Saturday, 25 April 2009

satdi night, 45, dream me amadeus. or. bussiness as usual

a classical, surreal, inexplicable dream from elrossiter. here we goes-

i was at darnall (in sheffield folks). it was dark so presumably it was late evening. i enter a building that was next to that lighting place which is in turn next to wilkinsons- this buliding is actually opposite 'aquarious lighting' on that triangular patch of pavement. the building i entered was also triangular, yaknow fitting onto the pavement like. later on in the dream i remember making a triangular shaped motion above my head with my hands as description to someone. i had gone to this building to get myself a second job that was in the medical industry and was concerned with new born and prematurely born babys in the nursery like. i got the impresion it was a late evening, early morning job. when i got inside i went into what i could describe as a sort of teachers lounge, it looked like somethin from life on mars. i don't remember in what order i saw the people inside but there present were my good friend ian, another friend who i think was tom, a few people i did not know and the boss who was called gemma. the name gemma obviously came from a new colleague of mine, although it wasn't actually her. i'd had no idea ian or tom worked there and spoke to ian about it, he was like 'yeah yeah been here a while like' type thing, then the boss gemma gave me the overview of the job. i remember her saying to me that you have to be completely focused and that you can't leave the new borns for a single second because something bad would most probably happen. everyone was really relaxed in this 'not even slightly medical' type lounge and i think ian was telling me some stuff and there may have been some food put on. shortly later a poker table was set-up right there in the lounge. two tables side by side in the manner we used to set them up at the boozer i worked in.

shortly after this i was looking out of the window (and here's where it gets A'grade mental) at a tall office building somewhat in the distance. it was all green windows, a dullish emerald colour. the building then began to twist from the top, from my perspective it twisted to the left. all fluidly like it wasn't solid but made of a tough foamy material. then when it had twisted so far as if it had reached a stress point it, well, not exactly snaps or breaks but comes away from the foundation at ground level and snaps to the ground like it was magnetically attracted. at which point the building immediately begins moving towards the building i'm in. like a train or a tram, but there was no accelaration. the building upon toppling and hitting the ground on its side is instantly moving fairly fast, the roof top of the structure being the head of the building/train. so we all try to evacuate being as this office building that thinks its a train is only seconds from collision, and we just manage it. i dunno if there was any new born babys in the place we were in, i don't think i saw any! but ian somehow doesn't completely clear and is caught in the collision/blast. when all has settled i see ian on the ground and he's unconscious, i either find him in the rubble and carry him clear to a grassy bank close by or he's somehow thrown there and thats where i find him. either way we're on this grass and i don't know if he's alive, i maybe look for a pulse and don't find one. i'm seriously emotional and holding him and crying an that-i'm devastated not knowing what to do. a moment or two later he regains consciousness and i'm not sure if i realise this because he says something along the lines of 'easy mate, calm down i'm fine' yaknow that guy thing-whoa your a bit close there dude. so ians oaky then which is fantastic news!!! and i' certain he will think so too.

the next part is a little hazy but i remember walking away from darnall up the priince of wales road. not sure exactly who i was with but there was a small group of us and david from work made a brief appearance. though his bicep muscles in his arms were bigger-blatantly because he's said things like 'why aren't my arms that big?' at work. prince of wales road was different in that it had become more industrial, both sides of the road were lined with big, tall, grey factory buildings. and it had also become narrower so the factories were somewhat looming over head. sort of canyon like. so we got so far and i reallised i had to let my mum know i was alright as i'd just been involved in a pretty serious (not to mention surreal) incident, so i was texting her. just as we were getting to the footpath that leads away from the road towards my house my mum appeared from the path. we hugged and everything was alright. thats about all i remember.

just about finished listening to the doctor who big finish audio adventure-spare parts. featuring the fifth doctor and cyber men and written by marc platt. its pretty good actually and quite fucked up. certainly better than ghost shite!!!!!

brought to you by good good things,
spare parts,
skint satdi neet in

elrossiter x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Thursday, 16 April 2009

heres that maaarvelous beat poet, john cooper clark thurs. or. nee socialisin with work girls tonight, descent readathon it is then.

I'm ankle deep in human waste
the toilet has been clogged
marrowbone jelly all over the place
I don't even have a dog
the man upstairs he grabs my arm
saying don't I know your dad
all I could hear were the fire alarms
the day my pad went MAD

all I could hear were the fire alarms
the day my pad went MAD

The kitchen has been ransacked
ski trails in the hall
a chicken has been dansacked
and thrown against the wall
in walks this dumb waiter
with a fountain pen and pad
saying how do you want this alligator
the day my pad went MAD

saying how do you want this alligator
the day my pad went MAD

The hamster had been slaugtered
the parrot bound and gagged
the guard dog had been sorted out
and absolutely shagged
the goldfish drowned, the cat was found
kicked around and stabbed
the radio did not make a sound
the day my pad went MAD

the radio did not make a sound
the day my pad went MAD

the pop-up toaster refused to pop
the chandelier was smashed
the starter motor would not stop
the tyres had been slashed
there was no way out of there
I was stuck with what I had
out of order, beyond repair
the day my pad went MAD

out of order, beyond repair
the day my pad went MAD

yesterday I had the place rewired
and slung out all of my junk
a tumble dryer and a two bar fire
and a telephone now defunct
I peeped through the venetian blinds
and the rain fell down so sad
on the broken home I left behind
the day my pad went MAD

on the broken home I left behind
the day my pad went MAD

Johnny's in the basement mixing up the metaphors
Ian Burns backstage with John Cooper Clarke-

John Cooper Clarke, the bard of Salford, is knackered. He's spent the last four days hauling his skinny arse, pillar to post clickety clack, from Colchester to Greenwich to Darlington and finally down to Soho, where he's perfecting his slump in the dressing room at Madam JoJo's, a grotty red velvet nite spot where the boys dress as girls, down by the seamy side.

The shades and birds-nest hairdo are present and correct, as are the beautifully worn-in spit and polished black chelsea boots. To complete the effect, this most stylish of our poets is squeezed into a pair of black bollock-tweaking drainpipes ("I know what yer thinkin'", he'll say, " 'ow can such a rich baritone emanate from such a frail androgynous figure?"), a striped "mod" jacket two sizes too small, and a stupendously colared seventies shirt. If Jarvis Cocker had made Blonde on Blonde, he'd have looked very much like this. He is nervously self-effacing about his appearance after four days of living out of a holdall - “I look a right mess...sorry about that,” but oh how disappointed his public would be if he presented himself in jeans and T-shirt. The hair and shades are all, his very own iconography...hell, he can even wear sunglasses in a dark nightclub without looking like someone you'd like to punch, and that's style. John Cooper Clarke has looked the same, give or take the odd striped jacket, for 20 years. As he's fond of saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Some might say that this sartorial, and indeed tonsorial, attitude extends also to his poetry readings. He's been peddling the same poems for years. He's a seventies poet of no modern relevance (whatever the hell that means). As the coup de grace, some would point to the lack of published work as ultimate proof that the man is in a state of poetic stagnation. I ask him whether there'll be any new material in tonight's show.

“When did you last see me?” About five years ago. “Oh, there will be.”

A collection of his poems, 1981's "Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt", is his only published work, and despite a number of reprints, it is now unavailable. This is a strange situation for one of our better known poets to be in, yet John Cooper Clarke carries with him such an air of comically resigned helplessness that you get the impression that he just can't be arsed with that end of the "business".

“'Well, my stuff ain't in the shops right now, it's my fault, really! I've not done anything about it. I mean it's gonna happen, but...not with me in charge! I admit, I am well overdue for a new product.”

“Sardonic” is a word that you come across a great deal when John Cooper Clarke is mentioned. I looked it up in my Little Oxford: “Adj. grimly jocular; full of bitter mockery; cynical.” That's the man, officer. He speaks in slow measured tones, rolling his words around and fishing for ambiguities that are ever present in his poetry, and occassionally giving in to a dark chuckle. He is telling me about a book of poems that he is hoping to get published, called "Blue Picnic". “They're poems that have a kind of lugubriousness about them, almost to a Morrissey-esque miserable that they're funny. I mean, I hope people get it, because not everybody gets it with Morrissey, do they? That kind of misery can be incredibly's meant to be funny... you don't write that kind of doleful stuff so that people'll come up to you and pat you on the head and say “there there” can write about it and make it incredibly enjoyable, you know?

“I'm also writing a first one...the “selected memoirs” of a Fleet Street hot shot, called “One Drink at a Time.” The main character is a hard boiled tabloid journalist who writes a column in a drinking establishment called the Pussycat Lounge. It's a well-ploughed furrow, I know, but I think I can bring something new to it...otherwise I wouldn't bother.”

And yet, with a new collection of poems and a novel in the pipeline, as well as a forthcoming role in "The Changeling" (based on the Jacobean tragedy by Thomas Middleton) and a diary that finds space for around 200 gigs a year, John Cooper Clarke will later tell his audience, “I've made a religion of indolence...I eat a third of a Mars bar a day to help me rest.” But then the truth ain't half as entertaining as the persona, and John Cooper Clarke does love a larf. His performance onstage is often drowned out with the stuff, and it is telling that the poetry he chooses to recite usually comes with a puchline. It is as though he lacks the confidence in his poetry to entertain on its own terms.

“Well, I've got loads of stuff that ain't good enough for performance... well, I s'pose I consider my ones that are good enough. The ones that I write that look OK on the page I just think, well what's the point? I've got millions of 'em. I guess someone else would put them in a book, but I think if they're not good enough to read aloud then what's the point of putting them in a book? I dunno...mebbe I'm wrong,” says the man Time Out calls a "near genius". "I mean, I road test new material all the time. That's the ultimate test, to see how a new poem goes over...and I do get nervous when a new poem is declaimed publicly for the first time.”

His art is a hybrid of poetry and stand-up comedy. “Well, people say it's a cop-out, but I like to keep the audience laughing, you know...if they're laughing then I can tell that they're still interested. I do have the odd poems that ain't a hundred laughs but I feel like I have to ask 'em, ”Did you like that one?" With some of the older stuff maybe the crowd laughs out of recognition, but I doubt that humour has a shelf-life. I don't think that humour is the only thing in my poetry, but then I do tend to concentrate more on that side for performance.”

outside the take-away saturday night
a bald adolescent asked me out for a fight
he was no bigger than a two-bob fart
he was a deft exponent of the martial arts
he gave me three warnings trod on my toes
stuck his fingers in my eyes and kicked me in the nose
a rabbit punch made my eyes explode my head went dead and I fell in the road

(from kung fu international)

“I've always told jokes on stage anyway, while I'm looking for the next number, like. You don't want to leave them in silence. I always feel it incumbent upon meself, cos even if I'm not on stage for very long, I like to keep every second's ENTERTAINMENT...there's nowt worse than fumbling about while you look for the next poem, you know- "Sorry about this folks". So I tell a joke. And I know so many jokes that I can just tell them on automatic while I'm busy doing something else.”

I interrupt him to mention a memory I have of him offering a pound to anybody who could tell him a joke that he didn't know the punchline to.

“Well, I don't remember that...” (he pauses - timing is everything) “but I've never paid for a joke in my life! I've never wanted to be a stand-up comedian, though. Don't get me wrong though, I love comedians...welll, I s'pose I am a comedian...slightly...certainly when I play comedy clubs I do concentrate on the funny poems, but then last week I did a gig at the Birmingham Readers and Writers Association which was a Literary Event, so I did the slower, leisurely-walking-pace, observational stuff, some prose...

“When I work on the comedy circuit the onus isn't on me to be a comedian...a comedian has got to be funny or it ain't comedy, but poetry can still be poetry even if it ain't funny, can't it? In a way, I'm lucky that I can keep that sort of balance. When I first started doing readings - this is in the mid seventies - there weren't really any poetry venues, there wasn't a Poetry Scene, so I useta hafta perform at places like Mr Smith's, a club in Manchester where I did a Sunday night residency for a few years, for an audience that probably didn't even read books. But poetry has always been and always will be a very different way of writing, a minority interest. It's language with its best suit on, innit?”

He does love a rhetorical question, does John Cooper Clarke, sitting there in what is probably not his best suit, amidst the tat of a transvestite's dressing-room. “Places in decline inspire me. I like that. Places with a lugubrious air, like 'oliday places out o' season...Morecambe, Blackpool...Essex is full o' places like that...Southend, Clacton...Southend 'as the sort o' thing where you go to 'oliday resorts and you look at 'em and you think, “Faded Grandeur,” you fact, Southend has the unusual distinction in that you can look around and, even considering the fact that it has declined, you can see that it was never any good anyway. You look at what's there along the promenade...why is the pet shop that's been there since 1958, still standing? Why is the fortune teller no longer there? The Italian ice-cream parlour- 'ow did it end up like that? I never answer these questions meself of course, but you 'ave to ask 'em!

“But I get my inspiration from a lot of places, not necessarily geographical. I mean, say, Beezley Street could be in any town. With a poem like “Love Story in Reverse.” I just thought, “Right! Endless stream of vituperative language!” It's a form, innit?

There's a great song by Louis Armstrong, called “I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal, you” which is affectionate, but the things he says are unforgivable. So usually when I write it's because I've been inspired by things like that. You think, “Oh, that's a good endless stream of abuse" and if it rhymes, so much the better. But such poems aren't based on any one person- I'm not that misanthropic - but more a composite. When I was writing that poem, my main concern was keeping to the rhythm, keeping the rhyme schem rigid, and condensing it, making it relentless and unforgetable. The stylistic end is always the most important.”

Like a dose of scabies
I've got you under my skin
You make life like a fairytale
Like a death at a birthday party
You spoil all the fun
Like a fucked and spat out smartie
You're no use to anyone

(from Love Story in Reverse) (or Twat as it was released)

John Cooper Clarke has never been afraid of incorporating the widest number of styles into his work. He is perhaps the only poet to successfully join poetry with rock, and his ascent in the mid seventies coincided with the DIY music boom that gave a voice to urgent young talent.

“Well, I started off writing in a band, The Vendettas, in the late sixties... but, yeah, punk helped because there was a lot 'appening, new places were opening up and getting lumped in with that scene opened up a lot of gigs and opportunities for me. It got me out of Manchester and around the world, really...but I've never felt meself to be part of any movement.”

It was around this time, facing crowds of speed-crazed punk rockaaahs, that he developed his on - stage declaiming voice that one writer has likened to “an auctioneer with a grudge against the world and a sneer as permanently attached as a scar.”

“Yeah, I do read some of my poetry very fast...that did start with punk, really...the high energy side of it. I thought, “Right. I'll read 'em fast.”...and it draws the audience in if they can't get all the words. It's like if you whisper into a microphone then they'll stop talking and listen, cos they feel excluded. If you shout “Shut up!” then they'll just carry on. Like with Chuck Berry in “Too Much Monkey Business” you can't get a lot of the words. I reckon Bob Dylan was influenced by that song when he wrote “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” cos you can never work out the words. Incomprehensibility has its own dynamic, there's no question about it.”

As showtime approaches, the manager of Madam JoJo's enters the room to explain that he can't be sure he'll be in a position to pay in advance, due to so-far sluggish box office action on this quiet Sunday night. I ask John Cooper Clarke if he still enjoys his role as a performance poet, and all the travelling, the living out of a holdall, all the dressing-rooms, all...THIS! “Yeah, I do...I mean, In really enjoy performing. I hate the travelling though, cos I don't drive, but...yeah, I do.”

Later that night, having entertained around a hundred of the faithful with a non-stop stream of poetry, jokes, banter and nonsequiturs, John Cooper Clarke bounds offstage with laughter ringing in his ears

interview by ian burns

brought to you by salfords finest,
the mystery of the hidden/non-existant fridge

elrossiter x x x x x x

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

the english bumble bee wednesday. or. if you'll excuse me i've just got to break out the smeg hammer to remove mr. listers underpants

bee's have hair on there eyes!

is that the first sign of madness? ? ?

brought to you by bumble bees,
and indeed all other commercially available forms of bee,
the descent by jeff long

elrossiter x x x x x x x x x x x

Thursday, 9 April 2009

42nd post is it then, this can mean but one thing! or. you guessed it

blog number 42. can you really blame me for giving you some hitchhikers guide to the galaxy?! i mean come on there's just really no excuse NOT to throw some hitchhikers into the mix. i'd haveto be a madman not to! not that i've ever needed an excuse before like. anyways its a good bit at the restaurant at the end of the universe, not an obvious bit either. your welcome

arthur turned to ford - he hadn't quite got this place worked out in his mind.
'look, surely' he said, 'if the universe is about to end . . . don't we go with it?' ford gave him a three-pan-galactic-gargle-blaster look, in other words a rather unsteady one.
'no,' he said, 'look,' he said, 'as soon as you come into this dive you get held in this sort of amazing force-shielded temporal warp thing. i think.'
'oh,' said arthur. he turned his attention back to a bowl of soup he'd managed to get from the waiter to replace his steak.
'look,' said ford, 'i'll show you.'
he grabbed at a napkin off the table and fumbled hoplessly with it.
'look,' he said again, 'imagine this napkin, right, as the temporal universe, right? and this spoon as a transductional mode in the matter curve. . .'
it took him a while to say this last part, and arthur hated to interrupt him.
'thats the spoon i was eating with,' he said.
'all right,' said ford, 'imagine this spoon. . .' but found it rather tricky to pick up, 'no, better still this fork. . .'
'hey would you let go of my fork?' snapped zaphod.
'all right,' said ford, 'all right, all right. why don't we say. . . why don't we say that this wine glass is the temporal universe. . .'
'what, the one you've just knocked on the floor?'
'did i do that?'
'all right.' said ford, ' forget that. i mean. . . i mean, look, do you know - do you know how the universe actually began for a kick-off?'
'probably not,' said arthur, who wished he'd never embarked on any of this.
'all right,' said ford, 'imagine this. right. you get this bath. right. a large round bath. and its made of ebony.'
'where from?' said arthur. 'harrods was destroyed by the vogons.'
'doesn't matter.'
'so you keep saying.'
'all right.'
'you get this bath, see? imagine you've got this bath. and it's ebony. and it's conical.'
'conical?' said arhtur. 'what sort of. . .'
'shhh!' said ford. 'it's conical. so what you do is, you see, you fill it with fine white sand, all right? or sugar. fine white sand, and/or sugar. anything. doesn't matter. sugar's fine. and when it's full, you pull the plug out. . . are you listening?'
'i'm listening.'
'you pull the plug out, and it all just twirls away, twirls away you see, out of the plughole.'
'i see.'
'you don't see. you don't see at all. i haven't got to the clever bit yet. you want to hear the clever bit?'
'tell me the clever bit.'
'i'll tell you the clever bit.'
ford thought for a moment, trying to remember what the clever bit was.
'the clever bit,' he said, 'is this. you film it happening.'
'clever,' arthur agreed.
'you get a movie camera, and you film it happening.'
'that's not the clever bit. this is the clever bit, i remember now that this is the clever bit. the clever bit is that you then thread the film in the projector. . . backwards!'
'yes. threading it backwards is deffinately the clever bit. so then, you just sit and watch it, and everything just appears to spiral upwards out of the plughole and fill the bath. see?'
'and that's how the universe began is it?' said arhtur.
'no,' said ford, 'but it's a marvellous way to relax,'
he reached for his wine glass.
'where's my wine glass?' he said.
'it's on the floor.'
tipping back his chair to look for it, ford collided with the small green waiter who was approaching the table carrying a portable telephone.
ford excused himself to the waiter explaining that he was extremely drunk.
the waiter said that that was quite all right and that he perfectly understood.
ford thanked the waiter for his kind indulgence, attempted to tug his forelock, missed by six inches and slid under the table.

brought to you by pure and unfiltered genius

elrossiter x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Saturday, 4 April 2009

fourtieth boy have i been slack with bloggage, NEW JOB saturday! or. anti-spectacular big four oh.

well hello hello people. both real and figments of my imagination. i have been slack on here which may be because the mental flow of dreams has been, well, less mental and flowing than usual. i don't know why, nothing much has changed. not until the wednesday just gone that is, when i found out i had got the job!!! YEAH BABY!!

ELROSSITER HAS GOT A JOB!!! HELL YEAH! and it only took several million years.i start monday and i am very happy about it. so aswell as celebrating at the yell gig tonight i am throwing some pictures of some of my favourite people and things of the moment and of all time, out there to you folks. and thats it, more later-

brought to you by MY NEW FUCKING JOB!!!!,

elrossiter x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x