Tuesday, 31 July 2012

(Locked Up) DIY Heroes III

I can't be the only person who nearly choked to death when British Airways' new Olympic broadcast was aired with The Clash's warning about nuclear holocaust and the rise of fascistic authority 'London Calling'. Popular culture, as someone once pointed out, will eat itself. However, 'punk' can still be a valid form to carry protest. Our 'punks' are all prats, but take a look at these Russian punks. Three of them are in jail in Russia for this anti-Putin stunt (it brings to mind one of the most famous dada art stunts of the early twentieth century in France). If you want to do something about their arrest and treatment, go to the Amnesty International appeal here - to learn how to get involved (with just one text message).

Monday, 30 July 2012

Gertrude Stein & Pablo Picasso

Gertrude Stein's poem, "If I Told Him - A Completed Portrait of Picasso" can be read and listened to here.  (The audio version is good for a laugh.)

And here's Picasso's painting of Gertrude Stein:

I think that covers everything.  

Sunday, 29 July 2012

New ebook - Otherwise by Gregory Liffick

If you haven't yet read or downloaded our latest ebook release, here it is:

Otherwise by Gregory Liffick

Gregory Liffick's poems are short, sharp and direct.  Big stories in small spaces. 

Sample poem...

in a
to match
to be
near a
on its
the sky

Monday, 23 July 2012

Spike Milligan - Have a Nice Day

'Help, help,' said a man. 'I'm drowning.' 
'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore. 
'Help, help, ' said the man. 'I'm not clowning.' 
'Yes, I know, I heard you before. 
Be patient dear man who is drowning, 
You, see I've got a disease. 
I'm waiting for a Doctor J. Browning. 
So do be patient please.' 
'How long, ' said the man who was drowning. 'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? ' 
'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease. 'Till then try staying alive.' 
'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning. 'I'll try and stay afloat. 
By reciting the poems of Browning 
And other things he wrote.' 
'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.' 
'Keep calm.' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.' 
'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease. 'I think I'm going to die.' 
'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning. 
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.' 
So the man who was drowning, drownded 
And the man with the disease past away. 
But apart from that, 
And a fire in my flat, 
It's been a very nice day.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

March of the Workers by William Morris

What is this, the sound and rumour? What is this that all men hear,
Like the wind in hollow valleys when the storm is drawing near,
Like the rolling on of ocean in the eventide of fear?
'Tis the people marching on.

Whither go they, and whence come they? What are these of whom ye tell?
In what country are they dwelling 'twixt the gates of heaven and hell?
Are they mine or thine for money? Will they serve a master well?
Still the rumour's marching on.

Hark the rolling of the thunder!
Lo the sun! and lo thereunder
Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,
And the host comes marching on.

Forth they come from grief and torment; on they wend toward health and
All the wide world is their dwelling, every corner of the earth.
Buy them, sell them for thy service! Try the bargain what 'tis worth,
For the days are marching on.

These are they who build thy houses, weave thy raiment, win thy wheat,
Smooth the rugged, fill the barren, turn the bitter into sweet,
All for thee this day--and ever. What reward for them is meet
Till the host comes marching on?

Hark the rolling of the thunder!
Lo the sun! and lo thereunder
Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,
And the host comes marching on.

Many a hundred years passed over have they laboured deaf and blind;
Never tidings reached their sorrow, never hope their toil might find.
Now at last they've heard and hear it, and the cry comes down the wind,
And their feet are marching on.

O ye rich men hear and tremble! for with words the sound is rife:
"Once for you and death we laboured; changed henceforward is the strife.
We are men, and we shall battle for the world of men and life;
And our host is marching on."

Hark the rolling of the thunder!
Lo the sun! and lo thereunder
Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,
And the host comes marching on.

"Is it war, then? Will ye perish as the dry wood in the fire?
Is it peace? Then be ye of us, let your hope be our desire.
Come and live! for life awaketh, and the world shall never tire;
And hope is marching on.

"On we march then, we the workers, and the rumour that ye hear
Is the blended sound of battle and deliv'rance drawing near;
For the hope of every creature is the banner that we bear,
And the world is marching on."

Hark the rolling of the thunder!
Lo the sun! and lo thereunder
Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,
And the host comes marching on. 

Monday, 9 July 2012

China Stories

The brief introduction to The Guardian's China Stories series highlights the fact that China is "the world's biggest publisher by volume". So, with that in mind, it would be pretty impossible to provide a proper introduction to Chinese literature. But this is as good an introduction as any.

I particularly recommend The Accident by Murong Xuecun - a writer described by the New York Times as "the laureate of corruption."

Thursday, 5 July 2012

God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian by Jeremiah Walton

A great poem, written along similar lines to Annette Greenaway's The Joy of Atheism...

Monday, 2 July 2012


So, here's a website that's doing exactly what Philistine Press are doing (amongst lots of other things).

The "lots of other things" can be digested here.  

But, speaking as a non-profit e-publisher, the highlight of the ALTX online network is their selection of high-quality (and highly cool) ebooks, which can be downloaded for free here.

Among plenty of others, I heartily recommend Twighlight of of the Bums by Raymond Federman and George Chambers.  Not that many writers / publishers advertise their work by using the word "postmodern" - I suspect because many people don't know what it means, and many of those that do find it pretentious.  I wouldn't use the word myself either but I'm OK with it.

The publishers' note on the authors says:

"George Chambers & Raymond Federman are the Abbot and Costello of postmodernism. You never know who's on first or who's at bat but the result is always a home run. GC's most famous book is The Bonnyclabber or maybe The Last Man Standing and RF's is Double or Nothing or maybe Take It Or Leave It.

Though this is the first publication of The Twilight of the Bums in America, the book has already appeared in a german translation under the title Penner Rap [we, the bums, would have prefered the Bum Rap] -- and the book is currently being translated into French."

ALTX have been around for years - Twighlight of the Bums was published in 2001.

It's good to see this stuff is still available.  There are plenty of quality literary sites that don't exist anymore.

So, long live ALTX - and long  live their readership.