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Kubricks

DEAN CAVANAGH

The industry. Anyone with an ounce of smarts will pretty quickly sense the delusion from those in control. You feel it, it surrounds you. The walls you hit, the absolute tossers you meet in a nepotistic room of mediocre. A back woods of stale ideas, non risk takers with no chance of letting any outsiders adding to the creative gene pool. Top heavy management more concerned with the idea of being part of it.  A structure that stifles. Money wasted on just keeping those in power and all their cronies in a job. If you are not contributing, it’s time to take the long snow walk, I say. Anyway, it’s just too many games and a waste of time for those who see through the bullshit. This is how it will always be.

As consumers, us discerning ones, we begin the search. We tell the spoon feeders to piss off, we turn them off. Easy solution. There will always be lazy mouth breathers holding their remotes, nob twisters whose tastes are imprisoned by mainstream manipulators perpetuating low expectations for advertisers to slot into. “It’s up to the individual how much you want to play the game” Screenwriter Dean Cavanagh’s brilliant insight into the film industry should be part of life’s curriculum, not just film school. His passionate wisdom and ‘suffer no fools’ approach is yet another refreshing individual to cross my path. Sound and vision, his creative is non stop. A synchronistic barrage that melds into his followers. Firing wires, thoughts and ideas. The secret collaborative, inspiration experienced just by viewing his work.

It is too difficult to encapsulate on a page such an amazing artist. Dean is extraordinary. He doesn’t bombard with work. Taking his time between passions. Though what I have found so far definitely excites. So I thought I would start with his directorial debut. 2012 movie release, Kubricks. He and son Josh Cavanagh are given the reigns to see what they can conjure. Hence my spleen vent. It’s movies like these, small budget beauties that brighten me more than any heart string pulling, bulging blockbuster could ever do. Filmed over five days, this is pure heart and humour.

It is a vision of psychological games centreing around the power trips of Kubrick fan, Donald (Roger Evans). A complete egoist, directing his own imagination. His life an insane play filled with Kubrickian symbolism. It has plenty. The story moves through a neurolinguistics therapy session with real life neurolinguistic therapist and Chinwag host Chris Madden. These intimate barefoot sessions tell all and nothing. There is no way to get through to him. Between giggles, the real story of Donald comes out.  He is more in love with the ‘idea of things’ than having any real skill to fulfil them. His motivational tactics are insane. When the demands of a psychotic get screamed at you from a megaphone and in the confines of a yurt, it is not long before you see the cracks appear. An ongoing prop that had me and the cast in stitches. I loved the reality of that. What made this story move for me was its look at the creative experience, the ‘process of not having a process’. A dogma of having fun, making it so exciting to witness. You watch the bewildered cast within the cast weathering his onslaught. Is he “a madman genius” or “somebody from the mental institution who has just been for a walk“. Have they been duped by some maniac taking the piss. The acting is adorable throughout. It seems to have no script, an ad-lib magic that rumbles along with an absurd laughter that is infectious.

Actors Joanna Pickering & Gavin Bain are flimflammed into a chance to fresh air it and quickly get sucked into the trauma. The scenario experiencing its own certain ‘heart of darkness’ inside an ‘apocalypse now’ feel, in a field, on Hay On Wye. Joanna is sceptical, Gavin’s eyes are wide shut. Big cheers must go to producer Alan McGee doing his best to placate the madman on his property and believing in the whole project. He plays ‘down to earth landowner’ so perfectly, so patient and bewildered. Donald’s catalyst to reality. Tom Mitchell’s photography has moments of stunning but also that perfect fly on the wall personal moments. a2172169501_16Its pace within the soundtrack, written by Dean Cavanagh enhanced everything, delivering that madness that was so prevalent. A hyperreal homage to the mood that A Clockwork Orange soundtrack conjured when I was a kid. A reminiscence that exceeded my ears.  Loads of slow mo and white, countryside and masks, love the salted egg scene. Its documentary bones scraped close to real life.

 

“I AM THE DIRECTOR EVERYONE’S REPLACEABLE.”

 

You can watch Kubricks worldwide release here.  If you knock hard enough maybe his website will open, still trying… anyway have a wander and explore.

 

 

Art Dean Cavanagh film Reviews
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The Cross by Joseph Ridgwell

Besides the brilliant zine Paper And Ink, Martin Appleby’s latest publishing venture is a three part novel in zine format – The Cross by Joseph Ridgwell

 

It started in the 70s. Development moguls began squeezing the sleaze out of one our more notorious suburbs. Sydney’s Kings Cross was our beacon. We were told the stories at a young age and believed every one of them. The Cross was often referred to as a state of mind. It held a place in our imaginations and everyone’s was different. It was a magical fun fair, bright light dream maker, twenty four hours of sin. When I first experienced it, it was 3am schnitzels and live music after everything else had closed. It’s where we all came for a night cap, star gazed at the bar and a little R&R. It was where we usually watched the sunrise or passed out whichever came first. Everyone was welcome. It had a great history of bohemia and mystery, dark alley deals and violence. Corrupt cops and a dodgy underbelly. Sure it was dangerous at times, but us regulars were all pretty street smart. This is where we learned a load of lessons.

dddAs the noughties moved in, so did the ‘nanny state’ brigade. It’s march down Darlinghurst Road was swift, we were all grounded for being very naughty boys and girls. 10pm licensing and a heavy hand was in place. So now the snakes of real estate and government control the way we socialise and interact with each other. Our most famous strip has changed forever. My drinking habits have also. Kings Cross got too involved with the wrong crowd, it was an all or nothing cleanse. Soon, all its history will just be a framed photo on a twenty dollar hamburger joints wall, and I will scream ‘bastards!’ and I will run by blue plaques crying cause all that is left is a homage to it’s former glory! El-Alamein fountain watching the new brigade stroll by surprised that that no one doesn’t piss on his dress anymore.

So where did all the misfits go? The great characters that make the world different. We are losing comfortable, unassuming and cheap places to congregate. Places to listen to bands, to dance, to rally. Our churches of the like minds all destroyed by these new gods of mammon. We lose our community and even lives in the name of development. Many mysteries. It’s all about money, safety, litigation and with that our spirits sanitised. The cafes are oh so nice, yet oh so expensive. Bayswater beauties needing their nails done and the tops of their macchiatos decorated.

We have become so intolerant of the anti social that even those that dress a little crazy would be risking a chat with the cops. The fear of coming face to face with a guy in a harlequin suit talking to angels just too damn uncomfortable these days. It upsets the locals. Kings Cross had a thriving music and art scene once. Even when I lived there in the 90’s it still had a few pockets untouched by greased palms. The over-spill from The Yellow House still in our memories. The divine characters of The Sydney Push, our favourite ‘futilitarians’ would not recognise an inch of what Kings Cross has become…*she sighs*

A tourist’s perspective on a city is very enlightening. Not trapped down by local knowledge, just recording exactly how they see it. The bruises and sins skim cream like, the obvious end of an era noted by a stranger. That traveller is London born writer Joseph Ridgwell. Joe became an honorary Australian back in the 90’s. He lived in Kings Cross the same time I did. When I found out I was surprised we hadn’t shared a pash and kebab or at least a bar stool at the Bourbon & Beefsteak. I got in touch with Joe a few months back to talk about his writing. An interview I’ve not yet written. But since then I’ve got to read plenty of his work. Even done a few reviews. I became a fan of his writing real quick. Joe slipped me a copy of a story I might be interested in. It was called The Last Days Of the Cross. Set in Sydney, he thought I might dig his reminiscences of my home town. The suburb that was on the cusp of change. The Kings Cross we all loved for it’s filth, characters and notoriety was dissolving. He could still feel the tremors of an old Kings Cross. He has a gift for that. The beauty found in the backstreets. He also saw the sadness. We liked it dirty. I think he did to. Rents were hiking, gentrification and crime evolution were just some contributing factors that made me feel it was losing its spirit and individuality. That book unfortunately now out of print sunk right in. Joe got it so right. The feels for an old cross and a great story that I hope gets a re release one day.

The Last Days Of the Cross got me yearning. I hadn’t been back to my old stomping ground for a few years. So one Sunday I went on safari in search of the old cross. First thing I noticed was no prostitutes, no junkies, no one asleep on the footpath, no vomit, no goldfish bowl and no coke sign. Quite disconcerting I must say. I began walking down the backstreets and clicked away matching the memories that Joe had sparked in me. I sent them his way on a whim that maybe it would spark him. A few must of stuck cause he asked me if he could use them in the release of The Cross, a novel in three parts released in zine format published by Martin Appleby of Paper And Ink Zine. A beautiful coincidence.

Part one has all the regular pace and humour that I expect in a Ridgwell adventure. Once on Australian soil, he soon gets sucked into the vortex of eccentrics, drug addicts, strippers, witches, locals and tourists. His charm getting a roof, a job and a root in no time. Each chapter blends into the other and yet on their own stand out with it’s own unique atmosphere and yarn to tell. This issue is only a limited release and nearly sold out and Part 2 is available soon. You will enjoy them just as much as single entities but aim for the three part set if you can. Also in the stages of release is Paper And Ink zine’s Hangover Issue. Inside you’ll find a few masters of the morning after including Joseph Ridgwell, Dean Lillyman, Ford Dagenham & u.v.ray. The Cross and Paper & Ink #7 is available here.

 

 

Reviews Zines & Journals
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“I write poetry for the heart and the gut. I write poetry for the boy and girl in the miniature Minotaur masks crouched in the corner of the burning doll’s house” – Miggy Angel

part 4 of interview series with Miggy Angel

miggy 4

 

Words & Image by Miggy Angel

art as therapy
“Poetry/writing saved my life. The blank page was the only receptacle that could contain the infernal mess of wild overspill that I was. I believe that art was/is the first therapy. Art was the first tool we wrought and reached for in our initial primeval howling and wailing. I have for a long time had this image in my mind of a woman crouched down, directly after a stillbirth, and in her grief she reaches her hands down into the blood and viscera and begins to mark the walls with the raw material of her grief. That’s the birth of art, right there. I saw recently that they did a study and found that the vast majority of hands used in the very first cave paintings were womens’ hands. Basically, if a person doesn’t understand that blood and viscera were the first ink or paint then I don’t have a lot to say to them. We are obviously not mining the same vein nor drinking at the same vine. I facilitate a weekly writing workshop for people who are facing addiction issues, and I also take poetry workshops into schools for teenagers. My whole life makes sense in the context of community arts. I went through what I had to go through, so that art could save my life, and so I could then take that passion and enthusiasm for art into the lives of people who need art the most. Poetry for some of us is do or die, and around people for whom that is the case, I am at my most content. If you ever saw me turn a school assembly hall into an open mic for 300 teenagers then you would understand. I feel most myself when I am pulling poems from the forever nooks of your broken heart”.

poetry for the ear or eye
“I write poetry for the heart and the gut. I write poetry for the boy and girl in the miniature Minotaur masks crouched in the corner of the burning doll’s house. Ah, I don’t know. I crawled on my hands and knees for eternity across broken glass and molten tarmac just to tell you a poem. But if you’d like to read it, instead, quietly, inside the halls of your own sweet mind, to yourself, then that’s perfectly ok, too, because I love you enough to let you choose. I’d say that craft is what people mean when they talk about page poetry, and content is usually associated with oral, spoken, performed poetry. So when I write I suppose what I’m trying to do is achieve a balance between wild content and hard craft. Go read a book like Ai’s ‘Cruelty’ for the balancing of content and craft. Women tend to do it best, in my opinion. Plath knew all about it, and no one has ever done it better, really”.

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here.

GKPPaperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Miggy’s website.
Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly
poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.
Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 of interview series with Miggy

 

 

Interview Poetry
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the kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

A person doesn’t have to have ever written a poem to be a poet, you already know that though, I’m guessing. So the poets that shaped me have not necessarily shaped me by virtue of their having written poems.

Watching my mother drag two kids and a pram and shopping bags up the stairs to the top floor of a tenement block with no elevator every single day of my childhood taught me all I need to know about poetry.

South London asphalt taught me all I need to know about poetry.

Addiction taught me all I know about poetry.

Panic disorders, amphetamine psychosis and spectral voices at 4:48am taught me all I need to know about poetry.

London and Cordoba banging their frantic morse-drums in my chest day and night taught me all I know about poetry.

The crack-pipe in my mouth at fourteen years old taught me all I need to know about poetry.

In South London, language, and the commandeering of oral communication, was power.

As working-class kids knocking about on council estates all you have is your tongue, your larynx, your gnarled alphabet.

Spiel is an act of survival.

Every kid I knew growing up was a poet by another name.

We splayed the alphabet daily.

That’s where I learnt everything I need to know about rhythm and emphasis and repetition and refrain and the silences and crawl-spaces between tenses that hold a lit match up to life and death.

The kid who can blag for a life-time discovers eternity inside the black hollow of his mouth.

I’ve seen people murdered by glottal stops.

Verbal wounds you’ll spend a lifetime removing guttural-shrapnel from.

The bruised air of a girl holding her breath for infinity.

The beauty and fragility of a self-worth erected upon nothing more than the lightning dynamo of a street-kid’s hyperbole and rhetoric and bravado taught me every single thing I need to know about poetry.

And, by the way, I was that kid….

 

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here.

Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

Part 1 & Part 2 of interview series with Miggy

Interview Poetry
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Ford Dagenham

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Yet another uniquely bound beauty from Blackheath Books. Their posse of authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year has been such a literary highlight.  Excellent writers that have unknowingly kept me sane throughout the bombardment of mainstream pap that cold drips into ones life.

Ford Dagenham has been standing out in my brain since I glimpsed him via the pages of PUSH and Paper & Ink .  A little search reveals publishing houses taking risks, and getting these writers on paper. It was through their zines that I stumbled upon Hatchbacks On Fire – a poem or pic a day until i die or don’t. My notifications always let’s me know that he is alive. I actually search out his daily fixes, straight to the source, a guaranteed mind ponder with my cuppa. Some writers become your morning newspaper, Ford is one of those. Admiring his prolificacy each post is one thing, but when one keeps delivering eye catchers day after day, that hold your attention, it just maddens and delights. Dagenham’s voice has a unique ache.

So onto his collection of poems.  I took Adelle Stripe‘s foreword advice, read it in inside a wrinkly hour in my bath.  A Canvey Island Of The Mind published back in 2013, presses on your chest. ‘Canvey’ is a play on ‘Coney’ and baby, this is this sort of poetry I dig. Irregular outbursts, misshaped and random tackling life, death and love with a tantalising melancholy. He spends a lot of the lines through time spent at work. A job at the NHS is not for the weak hearted and you would quickly accumulate a backlog of stories. Where people are “slowly dying of hospital”. Ford takes the time to remember, to ponder and to get the facts and feelings all down. He has a way of taking you on a path where he will either present you flowers on bended knee or knife you in the gut with grief. I feel his pen frantically reminiscing his view on the day to day, his moments he shares of his working life are breathtaking. Often sinking back into what he is escaping from “I read the black abyss in the liquid ballroom” A Canvey Island Of The Mind  takes you behind doors, physical and mental. Honest and brutal, Ford is a poet to follow. You can purchase this and many other unheard voices via Blackheath Books.

Book Review Poetry

the internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves – Miggy Angel

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

The internet is the greatest art installation we ever built.

Made of light and longing.

The internet is a mass act of clairvoyance, the biggest seance in the universe, and we are all seers and the dearly-departed there.

The internet is a selfie that god is taking.

It’s an infinite sculpture made of blue smoke and our passive-aggression and we’ll only recognise our creation once it steps down from its plinth and puts its hands around our throats and throttles us in the name of love.

The internet is the scatological vapour and mist of consciousness made mercurial replicant of the quotidian and material.

It’s a weapon of mass disjunction.

It’s how they put a barcode on the soul.

It’s McCarthy’s wet dream.

It’s the missing one in black hat with hands behind the back who walks ahead of the hearse which is your life.

It’s a brain on fire.

It’s a boxing ring and you can feel the gloves but not the ropes.

It’s a neon gallows and the hood fits.

It’s an emergency room and all procedures are urgent and psychic and the walls in the theatre are red.

It’s a pageant of heaven and hell held in the little copper pocket-mirror stitched to your breastplate.

Maybe, along with pollution, the internet is the fingerprint we’ll leave at the crime-scene.

The internet is what happened to us when we became as frightened of intimacy as we are desperate to acquire it.

The internet is a love letter we are writing to ourselves, and it says Hello, and it says Do you remember me, and it says I miss you, and it says If you won’t touch me where it hurts anymore won’t you at least acknowledge that I’m alive…

Even the worst internet troll displays the heartbreak of unrequited love if you look hard enough.

On the internet we are all exiled lovers in a death pact, forever bound together in the electric eternity of our yearning.

If you are an artist, then the internet is a heart and spleen-shaped clay-oven that you put your organs inside – where they’ll either melt and become malleable or harden like a stone, and that’s how you find out which kind of person you are.

So, the internet is a personality test.

And, let me tell you… we all failed.

But, there’s still time.

 

There is still time.

 

Miggy’s poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available digitally here . Paperback copies are a little rare, best to contact Celandor for options.

Miggy organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

Part 2 of interview series with Miggy, view Part 1 here

 

Interview Poetry
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Miggy Angel

“Street, rattle your skulls, shake
Your pouch of owl’s claws, baste
My charred heart in your asphalt kiln,
Street, spit the steel bit from your mouth…”

(Litany For The) Street – Miggy Angel
Grime Kerbstone Psalms

 

It’s taken the whole of this year to get here. My review and interview with Miggy Angel. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms I read inside a sombre day in December last year. It changed me profoundly. Through him I discovered writers, artists, photographers and film makers that fired my imagination. His poems gave me the push to delve into myself and see what I could find. Mostly, it’s his writing and images with that unnerving reality that hits the spot for me. The honesty inside the dark, he unknowingly mentors.

My questions felt stilted. We did our best to have a bash and banter, but life got in the way. Whenever Miggy and I ever got time to connect, bit by bit, it started to make sense. Like ephemeral intercontinental pen friends.  A lot of the questions were fueled by my own inquisitiveness and when reading them over, they just paled into a wall. They at least became triggers for Miggy to answer. Concentrating more on the visual this year, he uncovers society, his images are fast and messed up, all you can do is be still and take it all in.  It is the most exquisite grit to view and says so much more than words, something I thought could not be possible in comparison to his poetry. I asked Miggy if I could just take his answers that he has sent me and connect them to some of the images he has taken this year. The result is a series of posts to discover for yourselves the unique insight that lives inside the poet.

 

 

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Words & Image by Miggy Angel

My mum is English, a South London girl. My father was Spanish, from Cordoba in (Moorish) Spain. Angel is my middle name. I grew up in South London in the 70’s and 80’s as a Miguel (Miggy) with a Spanish surname full of what John Fante called ‘soft vowels’, and an absent father allowing me no root-path back to the origins of my name. So, culturally, you could say I have always felt like an outsider. Talking of Fante, I read Ask The Dust in one sitting, a solitary afternoon sat in a library. When I read these lines of his, which articulated something I related to so absolutely, I was again resolved to writing as the only way for a mongrel-hound like me.

“Smith and Parker and Jones, I had never been one of them. Ah Camilla! When I was a kid back home in Colorado it was Smith and Parker and Jones who hurt me with their hideous names, called me Wop and Dago and Greaser, and their children hurt me, just as I hurt you tonight. They hurt me so much I could never become one of them, drove me to books, drove me within myself, drove me to run away from that Colorado town,” … “But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father’s father, and they would have my blood and put me down.”

– John Fante from Ask The Dust

Miggy Angel is a poet. His poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms is available here . He organises and comperes Nottingham’s monthly poetry event Speech Therapy and facilitates writer’s workshops.

 

GKP

 

Interview Poetry