Five dames turned up for the second redlionbookshop talk. Louis Armstorng’s ‘What a wonderful world’ did not resound thru the rafters as I couldn’t bring my stereo set up. No music this time to soothe the atmospheres. But the poet in me turned up. my trouble is he won’t go away and even today ! (17th) I am/he is altering and adding to the poems about ‘Six Mystics’ which I read a rendition of last Saturday (15th). Interestingly, I do believe the poet is helping me. In the Gurdjeff poem he said I can fit in a thing about compassion which has arisen in my thinking. The idea that compassion is a flame which you cannot extinguish. I did have a line where G. went to Tibet , the fount of compassion, but now I have changed that to,
‘Climbing Tibetan mountains
Open range of the Snow Lion
To the flowering flame of Compassion’
I added to G’s last verse more of the senses, realising… realising I can do that why, because, I can!
‘Feel the everlasting flame of Zoroaster glows
Within each of us with eyes to see
And those of us with ears to hear the bee…s
Straighten up and smell the breeze’
I had also moved the lion of snow sentence from the Dalai Lama poem so I could add the idea of charity to his this morning when the poet told me to have Faith, Hope And Charity evident in the poems, which are as one, a group.
Escaping into the charitable arms of his neighbouring India’
We rarely know what it is that drives us to create (our creativity) that may dawn on you as & if you develop. I didn’t know when I left school in 1969 that one day I would attempt writing poetry. Also that some of my writing would be about the meaning of (our) reality. I am neither preaching nor proselytising I’m just attempting to ‘think’ as lucidly as I am able.
These days I have, at last, found time to go back thru some of the writings I did (in my journals) back in 1979-80. Around that time I was a self-employed artist-writer working on The Shrewd Idiot and feeling the birth pangs of my First Squidgerat project. In order to try make some money, knowing it would take a long time for any funds from a book to kick in and that my own vision of ‘art’ and its products did not appeal to a mass audience, I was printing sweatshirts for schools and producing the first (Maldon) Barge Calendar. It is interesting to read the same complaint I wrote about the costs of putting on an exhibition, never mind its relative ‘success’ in the eyes of visitors and media, were then as now above the monies that it generated into my bank account. To all extent and purposes, if I were a wise man, I should have given up/in. And I am in an identical position today. To put it in a nutshell, my work doesn’t sell. So the sensible ting to do? Give up. Full Stop. But I fail to put my brakes on and I refuse to pack it in. vaingloriously I continue writing and making ‘art’. Like Olympic skater Robin Cousins said ( I think it wer im wat seddit), ‘If I don’t win anything people will see me as a madman’ then he won gold. Well I may not win any golds, they are like hen’s teeth anyway in the arts and it seems are reserved for the already famous, those already well catered for financially. There is a wonderful comparison between the late Tom Finney’s record and that of the present day footballer wayne rooney who has just signed a contract for £300 grand a week when Tom an infinitely better player got £20. Also Finney was never booked nor sent off, (he never tupped no-one but he would have nutmegged em! auteur’s note, nutmeggin is a nicer legal form of tuppin), rooney has had both, several times. Age wise I am a lot closer to Finney and I think I retain some of his dedication to the cause. I do it cos I love doing it.
I am 63 now and won’t have much time to break thru with any aspect of my work before I follow Tom and lots more of my heroes but I am not crying nor asking sympathy. I have given it a good go and shall continue so to do. I have some ideas on how to bring works, which have been in the pipeline for up to 35 yearns, through into a form which I would be satisfied represents my abilities, ideas, originality etc.two tings I must point out.
1. the zen master Ikkyū (1394-1481)wrote
To leave behind
Is yet another kind of dream.
When I awake I know that
There will be no one to read it.
“fucking flattery, success, money.
I just sit back and suck my thumb.”
― Ikkyu, Crow With No Mouth
2. ‘Being Flynn’ a film with Robert de Niro in, there is an incredible film! And its arrival in my life was coincidental with my final prep night before I did my second reading at Red Lion bookshop Colchester last Saturday.
photoshop of the poet created by C C (thanks CC for revealing the real me to me!)
The film is about a relationship triangle between a young man and his present mother and absent father who is off chasing his dream to be another American genius writer. (I’m not American so don’t worry about me!) It is hard hitting and was the worst prep I needed when preparing to (pretend to be) a poet the next day. It helped me realise the stupidity of believing I can be a player. I mean, look at that idiot above, would you buy an etching from him, or a car for that matter?
So. I been round the houses, the trees, fields etc several times now. I started in 1967 with a Henry Moore exhibition at Tate, just Tate, there wer no Tate Mod then just ‘Tate’.That made me decide to be an artis chap. My art, that I have done since then, speaks for itself. I am getting tired of talkin. From now on I talk about other tings. Am no longer flogging a dead horse. The donkey’s given up farting now. And another reason nobody came to my readings. I am so goddamned ugly (but not so ugly as Jagga), no really. My Celtic name means Ugly Head (creator of Apulhed).
a recent photo of the auteur
Remember ugly by name ugly by nature. I’m the one what used to tup the captain. I should have bin the captain! I was captain of Brun house team and the Wednesday league team Scrubbers what won the cup that season. That’s as high as the establishermont would allow me to go. And my lack of financial and critical and academic success, I have to admit, is my own fault, it’s my karma, I shouldn’t have tupped the captn. (For my Buddhist friends, please don’t get me wrong, it wer only a gentle tup. Not like one o me shin shatterin tackles. But no, I won’t go in to them.
Alf Tupper (my alter ego) in 1969