Poet Introduction I compare poetry to painting, believing that I lack any drawing/painting skills but believing my imagination and training in writing has enabled me to transfer my love of visual art to the written word
Can't stand the dark and the damp and the dust. Claustrophobia; the imagination offering countless possibilities. The ceiling caving in, burying me. If the floor gave way as well, I would fall into blackness, panting and suffocating, knowing that I'd never escape. Certain death.
Buried alive. Like in the famous Rachmaninoff Prelude. Pounding chords as the man attempts to fight his way out of a grave.
All nights are bad, though some worse than others. I can’t sleep. The seconds and minutes pass in silence. I long for winter. For the damp and cold and rain and wind. Snow and sleet and frost. The summer heat is suffocating, reminding me of that other summer twenty years ago.
Tonight, I see them; not only Dawn, but her sister as well, both fair skinned like their mother, hair the colour of hay. The girls hurry along the lane above the coast, sandals scraping on tarmac in the July heat. Ahead of them lies the sea, the tide out, water...
Alone in a house a man lay bound in ropes, hidden by the night. Not even the moon shone into the cellar, for the small window was boarded up. The man never saw the sun or the stars. He heard no voices, no laughter.
In the cellar a light bulb hung from the ceiling. I stood over the man, observing him gurgle, watching the blood dribble from his nose and stain his gag. The man's name was Damien.
They think I don't see, but I do. I see everything. I see them snivelling and running. I see them laughing. They are laughing at me, their voices piercing and hideous. I...
At around this time I learnt Beethoven's piano sonata, The Pathetique.
The dramatic opening reminded me of the opening in my novel Secrets. The protagonist making his way up Whaley Hill in Lancashire in the November chill and fog in search of the man he'd helped put behind bars sixteen years earlier. The angry, almost violent, chords that answer the pathos of the melody in the Pathetique. The build up of rain, the promise of a storm on Whaley Hill. The continuing intensity of emotion in the Pathetique as lyrical despair alternates with irate harmonies and...
'I won't get sick. It's her persecuting me. Her. And you.'
Shush, he's wearing a dark gown. He has a kitchen knife in his hands. He wants to kill you.
He laughed, unable to stop. She believed him. Believed they were going to Spain in two week's time. Believed they were going to live in a villa belonging to his late aunt. Silly. Gullible. The aunt had never existed.
'Don't do that,' Cassie said. 'You're frightening me.'
He sits on a bench close to a line of cottages halfway up the winding hill staring out to sea waves churning as the sun sets splashing against rocks soaking the sand a lull that reminds him of nursery rhymes and happier times
tomorrow’s a new day, he thinks and wipes away a tear
The hiker crosses a field treading along the grass grass as parched as hay sunlight pouring down his face stinging his eyes
Could life have been perfect just six weeks ago? hope blossoming along with the spring? evenings full of promise as they’d sat at the picnic table in their garden eating Mediterranean salad and drinking wine?
The hiker reaches the foot of a stile and nearly stumbles the afternoon sun scorching and unforgiving accusing him - along with his silent self
However, as the summer of 2012 slipped into autumn, I faced two new problems: a chronic mouth infection caused by the mouth reacting to the absence of cigarettes, and strong, almost uncontrollable, urges to buy a pack of cigarettes, smoke all the cigarettes in a day, and then quit again in the morning.
The dentist dealt with the first problem by prescribing an antibacterial mouthwash. But only I could deal with the second. Thankfully, I didn’t gave in to temptation, no matter how powerful.
Fylde, Lancashire; tree paved streets resembling a London suburb, but situated by the Irish Sea, not the Thames.
Fylde, Lancashire: a place of memories
Friday 17 August 2012
I arrive after a long train journey that includes a wait at Preston. I think the Government have banned smoking in public places, but I definitely detected cigarette smoke while I waited for my connecting train and I moved away from the source of the smell, keen to avoid triggers.
I step off the train, into a tiny station that has only one rail track. Out in the...
I feel sick and restless in the evening. Unable to sleep. I live alone in a Studio in North London. There is no partner or wife, no “other half”, although that will change one day, hopefully.
I switch on the radio and inhale furiously on the Nicorette Inhalator, desperate for relief from the cravings. I sleep with the light on and listen to pop music from childhood, caught in a mixture of past, present and future.
Yeah, life’s complex. Life rarely works out as one expects. After I graduated from Dartington College of Arts, I stayed...
I head to the pharmacy to collect the prescriptions for Nicorette. Past experiences with Nicorette didn’t help, but now the Inhalator keeps most of the cravings at bay and the taste seems to have improved since I last used it.
I go to bed about one am, more than twenty-four hours after my last cigarette. When I wake in the morning, I notice a difference: my Morning Cough has gone.