(Just one moment)


Day #1

10th October 2022
Where to begin? I look in the mirror. I am old and not much to show. A website, three books in print, 9K in the bank.
Last chance? I don’t know, but a chance at least. The plan is to develop the Brutalist genre and put Red Raw into the hands of readers.
Outside it’s raining. War raging. I need to stop drinking.
A photo from our walk by the Thames yesterday. Like feelers reaching out to a new God. I took it as a sign.
Here we go.

Day #2

11th October 2022
Middle of the night and Faber & Faber is on my mind. Tried to connect with the founder, Geoffrey (1889 – 1961), using telepathy. Tell him I was in a battle with his £6m company. His catalogue of titles. No response. Not sure the connection was stable.
Didn’t drink. Got up at 6.30 and went for a run. The mist hung lace over the marshes and a weasel flashed across my path.
Housman Books on Caledonian Road took three copies of Fleabite Scabs and three copies of Raw Sewage – sale or return. Told me they would be shelved in the poetry section of the basement. I went down to take a look. A graveyard for books. Shelves full of self-published poets and rad mags. Need to step back and rethink.

Day #3

Wednesday – 12th October 2022
Somehow, managed to get the android app ready for review at Google App store. I still think I am missing things and yet, it seems to be in the process.
Went to my reading group and we read Olive Kitteridge story – Incoming Tide. Went down well. Couple with a Ted Hughes poem – The Blackbird. Ted was given a hard time and I made the mistake of asking what he was actually guilty of. I had to listen to a lot of vicious abuse. Later on I went to another reading group at City Lit. We talked about Hedda Gabler and I suggested it was a comedy. That was slapped down.

Met Liza and Rudy at the Wetherspoon’s and ate fish and chips and drank a Stella. Spoke to a couple from Coventry who had come down to visit their daughter. He had Parkinson’s and was in a bad way.

What did I do for Red-Raw today? Reading Group, literature, it’s what I need, what I have.

Day #4

Thursday – 13th October 2022
Made a film for Cap Lang – Tokyo. Posted it on FB, Twitter, Insta, and LinkedIn. Building up a catalogue of film ads. One for each world capital. Mix in local music and target language. Catchphrase: Any Language, Anywhere.

Need to market them better. How? HOW!

Went for a run and managed to do it non-stop and under an hour. Felt exhausted and need a sleep. Went to a Green Job Fair with Rudy and Liza at the Wetlands. Apprenticeships, internships, volunteering – the best we can hope for is that Rudy gets a volunteering gig at the zoo. Yes, that would be a result.

Drank a bottle of cider and half a bottle of red. Felt bad. Felt good.

Day #5

Friday – 14th October 2022
Remade film ads for Cap Lang – London and Paris. Site has been updated. Prices off. ‘Book a course Now’ button on. YT site uploaded the film ads.

No payment from Thermo Fisher yet – owed £3,400. Still have the overpayment (£26K) and plan to pay that back when I get the £3.4K.

Cinema with Lulu. Fire of Love – documentary about volcano chasers. Felt like I should be pursuing a dream … and dying doing it.

Thinking about veganism again. The meat industry upsets me. Industrial production. Animals reduced to nothing. Cows that never taste grass. Ducks that never feel water.

Trades Hall – General Sound Echo. Old school reggae for old people. It’s hot and full of hipster drunks.

Day #6

Saturday – 15th October 2022
Lying in bed at 5am thinking about ads for Red-Raw. Thinking about making the sites into platforms that promote competitors and generate revenue from click throughs. Like Compare the Market. Get up and do some research. Go off the idea in less than an hour.

Went for a long walk around Canary Wharf with Liza, Lulu and Rudy. Ended up at Tayaabs and had a banging curry and good moments. Veganism is on hold. Walked to Highbury with a stop off at a bookshop on New North Road. The owner, Richard, said he’d be interested in Red Raw publications. Place looked like it was haemorrhaging money. Going to go in and see if he’ll take a few anti-poetry books next week.

Day #7

Sunday – 16th October 2022
Got up and changed BES Tutor Lessons to ‘Request This Free Lesson.’ At least then I will get their details and try to get them to subscribe. Went to Dodgy Tickers game and played in nets. Thought I was doing well but let in 4 goals. We lost 4-3. The sun was beating for mid-October. Good set of lads. Ate 6 rounds of toast for lunch. Went shopping and bought chicken and veg. Cooked Sunday roast. Drank cider and wine at dinner and Lulu could see I had abandoned my vegan plan. Watched a bit of strictly Come Dancing and football. Liverpool beat Man City 1-0. Lulu sat with us on the sofa. She seemed happy. Went to bed thinking about business hustling. Airbnb is an option to keep us going. Will look into that. Don’t want to be old and poor.

Politics are in chaos. Liz Truss looks like she’s been hit with a hammer and all her mental plans have been crushed. She won’t last a month. Russia using suicide drones on Ukraine. Robbie Coltrane drank himself to death at 72.

Day #8

Monday – 17th October 2022
Got up and worked on BES. Wanted to go running but failed. Too tired. Liza went out to meet Alisun Brennan and they had lunch around the British Library. Rudy and I went to get our haircut at Andy’s. He gave Rudy a number 3. It looks cool. I had the usual short back and sides and we spoke about football. Of course we did. Hair thinning. Life creaking. Sent an email to Rough Trade to see if they will stock my books. Liza called and said she’d found A in the street in a bad way. Bad in the head. Said D was going to leave her. Hearing voices. Liza took her to the doctors. I called D and got no response. The doctor made some vague prognosis. Adjusted the meds. Liza took A home and said that D looked in a deep pit of despair. Jesus, and we think we have it bad.

Day #9

Tuesday – 18th October 2022
Went for a run. Felt good. Mist clinging to the marshes. Fox in the street. Wrens in the bushes, geese in the air. Came up with a Red Raw plan. Brutalist writing style based on architectural principles: utilitarian, rough surface texture, purity of line and structure, authentic value of materials (words), rejection of decorative and nostalgic, underlying sense of weight and mass. Changed .org to .com and let Beata in to do the cleaning. She’s a one. Rudy and I went for a walk down to the Wetlands. Took Lulu to see the Cherry Orchard at The Yard theatre – Hackney Wick. Set in space. Sci-fi and all Asian cast. It was bizarre and enjoyable. Came home and snapped at Liza. Not good. Bad.

Day #10

Wednesday – 19th October 2022
Went to Reading Group and read Slaves in New York and Ezra Pound poem – In a Station of the Metro. No verbs. Seemed to go down well and I managed to read it OK. Used the Art of the Pause. Met Mark for lunch. He talks a mile a minute. We threw his ball in Finsbury Pk. Weather was warm. Sunny. Ate a sausage roll and walked to Carl Albert’s house. He looks old now, 90 now, but still has a burning candle nub inside him. Went to City Lit Reading Group and discussed Hedda Gabler. I thought the burning of the script was a symbolic abortion. Not sure they agreed. Came home on the tube with Sam. She has a job in Waterstone’s for Christmas. Jesus, it can’t be for the money. They pay crumbs. I ate a steak. It tasted good. Drank a cider, a glass of white, a sip of gin. Did nothing for Cap Lang / BES. Absolutely nothing.

Day #11

Thursday – 20th October 2022
Raining. Heavy. Gave an online class to MAL about presentation skills – breathing and articulation. Enjoyed it. Went for a run. That felt good too. Listened to a podcast about A Christmas Carol. A counselling session for Scrooge to get over his childhood, religious motifs, It’s a Beautiful Life remake, helped make turkey the Christmas dish. Came home and ate a double breakfast as Liz Truss resigned. She’s had electric shock treatment. Wrong person – wrong job. The government is a fly-tipped lane. Went round to see Aileen and give her a hug. The woman has weeks, days, hours left. Breathing weak. Face emaciated. Life draining out of her. Tried to work out Adsense for BES and still can’t. What the hell do I need to do? No response from Rough Trade. Seriously, what did I expect? Dinner at the new Bell pub was like an overpriced Wetherspoon. Lulu’s gone to Bristol to see her mate. Came home. Drank more wine.

Day #12

Friday – 21st October 2022
Got up at 7. Went for a jog at 9. Uploaded new film for Cap Lang – Paris. It looks good.

Boris Johnson is a favourite to become PM again. Jesus Christ.

Did some poetry analysis on Robert Browning – Meeting at Night (sex). Elizabeth Barrett Browning – Sonnet of a Portuguese 13 (women and love). Alfred Tennyson – In Memoriam (homoerotic enjambment).

Adam texted and said he had free beer tokens for the new Bell. Met him for a Guinness and he looked battered by life. Jane is in a bad way. Chemo and steroids. Not much time left. Gave him a copy of Raw Sewage and told him to take it month by month. He nodded but it looked like his head was shaking at the same time. Left Morag a book for Harriot, and gave one to Chidi(bo). Came home. Had a disturbed kip.

Yesterday Mum ended up in A&E again for blackouts. Couldn’t find the cause. She was released and Susan was with her. I should go and visit. I should.

Day #13

Saturday – 22nd October 2022
Chest pains in the night. Woke and got up at 8. Showered. Went to Sports Direct to buy football boots. Poor service. Bought them online from Decathlon and went to collect in Chingford. Turns out they were children’s shoes. Another Sports Direct and bought the correct shoes.

Went for a walk with Liza and Rudy. Waterloo art scene – like library mess. Through Soho and into Russell Sq. Filmed by two Chinese students as we had a conversation. Home and cooked chicken curry. Drank cider. Drank wine. Fell asleep watching match of the day. Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

Day #14

Sunday – 23rd October 2022

Up at 8 to a thunderstorm. It stops at 9 and I walk to Chingford for the football. Listened to a podcast on Tony Wilson – some people make money, some people make history. Played in nets for 45 mins and clean sheet. Played left back for 15 mins and nearly scored. Nearly. We won 7-0. Home and went for walk to Lloyd Park and saw new exhibition on pre-raphaelites. came home and cooked meaty pie. Semi success. Drank cider. Drank wine. Discussed hitch-hiking to Lytham to see my mum. A road trip. Raw and real.

Day #15

Monday – 24th October 2022

Up at 7 and went for a run. It felt good.

Put attic room on Airbnb. Let’s see. Tried to work out Google Ads but failed again. They give you no actual reason why the site is not ready, just vague guidelines: copyright material (not true), thin content (not true), false information (not true).

Richi Sunak is new PM.

Sent Raw Sewage to Dave Rhead and Noel Paine.

Booked train ticket to Preston. Will stay overnight and sleep on the sofa. The hitch-hiking road trip in on hold. FFS!

Thought about the point of things. What inspires me. The one thing that I can put a finger on is art. More than business, education, sport, food, travel, politics … it’s art. Art. ART – poetry, literature, film, theatre, sculpture, music, fine art

Day #16

Tuesday – 25th October 2022

Had a jog. Tried to think about business but only got as far as Virginia Woolf. She was an anti-semite and married to a jew. Plot was not important to her. Memories of snatched moments.

Did nothing more than read Sons and Lovers to promote my dream. Wilderness.

Day #17

Wednesday – 26th October 2022

Half-term break for the reading group. I missed it. Went into Housman to check on my books. No sales. Rough Trade have not replied yet. Contacted Keith Livingstone by email and Insta to see if he is interested in designing the covers for my books in a Saul Bass style. I wait while the concrete sets.

Went to City Lit and had poetry with Hugh. He had a lot of energy and we spoke about Tennyson, Browning and Browning. Eye opening in a way, and yet, still the style is exclusive, elitist. Like a gated community. I said that to Lulu, how can we ever gain entry? We are outside the poetry fence and staring in at the land. ‘Who the hell wants to get in?’ she said. ‘Let them drown in their privileged juice. Write your own. Publish your own. Distribute it yourself.’ She’s so punk.

Day #18

Thursday – 27th October 2022

Went out somewhere and stayed out. Afraid of losing the currency of youth. Jingle-jangle pockets and the the care home on the hill. Getting closer now. Everything in the abstract, like looking at a Picasso. Women with two faces.

Got home late and an early train tomorrow. North to see my mum.