'I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's.' William Blake I've always avoided writers' biographies, beyond the potted versions at the front of the work. It was an early decision, and one I've more or less stuck to over the years. When you start out at writing, it's tempting to go looking … Continue reading Influences
'Words sing what mind brings' Jack Kerouac If you want to develop as a human being, never mind a writer, it's probably a good idea to kick any idealisation of the Beats. I've lost count of the number of people who have passed through my life with the appetite for a Beat biography without putting … Continue reading Multi-Media Beats
Around 2001, I worked in a university library. Like most such places, the campus employed security personnel to keep the librarians away from the messy business of letting people into the building. They were contract workers: a mixture of the under-skilled and unlucky, the fallible and hopeless. A woman who hoarded takeaway chicken bones in … Continue reading Kulture!
In 2001, I travelled to Brussels, for a long weekend. One night, travelling back to my hotel on the Metro, on the way to Simonis, a man took the seat opposite me. He was mixed race, and balding, dressed in jeans and trainers, a T-shirt with an illegible decal underneath his cotton jacket