Saturday May 31st 2003, 1:03 am
Filed under: TPT the First Creative Tags:

A little something I’ve been fooling around with. There’s a big chord change that comes next, something emphatic. Something I haven’t found yet. All made using my new, and yet beloved, kurzweil.

radical librarianism
Friday May 30th 2003, 10:50 pm
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Friday May 30th 2003, 10:44 pm
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I looked to get in touch with an old friend/flatmate/acquaintance before I leave. A difficult man to contact, although I eventually found his blog, last updated in late 2002. Browsing through his pennings, this piece, an exquisite short story by Alasdair Gray. Said friend had me read Lanark long ago, but I’d forgotten the agonisingly precise atmosphere Gray creates – creates beyond the confines of the page.

A (former) friend from a former address leading to books forgotten and stories about poems about failure and success. A tangled skein. Pretention slips delicately into my words, here – it must be the wine. Or the Cranes. It’s too early to be this dark. But a soft dark – different from the other, recent, dark. The light dark that has always held me, captivated me. An aesthetic as much as an emotion, perhaps, but a pervasive one. Maybe some day I’ll create it, rather than consume it.

Friday May 30th 2003, 12:53 am
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Tinkering a bit with the site this evening, it’s clear that the original design was, perhaps, a little more ambitious than my ambitions to actually fill the blasted thing with content. Thus the empty ‘library’ and the (until now) empty ‘foundry’. Pretty pictures all (and at some point a new picture for the manuscripts section, the original having taken over as the front page). A meta-entry. How tiresome.

walks and flats
Friday May 30th 2003, 12:15 am
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One of the real beauties of this flat has been its perfect location for walks in North Oxford. Port Meadow, the Dragon School. (OK. Now I’m depressed. Googling for an image of Port Meadow, this damn paid ad keeps coming up on the right: ‘Going out on the pull? Find out who else in Oxford is going out too! Sacrilege. Desecration. Amusingly English. But I ain’t linking to their damn page.)

Hmmm. The organic, interrupted quality of writing this thing. A tabbed browser, tabbed writing.

Talking to a friend this evening (who bought a flat instead of a couch. Though she’ll probably need a couch for the flat.), who recently had to list all the places she’s lived. I stumbled through that list (for me, not her) just a few weeks ago, trying to sort out what comes next. There is an impossible sorrow for me in thinking about the places I’ve lived, an all-too-present sense of loss. Of places where I was somebody, and now I’ve lost that me, lost him irretrievably. And the knowledge, too, that the me of Oxford, of this flat and all the flats – are soon to be past. It’s not the locations themselves – although there is that, too, a certain outrage that someone else is inmy space, and that moreover I’m not welcome there – that trouble my thoughts so much. But the testimonies to lives and loves past, past recovering, sometimes almost past remembering.

Missing Seasons Already
Thursday May 29th 2003, 8:39 pm
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time outside
Thursday May 29th 2003, 7:32 pm
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It seems as if I have absolutely no time left before I go. Yet, with a month to go, there seems to always be an excuse to delay whatever has to be done – organising, packing, selling, cleaning, whatever – yet another day. Impossibly long days and short weeks.

A commonplace, that life passes faster as you age, the months and years easing by. How much of that is because we allow it to happen? Allow one day to look like the previous, to look like the next. Because we don’t (work) to differentiate the days the way youth seems to do naturally. As one day bleeds into the next…So I watch the weeks pass and the days linger, not acting although the final rush is essentially upon me. The only thing I can seem to manage is copying my entire music library onto a new, and lovely, toy.

Wearing headphones in the world, listening to music as I walk around, is quite strange. I don’t think I ever really was a walkman person. But this week, I’ve rarely been outside without the music on. It detaches me from the world, slightly surreally – sights and scents and traffic and other peoples’ lives going on, but the soundtrack mine. Both in the world and merely passing through. Reflective, perhaps, of what my relationship with Oxford is coming to be, as looking forward looking back I steel myself for change, reject it embrace it poke it quizically with an emotional stick.

post partem
Monday May 26th 2003, 11:49 pm
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The inevitable letdown: home again, alone again. Sometimes what came before wasn’t even good enough to justify the malaise, the lethargic sadness that follows the day after. I can remember going out, having a rather poor time, and still moping around the next day, plagued by the feeling that some intangible had been in-hand, or in reach, the night before and was then irretrievably gone.

Is it the sense of promise going out any given night holds? Almost as gone as personal idols on pedestals, that energy of an evening seems exceptionally rare. That feeling that anything might happen, that you might do or end up doing anything. A curious mixture of the active and the passive, really, combining to point to something somehow more. And even when nothing did happen, the energy itself sufficient, the buzz the edge self-sustaining. A late night game of pool in a random bar enough to retrieve a failure of an evening from cursing the day that was to follow.

Perhaps the schoolhouse got me confused. The objections have emerged, and rural Wales is far away in many many ways. So the stale smoke on my clothes is just another goodbye to a life I couldn’t live, even if I had it.

the schoolhouse
Monday May 26th 2003, 12:53 am
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I went, today, to the house I always would have wanted if I’d known it existed. Just over the mountain from Abergavenny. An old school house, beautifully, exquisitely, lovingly converted to artist’s den and salon at once. The corners filled appropriately with the little touches that show lived art rather than simply the decorative. Hardwood floors in the right places, rugs in the right places. Even cats in the right places, a view out a window onto the gorgeous Welsh countryside as a cat meowed appreciatively. Soft and hard, full and empty, lonely and yet a solace: this house was the perfect companion.

The people there, too. A theatre director, a woman come to art late in life. The chartered account and his perfectly cultured Polish wife. Artists and actors, mostly Welsh, mostly in their 50s and 60s. No more pretentious than any artistic crowd, and a good deal more authentic than many I’ve met. Lovely people, all, in a lovely community.

One that I never seem to have found, here. Or necessarily would have wanted had I found it. But in 30 years or so, I’m coming back for the house.

Hobbies gone wrong
Friday May 23rd 2003, 11:24 pm
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