Thursday, 24 October 2013

Not a poem

Scotrail Newcastle to Bardon Mill

The high bridges, viking gorge, Fig5.
Bright new graffiti on weathered-in concrete.
Poplar trees shimmer, we drift through trees
then curve, a green signal ahead.

All men wear charcoal grey coats, jackets.

Doctors have made sure their practices
end their day in time for the 5 o'clock train
out to rural, pastoral Tynedale.

A gliding cut, sunken leafed tunnel, 
takes us to the caravans, carpark scrub and 
nasty buildings of Metrocentre.

Distinctive steely green of the Glasgow train.
Scotrail plaid, trimmed in metal
pleasantly scratched, which shows its solidity.
A contrast to the nonfunctional sleek plasticness of my workplace.
I prefer these materials.

We set off a metre or two, then stop.
Conductors check + scuffle outside the door.
Aha, a wheelchair user & her man.
The ramp was deployed.
7beep signal. Off.

Buildings of nowhere,
desultory efforts
till a green curtain opens up: then a 
mercury sheen by the staithes :
wide river, uplifting, our constant companion to the right

{I pay my fare: three pounds makes twenty.}

then golf course:
Artificial smooth colour green reflects cut grass,
& trees all the wrong size. No gradation
down to the floor. An outdoor mall.

Wylam, alighting from the train.
Those pastoral english fields to the left, &
suburban fence holding in the cars parked, for their drivers to collect, now.

"There's two seats" says son to mother, & after
discussion they move, clutching metrocentre bags.

That young woman fills their seats with her things, now they've gone.

A vague stale human smell, & metallic or burnt pastry undertones.

Beautiful Bywell bridge, a delight sliding toward you.

Then the same leafy tunnels of a cutting,
people rise, sway left into the aisle, look round & to the corridors' end,
swing upright on one end, the other holding coats, & they gather. Prudhoe.

Curiously mispronounced prood hoe, on the tannoy,
the next stop is Hexham.
'The badger', so fittingly humble, not even visible today.

Mist sticks to the windows like gloopy corn syrup,
& the river's now dark in its browntree reflection.

A sudden vast cropfield, specked with gulls, new green layered on brown.
Then sheep appear up on our left, & the train gains pace.
The pond, the flight of jackdaws, a view of orangebibbed figures jogging together on the rugby field.

The reassuring movement of our names across that little black strip of screen:
Hexham, Haydon Bridge, Bardon Mill, Haltwhistle, Brampton, Wetheral, Carlisle
and onwards to Stewarton, Barrhead and Glasgow.

Indoors, electrically lit, now standing out from the dimming world outside.
Our own reflections bouncing back from the windows
and no view of the river, or of anything light.

Gradual slopes, undramatic, rolling up to trees on the left. Telegraph poles.

My neighbour glances through the slides of a powerpoint (or similar) on cars. 
A man who must have money. Not one of mine.

The world stops in dark whiteness at the middle distance.

I look forward to the coal fire.

White headphones, a wart on ear.
The distinctive, characterful crease on shiny leather that is held in a suited man's shoe.

The chimney: sight of this valley.
Everyone knows where they are when they see the chimney, and the exits start to fill up with bodies.
Men who are in full time work, & ending the week. Relaxed & tired, with kids at home & wives.

Hexham's slender white arches, a superficial flimsy-seeming glassroof, awnings, pleasing footbridge.

There's a circus all folded up in the field.
Only a very brief stop.

Sodium lights on factory sheds.
Those houses on the floodable green & then no,
trees are black now.

Faces illuminated by blue screenlight, or slightly sweating
with the reluctance of an english person to take off their layers.

Glint of wedding ring on creasy fingered hand.
Mid-aged couple, passive & possibly/probably content,
they face each other as their eyes follow the views.

'Any tickets from Brampton?' he repeats,
saying the wrong placename. 
Everyone knows what he means.

Some of us read, a couple of us write, one types.
You close the laptop & place the shopping bag on top.

Silhouettes pass, they look like hornby model landscapes.

The line of top windows is steamed up.
None of us will open them: stuffy air is ok.

My thoughts move to coffee when I get in.

And opening crisps works like yawning: 
it spreads from one to another.
Never for me the discipline of holding onto your pack this long
- I'd have had it by Prudhoe.

Drop in tone & heaviness when 
'we are now approaching Haydon Bridge' shifts to 
'Take care when alighting'.

The greenhouses, productive & calm, in their flat (ancient) field.
Firemen's tower & the halfpipe shelter.

No real glimpse of the town or its bridges.
Just the council housing, then you leave.

Home stretch now.
My alertness startles when 'Bardon Mill' is announced early.

Still some light grey in the sky,
but as if behind a filter 
: our carriage lights glare,
& this well-lit page shrinks my pupils.

Darkness (trees).
The smell of cheese + onion flavour.
Back in my mind a remembered anxiety not to miss the stop.

So I rise, before the bends & the crossings of the river,
to put on my coat
& my bag and be ready.

"We are approaching" spoken loud,
with the soft low horn pillowing behind it.

Into Bardon Mill, with rain, & coalsmoke, & the last singing birds in the hedges.

Hi, here's not a poem, but a rushed write-down of words as I travelled on my regular Newcastle - Bardon Mill route. 
I have a one-line-per-station poem in mind, but this was the faster train that didn't stop anywhere, so I just wrote down everything I noticed, according to my state of mind at the time. I intend to do more exercises like this, to test the limits that I'm currently sticking within (ie. which words I use repeatedly, which things I always record first, even which rhythms etc..)

I have another poetry exercise I'm going to attempt over the next few weeks also, as I have mentioned to some people, but this is not it!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Full list of bands reviewed in the Opinionated Geordie Monsters Review the Local Band Scene Fanzine

Issue 1  (Oct - Dec 2010)

Diane Cluck
Tom James Scott/Richard Dawson/Hapsburg Braganza
Let's Buy Happiness
Paul Metzger x 2/Hapsburg Braganza/Phil Tyler
Tim & other people
Dieter Moebius
Daniel vs the World/ONSIND/Casual Terrorist
No Fit State/Chronicity/NWKS/ONSIND
Casiotone for the Painfully Alonex 2/Withered Hand x 2/John Egdell
Els Pets
Arockalypse Now
No Fit State/Cowtown/Milky Wimpshake
Titus Andronicus

Issue 2  (Dec 2010 - Feb 2011)

Maybe Myrtle Turtle
Spokes/Vinyle Jacket/Holy Mammoth/Young Liar/Withered Hand/O'Messy Life
John Egdell/Richard Dawson/Jimmy Parkins/Marc Oliver
Hugh Sillitoe
Child Abuse/Divorce/Tide of Iron/Khunnt
Smoke Fairies/Johnny Kearney & Lucy Farrell/Sea of Bees
The Wilders/Kentucky Cowtippers
Peter Stampfel & Jeffrey Lewis
Ben McVinnie
Steve Wynne, Danny Wilson & Martin Stephenson
The Go! Team
Everything Everything/Magnetic Man/Crystal Castles
The Hold Steady/Wintersleep
British Sea Power
Grandfather Birds/Lake Poets/Prison Library
Bonestorm/Tide of Iron/GWC/Rip it Up
Billy Brewster
Sea of Bees x 2
Unknown Musicians
That Happy Busker on Northumberland Street
Little Comets
Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Morris Ford & the Sorry Kisses
Daniel vs the World
Ben Watson/Honest Thief/Is Shepherd
Mogwai/The Twilight Sad

Issue 3  (March - May 2011)

That Fucking Tank
Witches' Revenge
Lani Singers
Roma Dance Troupe
The Levellers
The Wonderstuff
No Fit State
Milky Wimpshake
The Gospel According to Jonathan Lee
Silo Portem
Design a Wave
John Maus
The Turing Test
John playing fiddle
Sea of Bees
John Grant
Sarabeth Tucek
Sufjan Stevens
Sleeping Dog
Gordon McIntryre
Withered hand
Nev Clay
The Folk Trail
Motion Tourist
Tomahawks for Targets
Lanterns on the Lake
The Mountain Goats

Issue 4  (June - Aug 2011)

'Some dude with some toys'
Newcastle Community Green Festival
Ben Howard
The Travelling Band
Ovingham Goose Fair
Winter North Atlantic
Emily Portman
Brass band on the Carlisle-Newcastle train
Sea of Bees
Skylark Song
Jamie Ball, North Terrace acoustic night
Irish Folk Session, Cumberland Arms
Beauty Pageant
Richmond Fontaine
Josef van Wissem
Richard Dawson
Hapsburg Braganza
Blackbeard's Tea Party
Unwelcome Guests
The 255s
Milky Wimpshake
Tide of Iron
Young Liar
Jessica Lamb
Shonen Knife
Pale Man Made
Silver Fox
The Low Anthem
Here Comes Good Sailing
Galtres Festival (Eureka Machines, Littlemores, The Fear. The Summits)
Willy Mason

Issue 5

There is no trace of issue 5.

Issue 6  (Dec 2011 - Feb 2012)

Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six/Bridie Jackson/Rob Heron
Bong]Haar/Old Corpse Road/cnoc an tursa
Allo Darlin
Nately's Whore's Kid Sister
Backyard Riddim Orchestra/Side Cafe Orchestra/Geezer/Newcastle Kingsmen
We are knuckledragger/Young Property Developers/Dead like Wolves
Explosions in the Sky
King Creosote & John Hopkins
Malcolm Middleton
Mat from Dugong/Slow Science/Matadors/Coal Train/Saturdays Kids/Homebrew/The Amistad/Caves
Go West
George Welch
Weird Shapes
Allo Darlin/Milky Wimpshake/Rexine
Matt Stalker
Bridie Jackson
Smashing Pumpkins
Ludo Mich
Let's Buy Happiness/Fantasy Rainbow/Crooked Hands

Issue 7  (March - May 2012)

Let's Buy Happiness/Fantasy Rainbow
Crooked Hands
Sexual Objects/Milky Wimpshake/Beauty Pageant
ONSIND/Eric Ayotte/The Amistad
The Staves
Gem Andrews/Martha/Ladies of Midnight Blue/No Fit State
Attila Csihar
Blood Red Shoes/The Cast of Cheers
Two Wings/Doug Tielli
Willy Mason
Tonstartsbandht/Lobster Priest
Shit and Shine
Russel T.Jonas/Moon/Shit & Shine
Trio VD/Black Moth/Gum Take Tooth
Ithaca Trio/Richard Dawson/Petals

Issue 8  [mislabelled 7]  (June - Sept 2012)

Aztek Bangles/Jesters of the End Times/Backyard Riddim Orchestra
Willowman Festival (zubzub/Utah Saints/Bluebuds/Buffalo skinners
Bilge Pump/Unit Ama/No Fit State/Beauty Pageant
Sea Lions/Golden Grrrls
Night of Tyneside dialect song
Gabriel Minnikin/Gem Andrews/John Egdell/Andy Neil
Stagger Lee & Nev Clay (Summertyne Americana)
Honeybop Trio
Waskerley Way/Rexine
Queer'd Science
The Cumberland Reel (Peruvian panpipes, the wind, Iceni)
Lush Acoustic (David Ainsworth/Willie Reed/Phil Ogg)
Redefest (Honeyfungus)
King Bee
The Evans Brothers(& others at SIRF)
Beacons Festival (Tibetan Youth/Stuart McCallum/Patrick Wolf/Fawn Eyes/Wild Beasts/Jacuzzi Boys)
The Blitz Sisters
Divorce/Nately's Whore's Kid Sister/Tide of Iron
The Casual Terrorist/Rexine/Milky Wimpshake/Silver Fox/No Fit State
Richard Dawson
Meg Baird
The Cult/The Mission
Wilt Wagner/The Fenestration/Stuart Moxham

Issue 9  (Oct - Dec 2012)

Tusk Festival (Sylvester Anfang/Pelt/Cian Nugent/Hild Sofie Tafjord/Meitheral/The Unit Ama
Goat/Pigspigspigspigspigspigspigs/Beauty Pageant (x 2)
Euros Childs
Nev Clay/St.James Infirmary
Josephine Foster
Viking Moses
The Dauntless Elite
That Fucking Tank
Spokes/Richard Dawson/Grandfather Birds/Blank Maps
Transylvanian Sex Pest/Tide of Iron/Jackal-headed Guard of the Dead
Noize Choir
Our Imaginary Friends
The Cornshed Sisters
Out of the Trees (Paul Fletcher/Nat Johnson/Agesrskow/Rexine/Grandfather Birds/Lake Poets/Natasha Haws/Sooty Tern)
Unnamed, unpaid folk musicians

Issue 10  (Feb - July 2013)

Northumberland st. buskers
Cinemusique : Girl Sweat/By Toutatis/Year of Birds
Cath & Phil Tyler
Nately's Whore's Kid Sister/Jazzfinger
Viv Albertine/Rachel Lancaster/Wilt Wagner
Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six
Basic House/The Cankles
AOS3/Firepit Collective/Backyard Rhythm Orchestra
Casual Sex
The Ordsall Acapella Choir
Holy Moly & the Crackers
Howie Reeve/Cian Nugent & the Cosmos
Evolution Emerging - Lionhall/Big Beat Bronson/Faith Elliott/Nadine shah
Threadfest - The Family Elan/Luke Hirst/Soulmates Never Die
Upload - Uberloon/George Welch/Ladies of the Midnight Blue/Chloe Abbot & Kazza M/The Rock Garden/Jazzy B/Eddy Elvis
Holy Moly & the Crackers
Richard Dawson/Ichi/Rachael Dadd/David Thomas Broughton
Nev Clay
Narcfest - This Little Bird/Agesrskow/Hannah D'Arcy/Retriever/Witch Hands
Northumberland st. busker
The Wharves
Richard Dawson/The Unit Ama
Let's Buy Happiness/Nev Clay/Skylark Song

And that is all.
If you find a copy of issue 5, please share it!