Saturday, 31 July 2010

Are you radioactive, pal?

A couple of years ago I managed to get my hands on a copy of a recording of John Berryman and Robert Lowell reading together. To this day it is one of the most listened to things on my iPod. Berryman really knew how to read his poetry out loud. He knew that your audience needs it nice and slow. And honest. Not a whiff of that god-awful 'poetry voice' you hear so many others doing... JB's the real deal.

If only there were more footage of him. Still, we have to be grateful for the ready availability of this interview with Al Alvarez, and this superb reading of one of the Dream Songs.

Most disturbing and beautiful of all, however, is this superb hour-long interview with a semi-coherant Berryman:

There is also this series of audio recordings:

EDIT... 31st July 17:07

Any creative writing students, or indeed anyone interested in Lowell and/or Berryman will find this interview with Philip Levine fascinating... he discusses the two poets' style of teaching creative writing. I get the impression he preferred Berryman.

Bands to Listen to this Summer vol. 1 - Old Crow Medicine Show

There's nothing cool about Country and Western music. At least not here, in the city, where we're all too busy with our no-good, tam-sarn, dagnammit, fancy pants city life-styles with our iSpaces and FacePhones and la-di-da X-Pods.

But Old Crow Medicine Show are, without a doubt, effing cool. They are the sexy side of the Nashville bluegrass scene and hot-doggity-damn can they write a harmony. Sadly, their best album, O.C.M.S., is no longer available on Spotify, so you are just going to have to find another way of getting their best song, Wagon Wheel.

If you enjoy these guys, which you'd have to be some kinda varmint not to, then I recommend the london-based Penny Black Remedy for a punt.

Friday, 30 July 2010


A new Hemingway's baby shoes?

Many thanks to the frontwindow of Classic Printers (28 Clemens St., Leamington Spa) for this.

Found: Marriage certificate (left on copier).

Butterflies | Chapbook | Vol XXII, 'Cartesian Product' by Teresa Chuc Dowell

Vol XXII,  'Cartesian Product' by Teresa Chuc Dowell

Truth at its most tender and shocking. Teresa Chuc Dowell's 'Cartesian Product' tells the story of meetings, crossovers and collisions - interactions between generations, cultures and souls.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Things That Benedict Cumberbatch’s Face Looks Like – part one

To celebrate the BBC’s surprisingly excellent Sherlock, Silkworms Ink today launches a new sort-of-regular-feature, Things That Benedict Cumberbatch’s Face Looks Like. To attempt to make sense of the new Holmes’ paradigm-redefiningly unconventional visage. A pressing concern for us all, I'm sure you'll agree. Without much further ado then…

Part one: A beeswax candle



Butterflies | Music | Crazy Town's Butterfly: A Critical Re-reading

So points out Bart Simpson in one his more inspired moments. ‘I didn’t burn down the school: it was the butterfly I tell you, the butterfly.’ ‘He’s crazy boys, get the tazer.’ And so on. And a rather similar reception awaits, I suspect, the Seymour Skinner who attempts to reinterpret the significance of early-noughties rapcore-rapscallions Crazy Town’s greatest hit (singular – there was only one), Butterfly.

You think Kid A is the most significant, important, influential musical work of the last ten years? Radiohead and Wilco and Panda Bear? You’re wrong: it was the butterfly I tell you, the butterfly!

But such a sentiment is righter than you think (an ugly sentence). Alas, most jaded tumblr-generation folk (what the fuck is tumblr anyway?) now regard Crazy Town’s Butterfly in terms perfectly encapsulated by that recent Intel advert with the two men and the computers and the quite funny bit where the fat man goes kinda ‘eeeeeeeeeee – what?’ As, in short, a time-capsule fragment with a connotative charge that can be summarised via one word – datedness – to the extent that its musical components are forgotten. Just as, for example, the shiny comfortableness of a pair of Adidas Poppers, or the rage catalysed by a twisted yoyo string are forgot in a shimmer of unspecific nostalgia.

Just look at Phil Brown’s (Poetry Editor, not ex-Hull Manager. I assume) ‘comment’ on James’ introduction this week. He posted the lyrics to Crazy Town’s Butterfly. No context. No link. The final line ‘Come dance with me’ repeated, laughingly, the number of times it’s repeated in the song – alongside a snide attempt to undermine Shifty’s flow with made-up letter-combinations, ‘uhhhhhh ha uhhhhhh ha.’

As though to say hahahahah, remember this silly song about Butterflies, lolololololol, them were the dayz, when you could get away with shit like this, hahahahaha oh Nu Metal, how did people fall for you – now where’re my Limp Bizkit records?

Prick. Crazy Town’s Butterfly is, like Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, one of the great historically under-appreciated conceptual masterpieces. And (as Shifty himself would probably say) here the fuck’s why…

Crazy Town (or at least Crazy Town’s Yorke-Greenwood core, Epic and Shifty Shellshock) formed in 1995. The Gift of the Game wasn’t released until 1999 – during which time, an unbelievable array of pseudonyms were assembled: Rust Epique, JBJ, Faydoedeelay, DJ AM, and Trouble Valli. Connecting via a lust for borderline-ironic rapping and riffs that sounded like samples before they’d even been sampled, they inevitably hung out listening to late-80s Chillis albums – and one special October night, they managed to stick out Mother’s Milk long enough for Pretty Little Ditty to come on (the first group of humans ever to do so – back in the 90s, men knew how to listen):

Oh my God bro, that cut where the riff just changes completely, you know like seemingly completely arbitrarily – that’s the moment, bro, holy shit, that’s the moment…

The moment?

Yeah, dude, the moment – where the Chilli Peppers changed bro, where they realised that melody was where they had to go next, y’know, when they realised that they’d done everything they could with the punkfunk y’all, and John was going through all that shit, y’know…

Heroin shit?

Yeah bro – hence, y’know, Blood Sugar Sex Magik y’all. That’s one of those moments bro – we gotta take it for ourselves man, we got to hold onto it for our very own paradigm shift aight. Although fuck Flea’s trumpet guy, we don’t need that shit.

By paradigm shift – you mean popularising Nu Metal right bro? Insofar as we’re going to put out our record a whole goddam year before Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavored Water and Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and the Papa Roach record? You mean to all intents and purposes inventing the contemporary manifestation of what will become one of the most successful guitar-music genres in the history of music, bringing joy to more 11- and 12-year-olds than fuck’n Santa dude?

Exactly brah. And we’re going to do it via the exact point where the Chillis changed dude – we’re musical historians man, we’re going to sample that shit and create a fragment of music history guy. We’re goddam populist intellectuals – mapping music via other music, this is going to be the most self-conscious Nu Metal track of all time bro. This is The New Nu Metal.

You’re so right guy. Now whatsay we go fuck the shit out of some bitches?

They even supported the Chilli Peppers on a 1999/2000 tour – a final statement of music-literate intent. But the people did not listen. The Gift of the Game failed to chart. Shifty threw a chair through a window and got arrested, he was so pissed (TORTURED GENIUS TORTURED GENIUS TORTURED GENIUS). And then Butterfly got released. And then the people listened. And the reading below is what they should have heard, but didn’t hear. (Instead, Crazy Town spent Ozzfest 2001 being mocked as the one-hit-wonder ‘Butterfly Boys’ – as though that were some kind of bad thing…)
Such a sexy, sexy pretty little thing:
fierce nipple pierce you got me sprung with your tongue ring 
Astonishingly sophisticated compression in the second line, delightful internal rhymes. The genuineness – struggling for description – of the first line is, when you consider the macho rapcore stereotype, bloody brave. And then there’s the internal joke of these two lines coming in such quick succession – two lines which couldn’t possibly describe the same person. I mean, pretty and a tongue ring?! I ask you. This is an acknowledgement of what critics initially accused Nu Metal of doing – i.e. juxtaposing the two most brain-dead components of contemporary music as though there mutual braindeadness would create something beautiful. Crazy Town proved that it both could and couldn’t; that’s why they’re so important.

and I ain't gonna lie, cause your loving gets me high
so to keep you by my side – there's nothing that I won't try.
Butterflies in her eyes and looks to kill,
time is passing I'm asking could this be real
cause I can't sleep, I can't hold still;
the only thing I really know is she got sex appeal.
The macho bathos of this last line is obviously ironic. It is an inversion of accusations about Nu Metal’s one-dimensionality – both an acknowledgement and a rebuke.

I can feel. Too much is never enough,
you're always there to lift me up
when these times get rough. I was lost now I'm found,
ever since you've been around
you're the women that I want
so yo, I'm putting it down. 
The use of Anglican cliché about being ‘lost’ and ‘found’ etc. is a clever acceptance of the way songs about love fall back on stock phrases whether they are aware of it or not. It is this deliberate falling-back which gives the track the momentum to drive it into the kind of insanely brilliant phrasemaking I’ll highlight below:

Come my lady etc.

I don't deserve you unless it's some kind of hidden message
to show me life is precious.
Rhyme ‘message’ with ‘precious’? But that couldn’t possibly work, could it…

Then I guess it's true;
but to tell truth, I really never knew
till I met you... See I was lost and confused,
twisted and used up,
knew a better life existed but thought that I missed it.

My lifestyle's wild, I was living like a wild child:
trapped on a short leash paroled the police files.
‘Paroled the police files’ is just so clever – playing on patrolled/paroled wordplay amongst other things.

So yo, what' s happening now?
I see the sun breaking down into dark clouds;
and a vision of you standing out in a crowd.

Come come my lady etc.

Hey sugar momma, come and dance with me,
the smartest thing you ever did was take a chance with me:
whatever tickles your fancy,
girl me and you like Sid and Nancy.
This is mad-brilliant: it takes the boy-meets-girl narrative of the song and frames it in a musical-historical context – i.e. the relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen – that is all about the passing of musical eras and genres. Vicious’ death in 1979 is oftentimes seen – inevitably, it coming at the end of a decade – as a key moment of musical transition. As discussed above, Crazy Town are one of modern music-history’s great transition bands. And so as the song cascades to its end one realises that, truly, it is lyrically about music as well as love – just as its use of sampled RHCP is about the intoxicating combination.

So sexy almost evil, talkin' about butterflies in my head;
I used to think that happy endings were only in the books I read but
you made me feel alive when I was almost dead.

You filled that empty space with the love I used to chase
and as far as I can see it don't get better than this.
So butterfly, here is a song, and it's sealed with a kiss.
And a thank you miss.

Come come my lady etc.

You want to understand roughly 20 years of US musical and poetic history bro? You could do a lot goddam worse than suspect the Butterfly.

*To access a Spotify essay-soundtrack-playlist to accompany the above, click here*

Sam Kinchin-Smith
Music Editor

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Butterflies | Fiction | Two Riders Were Approaching...

“I have given bread to the hungry man, and water to the thirsty man, and apparel to the naked man, and a boat to the shipwrecked mariner.”
The deceased gives good account of himself to the divine court, The Coffin Texts, 2150-1750 BC

“Charity’s a Christian virtue, y’know.”
Bill O’Reilly

I am in love. The moment I read the Ancient Egyptian funereal writings ‘The Coffin Texts’, I fell instantly in love with them.

Honestly – what a religion. My vague memories of being scared by the jackal-headed, monstrous figures in my Horrible Histories books have vanished entirely. The afterlife is presented as the kind of transcendental journey of the self that ought to fascinate anyone even vaguely interested in Hermeticism or in certain of Jung's theories.  And there’s an overwhelming sense of decency to the entire set-up. Evil men are not tormented for all eternity; they’re simply eaten, one time only, by a monster, and are annihilated as a result. Their punishment is not to have an afterlife (all right, so this part's debatable, but I'm taking the optimistic view). The deceased actually gets to defend his own nature before the gods, instead of being told what sort of a man he is; and, if he ascends into the Elysian Fields, rather than making him sing them hosannas to them for all of eternity, the gods will charitably dine with him, and converse with him as an equal. There is much mention of “cakes and ale.”

I’ll say it again – what a religion.

But for our purposes, there’s something that fascinates me still more. It seems the world was not created, in much of Egyptian mythology, by the Christ-like Osiris, or Ra, the sun-god (who does become annoyingly close to all-powerful in the later, and more famous Book of the Dead). It was Thoth, the ibis-headed writer-god, who scribbled down the spell that formed reality. And, furthermore, the Coffin Texts and its forebear, the Pyramid Texts, strongly imply that it is Thoth who causes every event in the gods’ lives to occur, by writing them down; it praises, him, for instance, for bringing about Osiris’ resurrection, rather than praising Osiris himself.

Thoth.  Ultimate Badass?

Now, I like Thoth. He’s also revered as the inventor of all arts and sciences, which suggests he probably wouldn’t get pissed at mankind for discovering fire or a system of morality. He’s my new favourite author, in fact. But this same preoccupation with the immense power of the word – and the fact that this power is in human hands - runs deep through all of the texts. All of the books themselves, most obviously, are spells of a sort; actings-out of the deceased’s journey through the afterlife. At one point, to enter the divine mansions, he must first recall the names of the very hinges of the entrance door – and the planks of wood over the floor refuse to let him pass until he’s given them the names of his feet, which are going to be passing over them.

This same concept of being able to defeat something, or gain its support, by knowing its True Name, has passed through a great deal of our literature since then, most notably becoming extremely popular in modern fantasy. But it has made me ponder something that’s probably a truism; did the Ancient Egyptians revere the power of words more, since their words were pictographic in their written form, and therefore already endowed with symbolic meaning, from the very beginning?
And this brings me on, of course, to the Rorschach butterfly.

We all know it. You could even argue it’s one of the most popular symbols of our time that isn’t associated with a brand; i.e., a symbol that’s endowed with its own meaning, and not meant to imprint a particular product or person in our minds. And, to grossly over-simplify, the idea of it is that the psychiatrist holds up the above picture (the first in a sequence of ten, that grows more complex), asks the subject what they see, and explain their interpretation. And so both the answer and the method of getting there may give clues about the subject’s state of mind.

Now, these images are very much in the public domain. And it’s been argued (quite reasonably) that only testers should have ever been allowed to see them, since subjects are now “primed”; we see a butterfly, or a bat, or a moth, because we’ve seen that symbol before, and we know that’s what it’s supposed to mean, and we want very much to get the ‘right’ answer. Perhaps students of the psyche should have taken a lesson from the Hermeticists or the authors of the Book of the Dead, who argued, “This book is indeed a very great mystery; and thou shalt never allow ignorant folk, or any person whatsoever to see it.” Elitist, perhaps, and that makes our post-modern blood boil, but if everyone knows the meaning of the magic word, it ceases to have value.

It’s the curse of the symbol, more potent than any Egyptian magic; how do we distil cultural baggage from the word, strip it of its existing symbolic meaning so that we can add our own? I’m fond of a technique that’s half-nicked from sources like the ancient tradition (very popular in Egypt, incidentally), of dismembering the corpse so that it can be put back together in the afterlife, of removing the earthly organs so that divine organs can be administered, and half-stolen from Sideshow Bob’s classic ‘rake’ joke. Repeat the word until it loses all meaning. Then repeat it some more, on your own terms, until it’s endowed with a new meaning, that belongs only to you. “I am Yesterday, and Today; and I have the power to be born a second time.”
Try it. It’s quite a spell.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Butterflies | Poetry | Pareidolia

“The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity”
             George Carlin

Butterflies are poets. We stop to admire them. They are frivolous. They take control of our imagination. We feel a desire to pin them down into groups. They are part of nature.

More importantly though, they protect themselves with impressive lies.

I am talking about automimicry. Those owl-eye things that appear on their wings. They ward off potential attacks by trying to appear far more weighty and threatening than they really are.

It all boils down to the idea of pareidolia – the mind’s compulsion to make sense and find patterns in meaningless, random stimulus – like cloud-watching. Did you know that your brain is wired to recognise human faces with minimal stimulus? Picture two eggs, a black pudding and a sausage in your mind. Do they look like a bemused face? It’s pareidolia.

Let’s get back onto butterflies trying to make themselves look like owls though. Poets are always doing this. The degree-educated brains knows what a poem is supposed to look like… moreover it knows what a good poem is supposed to look like. So it is that we are at the mercy of certain nifty typographic tricks that con you, the unsuspecting reader, into thinking that you are reading a poem rather than thrown together old pap.

Allow me to elaborate on the tricks of the poetaster trade before giving you an example which shall con you, through paredolia, into thinking that you are reading a poem.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a list of things that only bad poets do; it is a list of things that people do when they are trying to disguise themselves as poets.

1. Epigraphs
We’ve all seen them, lurking around under the title. They come from Dostoevsky  or Shakespeare or a quaintly out-dated periodical which has long since been proved wrong. They create the illusion that the poet has read more than they have. They add a gravitas that would be otherwise lacking in the writing itself. They are not the sign of an intellectual but the trappings of a poseur.

2. Line-Breaks
These are a firm favourite amongst those who got into poetry because they don’t have the effort to fill up 50 pages of writing the old fashioned way. Bukowski loved this… three words per line for 32 pages. I’m all for the idea of the blank page around a poem being literary ‘silence’, but if I buy a book to discover that it comprises of 80% silence I want my money back.

3. The After Party
Out of ideas about how to pretend to be a poet? Take a famous poet’s name… let’s say Dylan Thomas. Put the words ‘After Dylan Thomas’ underneath your title and hey presto… you have our attention.

4. Wardour Street
For more information about ‘wardour street’ in poetry, see James Fenton’s book ‘The Strength of Poetry’ – he puts it much better than I do. Basically, it’s the idea of using antiquated language in the belief that it will put you on par with Thomas Wyatt. Needless to say it doesn’t.

5. Write a Sestina
We’ve got creative writing courses to blame for this. Just… stop writing them. Please. We’ll try again as a society in 80 years, but until the official revival lets just leave this form alone.

6. The Average Amount of Weirdness
This often comes in an out of place mention of pubic hair or sex or a swear-word or just a plain old ‘where the fudge did that come from?’ image. Actually, it often contains all of these. It’s not idiosyncrasy, it’s vacuous.

If all this is somewhat un-clear to you, here is a poem I have composed using all of the above rules (apart from no.5… no sestinas until 2090, got it?)

Play Jury
after Ovid

“If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be punishment as well as prison.”
-          Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky

There was
she, waiting for
that which can only
be describethed

as thine only
assailable bounty
sans scruple nightward
up-curves opening

onto a thinly thorned
pile of yesterday’s
souvenirs – a fistful
of fucking pubes.

Phil Brown
Poetry Editor

Postcards from Italy - The Fifth

Monday, 26 July 2010

Butterflies | Introduction | Like an ISA or that porno version of Facebook

Week 10 | Butterflies | Contents

Tuesday | Poetry | Pareidolia
Wednesday | Fiction | Two Riders Were Approaching

Aurora Borealis - PubDom

Over the next two weeks Silkworms Ink is going to be thinking about Butterflies & Bees. The idea is to establish a wee polarity between the two and see what happens. Unscrupulously, it is a nod-plug and a wink to Polarity Magazine. Issue 1 out now; concepted and edited by the super-smart George Ttoouli and designed by yours truly, generally a good thing. I suggest you immediately buy a copy.

Anyway, Butterflies.

Scientifically speaking, Goethe’s Theory of Colours is not a theory at all. According to Wittengenstein is nothing more than “a vague schematic outline” with no ‘experimentum crucis’. Although Goethe admits in the introduction that he has not provided a true explanation of the essential nature of colour but instead a postulation on it as phenomena – how it is as apposed to what it is. Peter Hughes sums it up nicely by stating that for Goethe, "the highest is to understand that all fact is really theory. The blue of the sky reveals to us the basic law of color. Search nothing beyond the phenomena, they themselves are the theory."

It is easy to see why Newton’s ideas have held firmer ground in the scientific community. However, Goethe’s studies and thinking did find footing in art. Kandinsky was particularly influenced by Goethe’s ideas and in 1840 when the text was translated into English by Charles Eastlake, it was widely adopted by the art world, Pre-Raphaelites and J. M. W. Turner etc.

Anyway, Butterflies.

Colour is something that is pretty fixed. Red is red. Right? Well, no, we can never be sure as what evidence and definition stands for the real-world quality of redness independent of our perception. To even attempt to answer the impossible we would need to step back from specific colours to look at light itself. Newton says light is white and heterogeneous – splitting into its component parts at prism. Goethe says light is white, pure, homogenous – splitting into colour through the turgidity of the prism. In short, Newton understood colour to be parts of white light, whereas, Goethe saw colour as arising from the interaction of light as dark.

According to Goethe, "Newton's error... was trusting math over the sensations of his eye."

Newton narrowed the beam of light in order to see what he was looking for – Goethe widened the aperture, he didn’t see the colours nearly ordered, instead was only confronted with colour at the edges – marginalised like taboo and other great ideas.

Anyway butterflies,

Actually butterflies, quite incredible sentients. Widely recognised as things of fancy – a creature of costume jewellery. To an extent this is true, the butterfly does have a certain bravado – but it does have more to offer on closer inspection (as with all small things….apart from the apostrophe…agreed, but what about the plural possessive you say…how about replacing the ‘s with a z?) the butterfly you see is an incredibly acute animal in terms of evolution; the Batesian and Müllerian may spring lethargically to mind.

A major factor in the mating habit of the butterfly is the colour of its wings.

It is important to remember here that the butterfly (an umbrella term for the plethora of species) is under threat. The key statistic in the decline of British butterflies is the astonishing 97 per cent loss of mature grass meadows since the 1930’s. Mature meadow is virtually irreplaceable. The natural environment of the butterfly has been unwarmly eroded on a global scale.

As aforementioned the butterfly is very much on its toes, and this is the most remarkable thing about the butterfly – through those evolutions and mimicry there has arisen instances of two separate species mating to form an entirely new species.

Modern art before humans conceived it, the wings of a butterfly under a microscope show their scales and are paint strokes of the universe.

Colour for the butterfly is that of Goethe, not Newton – a phenomena of the eye.

Please join in on the Big Butterfly Count - July 24th-August 1st.

James Harringman

Postcards from Italy - the fourth

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sex | Mixtape | Mixtape VIII, Nick The Stripper

Music As Reading: Mixtape VIII, Nick The Stripper As Reader

Karl Marx squeezed his carbuncles while writing Das Kapital;
And Gaugin, he buggered off, man, and went all tropical;
While Philip Larkin stuck it out in a library in Hull;
And Dylan Thomas died drunk in St. Vincent's hospital.

After the rather dense tardiness of last week, what follows is a more sprightly, on-time(ish) and probably under-intellectualised reflection upon the greatest of all the Music As Readers, already touched upon variously in previous mixtapes: Nicholas Edward Cave. The game is this: peruse the tracks, note their relationship with a (or indeed several) authors/texts, and come out on one side of the following fence… Is Nick Cave the most intelligent reader in (with) music songwriting today, utilising, manipulating, critiquing, juxtaposing literary allusions into a unique multi-disciplinary musical texture? Or is he an intellectual mountebank, piggybacking his way – via a labyrinth of arbitrary quotations – into a place a lot like that Peter Doherty was looking for when he was all like, ‘Well wouldn’t it be nice to be Dorian Gray, just for a day.’ Clever Peter. Real GCSE-incisive.
Oh, and what happens to that question now that the man’s actually learnt how to write with words (The Proposition and Bunny Munro: wonderful! And the Ass Saw the Angel: not so much.)
In roughly canonical order – as in, the literary canon, not the Cave canon.
  1. Nick The Stripper – The Birthday Party (see mixtape title)
  2. Narcissist – The Libertines (Wilde, Dorian Gray)
  3. Hiding All Away – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Sappho – and, indeed, Auden)
  4. Brompton Oratory – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Luke the Evangelist)
  5. Wings Off Flies – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Shakespeare, King Lear)
  6. Song of Joy – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Milton)
  7.  There She Goes My Beautiful World – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (John Rochester – along with, amongst others, John the Apostle, Karl Marx, Nabokov, Dylan Thomas, Larkin und so weiter, as Blixa Bargeld would say)
  8. Babe I’m On Fire – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Walt Whitman – as well as Lorca)
  9. No Pussy Blues – Grinderman (Yeats and Eliot)
  10. Mack the Knife – Nick Cave (Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera)
  11. Loom of the Land – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Nabokov again)
  12. We Call Upon the Author – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (John Berryman – and Bukowski and Hemingway)
  13. 13. Jack’s Shadow – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (Jack Abbot)
  14. 14. The Road (from the original score) – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Cormac McCarthy, The Road)
  15. *Where the Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds feat. Kylie Minogue (Bunny Munro)
  16. *Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne (Bunny Munro)

*These last two are a bit of a cheat – basically, Cave’s latest novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, refers constantly to both the music, and the vaginas, of Kylie and Avril. So there is a connection – just a slightly more, um, complicated one.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Sex | Chapbook | Vol XXI, Zygote Tankas by Alana I. Capria



Vol XXI: Zygote Tankas

Alana I. Capria (23.7.10)

Tanka prose is as much poetry as it is prose. Tankas were compased in Japan nearly 1000 years before the haiku - tanka history aside - allow us to introduce as very surreal take on both the form and the bizarre story of the zygotes.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Wider Reading | Mixtape | Mixtape VII, Critical Listening

At last, last week's mixtape. Pologies for the delay.

Music As Reading: Mixtape VII, Critical Listening, after Edward Said’s Music at the Limits

His unusual understanding of the human spirit and of the human being was perhaps a consequence of his revelatory construct that parallels between ideas, topics and cultures can be of a paradoxical nature, not contradicting but enriching one another. This is one of the ideas that I believe made Said an extremely important figure. His journey through this world took place precisely at a time when the value of music in society began to decline.

Just as the obvious entry-point for a mixtape about the relationship between music and poetry was a poet – Don Paterson, for example – who has written poetry about music, so it makes sense to discuss music’s interaction with literary criticism through a lens of a theorist obsessed with music. Edward Said was certainly that – he became, after all, music critic for The Nation in 1986, and the articles he wrote betray an easy familiarity with a number of composers’ entire lives’ work, not to mention the nuances which define the various recordings and legendary performances of key individual pieces and represent the subtler textures of the 20th century’s make-ups and break-ups with classical music. But the subject, Said and Western Classical Music, isn’t as simple as a mere he wrote about it. He also often made sense of his day job, that is, the study of literature and sociology, though it (and vice versa) and seems to have depended on the energies and releases of music for the currents of thought which produced his best writing. Daniel Barenboim has argued, in the foreword to a new-ish collection of Said’s musical musings, Music at the Limits, that at a time when ‘music has become isolated from other areas of life; it is no longer considered a necessary aspect of intellectual development,’ Said ‘used his musical experience and knowledge as a base for his convictions about politics, morality, and intellectual thought.’ For Said, music wasn’t simply a potential focus for criticism: it was criticism, its senses and its soul.

(*Music at the Limits: three decades of essays and articles on music by Edward Said is published by Bloomsbury*)

Part one, LITERARY INTERSECTIONS …It came naturally to Said, for example, to quote Keats when analyzing a performance of Bach… (Daniel Barenboim)

…Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with its formidable economy of means, its understatement and calm, its almost total control of difficult material…The range of emotions offered in the cycle, as in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ late sonnets, is intense but not great… (‘Music and Feminism’)

Kindertotenlieder: Nun Will Die Sonn’ So Hell Aufgeh’n – Gustav Mahler
Kindertotenlieder: In Diesem Wetter – Gustav Mahler

Much of the great outburst of intellectual energy in recent literary criticism has focused on the difficulty, even the impossibility, of interpretation…Does the music mock the action? Is the music meant to accentuate the plot’s socially acceptable conventions, thus disguising Mozart’s subversiveness? Or is there some as yet undiscovered notion of counterpoint or accompaniment that yokes the two elements together so strangely? (‘The Barber of Seville, Don Giovanni’)

The Barber of Seville: Largo al Factotum – Gioachino Rossini
Don Giovanni: La ci darem la mano – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

…Most literature on opera doesn’t touch Handel, and when…books do, he is reduced to clichés that render him a boring imitation of Moliere… (‘Giulio Cesare’)

Giulio Cesare: Se Pietà – George Frideric Handel
Giulio Cesare: Da tempeste il legno infranto – George Frideric Handel

Towards the end of E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, as the spiritually exhausted Fielding is sailing home, he comes through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, “the human norm”…Something like that experience of Fielding’s (minus the offensive aspects) occurs in anyone who tries to grasp the significance of Beethoven’s life and music. (‘The Vienna Philharmonic’)

Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55 ‘Eroica’: I, Allegro Con Brio – Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: IV, Allegro - Presto – Ludwig van Beethoven

Part two, MUSIC AS THOUGHT-CATALYST …Classical Western music was part of our daily life. Edward listened to music when he worked and played the piano when he took a break or needed to relax… (Miriam Said)

…I believe that it was Glenn Gould’s death in 1982 that impelled Edward to write seriously about music. The realization that Glenn Gould’s early demise ended an eccentric pianist’s brilliant career compelled Edward to probe deeply into Gould’s life and musical achievements… (Miriam Said)

Intermezzo No.2 in A Major, Op. 118: Andante teneramente – Johannes Brahms
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056: II, Largo - Instrumental – Johann Sebastian Bach

This is why I believe we must try to penetrate the Israeli consciousness with everything at our disposal. Speaking or writing to Israeli audiences breaks their taboo against us…it is why Barenboim’s performance of Wagner, although genuinely painful for many who still suffer the real traumas of anti-semitic genocide, has the salutary effect of allowing mourning to move on another stage. (‘Barenboim and the Wagner Taboo’)

Gotterdammerung: Act 3 Funeral March – Richard Wagner
Tristan und Isolde: Act 3 “Mild und leise wie er lachelt” – Richard Wagner

…Adorno writes as Strauss’ contemporary, who saw in Strauss an aesthetic practice opposed to that of the second Viennese school whose cause Adorno served as social champion and philosopher. Nevertheless Strauss’ career rests, I think, on altogether more interesting grounds than Adorno allows, and these are revealed almost as often as one of his works is performed today… (‘Richard Strauss’)

Vier Letzte Lieder, Op. posth.: 4, Im Abendrot (Eichendorff) – Richard Strauss
Der Rosenkavalier: Act III, Hab’ mir’s gelobt – Richard Strauss

…Edward was exploring the idea of “late style”. He determined that what composers wrote towards the end of their lives was characterized by “intransigence, difficulty and unresolved contradictions,” thoughts that evolved into a book…The last essay in this collection, a review of Maynard Solomon’s book on late Beethoven, was published…two weeks before his death. It is ironically titled ‘Untimely Meditations’… (Miriam Said)

33 variations in C Major on a waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, “Diabelli Variations”: Variation XIV, Grave e Maestoso – Ludwig van Beethoven
33 variations in C Major on a waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, “Diabelli Variations”: Variation XXIV, Fughetta: Andante – Ludwig van Beethoven
33 variations in C Major on a waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, “Diabelli Variations”: Variation XXVI, Piacevole – Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Op. 96: Alegro moderato – Ludwig van Beethoven

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sex | Music | Elephant makes love to Janine off-of EastEnders

I have a memory that I literally can’t account for, beyond the reasonable assumption that, knowing this took place when I was eleven or twelve years old, even the most innocuous sniff of something sexy on the telly was always going to lodge itself in the long-game of my recollection. (Even if that sniff of something sexy involved Janine from ’Enders’ awful pale-piggy-moonface and Mike ‘everybody’s favourite homophobic racist’ Reid. In hindsight, brrrrrrrrrr.)

The scene is the soon-to-be (maybe already?) no more Queen Vic. Fraaaaaaank’s behind the bar, at the peak of his powers (‘Only a kiss!? You nearly swallowed ’im ’ole’). Terrible, awful Janine drags Jamie (remember, the boy what looked like a girl – like Hannah from S Club 7 but in reverse) upstairs and into her sty. ‘I told you, downstairs was just a taster.’ ‘Look, Janine, what about your dad?’ ‘Look, chill out, he won’t disturb us. You want to dontcha?’ ‘Yeah…yeah…?’ ‘Have you done it before? It’s alright, I have, LOADS OF TIMES…’

Unbelievably, I’ve found the clip on YouTube – the above wasn’t all from memory, obvs. In fact, I could have only really sketched out the framing if it wasn’t for the apparently exhaustive ’Enders YouTube channel. No, this bizarre memory is all about one particular detail – the context less important than it is JUST FUCKING BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN.

Detail’s this – and on second thoughts, perhaps it’s also embedded in my memorybanks because, even at the age of twelve, I could recognise the magnificent crassness of the thing.

Janine: ‘I like doing it to music, don’t you?’
Jamie: ‘What?’
Background: it’s only Another GODDAM Level man, ‘Let’s get legitimate and concentrate on us / So when we’re intimate our love is based on trust / Love is so good when there is two / People involved just me and you / Cause the thought of you with someone else / Just makes me crazy, baby’ ALL TOGETHER NOW ‘I want you for myself, I don’t want nobody else. To try to intervene or come between you and me. Cause we got a good thing, yeah…’

Janine off-of ’Enders ‘likes doing it to music.’ Don’t we all? Not to put too fine a point on it – I mean, you’d have to be a fairly ridiculous person to actually copy the whole Janine thang and design a sexual encounter around an (admittedly achingly romantic) song. But most people have surely – be it for reasons of, I don’t know, noise sensitivity or merely the whims of an iTunes shuffle – done stuff with music on in the background and at some point during the stuff thought to him or herself, goodness, this is an excellent song, I really like this song and I also like what’s happening and the combination of the song and what’s happening is a good combination that I like and this is kind of great and afterwards, maybe a couple days later, remembered the combination and said to him or herself, Janine-like, I like doing it to music.

Some music.

Which begs the question, what songs are good songs for such good combinations? This question is, inevitably, an incredibly personal one – revealing too, I never looked at the girl who explained that her favourite such combination involved the demented fairground stomp of Nick Cave’s cover of ‘Sleeping Annaleah’ in the same way again (reader, I married her!). Too personal, revealing, idiosyncratic to catalyse a bloggable general rule, then – better, as ever, turn to South Park I suppose. (But not before acknowledging that I’ve personally had great results with Richard Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ and Peaches’ ‘Fuck the Pain Away.’)

Specifically an episode from, I guess, a similar era to Dogface’s seduction of Jamie, ‘Elephant Makes Love To A Pig’ – in which Chef, in headier days long before the whole Scientology debacle, explains the following (taken direct from the script, available here – for the song itself, turn to this week’s essay-soundtrack-playlist):

Ohh, children, you just can’t stick a drunk pig with a drunk elephant, and, and, expect them to do the mattress mambo. You need to set the mood. [moves over to a boombox with a mike attached] Let me show you boys what I'm talking about.

Tonight is a-right for love,
you know I -- want tuh touch you where the lights don’t go.
Tonight is a-right for love, love gravay.
Expressing love so sweet.
I want tuh -- keep you burnin’ like a dog in heat.
Tonight is a-right for love, love graaavaaay.

[The elephant and pig approach each other. Fluffy smiles at the elephant, then turns around in order to receive him]

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Elton John!

[Enter Elton John. Intermingled shots of Fluffy and elephant getting interested.]

Long and short of it, where sex is concerned, music can bloody achieve things. This being Music As Reading though, we can’t just leave it at an acceptance of that: we have to ask, can literature, reading do the same?

Jon Ware says no. The Bad Sex Awards say no. George Bataille says yes, but George Bataille is, essentially, on a level with Another Level where this subject is concerned –  ‘Guffaws emerged like foolish and involuntary hiccups but scarcely managed to interrupt a brutal onslaught on cunts and cocks’ one, lovely unexpected combinations nil. The case of a former Warwick University Students’ Union President (name no cough JOE KIRBY cough) who attempted, once upon a time, to introduce select passages of Shakespeare into his love-play says no.

So what are we left with? An elephant making love to a pig. Jamie Mitchell attempting to make love to a pig. For that reason and that reason alone, the following are the most erotic novels ever written. Trust.

Animal Farm – George Orwell
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
P. G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle stories
A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories
AND Babe: the Gallant Pig – Dick King Smith

(To access a Spotify essay-soundtrack-playlist to accompany the above, click here)

Sam Kinchin-Smith
Music Editor

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Sex | Fiction | Giant Words Vs. Mega Sex

In one of his brilliant 70s interviews with Groucho Marx, Roger Ebert encounters the eighty-one-year-old in a very sexual mood. Groucho admits, “I’m a prude”, but nevertheless spends most of the lunch sort-of boasting of his relationship with his secretary, Erin Fleming (who is also present), and sort-of denying it. One moment, he begrudges her the things she won’t let him do; the next, he tells Ebert that Fleming gets a “sexual kick” out of tasting his food – “the only kick she’s getting, by the way.” And Fleming, for her part, plays along with his game very kindly, correcting him only when he tries to claim that they share a house. Once they’re alone, she confides in Ebert that she has given him a sort of hope; when she met him, he was sick in hospital and unwilling to get up. “She loves me,” Groucho adds, “and I don’t blame her for it.”

But Groucho is fickle. The second half of the interview is spent mostly with him ignoring Fleming, in favour of flirtatious wordplay with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls actress Edy Williams – “It’s a Cuban cigar. It’s rather phallic. I hope it excites you.” – though Williams, for her part, seems to be more concerned with reeling off current-affairs questions in order to get incongruous Groucho answers. And, at the end of it all, Groucho confides in Ebert,

"Sex isn't that important, you know. It's a very transient thing. It's a fleeting pleasure, elusive and temporary. Sex is very overrated."

It’s interesting that critic David Thomson also picks up on sexual hang-ups within Groucho’s act itself; when the man is faced with a beautiful woman, he notes, “his sexual urge is throttled by literary cross-reference” – Groucho retreats, constantly, into his own jokes, piling distractive wordplay onto his original statement;

“I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thoughts, I’d rather dance with the cows till you come home.”

“Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.”

I bring all this up because Groucho was the 20th century’s consummate man of words and the possibility of words, and because, at the heart of things, words are the polar opposite of sex. Words are the unreal notion that affect us in reality; sex is the real act that develops significantly unreal tendrils. Words, which belong primarily to the mind, are snobbish about sex, which is mainly about the body; but, at the same time, they fear it – what if people find, in the heights of physical orgasm, a mental state so fine that words can no longer express it? I think that’s partly why the Bad Sex in Fiction Award misses the point; sex writing is almost always going to be awful, because it’s attempting to express the inexpressible. Like love, writing about sex requires you to take an immensely private state, something not intended to pass beyond two people (occasionally more), and interpret it for the benefit of a much larger audience. The best-case scenario is that you do a decent-enough job that people recognise their own experiences in yours. Worst-case, your rendering is so off the mark that it becomes laughable. Much of the most famous sex-writing is remembered and admired because it is or was taboo (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Justine or anything else by the Marquis de Sade), or because it’s exceptionally instructive ( the Kama Sutra). How much of it actually transforms? How much of it, through the power of words, actually replicates the same state of wordless, thoughtless ecstasy in the reader as we might expect in an orgasm, instead of, as most ‘erotica’ does, simply providing a springboard for their own imaginations?

I actually researched this, a little. Project Gutenberg has only nine novels in its ‘erotic fiction’ section – one of them is Ulysses, which disturbs me not a little. Can there be people out there who’ve been aroused by Molly Bloom’s grand finale? I’ll admit I’m no expert on the subject of erotica, though, so, to avoid gross generalisations in the manner of an older Roger Ebert, is there anyone out there who can suggest some erotic literature that might be objectively called ‘great’?

Postcards From Italy - the third

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sex | Introduction | Excerpt from 'The Snail'

Week 9 | Sex | Contents

Tuesday | Poetry | Porn for Blind People
Wednesday | Fiction | Giant Words vs. Mega Sex
Saturday | Mixtape | Nick The Stripper As Reader

“The love darting is preceded by courtship; a six hour dance – it involves a biting of lips in the area scientists refer to as ‘the genital pore’, this, and the touching of tentacles. The love dart is barbed and made of chitinous snail-cartilage. As the snails approach, hydraulic pressure builds up in the blood sinus surrounding the organ housing the dart. Final maneuvers take place, bodies touch, darts are fired.

As you can imagine accidents have occurred – occasionally the dart will pierce the head or body entirely, popping out on the other side.”

‘How All Things Make Love, Volume S’ by, Wayward Lemon available from Nowhere & Never Press

James Harringman

Postcards From Italy - the second

***This is fucking ridiculous. I sent this on the seventh or the eighth, it's now the nineteenth - I'm home. It was meant to tie in with the week before last's theme, Youth - to constitute the music entry for that week, see. There are three more of these to come - godonlyknows when they'll make it into James' grubby hands. In fact, tomorrow morning I'm going to send James the sixth and final Postcard From Italy from England - Leamington Spa, specifically - to see if it beats the others (an experiment!) which I posted variously last week. Fucking postcards. Fucking Italy. What a stupid idea. Sorry about the mixtape-delay, will be up by tonight hopefully. Sam***

Friday, 16 July 2010

Wider Reading | Chapbook | 'Seven Electro Emotions' by Eliza Stefanidi


Vol XX: Seven Electro Emotions

Eliza Stefanidi (16.7.10)


Love and rhyme, waking up next to Plato, an absence of punctuation amounting to seven electro emotions. Silkworms Ink is proud to introduce Eliza Stefanidi. 


Postcards From Italy - the first

Firstly, apologies for the lateness of this post. The Silkworms Ink team is currently spread thinly over the world. Sam is in Italy. I am in Glasgow. Phil is in London and Jon once again has found himself in a gaol somewhere south of Viang Chan. Fret not, your weekly chapbook will be up for your viewing pleasure later today, for now enjoy the - just about legible - first installment of Sam's Postcards from Italy, The Corridor (part one).

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Wider Reading | Fiction | The Unbearable Meaningfulness of Being Overweight (In Fiction)

I mentioned to one of my fellow editors over the weekend that London is a city full of intimidatingly beautiful people. Well, in the summer, it gets worse. All of the models who pass for female inhabitants start wearing astounding dress-things for walks in the park; all of the men slip into white T-shirts that are too small for them, solely for the purpose of oppressing me with the size of their biceps. In London, I feel so ugly I keep thinking a policeman’s going to come up to me and ask me if I have a licence for that face.

Joyce's Bloom.

It was always my plan, this week, to write about ‘wider reading’ by discussing the role of the overweight hero or heroine in fiction. (Phil Brown’s splendid Wikipedia piece has managed to make this interpretation of the theme seem not only flippant and tasteless, but also bland.) But there is, I think, something there. Beth Carswell’s written an interesting piece about how a character can never simply be overweight; there will always be significance in that, usually the implication that the character is greedy or idle. And I think there’s a lot of truth in that, even if it’s used sympathetically. Leopold Bloom’s stoutness, at least in part, represents that he is a man driven by his desires and his appetites, setting him up for his famous day in which he is consistently led astray. Many female readers identified with Bridget Jones’ eternal drive to get her life together, as exemplified by her attempts to lose weight. Even Rumpole of the Bailey’s girth spoke to his jolly sense of mischief and his Falstaffian ebullience. Carswell argues, too, that fat children in fiction are almost always divided into two specific groups; bullies, and victims of bullies, to be hated for their size, or to be pitied for it, which is a good point - the Piggies and the Dursleys, for example.

We discussed this for a while, and couldn’t really come up with any characters in fiction who are overweight without their weight being used in any way to typify them. In TV, however, and in film, there’s quite a few – Charlie Kane being the most famous of all. And that’s got to be partly because of the immense talent of actors like Orson Welles, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and James Gandolfini, to name a few, who have never been willing to play ‘the fat guy’ (as many lazy comedians do). So the visual arts do win out over prose there, I’m afraid, though it isn’t an absolute victory – could an overweight actress really get serious dramatic roles, or would she be more likely to end up in these sorts of films?

But there’s another reason, too, for this sort of thing. In the movies, a cigar can just be a cigar, because there are a great many people working on them, and some of those people are employed to fill in the little set details that don’t actually matter. Prose, the vast majority of the time, isn’t like that. There’s just one person, all by themselves, trying to create a world out of syllables – and, whether they know it/like it or not, every syllable is significant, because you’re using it to show your reader a little more (even if all you’re showing them is that you’re a bland, unimaginative douche). Every detail is a prop in the theatrical sense, not the cinematic – it’s there as a tool to give a sense of a world where there shouldn’t be a world at all.

So I’m issuing a challenge myself, though this is less a call to arms than a tentative cry of,

“Shall we just have a quiet night in, then?” Writers; come up with a story featuring a character with unusual physical qualities. They might be overweight, or have a hunchback, or be very short, or even be entirely disabled. But this characteristic must have no bearing on their personality or the themes of the story whatsoever. Neither may the story be an earnest and signposted attempt to show that obese/disabled/in-any-way-different people are just like ‘us’ ‘normal’ types; that, in my opinion, is cheating (not to mention patronising).

Or, if you prefer, I’ll even widen the field; the challenge is to write a story, a sentence, a word, that has no significance, no meaning to it, no intent behind it, whatsoever. Harder than you think, I think.

Jon Ware
Fiction Editor

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Wider Reading | Poetry | Wiki Wild West

“The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.”

“A Mission Statement is a dense slab of words that a large organization produces when it needs to establish that its workers are not just sitting around downloading internet porn.”

I’m saying this right off the bat – I love Wikipedia.

Are you still here, poets? Good. This is a call to arms.

Most people I know have been in this ubiquitous conversation-path in the post iPhone world:

A: That is not true!
B: It is true!
A: I will stake any money on this… it is not true
B: OK then, well lets see if you’re right (pulling out iPhone) see… right here, it says it’s true.
A: (sarcastically) Oh! Oooooh! Well if it’s on Wikipedia then it must be true. That site is just a load of people putting down their opinions and pretending it’s a fact.

I hate ‘A’. With my whole heart I hate them (although I’ll admit that ‘B’ is a twit as well). Not because I believe in everything I see on the internet, but because I hate the mentality that criticizes something that you have the ability to directly change. I’m not talking about a philosophical Gandhi-ish ‘be the change’ moment… you can literally change Wikipedia if you don’t like it. It’s ours. It’s free. (Sorry countries where it isn’t).

Why do I bring this up in relation to poetry? Because poets are missing a trick. The scientists have the right idea. I cannot count the fascinated hours I’ve wasted learning about Leidenfrost Effect, or Tautochrone Curves or Nikola Tesla. Why is it then that I can barely find an A4 page’s worth on Ted Hughes or Free Verse or Anne Carson? If the scientists are so desperate for the world to understand their obscure ideas, then why can’t we follow suit? Wallace Stevens has saved my life just as many times as the Leidenfrost Effect (althought Stevens does have one of the better Wiki entries)! I know there are scientists out there who are fascinated by poets – can we please repay their favour by sharing what we know.

I have begun my campaign to feather poetry’s Wiki-nest brick by brick. I am starting with a few high-profile poets, one paragraph per day. This may not seem like much, but as my confidence grows I will become bolder and more ambitious with my contributions. And what’s more, you are going to help.

I know that there are poets reading these words. I know that you own text books and literary criticism and biographies and ‘collected letters’ and quarterlies. I know that these are absolutely brimming with information that will die if we let it – poetry is a niche market and its literature goes out of print.

So as soon as you are done reading this, sign up for a Wikipedia account and start editing. You can do this immediately. Find a poignant quotation from a reputable source about a famous poet. Then go put it on that poet’s Wikipedia page – and reference it properly with the ISBN etc.

It will feel strange at first – Wikipedia editing requires you to become familiar with a formatting code of sorts that takes a little getting used to. But this does not matter to you because you are doing something good for the world. Once you hit your stride it will take you 10 minutes to add a paragraph to a page. Then you will start getting adventurous. You will begin adding images and info-boxes and going out of your way to research.

You will find yourself sat in the library and notice that you are surrounded by people doing the same thing as you – not ferreting away for their own obnoxious essays, but they are all making notes and citations that they can go home and share with the world. You will all glance in recognition at each other and go for a beer in the pub opposite the library and toast a new age where the doors are blown open by a wind that forces every speck of dust out of the windows.

Go forth and start sharing all that specialist knowledge you take so much pride in.

Phil Brown
Poetry Editor