Sides

The sun shouts in orange, a grin behind your eyes. But remember: take everything seriously.

SHOT NO 38, by Anthony Sides

A misty straight row of morning trees in front of orange sky, and stripes of shadow and sideways sunlight across an empty school athletics field making the white lines pink. All the lessons I've learned in life are too painful to talk about. Dots of dew, coconut butter aftershave balm, a bird whistling a ring tone, and the weave of my white poplin shirt. A black ant on the cuff stops at the seam, wiggling three of its legs.