Phantom Blog

poetry posters

Viewing posts tagged poetry posters

A Tinker’s Cuss – Jim Wilson’s Blog, 16/12/15

Jim Wilson’s Blog, 16 December 2015

 

Another Xmas is upon us.

At this time of year, we are meant to be with our families (such as they might be) and to be all joyous and giving and everything else that goes around under that dear old mulberry tree where life is confusing at best.

We may look at people on the street at this time of year and they seem to be happy and winging their way home with a Xmas tree under each arm and whistling too. Here in America, I see glowing people wearing four layers of designer clothing as the winter closes in. That’s what they do to keep people at bay.

But, at Xmas I always think of my friends who may be stuck on Methadone or may be in rehab or jail and they may even be dead because they couldn’t hack the pace. The pace quickens in our electrified and digital age. It’s love one day and a landslide the next.

I know everyone is pre-occupied with either American or New Zealand politics right now and the ‘political subjects’ of the day which may include Muslims, Guns, Donald Trump, Social Media and Climate Change.

In America in 2013 almost 25,000 people died of prescription drug overdoses and about 16,000 of the deaths were from prescription opiates. Heroin overdoses are not included in these figures. That makes the data all the more frightening. It’s not terrorism, it’s merely ‘junkies’. Junkies are the scum who come to borrow a glass of milk and sell your refrigerator for ten dollars.

So, that’s mainly what I think about when I’m not turning my mind to beauty. If I want to feel devastated, then I think of the people whose breathing gave out after one too many OxyContin.

Opiate overdose is a very lonely way to die and I’ve had a lot of mates who went way out west from far too many opiates or the ramifications of using those self-same drugs. Maybe it was the liver disease that got them or the heart attacks.

I’ve overdosed on opiates a few times and spent time in ‘Intensive Care’. I’m bound to say they were good drugs. I didn’t wake up thinking about politics, I woke up wanting to get loaded again with my mates.

My mates who died were all lonely people and in the end they didn’t ‘connect’ with anyone. They had no possibilities that excited them.

I also have friends who will pick up their methadone a day or two before Xmas and then consume it all at once. They’ll end up ‘hanging out’ on Xmas day and feeling a cold that goes right through to their very marrow. If they had twenty-five heaters in the house and even though it may be summer, it won’t make a damn bit of difference. They will have Antarctica within them until they get another dose.

I am speaking as someone who once spent a Xmas Day or two in jail whilst hanging out and that taught me a lot about life. No one is going to come and rescue you because no one can save you from yourself. That grip on one’s own throat is the hardest thing to remove in this life.

Drug addiction… Self-inflicted? I really don’t think so. I merely think that a lot of people in the world today do not know what to do with their Emotions and Feelings. Many people are in a very deep and miserable painful place and I feel for them. They might scream about John Key or Donald Trump for a while to alleviate the pressure of being powerless and isolated.

Or they might even drive accidentally into a bridge.

Personal responsibility? I believe in that as well. But I have to say I have met many  people in ‘recovery’ who, in my opinion, are way more toxic than they ever were when they were stoned. They might be dry and sober and yet spiritually malicious. They may be borderline personalities. Does praying to God help these people?

Yes, it’s no good trip for a lot of folk at Xmas. You may be around toxic people. Your own family might be a contagious disease.

But, my year went reasonably well. I have learned to keep moving and forge ahead.  I have something like 22 completed chapters of my memoir finished and Phantom Billstickers has done well and prevailed over the odds. That’s all very satisfying.

There’s been some great books this year and some very good music. I’ve admired some really gnarly cars and met some people I like a lot. I’ve taken some okay photographs and met some of the coolest doggies (and cats) on God’s Green Earth. I’ve walked in the woods a lot and admired mother nature for doing what she does. I’ve missed my own Mum a lot (1999 R.I.P) but I’m better with all that now.

I feel loved and that’s different for me. I’ve never really felt loved before and I’ve always been so difficult (in many ways) that it was impossible to love me. I regularly said ‘no’ to the ice-cream because I was afraid. But now I sense that I’m letting the veil down. It had to go and it belongs way back there in dear old Russell Street in Dunedin.

My parents were very good people but in our house sunshine wasn’t really allowed and the summer was outlawed. That’s probably why I listened to the Velvet Underground (and countless others) but those days are over now. I enjoy putting up poetry posters around the world like I mean it man. I now like sunshine better than a black jersey and a pair of sunglasses in a dark room.

Thanks to those who stuck to me like glue this year and all the others.

 

I am a work in progress.

 

Much Love,

 

Jim Wilson

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Tinker’s Cuss – Jim Wilson’s Blog, 22/10/15

Jim Wilson’s Blog, 22 October 2015

 

I am living in New Jersey and it is a very pleasant time of year with the leaves changing colours and everything. Shortly it will begin to get cold but as for now the air is merely fresh. The autumn colours of New Jersey are every bit as delightful as those in Central Otago. I love waking up to the sounds of V8 engines outside the window. I love it that it will snow in a month or so.

I’ve just spent five weeks travelling through Europe putting up poetry posters and mine is a privileged position for which I have a lot of gratitude. My life has never been easy but sometimes it has been very sweet.

I began putting up poetry posters wherever I could about six or seven years ago. The act of merely doing this expresses most everything that I believe about this life. When life has handed me a lemon (and it has done this many times) I have always steered towards that which is beautiful.

Some people, places and things exist only to drag other people down. A man does his best in difficult circumstances. There is so much bitterness, violence, sarcasm and irony floating around the world these days that you may have thought we would have changed as a species. And yet, I actually think we’ve all gotten worse. New accusations are leveled every day and seemingly everyone knows how to do things better. A bloke who has never worked in a manager’s position knows how to manage everything better and so on and so forth. A guy screws a chicken, ends up in jail, and is never forgiven. People like to hold on to things like an old-timer at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting who is still talking about that slice of toast and butter he had on that bad night 35 years ago.

I believe people can change.

But, it is a long way easier to carry a burden than it is to let it go and hatred and distemper are major burdens for people everywhere. In New Zealand, we have paradise on earth and yet I see so many unhappy citizens. A lot of them have everything they could possibly need and more.

I’ve had some very touching things happen to me lately.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Paris and then I flew into the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. It is always stressful for me to face Customs and Immigration in any country, but particularly in the USA.

I have to have a ‘waiver of ineligibility’ to enter here. I tried for more than twenty years (making some bad mistakes along the way) before I was granted one. I am not eligible to live in the USA because of a Heroin conviction dating from 1974 and I have convictions dating up to 1992 that make even coming here for a short period something that can be disputed and it has been.

But there is genuine human kindness at every turn and I just believe that people have a deep fear of being ‘touched’ emotionally. A lot of people would rather go in the direction of the anger.  I’ve been there and it was a bad trip. That place is where you lose all your faith.

At Customs and Immigration in Philly the first officer at the desk, looking at my computer profile, asked me what the hell I had done, had I smoked something weird back in the 1970 and listened to some Grateful Dead maybe? Well, that’s weird enough, but I said, “No, worse than that. It was Heroin and Cocaine and I took it the man’s way and I was a chemist burglar.”

He loosened up given my honesty and became a human soul and a kind and caring one at that. It’s remarkable where you can meet these people. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t being either defensive or angry, I was just being me. I am prepared to be vulnerable because I consider that I have nothing to lose. I’ve been kicked by the best in the trade.

On the walk out the back to my ‘second interview’, the officer walked like John Wayne and he was quite a cowboy. He must have been six foot three and he had quite a big mop of tousled, black, Italian hair. He told me that he’d just worked in downtown Philadelphia on security during the Pope’s visit. A good Catholic I would have thought. The new Pope seems like a very kind man and yet you see some people railing against him and suggesting there is some kind of conspiracy afoot.

At “Secondary” there were three officers sitting at an elevated bench slightly above me. They asked why I couldn’t get a Green Card and I said that having a Heroin conviction, even if it is from 1974, makes me completely ineligible. I said, “Not even an 85-year-old big time Jewish lawyer with nose hairs from downtown Philadelphia could fix that” and they howled with laughter and they hooted and gesticulated. That’s a damn good dose of humanity to be carrying on with. Laughter breaks ice.

The woman who interviewed me said that her brother was currently going through a Heroin relapse and this touched me to the very bottom of my soul. That’s what I live for. Poetry, music and writing quite often reach me in this way too and so I really am grateful. But I’m just like anyone else, I have a synthetic layer to be carrying on with and yet underneath am a frightened kid who likes to come out and play when it’s safe.

The second touching episode happened when I was having a burger down at Five Guys in Wayne, Pennsylvania. An old guy pulled into the parking lot in a Volvo Station Wagon. He had to be about 95 years of age and he was accompanied by a fine doggie that must have been heading for 37. I love people who love animals and my doggies have gotten me over some tough hills.

The old man was wearing a sweatshirt from a local high school and Mister Magoo type eyeglasses. The glasses had so much magnification that I am sure they would have highlighted Mars if a person with ordinary sight looked through them. This gentle looking man wasn’t an inch over five feet tall and he was almost completely doubled over.

At this age he was kind, of course he was. Anger cannot usually get people through a long life because it tends to chew up the body. Anger and fear often have people hiding in the corner of damp apartments and all by themselves. I’ve been there in my life and I didn’t like that very much. I put needles into my arms in those apartments and with water running down the wallpaper as well. At the time I thought I was shooting up love but I was really just loathing the world and myself.

At Five Guys, they have sacks of peanuts in their shells that you can eat whilst you wait on your order. I saw the old man hunch all the way out the door in small, kindly and unsure steps and then he slowly fed his dog peanuts. This made me feel really good and I need to see kindness to survive. I need kindness to get myself out of the building and to live my day.  I’m sure we all do and I think the best thing to do is to give kindness away wherever you can.

The third touching episode was at a shoe store. I had put the toe out of my sneakers on the European leg of the trip. I went to a shoe store owned by two Italian brothers. The brothers were both in their 60s. I believe the store is called “D’Amicantonio & Sons” and it is also in Wayne, Pa. The two brothers had me try on dozens of pairs of shoes over the course of two hours before I spent less than $85. Their grandfather, an immigrant from Italy, started the store in 1932 and it has existed since then. It is no fad or flight of the imagination, it is real.

Their father was in the USA Army at Anzio beach in 1944, which wasn’t a particularly nice place to be. The brothers (Lou and Bob) showed me two pairs of shoes that their grandfather had made in the 1930s for a woman who died before she got to wear them. Good manners and good service is one thing, but an authentic approach to life is something else again.

The brothers were dismayed that the internet had taken a lot of business, but they weren’t shrill and opinionated and they were philosophical. Sometimes in this life the best things don’t work and you have to let them go. The brothers felt to me to be sad yet true.

The new album by Keith Richards (‘Crosseyed Heart’ is superb and he has become easily the bluesman that his heroes (Robert Johnson and the like) were in their day. It is a tender, warm, sincere, and joyful album and is the best thing I have heard for probably a decade. Every so often one comes down the pike, a person unafraid to express himself in a good way.

In America, I’ve learned that there is a new trend in psychiatry back to ‘talk therapy’ (genuine human contact). In a major study conducted by the government, it has been found that many schizophrenics do better with talk and ‘understanding’ and a reduction in pharmaceutical intervention. Many schizophrenics have fewer hallucinations and are able to work better and have healthier lives by talking out their souls. I have thought this may have been the case all the way through these last two or three Prozac Decades (my term). I think it’s a crazy, crazy thing for any government to deprive a person of that which is real and that which touches us to our souls and that which so obviously sustains us. The tests results are not saying to jump off medication, they are merely saying that people like warmth and understanding as well and that this can improve people.

Anyway, that’s my five cents worth. I’m off to walk a hill by myself.

 

I hope love and peace live within you,

 

 

Jim Wilson

58

Diary of a Billsticker – San Francisco, USA

This was to be my final poster run before leaving the USA on my way back to New Zealand. I’m writing this some months afterwards and so I can’t even remember which poem posters I was carrying, but there would have been about ten different Kiwi poets involved and two or three Americans.

Perhaps the attached photos will show the poets. Maybe I was carrying some Patrick Connors (a Canadian poet) posters as well. Anyway, I’d like to think I was and it always makes for a perfect day to be putting up posters. Besides I do like the Canadians because they were with us at Passchendaele and they do possess a reasonably sensible health care system and government (from the looks of things).  They’re generally not too imperialistic either and that always makes for good neighbours. Canada can’t be bad, because Lindsay Lohan wasn’t born there.

I stayed pretty close to downtown and San Francisco is quite easy to get around. It’s a great place to walk and loaf about and there’s always a lot going on, you could be fully occupied all day by just watching what people are up to. Everyone knows this city is, and always has been, a tremendously energetic place in terms of the great music, literature, theatre, poetry and everything else that it has produced. It is a very expressive centre and has often adopted a lot new ideas before other places. I don’t know, one is always in a ‘holiday mood’ when visiting other places anyway, but San Francisco just seems to me to be a city with a bounce in its step. The people seem colourful and outgoing and opportunity is in the air. I wonder if the prescription rate for anti-depressants is down here compared to other cities?

It is a city for extroverts and there’s plenty of opportunity to get things ‘off your chest’.  It’s probably harder to be self-obsessed in a place like San Francisco where the culture seems to largely about pulling people out of themselves and getting them involved in their surroundings.

The world owes this city a huge debt, as most of us have at one point or another felt a lot better after hearing some of the music that has been recorded or written here. Strangely enough, it is also a centre for many international financial institutions as well and then Silicon Valley is nearby. There are a lot of immigrants and this also makes for colour, expression, and new ideas.  The whole area flows with creativity.

I walked the area known as ‘The Tenderloin’ to put up the posters. This is a kind of well worn in and ‘informal’ neighbourhood that is famous for Miles Davis once having recorded a live album at a local club.  Now, if that album were recorded in Gore, I’m here to tell you it would have sounded completely different.  I think The Tenderloin is also the area where Lenny Bruce was arrested at another nightclub because he used the right word at the wrong time. Bill Graham, the promoter who changed for all time the concert industry in America, was from San Francisco too and the music he promoted changed the culture in a substantial way. Then you have the best bookstore in the world on Columbus Avenue: City Lights Books. Lawrence Ferlenghetti, the owner, published many of the ‘Beat Generation’ writers and went to court several times for obscenity because he dared to print what was on everyone’s minds.

In the harbour is Alcatraz, once the world’s grooviest prison and home to Al Capone and many others. Steve McQueen drove a Ford Mustang in an irreverent fashion around the steep streets of San Francisco in the movie ‘Bullitt’ and Levi Strauss jeans were ‘born’ here.  This is where Janis Joplin got her big break and Owsley Stanley started ‘cooking’ LSD in commercial amounts and turned the world on.  The Grateful Dead played in the parks for free and Carlos Santana saw B.B. King playing a live gig and was himself set on a course.  The Beatles started and ended North American tours in 1964 and 1965 at the Cow Palace, a local venue. Their set was twelve songs long and I bet their entire gig was shorter than some Carlos Santana lead breaks. San Francisco is where ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine was founded…. And the list can go on and on.

So, I was happy to be putting up poetry posters and the people in The Tenderloin will stop and talk to you and it just made for a couple of very nice days for me.  I’ve thought a lot in my life about the difference an environment can make to a person’s creativity and how that creativity can be bought to the fore and nurtured. Obviously one of the problems in creating say, live music in New Zealand, is that the potential audience isn’t really that large and for everything that people say about the internet (and they say plenty), it is usually harder going to make a living out of the Arts in Aotearoa than it is in lots of other places.

When you get to a place as exciting as San Francisco it really makes you ponder these things. I’ve seen world class talent go awry and askew in New Zealand because of the real lack of rewards and then I’ve seen people make some really bland music (and writing) and reap relatively large rewards because they appeal to ‘middle New Zealand’ by being bland and barely moving an inch.  They continually say what the person before them has said. There’s not much room in New Zealand for many ‘niches’ and I don’t reckon that’s good for us and sheep and cattle get boring after a while.

So I guess you could really, really say I enjoyed my time in San Francisco and it’s always a privilege to be putting up poetry posters.

Thank You!

 

Keep the Faith,

 

 

Jim Wilson

 

51a 51c 51d 51f

Diary of a Billsticker – Baltimore, USA

I think Baltimore is the favourite city of a lot of people these days and this has a lot to do with a certain television show. I think that the show in question probably depicts ‘true’ things in a very real and earthy manner. It brings forward a lot of matters we all knew were going on, but which no one had stated quite so clearly before. Of course, when someone manages to do this simple thing (bring forth the undercurrents) then people are endlessly refreshed and fascinated. It’s that sense of the ‘naked lunch,’ where we can clearly see what is on the end of every knife, fork, and spoon. Sometimes it’s just not pretty and it’s easier to live with it all by ignoring it. Wittgenstein did say something like the best way to deal with a problem in life is to live like it doesn’t exist, but the ‘problems’ in cities like Baltimore have cried so loudly and for so long now that they will be addressed no matter what. It’s a big train that’s coming and there is a payload. However, some people would try and take the word ‘problem’ and soften it back to a ‘situation’….. But whichever word you choose, it’s a big one. That train is hundreds of carriages long and it is pure poetry in motion. Bob Dylan (who also wrote about Baltimore in a fine song) has been saying this stuff, sometimes indirectly, for many years.

Then, Omar Little himself chimed in with that it was all a game anyway and it was either play or be played. I think Omar’s way will win every time because Wittgenstein never slung dope on a street corner and so what did he really know about life? Slinging dope on a street corner is what hundreds of thousands of people do these days, whether they do it from behind a computer screen, from out of a doctor’s office, or whilst working for a major pharmaceutical company in some polite business park. They’re all corners when you think about it and I imagine the language is much the same when all the veneer comes off. So, somehow, doing it on down on an actual street corner with deep and intimate connections to Colombia seems a long way more honest. The whole idea is to keep the public satisfied and people do need more of everything, that has become obvious. There are also a lot of ‘folk’ who have to be paid.

I had printed off fresh supplies of posters before this run. I was carrying poems by Tusiata Avia, Marty Smith, Pat Connors, Elizabeth Smither, Brett Lupton, Dylan Kemp, Roger Hickin, Frankie McMillan, Jeffery McCaleb, Gary Langford, Chris Price, James K. Baxter, Hone Tuwhare, Janet Frame, Jody lloyd, Sandra Bell and Keri Hulme.

Some of our poets have actual real connections to Baltimore, Janet Frame being one, and some have merely watched ‘The Wire’ and enjoyed it and been fascinated by it to the utmost. I also think that many other people have what feels like ‘real connections’ to Baltimore these days. These ‘ties’ are often being built via Facebook and through cellphones and on the world wide web and in all kinds of ways that no-one can interrupt. If the government can’t keep Heroin and Cocaine (I deliberately capitalised both to annoy the creative writers) out of the Projects (and they can’t), then what hope do they have in trying to stop the population talking to each other like they do these days?  It’s all very random, but the truth will be out. I guess it must, but we do seem to be waiting a very long time, and, you know, Congress will vote to lift the debt ceiling…. I always have the feeling we are pouring more coal into a runaway train. Not that I am a Republican sympathiser either (heavens no)…. It’s just that I don’t think the problem anymore is either the Democrats or the Republicans, the problem is that people obstruct each other and cut each other down for strange reasons. It’s easier to dig the garden (or put up poetry posters) than to have ‘viewpoints’ because you end up getting feedback from someone who has a different viewpoint and cherishes being louder.

I believe Janet Frame lived in Baltimore for a while and possibly at the home of Dr John Money. I can google this subject if I want and no doubt come up with the answer, but instead I shall dredge through memories of what I’ve read some way back down the track. When I think about Janet Frame for long enough, I begin to think of her working at the Occidental Hotel in Christchurch which is now long gone, but which did have some good gigs in days gone by. There’s a line someplace where she writes about the area I grew up in… I think she either mentions Serpentine Avenue or McLaggan Street in old Dunedin and let me tell you this area would drop very nicely into Baltimore and everyone would get on really fine. When I was a kid, there were ‘corners’ of one kind or another all the way up Serpentine Avenue and McLaggan Street and I was fascinated by those corners.

You can see why it was a absolute pleasure to be bringing Janet Frame back to Baltimore, a city that she really ‘liked’ and not just in a Facebook way. It is her birthday on August 28th and probably a day of which all Kiwis should take note. If she were still alive, I guess she would have been around ninety years of age. She has always moved me and has been one of those writers who helped set the ‘Kiwi Character’ down on the page. That setting the Kiwi character and not just waffling around the exterior has been pure gold for New Zealand. Very few have done that and some have sold tons of books in the not doing of it.

Anyway, lots of famous people came from Baltimore or lived here for a while. H.L. Mencken did most of his work here and I like to think that David Simon (originator of ‘The Wire’) is just carrying on that sort of work for the television age. Old H.L. said some very pointed things, whilst David Simon shows them in a way that everyone can understand. I think one of the basic premises of what they both say or have said is that many things ‘suck.’ And not to put too fine a point on it, they do. It was never going to be fair and I leant that way back in Dunedin or perhaps somewhere out near Seacliff on the Otago Coastline.

Frank Zappa came from Baltimore and gave the world some of its finest music. When I think about New Zealand, I remember people in little towns who too were inspired by Frank. Frank was one to cut right through to the truth, musically and otherwise. He famously (well to me anyway) said “if you want to get laid, go to college, if you want to get an education, go to the library.” Now that’s the truth and the writer Colin Wilson (‘The Outsider’) knew that full well. I think everyone knows that at some level. You will learn more by being down on your luck in a prison cell somewhere for three months, than you ever could possibly learn in a some hallowed halls for fifteen years. But to each his own and there are many ideas on which I have no wisdom.

I’ve always relished being a billsticker, it really has a touch of the old Charles Dickens about it. It is always about the dark and pasting up a wall by car headlights and then the timely hit and run and the don’t look back credo. In recent days it too has become ‘modernised’ and I’ve not always liked that…. I just enjoy helping people to get their voice out there and so this has compensated to some extent for the way that it has all become (and everything has become). But I remember one time back in Christchurch, when I was pasting up a ‘strip’ down by the Farmers’ Department Store on Colombo Street. A band was playing a gig the next day and they needed something high profile and I had to do this run when a lot of people were about and I had to act like I wasn’t embarrassed. It was about 1982 and it was at about 6pm, I was with Harry Sparkle and he’s not afraid of this sort of thing… I mean everyone kicks you so you have to be ‘armoured’…. Someone walking by and said to me ‘why don’t you do that in the daylight?’ (it was winter and it was cold…) and I replied, very quickly I might add, that if I did it in the daylight then it’s possible someone from social welfare might see me and cut my dole.

Anyway, long story short… I did a truly gratifying poster run in Baltimore and got the real word out there for a lot of people. It can be done and it’s very satisfying.

 

Keep the Faith,

 

 

Jim Wilson

50a 50c

Diary of a Billsticker – New York City, USA

This was a poster run that took place over the July 4th weekend in New York City and once again I was a man possessed by the idea of getting some poetry into the streets. I usually feel that if mankind were restored to its natural state, then it would be one of putting up posters somewhere with a broom…. A place on the outskirts of town in the dark and in the dust…. But that each poster would shine. I believe Harry Sparkle (one of the great all-time posterers) is still out there with a paste bucket and glue in his hair.

I didn’t have a chance to re-up my supplies of posters before I left, so these were the same poets as featured in the Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts run: David Eggleton, Serie Barford, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman, Sonja Yelich, James K. Baxter, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Stephen Oliver, Hone Tuwhare, Jay Clarkson, Hinemoana Baker, Bill Direen, Becky Woodall and Aroha Harris. Or maybe they were the run before this. After a while of putting up posters (and particularly poetry posters), you just give way to the feeling and you dream about posters and then you tend to single out particular meter boxes and lamp-posts in your dreams.

So you just go into flow and each poster that you put up pulsates in your body. You are trying your utmost to have each poster ‘connect’ with a viewer. Then, before long you’re thinking about using a hydraulic drill to place them as if you could just make one huge statement that would be heard everywhere. But of course, no one can do that. So the poetry thing just kind of alerts people at odd angles that things could be different and yet you know it’s not going to be anytime soon. It’s all kind of gentle movements and with a quiet and peaceful motive force, and we must keep that in mind. I always see people reading the posters as I go and I’m happy with that and it keeps my feet on the ground. I know the Phantom Billstickers poetry project is touching people in their hearts. It’s not CNN, but it’s not bad. It’s all incremental and should go on for years.

I remember I had a competitor postering against me in Auckland once and it has been said that he would go out on thirty-six-hour poster runs. Then, years ago, I met the guys who do the posters in the UK. There had been some kind of poster fight for the city of Manchester where so much of the world’s great music has come from. In that fight, someone had a hand hacked off with a machette. The ‘Music Industry’ used to depend on breaking bands in either London or Manchester and vast numbers of posters were put up. If a band ‘broke’ in London say, they’d break around the world, they’d be heard everywhere and the band could then record their next record in Palm Springs. Now there’s a good chance that if a band breaks in Spreydon they will be unknown in Sydenham, so hands don’t seem to be cut off anymore. Fair enough, there’s still plenty of venom and  sarcasm on the internet, but so what? It’s the people who front up that I like.

Anyway, I love New York and who couldn’t? It’s got plenty of meter boxes where people put posters and lots of telephone boxes seemingly built for that purpose. Then there are many notice-boards in cafes and a real sense of community (at a very street level) comes about. I just think the city is so old that it has lost any sense of pretense that it may have once had synthetic ‘town planners’ that can’t get it by the short and curlies and turn the whole place into some huge Riccarton Mall. It’s a wild and extremely passionate place and it’s where creativity is a cherished notion. It swings every which way on a very big axis.

I don’t have a hell of a lot else to say really. I consider that I put up the posters in really great sites. I remember a couple of poem posters (Bill Direen’s and David Eggleton’s) where I got them on meter boxes and was so stoked by the whole thing that I stood at a distance for a long time and watched people reading them. I felt the same yearning as I wanted to think the viewer felt. It all slowed down my pulse rate and made me feel good.

 

On ya!

Keep the Faith,

Jim Wilson

 

49a  49c 49d 49e