1969 poem in the back of an open lorry

In 1969 I wrote this poem in the back of an open lorry which had just picked up two sixteen year old hitch hiking Welsh newly-weds and a nineteen year old me.

carol fred poem alone

They offered to buy me breakfast in the transport Café cos I only had a penny left which I had been given by the girl Gwennie in Under Milk Wood (not)

Yesterday I wrote another poem on the train this time

a train poem 2015 sm

Not much has changed

Except my age, my experience, my prospects

I am still writing drawing photographing

As I move thru the days and years

Hoping one day to get thru

Maybe to you or

Some others

Then I popped into Tate and saw the wonderful works of Sonia Delauney displayed. And entered the Offprint art publishing fair at Tate which was great altho I only did about 6 tables of the 140.

I met some lovely folk. I met Richard Embray’s colleague at the Fourcorners table where I meant to buy their book of Paolozzi archive stuff but I never got back to buy it cos my ‘egs were laching’. I spoke with Krystine (?) at Argo Books and bought Kirstine Roepstorff’s beautiful ‘book’ Horizons of the Moving Mind which is composed of a folder, like my Inside this earthen vessel, with nine ‘repective pamphlets’ tucked inside a bit like b s johnson’s The Unfortunates. I am all into these odd arrangements in artisbuks cos I don’t like the norm. Ditto do some good books, http://shop.dittopress.co.uk/products/god-listens-to-slayer-sanna-charles-pre-order I loved their use of little inserts.

I particularly liked this one by sternberg press


see also http://www.thebooklovers.info/Artist-Novels-The-Book-Lovers-Publication

and maybe this about Picabia- http://ensembles.mhka.be/items/11381

Then I met Aaron at Morel books http://morelbooks.com/Bookshop.html we got on fine and when I said I am re-working my 1970’s buk, the shrewd idiot he said yes send me some of the pages as it grows, so I shall as am getting very excited as the book develops. I am using the original hand-writings and the typewritten type as my ‘fonts’ and the words become the pictures. And the pictures will overlay the werds. I can’t ‘see’ the finished work but that ‘chance’ elememt is very exciting in the mix. He has a couple of Blake (Wm) plates and prints from them and also some work with Patti Smith who I luckily saw do her intimate readings of hers and Blake’s poems etc at the Blake Society do a couple of years ago. I like the way Aaron obviously likes the use of overlays on words and that’s the way my New Shrewd Idiot is moving, with my 70’s sketches and photos in front of the werdz and also I can scrawl over them with my hand-written and calligraphic ‘marks’ of today.

I managed to speak with Colette about my work and asked to be considered as an exhibitor at the next event, altho I’ll be a small teeny weeny fish in a BIG pond if I get a table. She introduced me to her partner who selects the table holders and both of them said they like my little buk Inside This Great Jug. And by the way last week the Saison Poetry Library has accepted a copy too.

I am pleased to say I shall be doing ma ting at the forthcoming Book fair at the Baltic in July, so I must learn the words and get dancing again. No rest for the wicked. Am also intent to make a new little buk about the creation of my big pic, Venus Stairs.

Burnley were once a truly great team!

So today my home town team, knowing of their imminent relegation from the top division in football to division 2 which is euphemistically named ‘The Championship’, secured a scintillating 0-0 draw with Stoke. But Burnley were once a truly great team! No not the first time I ever saw them when as a ten years old boy I watched

60team handdrawn(c) pete kennedy 2015

the best Burnley team to represent the town in modern day football emerge from the Turf Moor tunnel as Champions in 1960 when they beat Man City in the final game of the season

62 victory coach(c) pete kennedy 2015

to prevent Wolves winning their third 1st division title in 3 years and almost won the coveted Double two years later.

Bly 1961 leeg won

No, it was the team back in 1921, (some of which had survived the First World War just before which they had beaten Liverpool in the FA Cup Final), that went on THE LONGEST RUN IN THE TOP DIVISION WITHOUT DEFEAT FOR 80 YEARS. A feat only overhauled recently by Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, but they still have more than 70 years to run before they equal Burnley’s record of 80 years unequalled! But few people have mentioned the fact that Burnley not only did that phenomenal run, in a time when they would have not had the luxury travel that the modern players have, they were more likely to turn up in a charabanc (that’s an obsolete term for a ‘motor coach’ the likes of which super ceded the horse and cart). The team that stopped their run? Manchester City. Then Burnley went on to beat them a couple of games later. THAT WAS A TRULY GREAT SIDE. They did not however receive the accolades showered upon their recent copy cats The Arsenal, all the press could muster was ‘Burnley Beaten At Last’!

1921 leeg champs for 80 yrs

 In fact tward the end of this 2014-15 season they got a new moniker ‘Burnleynil’.

Burnley have never been a fashionable club a fact that was exacerbated by a certain chairman known as the meanest dinosaur & butcher in town whose policy of turning the media away, particularly TV, in Burnley’s 1960’s revival to the top did massive and irreversible damage  which persists to this day. And he was responsible for halving the club’s gates overnight by selling off the great Jim McIlroy!

jim dribl sm

To whom? To Stoke who were in the second division then and Jimmy helped bring them into the top division.

jim stoke swervs


One massive example of prohibition going wildly counter to the intent of the prohibitor is my home town football club, Burnley and the reprehensible policy of the then chairman Bob Lord, who was also a big noise on the national FA. He thought that if he banned the TV cameras from Turf Moor more folk would visit the ground to see live matches on match days. He was wrong. At the time Burnley were one of the top two clubs with Spurs, a fact that remained the case for several years in the early 60’s Burnley were bigger than Man U and Liverpool then! Look what happened. TV cameras do the opposite to what Lord thought, they publicize a club and folk flock to see them. Lord, in another of his marvellous decisions, sold local hero Jimmy McIlroy, to lowly second division at that time Stoke and Burnley faded away after . Burnley dropped to the foot of Division 4 and nearly shot out of the league altogether whilst close rivals Man U & The Bill Shankly LiverPool went on to be European Champs.

Burnley’s gates never ever recovered and fancy that, their average gate is about 14,000. Compare that with Sunderland or Newcastle at c. 50K and you see what minnows the valiant representatives of Burnley town are. The sharks of the Prem certainly devoured them despite their taking down the likes of Man City and stealing a point at Stamford Bridge.(2014-15)

phil brwn on dyche statuePhil Brown at Southend said that they are talking statues for Sean Dyche!

I have believed long time that there should be one of Jimmy McIlroy at Burnley. This is an open letter to fans of Jim McIlroy, Burnley boys and all the rest, and Stan Bowles who said in his autobio that his hero was Jimmy Mac! Many others, least myself because true greats must have seen him play, including Georgie Best because as a football fanatic in his youth he must have been taken to see Northern Ireland play in Belfast and Jimmy was the star of that team along with his friend, also arch rival at Spurs, Danny Blanchflower. In 1950 my dad named me after an Irish player who he admired, Peter Doherty. Doherty went on to manage the Irish side which Jim played in that got to the quarter final of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden then got kicked off the park by guess who? Germany.

 jimi mac scores fer NI sm

Once you saw Jimmy play you had to be influenced! In the mid 1950s he scored a hat trick against Busby’s Manchester United. Why he never was called by Busby to play for Man. U I don’t know but it was probably because in those days the players had less say on their destiny and the chairman could dictate where they went, that’s why Jim ended up in Stoke. He never flit from his beloved Burnley and commuted to Stoke daily! The butcher had already got rid of one of the best players Bobby Seith in the champion-making team because Seith probably told the old fart what he thought of him, Seith went on to win the Scottish Championship with a Dundee team, that is no accident, good players win games.

jimac in sundae times

Did you know that back in 1962 Jimmy was an icon, no not just in football, on the front cover of the first ever Sunday Times Mag! A photo of Jimmy is there in the centre with Jean Shrimpton posing a la Jim all around him. Not a lot of people know that. His movement was almost balletic and someone at the Times mag saw it and asked for the model to go into poses which reflect Jimmy. I think I prefer her beauty but his poise. His poise was genuine, hers was posed.

jimi maket2 sm(c) pete kennedy 2015

I have offered to do a sculpture of the best player Burnley had since the great 1920’s team, Tommy Boyle and all them lot. They have indicated an interest but that were a year ago and am getting on in years and soon I’ll be too very old to do it. So, come on you Clarets, give me the go-ahead and I shall get the sculpture ready for your next return to the top league again!

 jimi 3 from above sm(c) pete kennedy 2015

It seems there will be no shortage of money this year at Burnley. See report from Ajax and look forward to return to top flight and thrashing Van Gaal’s lot! According to this report Burnley get loads o money for tv appearances, not to mention the parachute monies.

2015 bly won the money!

This article and the drawings and sculptures shown in it are copyright (c) Pete Kennedy 17.5.2015

PK is forever grateful for the joy of seeing Jimmy McIlroy grace the field at Turf Moor, a true great alongside Stanley Matthews, Tom Finney, Duncan Edwards, Kenny Dalglish, Stevie Gerrard and Jackie Milburn.

By the way Kenny Dalglish should receive a knighthood! (PK 2018)

A name by any other rose

Making a name for myself.

So what is in a name? Everything? No, not really. A name is a disguise, a mask before the public/society/followers/denigrators… behind the mask the ‘star’ or ‘failure’ is of course an ordinary human albeit maybe with extraordinary quality +/or experience. I have worn a number of masks. Like my Apulhed masks, I have even worn a Pete Kennedy mask. None of my masks, except my teacher one, ever brought much income. Like thousands of other would be greats I seem to have failed in some of my mission, altho I am still pumping- my heart, my works, my buks etc. I even submitted an application to be the first ‘resident artist’ at Radio 2 on the basis of my track record meeting and photographing and painting some famous folk in the 70’s and 80’s. I have had the experience, I have the skills, but I didn’t make a name for myself as a ‘reporter/artist’ bloke. However only after I had spent longtime getting my bid ready complete with a treatment (of sorts) I noticed they had this clause in the form staing that you had to make more than half your income from your art. I don’t make any income!How dare they question my integrity as an artis-writer just because my work does not generate money. It certainly moves it out! My work takes time for the process, the making, the publication. The two most recent paintings I sold recently brought in just above the cost of the materials. My books have all cost more to make than the sales they generate, so far. I can’t help it if my works never commanded a good price, yet.my way of working and my output have integrity even tho ma income doesn’t. maybe my fame & fortune lays ahead when my work eventually receives attention. I vest a lot of effort into it without knowing if it will ever pay me back. Meanwhile I shall keep on trying. This morning I made a list of 15 artist’s books I have awaiting finalising and pushing thru. It’s not that I sit down and dream up new ideas every day, no, I am like George Harrison before he left the Beatles, all my work has been stacking up, now All Things Must Pass! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtC3ORg9fU

In fact

Unlike Robert Zimmerman I never ‘made’-up a name for myself. Maybe I should adopt my O’Ceinedegh monika? Or Pedro A. Pulman (Artisbloke) PAPA? It’s all in the name.

After going to the Saison Poetry library this week to see a talk about b s johnson’s work I tweeted

And a party calling themselves @BSJohnsonInfo retweetd it. I learned a lot about bsj, not least that he did a book named Albert Angelo in which ‘he cut holes in the pages pages, created a type character (sic) and arranged text in columns’ the narrator says in the vid and it seems this refers to concrete poems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDMV4UF_-Rs

Because he made his name as a renegade in ‘literature’ his books are not known as ‘artist’s books, whereas Dieter Roth, who did similar things in his books is known as an artist’s bok maker. It’s all in the name?

This song is apparently about bsj- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bexd18r6ZSU&feature=youtu.be

Here’s my mention of bsj from an article I did for the blue notebook

‘Whilst considering the bookness of Lippard’s Catalogues I should introduce B S Johnson’s book The Unfortunates which is bound, but not bound as one unit. (Johnson, 1969)

a unfortunates

Picador’s recent reprint of Johnson’s book.

 It comprises 27 sections each stapled separately held by a removable wrapper with two of the sections marked ‘First’ and ‘Last’. (At the Saison Poetry library on Wednesday 6 May 2015 I heard a hint that bsj lost a debate with his then publisher who wanted to have those two pages at start and end of the book, I suspect bsj would have wanted them free-roaming?) The reader is invited to read the rest in any order at random. I like the book because it is housed in a box covered in claret and blue, the colours of my home town team, Burnley who got to the quarter finals of the European Cup long before Notts Forest. The reference to football is not spurious as Johnson for many years reported on Nottingham Forest’s games for his local rag. Also there is a ‘report’ of part of a game in the back inside cover of the box which seems to reflect how a game can be a microcosm of life. I like the idea of the random order but the version I have seems to be of rather mean dimension and the font too small. It was not meant to be considered an artist’s book. It is however a writer’s experiment with the form of the novel, a step outside the canon contained in a box, which the publishing world of the day saw as subversive and the avant-garde saw as trivial. They missed the point Johnson was trying to make. He was attempting to convey the emotions he felt at the demise of a friend’s succumbing to a terminal illness. The loose leaves represented thoughts crossing as they do in life, not sequentially but at random.’

There’s a different version of the book on a vid by ‘mik krakow’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNk0kj0KwoU

I have referred to bsj in some other blArts:- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/on-being-an-artist-or-not/

a slightly longer one- https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/what-am-i-doing/

this one has ref to bsj and my own work https://apulhed.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/my-gate-crashing-two-parties-des-chimpanzees-dont-make-me-a-member/

 jo 080

By the time I saw the book I had already made my boxed artist’s book called Apul-Gold Metamorphosis although mine was with careful attention to font size as well as considering paper, dimension and feel. It has alternate card and semi-transparent pages. The box is black with gold around the edges resembling an old bible but when opened it is more like a jewellery box with felt surrounds and gold ribbons. You can turn the loose pages which are, ironically, sequential because the holes in each page grow gradually to reveal a golden (moulded plastic) page with words on sculpted from twigs making the ‘word’ material or real. Behind this sheet is the final surprise, a sculpture.

I’m not that interested in Party Politics

Post on Sunday 3rd May

OK in this run up to a general election in GB I have a lot to tell yez.

This is where I was at 4am on 5.3.15- I pick up books on Virginia Woolf (by Quentin Bell) and Bert Irwin and think about the ‘talent’ and the way we fight for or pursue outlets for our vision. There are so many talented humans that I could not even keep up with reading about all of them.

In contrast we in Britain are daily blasted by the so called ‘neutral-balanced-fair’ BBC television and national press with images and reports about the leeches on society called ‘politicians’ far outweighing their effectiveness, well their positive, good quality effect anyway. I see less reports about artists, writers and other creatives in fact there are relatively few and we usually have to wait up late to see them and they are more often than not presented by one or two people who went to Oxbridge. I don’t wish to be inundated with what one Tory Tosser says about how the country’s problems are all the fault of the other parties and vice versa. I want those who guide the country’s footsteps to be focussed on doing a good job rather than driving ideologies and party one-upships. I swore when Thatcher was in power that if she got back in I’d leave the country, I never did, but why should I it’s my country, at least since my grandparents immigrated from Ireland and their ancestors came over with the other Celts from Europe and their ancestors came from India and before that Africa. We are all immigrants be blowed. As you can see I am holding my tongue about my opinion of politicians.

Then there’s the dirismic dirge of the so called class system in Britain, which still rages on epitomised by the Conservative Party which was propelled to power after the Blair & Brown incompetence allowed Conservatives to bring right wing ideology to the fore again. I fear for GB. It appears that all that was fought for and seemingly achieved between 1900 – 1976 with sacrifice in two ‘world’ wars, general strikes, the 60’s and pre-Thatcher 70’s has been obliterated by ‘Thatcherism which continues in Cameron’s and his public schoolboy lot. There’s been record numbers of people evicted since the Conservatives took over. The rich get rich and the poor be damned.

I prefer not to participate but you get drawn in, last night I watched an incredibly informed programme about the emancipation of women. It really brought to light the stranglehold held by ‘men’ (predominantly led by upper class twits from the public school and university system who became ‘leaders’ of government (govern-meant?), armed forces, church, industry etc including the exploitation of women (including sexual servility) and children (mines & mills) and of ‘Empire aka Common-wealth’. The upper class twit which fought hard to prevent the workers and women being part of the process of decision making has returned with a vengeance. Top down model prevails. What to do? What can I do? Little really in direct terms, little else but survive. Churn my own cabbage patch, create my art output. With all I have striven for my output has its own voice. I carry the torch lit by my parents Jack & Jennie Kennedy born 1918, participants in the second world conflict. And the likes of Roy & Don Fraser and Gordon Horlock, Ted Walker who were also there, fighting for GB’s survival and sadly for the Empire too, which collapsed after 1945.they all thought they fought for a fairer society and most died without seeing the advent of Cameron’s boys altho they did witness Thatcher whose policies these tarts follow.

Trouble is there’s no real chance of one of the smaller parties like the Greens getting enough votes to topple the power structure, so a vote for green is almost a lost vote. IF I am wrong please let me know. I am only 64 and just over a half and I still have little idea or interest in Westminster. I love what I have seen of the SNP leader Sturgeon. She seems human, sharp, informed and heading for an important place at Westminster, but altho am a Scot I cannot vote for her/party. Milliband doesn’t seem to have captured the popular vote and I can hardly think of another Labour politician of any whumpf. LibDems burnt their boats on all sides and are heading for political wilderness.

I am tempted not to vote but that’s apathetic and shows no respect for those who battled for the right of voters etc.

It is apparent to me that GB is a divided country in several ways. Scotland would like to be free of and outside the control of Westminster. The rich like to run away to tax havens with their financial gains. The poor can’t afford to even buy a first house nor meet the rent. I grew up thinking that things were getting better, a more even society and that ‘dream’ was blasted away by Thatcher’s lot who began the interference with state education which continues with a vengeance today and has spread into many institutions even hospices. I fear for the Health Services and social services and state benefits. The three leaders of the three main parties are all public school products. The characters have disappeared from politics.

The best I can do is to carry on doing my art & writing for my own satisfaction despite the dysfunctional political state of this country.

I hope whoever wins the election will run the country fairly and help make life betterer. I hope they make the life of our galleries and theatres easier to run with more support. I hope they ensure fair wages for all and an end to excessive zero hours jobs. I hope they can create a more inclusive system of governing which brings in the qualities of other even opposing parties. I hope this country can gradually become a better place, a meritocracy rather than a jobs for the ones privileged to get privileged access to ‘education’. The idea that students have to run up massive debts to get an education is wrong, a country MUST HAVE a highly educated and informed population and education is a lifelong mission. When I was growing up in the 50’s moving slowly from the strictures of post world war 2 rationing of food and money we were led to believe if we worked really hard and ‘got qualifications’ we would do well and help this country to grow better. I am not sure if it happened in my working life, or if it will in my childers’ lifetimes. Bob Dylan said in the 60’s John Kennedy told him what you need to make the country grow- Anita Eckberg, Sophia Loren…country’ll grow.

I am not using any art works in this blArt cos that’ll show what the world is without art, a lot duller.

My old mate Chris sent me this after reading the above blArt:

“Well said Pete. I’ll be voting Labour and door bashing on election day to remind people like me to vote Labour. But the real politics is said through art. I understand now, at my advanced age (the owl of Minerva flies only at dusk), that art is everything and it says everything so succinctly which is why the Tories always give art such a bad time. Keep blarting and arting, Pete because you and it are a force for good.”

Thanks Chris, altho I still don’t know where to place my vote. In the area where I live the sky is rather blue. So, if there is a Labour candidate I’ve not heard much from them. Have had a couple of pamphlets thru me door from other groups. AND one from a Conservative politician in another area because she seems to have so much money behind her she has even put up wooded boards with her mane in white against a blue background. Somebody knocked one down but it was re-erected within hours.