Sunday, 27 July 2014
After Inertia I continued to write different things. At the time I was trying to put my energy into another narrative style poem film in the same vain as Inertia but on a larger scale. I continued to write generally but without any real theme in mind. It was these poems that in part came to form Besides.
During this time life shifted. I moved from Bolton, from living alone and doing a job that had no future for me, to Coventry where I was living with a group of musicians and creatives and arrived with a clean slate on the job front. Not long after I had been there and started to settle in I met a girl who turned my world upside down (in a good way though!) As a result though I no longer felt the urge to write poems around the previous themes of unrequited love, beauty in the mundane, etc. I lost steam on the larger project and felt the need to try and find out where my voice wanted to go next (if that doesn't sound too pretentious). At this point I had released Inertia on Amazon and wanted to draw a line under what I had done up until then and so decided to put together Besides.
I called it Besides as a bad word play on B-Sides. I saw this book as a collection of poems that didn't have a home anywhere else, like a B Sides album of songs that didn't make it onto the album.
Some of the poems are a bit more abstract and experimental concrete poems but also some of them have a fun element. My initial hope was that I could release it for free on Amazon to hopefully coax some people into buying Inertia. Unfortunately, I never figured out how to do this properly without somehow breaking the Amazon rules and so I released it anyway and it and it got favourable reviews from people so I am happy.
So yes, Besides. Check it out at any of the links at the side!!!
Thursday, 24 July 2014
I'm going back a bit but I thought I would start with an introduction to Inertia which was the first book I published.
Inertia was conceived when I was in my final year of University in 2004. The poetry side of it formed a large part of my final project. At the time I was trying to write a poetry concept album, a sequence of twenty poems that told a story. I already owned a few concept albums and thought that the format would suit a collection of poems. My tutor put me on to a few books that already did this to an extent, Craig Raine's A La Recherche Du Temp Perdu and History: The Home Movie, Ted Hughes' Gaudete and Birthday Letters, Tony Harrison's Film Poems, to name a few.
I wanted the story to focus on the everyday and mundane and to almost celebrate those things. I was also introduced to Weldon Kees' Robinson poems which were a huge influence on the theme for the poems. If you haven't read these poems then you should look them up. These poems quite beautifully describe the world of the character, Robinson who supposedly signifies urban man.
Weirdly I also took quite a few influences from comedy shows such as Peep Show, Monkey Trousers, Alan Partridge and Jam. It wasn't trying to write a comedy and it doesn't come through strongly but there is humour to be found, even if it might be a bit dark and weird.
Inertia ended up as a sequence of 20 poems following it's main character though his day. His day begins waking up and getting ready for work, his journey to work and then the time spent in his office and his attempts to woo the girl he likes in the office. After work he finds himself in a chance romantic encounter, followed by the fallout of his circumstances.
After graduating I forgot about Inertia but continued writing. I considered sending manuscripts of Inertia to poetry publisher but I knew that it was very difficult to get poetry published and the demand just wasn't there. I thought about it some more and then wondered if it would be possible to make the book into an actual concept album. I didn't know if and how it might work. I had only ever seen CDs of poetry read by some celebrity and backed up with classical music, the kind of CD your gran might buy. This wasn't something I wanted to do. I recorded the Robinson poems by Weldon Kees along with music and they turned out alright so I began to think about recording the Inertia poems. This all happened at a time when the story of Inertia had become my own. I was working in a job that I was bored of and living alone with my own thoughts of loneliness and unfulfilled longing having just embarked on a doomed romance with a girl I had recently met and had fizzled out. I recorded the album in my flat on the outskirts of Bolton in the winter of 2007. The music comprised of looped phrases played on top of each other with other musical embellishments which I thought mirrored the theme of monotony and it's beauty, within the poems. The vocals were filtered to make it sound like a one sided phone conversation or like it was recorded into a dictaphone and was a piece of found recording.
I was really pleased with the finished album and immediately tried to find a home for it. I managed to self publish the book and audio together at Lulu.com and the audio floated around websites like myspace, soundcloud, bandcamp, etc for a while. This was a bit before e-readers were popular and so there wasn't much take up for it at first.
I eventually released it through Amazon with a selection of other poems that I wrote around the same time with some joy as ebooks became more popular and accessible, but alas without the audio. However, Inertia recently found it’s place at Noisetrade.com, a great website where customers are invited to pay a tip. Both the ebook and audio book are now available together there in one place, as I always hoped they would be.
Whenever I go back to Inertia I still feel proud of it as a complete work (which is strange for me after so many years). If you haven't read or listened to it then I hope that this post has peaked your interest and if you have have only either read or listed to it then I hope that you will get to experience it in its fullness.
For more information and to download either or both book and album visit the links at the side.
Well, that was Inertia!
Bye for now
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
It’s been a while since my last post (which now seems quite outdated). I haven’t had much motivation to blog since then and have instead been busying myself with different things. I was amending details on the blog yesterday though and have seen that quite a few people have found their way here which may be down to the fact the blog address is listed as a website in books I have released and on different pages. It might just be coincidence though.
However, thought that I would try a bit harder. While I can't promise daily rants, opinions and thoughts I will be trying to update more regularly with deetails of what what I am up to and have been up to as well as things that peak my interest.
Since the last post a lot has happened. I have started to publish independently with Amazon, an independent website called Noisetrade and more recently on the Kobo store. I have put out a few different things with plans for more to come. rather than going into them here, over the next few weeks I will try and add posts recapping on some of the things I have published and am hoping to publish, but you can check them out too in the mean time via the links at the side.
Hope to see you back here shortly.
Bye for now