Poems written in London and Oxfordshire. Published in early 1990s in Last Gasp pamphlets. Last Gasp was a poetry open mic I helped run with poets Giles Goodland and Bridget Kursheed in Oxford.
From 1986 I was heavily influenced by Raymond Carver and especially his book FIRES. Indeed I attended his memorial readings event in London and saw Edmund White, Richard Ford and Salman Rushdie read in his honour.
I think this volume is the ‘lost volume’ as I was living at home in Didcot and totally cut off from literary world from 1988 until 1990.
I did do some readings through the Last Gasp group until I moved to Edinburgh in 1993.
None of these poems have been seen apart from in these hand made pamphlets.
This was the volume which would ‘break me’ I thought the world was my oyster…..I would outwrite Simon Armitage…
Well hindsight is a wonderful thing I am unemployed and he is Oxford Professor of Poetry..
I read with him in Reading in 1990..he was arguing with the arts officer over money..he a little more pushy than me.
I was unemployed and dressed like Yeats and hadn’t got a clue that it was a poetry ‘business’ …
BUT I could write…fuck lot of good it did me…..
But this was all done off my own back.. no University Department objectives to tick box ..no influential friends..nothing but words..and in the end words is all there is….
Its as good as it gets maybe one day I get some recognition for all this but I wouldn’t bet on it…..
Ironically I got recognition in Scotland……should have stayed there but that another story and the next volume ..Landmine…
Style note all hand written then typed on my mother’s old typewriter.
The last few pages of the document as pdf have originals and some uncollected poems.
The blue pen and line through a poem are from Giles Goodland when selecting for a pamphlet…I did not have second copies as everything had to be typed by hand …so here it is..
Diesel on Gravel…..1990