10 Red. Reading in Edinburgh, Weds 1 July 2015

A pinch and a light punch for the 1st of the month; am going to be one of the readers at Kevin Cadwallender’ always interesting ’10 Red’ night at the Persevere Bar in Edinburgh tomorrow.

The concept is as simple as the event’s name: 10 readers of different styles read for 10 minutes apiece. Great way to introduce your work to new audiences and I always enjoy the reactions, including my own, to what’s on offer. Here’s the event on facebook here.

The simple deets are:

The Persevere Easter Road. £3 in. FREE Raffle. 7.30 for 8pm

398 Easter Road, EH6 8HT
10 Red Poster Kevin Cadwallender 1/7/15

Inspiration from Allen Ginsberg: Sutras

Hello one and all, well, at least one.

I’m writing at the moment, working on a new poem called Birthday Sutra for a reading on the eve of my 35th birthday (which seems a good time to sum) at the Sutton Gallery in Edinburgh. The event is listed here, and starts at 7pm on 21st May, 2014.

Here’s the first para of current Wikipedia article on Sutra, to give an idea of what my poem form might be:
‘A sutra (Sanskritसूत्रPālisuttaArdhamagadhisūya) is an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a text in Hinduismor Buddhism. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew’

The inspiration for my poem is loosely Allen Ginsberg and his oracular ‘sutra’ poems.  Here’s his Wichita Vortex Sutra text, and also a composition version of it with Philip Glass at the piano. May it fire up my imagination to similarly visionary heights!


I’m reading again – 3rd October 2012, ’10 Red’ at The Persevere Bar in Edinburgh, 7.30pm

Am hoping that this is the right way to embed something on WordPress, in this case a youtube video, in particular a youtube video with me featuring in it in a rather strange still photograph taken on the spot in the redeveloped infirmary where I think I was BORN.

The point of the video, however, is to advertise a poetry event I’m reading in this Wednesday in Edinburgh at The Persevere Bar in Leith. Organised by the splendid Kevin Cadwallender, the 10 Red series give good value for money by putting on 10 poets in short sets in convivial surroundings.The other writers are a mix of those new to me and those I can vouch for as worth hearing.

If you’re free to be in Edinburgh on Wednesday night, and have a spare £3, I hope to see you. I shall be reading from some of my favourite recent poems in a self-pleasuring, yet simultaneously generous, set.

CAESURA nearly here – ma reading on Friday

Hello world,

The next reading I’m doing has come round fast. It’s this Friday at The White Horse Pub (which is so actually NICE) on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. It runs from 7-10pm but I guess I’m on earlier as the line up is pretty impressive. Peter Manson – cool!

Below is the nice flyer thing. I’m working on my descriptor skills!

On the night, I’m reading a wee sequence of poems about family. It sort of came together from different things I’d written and I’ve joined up the dots.

A snippet, you say? Ok, here’s a verse from Mother.

What is it ma mother is knowing not knowing

And where is she holding it?

I think it’s a family

family family secret secret

feels hieroglyptic she can’t tell

Hope to see some friendly faces there.

excerpt: [Closing in on] onesome

Seeing as the very kind cb53 has asked for a show of what I’ll be reading at my thing on Thursday, here’s an excerpt from one of the poems. Hope you like it. I think it gives a good representation of the sorts of patterning in my writing at the moment, amongst other things!


a A close closing, up

close, close-to, close to its

Close, Closes up, closed, closed up


Swansong, shut, shut up, she fades







*           *           *


Swansung she fed

she bled she bladed


An amaranthine customer

faded, evaded,


Herbs of death,

Prophet of dissemblance

brings the close.


*           *           *


Swansong she feeds

she bred. She bade

Come hither

a newling




thither Her hitherto

Henceforth invaded

-sumed shun, disbanded


Closed, closed up, used up, gone


forring you, you


*           *           *

I’m doing a reading (so I am) on Thurs 26 Jan

the poster for the reading as a word doc download. (haven’t worked out how to make it just show….)

That there’s the (somewhat sinister) poster for a reading I’m taking part in this coming Thursday. Mind you, it’s in the Canon’s Gait pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile which is generally quite a witchy place. I’ll be reading only for five minutes because there are so many people on the bill.

I haven’t done many of these affairs and am still trying to work out if I like ‘the poetry reading’ as a way of presenting what I write. I figure I’ll try doing a few to find out what I get from it. One thing that does worry me, I guess, is that I might skew the work to fit the context. I mean, the event’s happening in a bar. What if I feel like I have do my poetry like stand-up comedy or something? The guys running it are quite comfortable in those environments but I think my training as a composer makes me hanker after a concert hall where you can hear a pin drop, sometimes. Mind you, the stuff I did with my band required more work getting the audience’s attention, which never seemed that hard.

Ok, I admit it, I’m fighting my inner exhibitionist!