This Is Not The Place: Reading at Forest Centre+ 24/10/13

or this one


I’m part of a trio of performers helping to bring the Forest Centre+’s inaugural exhibition to a close this coming Thursday. The new Interview Room 11 gallery space has hosted its ‘Warm Up’ for more than 3 weeks and the building has been enlivened by surges and trickles and drops of visitors to the exhibition, moving the Forest project ever forwards and upwards. I’ve loved being part of it.

Here’s the poster for its closing event…

TINTP Closing poster

…at which I’ll be reading at about 7pm. The event starts at 5.30pm, so I’m hoping to get there for then, work allowing, to enjoy the other things going on. nick-e melville will be up to something, and so I believe will Stephen Paterson.



I’ll be reading from the walking texts that make up This Is Not The Place, a knot of writing I produced with Leiza McLeod. It’s been present in the Warm Up exhibition in booklet form, and also as long ribbons of paper. I’m doing my best to magic something of Leiza there from Bristol via technological wizardry (we’re talking wizardry level 1 at best, though possibly with merit).

IMopening work 4

Hope to see some of you there. More details on facebook for the detail-driven.




Spicer, irresistible badman

Was reading Jack Spicer and U.A. Fanthorpe in the National Library of Scotland tonight, ah wondrous retreat. They’re unlikely to have any joint monographs published about them anytime soon, but the two pamphlets I was enjoying do slot nicely into each other with their complementary lime-green and yellow pages respectively, and their shared A5 format.

I was clearly enjoying myself too much as I accidentally handed in my own notebook with the titles at the end of the night. Hopefully it can be retrieved tomorrow. . .

I thought I’d share a Spicer excerpt. It’s from Admonitions, his mid-length sequence of poems, all addressed to different people he knew. Spicer being the prickly customer that he was, I suspect about half of them were not meant nicely. He talks in his introduction (addressed as a letter to (publisher?) Joe Dunn) about how each poem is a mirror fashioned to show up what he, the mirror-maker, would like the recipient to see about themselves. It’s clearly a manipulative strategy. It takes the idea of each reader finding his or her own concerns mirrored in a text out of anonymity and into aggressive specifics. In some cases, the recipients are more or less victims of an attack and Jack Spicer’s poems seem to have been effectively targetted weapons at various points.

The one I’m sharing doesn’t appear to be nasty, though. In fact, it’s rather fun.

For Willie

There is no excuse for bad ghosts

Or bad thoughts

6x / 10 equals 150

And electric socket with a plug in it

Or a hole in your eyeball:

It is bad

And everyone says, “What?” X

– 4X / 10 equals 150.

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.