haters gonna hate – even the shit i be proud of, yeah?


January 2016

do it again – steely dan

kiyoko99% of fiction, I’ll read once and never consider going back to. William S Burroughs, I can reread, mostly down to the gorgeous ‘poetry’ of his prose. I am, after all, a schemie. The urban poor. I object to poetry. It undermines my manhood.
When I got my first e-reader, back in 2011, practically housebound with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, the first thing I did was reread a fairly random fistful of novels I’d read back in the day. Oddly (and again, fighting off this PVFS) I’m rereading some of my favourite fiction authors. Hubert Selby jr, Irvine Welsh and Jean Genet being the first three to hand.
The Selby novels I’ve long meant to return to – and on the second serving, everything I remember is there. The plotting, the sheer stark inarticulacy (or directness) – it’s like speed-reading Ramones lyrics. Being thirty years older, I’m spotting completely different things than I did the last time I read these.
I had a similar experience, rereading Mishima’s ‘Seas of Fertility’ quartet a few years ago. Reading it at seventeen/eighteen, I identified with Kiyoake (and his various incarnations) after all, I was that age, weak and sickly as he was at the end of ‘Spring snow’ and stubborn and principled as Isao from ‘Runaway horses’ and the others…
Returning to the work at forty-nine/fifty, it was Honda I immediately recognised myself in. A financially comfortable, but slowly decaying old perve, almost but not quite able to touch life.
The Welsh books are actually a lot different to how I remember them. ‘The acid house’, in particular, reads a lot better now I’m twenty years older. I always remembered it as quite jagged, thrown together like a band trying to cram everything into their debut LP. Half of it read like exercises from his writing group – and the other fifty percent was brilliant.
I just went back to ‘The thief’s journal’ this afternoon and already, I’m re-hooked on the fragility of Genet’s writing. I haven’t read a lot of his work since I was maybe nineteen, twenty. Although ‘Funeral rites’, I didn’t get around to til about twenty-four, twenty-five.
There’s rarely time to revisit great fiction, so when I do, it’s often like falling back into somewhere familiar-ish, but this time, with better hearing and eyesight, ironically enough.


read it in books – echo and the bunnymen

wreckersHere’s my self-indulgent list of all the books I read last year. I’m not looking forward to this list falling into the hands of headcare professionals, I can tell you!

05 i 15 – the ghost – robert harris
09 i 15 – the secret history of rock – roni sarig
09 i 15 – like a corset undone – erotic steampunk anthology
16 i 15 – anger is an energy – john lydon
16 i 15 – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – jules verne
25 i 15 – the girl in the steel corset – kady cross
26 i 15 – person-hair (draft) – jess hopkins
29 i 15 – dead girl walking – Christopher Brookmyre
30 i 15 – tis – frank mccourt

05 ii 15 – assimilate – reed s Alexander
07 ii 15 – the corpse garden – colin wilson
15 ii 15 – the apocalypse codex – charles stross

04 iii 15 – the shipping news – e annie proulx
27 iii 15 – fool the world – josh frank & carlyn ganz

24 iv 15 – david copperfield – charles dickens
26 iv 15 – a decent ride – Irvine Welsh
28 iv 15 – blood on snow – jo nesbo

02 v 15 – clothes music boys – viv albertine
04 v 15 – thunderball – ian fleming
15 v 15 – the art of asking – amanda palmer
18 v 15 – person-hair (draft) – jess hopkins
26 v 15 – the establishment – owen jones
26 v 15 – psychopathic cultures and toxic empires – will black

02 vi 15 – searching for wanda – elise sutton
10 vi 15 – nick drake – patrick humphries
13 vi 15 – ham on rye – charles bukowski
13 vi 15 – Taken in the Dark of Night – daniel howard
23 vi 15 – unknown pleasures – peter hook
23 vi 15 – prague fatale – philip kerr
26 vi 15 – armadillo fists – carlton mellick lll

04 vii 15 – the hacienda – peter hook
25 vii 15 – shock doctrine – naomi klein

04 viii 15 – chavs – Owen Jones
17 viii 15 – post-capitalism – paul mason
21 viii 15 – the rhesus chart – Charles Stross
25 viii 15 – america’s favourite son – gg allin
31 viii 15 – apathy for the devil – nick kent

05 ix 15 – the man who led zeppelin – chris welch
08 ix 15 – clusterfuck – carlton mellick lll
12 ix 15 – London calling – ga ponsonby
15 ix 15 – fear and smear – pat anderson
17 ix 15 – the witch must burn – danielle paige
19 ix 15 – Taken in the Dark of Night – daniel howard

04 x 15 – last exit to Brooklyn – hubert selby
11 x 15 – trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
12 x 15 – killing charlie – wensley clarkson
19 x 15 – the acid house- Irvine Welsh

07 xi 15 – captivate – corrie garratt
18 xi 15 – journey to the centre of the cramps – dick porter
27 xi 15 – the hell of it all – charlie brooker

07 xii 15 – the girl in the spider’s web – David Lagercrantz
13 xii 15 – listen to this – victor svorinich
14 xii 15 – I was a murder junkie – evan cohen
22 xii 15 – future days – david stubbs

Fifty-four books in twelve months. I should really get out of the house a bit more, maybe join an evening class or something.

broken man – status quo


I haven’t posted in here (or pretty much anywhere else) for ages. The truth is, I’ve been falling to bits since November of 2014, when I went down with a couple of bugs within a day or two of each other.
Then, I was off work for five weeks and ever since, I’m getting exhausted after short periods of effort. It’s a bit like a hangover – plus a speed comedown – except it’s lasted over a year now.
I’m still writing – and working – but between them, that’s all my energy spoken for.
With David Hameron’s banning of all barely legal highs as of April fools’ day, my new year’s resolution is that, from now on, it simply must be class A or not at all. After all, why risk consuming drugs the government keep telling us are terrible, when the dark net is paved with good old fashioned non-scheduled intoxicants we know – from years of experience – to be completely benign?
Joking aside, my strategy for 2016 is to teach myself to revise fiction. Properly this time. Since 2011, I’ve wrung out three first drafts a year and by now, I reckon I’m pretty damn good at it. I love the adrenaline rollercoaster of a first draft, fifty K in thirty days. Revision, though…
Shitting them out is easy. Polishing these turds I’m so proud of is far more difficult. It feels like hard work, ploughing the same ugly furrow for little or no return – when I’m already bored with it.
In the last month, I’ve ground my way through last July’s novel, ‘Wifies’ and have started on one, ‘Person hair’ I wrote a couple of years back. The plan is to complete these and get them out there by the end of 2016. Cameron, Trump and ISIS willing, of course.

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