Come On, Aileen

The first storm of the season, named Aileen, is due to hit tonight. For perspective, Aileen is no Irma, but still. I’ve taken down the hanging baskets and an outside lantern which is as much as I can do with no hatches to batten down.

The afternoon I spent working on a second poetry collection I’m trying to put together, while listening to a group from my favourite music period.

I have a friend who loves the eighties, and would instantly recognise the nod given by the title of this post. My own go-to listening preference stretches from the mid-sixties to early seventies. The Beatles; The Doors; The Kinks; The Rolling Stones; Tim Buckley; Cream; Cohen;  Dylan, I love all of these and more.

Being born in 1971 means that in my youth I’ve never been in vogue, musically. And don’t even mention my dress sense!

Listening to music helps when I’m writing. The group I was listening to today was Jefferson Airplane. Why do I like these?

Go and ask Alice. When she’s ten feet tall.

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Winter Harbingers?

Though it may be August, and the sky (fleetingly) blue, these local starlings have already donned their winter plumage and started gathering together. Maybe a sign of a cold, hard winter? I don’t know, but as a winter lover I can live in hope.
Looking up at them, the words of Dire Straits came to mind:

And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles

They can always fly away from this rain and this cold

You can hear them singing out their telegraph code

All the way down the Telegraph Road


They can always fly away from this rain and this cold. Or they can stay, if they want, in their winter plumage, hustling me for chips on frosty grey days.

Claws For The Weekend: How To Brighten Up A Rainy Manchester Street

I love this video, taken on Market Street in the city centre, for the music, the crowd’s spontaneous reaction and then the band joining in at the end. And the guy still talking on his phone during it all. All in front of the Ann Summers’ shop. Would have been great if they’d all conga’d right in there, coming back out wearing all sorts of things! Especially on the trombone 🙂 

Have a great weekend everybody. See you on the flip side.

A Four-Way Collaboration

I was sat in a café, reading a great poem about my home city of Manchester.*

The opening lines read:

Queen of the cotton cities,

nightly I pick you back into existence:

the frayed bridal train your chimneys lay

and the warped applause-track of Victorian rain.

You’re the blackened lung whose depths I plumb,

the million windows and the smoke-occluded sun.

 

A couple took the table behind me. The lad never spoke, but the girl:

“I’ve always had weird drinking habits. I used to drink the vinegar out of cockle and muscle jars. I think it’s the cause of my leaking bladder.”

 

All of this was underscored by a female cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love. Haunting and ethereal. Alchemical.

All of these things merged and mingled into one tributary, collaborative moment, leading me to the page, transcribing slowly.

 

 

*Manchester, Adam O’Riordan.