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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gone fishing...

Hi, it's been one of those very long days. I drove across to Norfolk this morning to pick Nic up from the crazy place she's been staying. Now, Norfolk is one of those strange places to get to. First of all there is no direct route - No motorway that runs from Manchester to Norwich - in short there's no easy way to get there. When I took her over last week, I drove via Chesterfield, Newark (half way) and Sleaford. The problem was that to get to the first stage (Chesterfield) I had to negotiate horrendous roadworks near New Mills and the punitive road calming measures on the A6 through Stockport. Which when added together made the forty one mile journey to the town with the twisted spire take a whooping two and a half hours. Last October I made the same trip all the way to Swaffam Norfolk in just over three hours. So, today I went a different route Via Sheffield, Worksop, Lincoln and Sleaford. It was a little quicker than last week but again hampered by mega roadworks, this time on the A1(M) also there's that stupid bottleneck at Hollingworth that could/should have been sorted out years ago. Anyway!


chitchat – chew the fat
what went wrong at Chelsea?
‘cos they put six past you
now you really know Sven
what It’s like to be a blue
I hate to say I told you Sven
but I’ve seen it all before
years ago at Arsenal
we lost by the same score
you really need to buy new men
Sven spend spend
chitchat – chew the fat
I’m City ‘til I die! they cry
and to their dying day they’ll say
Sven spend spend
chitchat – chew the fat
no matter what you say or do
the blues will come back to haunt you!

You can read my pub-poetry blog at:

Monday, October 29, 2007


Who's that guy? standing out there
every time I look outside
he's standing there - looking in
I'm indoors and he's outside
in the place where I see me
but he's not me - he's too old
he's always there though - rain, shine,
hot or cold - mimicking me.
He's just a little fat guy -
I'm tall and slim - I'm inside
but he's out there looking in.
He sees me - I don't know him.
Danger, reflection, stranger!
clink-the-link to my pub-poetry page SweetTalkingGuy


I'm stuck in the mist of time
sitting on a pile of discarded discs
on a desert island in the midst of the myth.
The wind-up gramophone is getting on my bone
and I'm wishing that things could be fine. When the
bell on my fishing line rings and I reel-in a bottle of wine.
I un-cork it and it talks to me. It's a message in a bottle from home.
Come back to the UK, all is forgiven, today's a new day... it starts to say.
But I can't go any place. I ain't got a ticket for an aeroplane, I ain't got the fare
for the train and there ain't no bus I can take for free. I got no credit on my dog an'
bone, ain't got no candy for the wall pay phone. Unless I can find a Girl Friday
with a cell phone charged that can call for me. Then I'm stuck up the creek
without a paddle for my canoe. What can I do? For the record:
I'm stuck in the mist of time - with HMV!
Barking up the palm-tree...
I might as well be
a zillion miles
from home.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Fashion-sister, skin and blister.
No, she's not Budgie's bird no more,
since she's been dressing oh so slick.
Hell, she's sure not nobodies chick!
And when she goes to cross the street
the cab and bus drivers honk - beep!
Her stripy tops and dots on socks
look the part with her golden locks.
fashion-sister, skin and blister.
Can't resist her - Fashionista!
Danny Wise 231007
Don't forget to clinketh-de-linketh to my pub-poetry page SweetTalkingGuy...

Poetry prompts...

I've been spending some time over at Writers Island and I discovered that they do a writers prompt at just gone midnight on Fridays which you post to your own site and then publish a link on their site when the widget thingy opens on the following Tuesday. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can clink-the-link to them HERE and find out for yourself. Oh yeah, just to let you know - this weeks prompt is: Haunted.
I wrote a couple of things for the previous posts on Writers Island but didn't think they were good enough to post but I think I will let you see them here anyhow - seen as I know everybody that visits this blog anyway! Don't I? Go on, I know you're smiling now 'cos you think I don't know who you are - but I've got you tracked! (only joking!)
Phew! you're still here, so I guess you want some more of my really bad poetry! Well, there's a couple (or three) of things you can do. You can scroll down this page a bit and find my NEW poem Fashionista! Secondly you can clink-the-link to my pub-poetry page SweetTalkingGuy. Thirdly, you can visit my archive poetry at:StraightTalkingStreetTalkingSweet...TalkingGuy, which is old blog postings of which there are seventy one posts, and about eighty poems in all for you to read.

Midnight muse...

The above line was once used in one of my mum's haiku. Which brings me to the reason why I'm sitting here at this computer keyboard at gone midnight UK time. The blog time reads: 4.27 pm and my screen time reads: 00.28 The crazy thing is it's going to change again in twenty four and a half hours time as we (UK) switch to daylight saving time by moving the clocks back one hour. I can never figure out whether we lose an hours sleep or gain an extra hours drinking time at the bar.
Some of you might have detected a new direction for this blog recently. Well, I'm really going to blow your socks off this time because my other blog SweetTalkingGuy is running at capacity and this blog Inland Driftwood is really slow with an average readership of only a dozen people and many weeks when only my regular six visitors turn up - I have decided to dedicate this space - no dedicate may be a little too strong - I have decided to incorporate some poetry on this site and will start by making some new links to some really good poetry sites.
I've been reading lots of web poetry lately and one of the things that I often come across is strange words. These strange words are only strange because I'm not familiar with them and nine times out of ten I end up looking in the dictionary. Which of course is good for me as it increases my word power. However, I usually get told/warned off, when I use a strange word in my poetry. Take Fashionista for example, everybody here has told me that the word doesn't exist and that I shouldn't use it. What do I do? Listen to the plethora of writers who sit around my kitchen table? Or go ahead - publish and be damned? Well, I must tell you that I have used this word before in articles elsewhere and I have seen it used from time to time in my local newspaper The Manchester Evening News. So I know that it exists and I'm happy with it. But for all the kitchen-table writers and Fashionista's out there, I have made a clickable link from the title of the above poem to the word thingy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's up doc?...

You'd think that it would be easy to get around in Venice and for most of us it is - you/I/we simply get off the water bus and walk. The problem is, if you can't walk and you rely on Ziggy like Nic does to get about, then you're well and truly snookered! Ziggy is Nic's wheelchair in case you were wondering. You see, everywhere you want to go in this ancient city, there is a bridge to cross and the bridges are for the most part stepped. So, if you're a wheelchair user, you'll need a strong pusher/puller to get you over the blooming bridges. The alternative is of course to travel everywhere by vaporetto (water-bus) but that means lots of queuing up and waiting about.
The good news about Venice for people in Ziggy, is that they have lots of brand spanking new Ziggy Loo's all over the place. We've been to Venice on several occasions and I can tell you that it has been a nightmare in the past to find a decent place for Nic to spend a penny. I remember a few years back, we had an access map of Venice that had little orange Ziggy symbols showing accessible routes and toilets. We had just crossed over the Rialto bridge, I was dragging Ziggy backwards by the handles and there were about one hundred and sixty steps to the middle and the same amount again to negotiate to get down/across to the other side of the Grand Canal. Anyhow, we had just got across the bridge when Nic wanted the loo - "No probs," I told her, "We've got the special map!" And sure enough, there was a Ziggy loo listed less than a hundred yards away - when we found it however, it was boarded up. There was nothing for it but to retrace our steps back across the massive bridge.
The good news this trip was that we found two really nice clean brand new Ziggy loo's. The first was a public loo at Garibaldi, just near the statue. Now, we have been to this facility before and in the past it was the smelliest, dirtiest, filthiest public inconvienience anywhere. Not now though! The second place was in a little restaurant, I know where it is, and I could take you there, I just can't think what it's called. I can see it now in my minds eye (I'm going to have to go and search for that Venetian street map in a minute!) it's close to the water-bus landing at Zacheria - if you really need to know where it is you'll have to e-mail me and I'll find it for you on the map. Oh yes, they do a really nice pizza and coffee and they speak English - I nearly forgot!
Many thanks to all of my readers! I am of course talking about my really bad poetry blog SweetTalkingGuy... as you'll know if you're a regular reader of this blog, Proper Joe's, that I did a Modigliani poem recently and I've just reached 1,ooo visitors on the hit counter on STG! So, a BIG thank-you to everybody who clinked-my-link! And hey, it's not too late - but you'll have to scroll down the page a bit as the Modi posting was on the 9th. - you never know - you just might like it! Anyway, what I was trying to say about Modigliani was/is that I've updated/decorated the posting with a picture of The Portrait of Mario! So if you want to know what the Greek musician looked like... duh!
Did I mention that it was his birthday on the 16th a week or so ago. I'm sure I did coz Nic told me to tell you that he would have been a hundred and fifty three? I think! Anyhow, this posting isn't about Nic it's about her famous dad Colin, who starred on the BBC local News programme just two days after Oscar's birthday. I must explain that Nic's mum and dad work in the Oxfam shop in Nantwich where a rare numbered first edition of The Importance of Being Ernest was recently found. Nic's dad, being the book expert, was interviewed on tv - he had valued the book at about £700 - it sold instantly - and the phone's not stopped ringing. How's that for fifteen seconds of fame? And just think, it wasn't all that long ago that I reported that we saw the blue plaque on the wall of an apartment building that stands on the site of the house in Worthing where Oscar actually wrote it! How famous does that make me? Phew!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Here we go again...

Yes, wow! Wait! I was hoping to bring you a glowing account of the thriving performance poetry circuit. However, I have been unable to get out this week apart from a couple of trips to the shops. Hold on! Which reminds me, last week on National Poetry Day, we went shopping at our local friendly ASDA store and (you're not going to believe this!) the check-out lady (nice lady) actually recited a John Cooper Clarke poem for us. How cool is that?
So, what I have been doing this week is checking out some 'dead good' poetry blogs. I've been particularly impressed with some of the Haiku that I've found here and there, I haven't written many myself but I think I will, some time soon. In fact I've just found an article I wrote in 1982 for my Doktir Nairobi collection. The piece is titled: Rumour - Gossip - Imagination - Advantage. and I'll be pasting it to my Gobsplot blog when a get a moment. For those of you who don't know, Gobsplot is an anagram of blogspot! anyhow, what's all this nonsence got to do with Haiku or poetry blogs for that matter? Well, at the end of the aforementioned article it says: As the twentieth century closes, three types of people are revealed, those that create, those that appear and finally those that watch. As my good friend Shakespeare already said: 'The world is a stage' you either call all the shots, play your part, or clap! The last line is a found haiku is it not?
This week it is just about everybody's birthday. Today of course is Oscar Wilde's 153rd. Nicola just informed me of this amazing fact - you can read her Newsletter, Raw Meat clink-the-link-HERE. Last Saturday, the 13th. Was my Brother in law's birthday, it was also my Mum's birthday, she really could write Haiku, sadly she is no longer with us. On Friday, it will be my Brother Frank's birthday Happy Birthday Frank! And then on Sunday, my Sister Kim will celebrate hers! So, Happy Birthday Kim!
To continue the Italian theme from last week, as promised, I will start with a moan about driving in Europe. I must explain that in England many of us view Europe as some foriegn place where everything is different. As far as driving goes, it definately is. You see, we (in England) drive on the right-hand side of the car and on the left-hand side of the road. Whereas, over there (in Europe) they mainly drive on the left-hand side of the car and the right-hand side of the road. Funnily enough, it has never really bothered me that they (the Europeans) drive on the wrong side of the road. It's just one of those mad mad things! What does really, really, really bother me though, is the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the CAR!!!
Don't you just love canal walking? We/I do it all the time, you see here in Manchester we have lots of canals, many of them appear to be hidden and some of them actually are. But Manchester canals are one thing and Venetian canals are something else! Venice is one of those places that you feel at home in. Well, I do anyway! Sometimes, I think that the ancient, falling down, palaces and apartment buildings remind me of my own falling down, ancient house. But, there's much more to it than that, perhaps it's the water! I just love being by the sea! I don't know what the magic is - but it does exist! Anyhow, Nic and I had driven on the wrong side of the road in a hire car from Lake Garda. It was a very hot day and when we arrived at the car-park-Island there was nowhere to park. Eventually, we found a space in the multi-storey-thingy, then after a long walk to the vaporetto (water bus) we set off thru the back canals of Venice. MORE LATER

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Carry on regardless...

Totally Optional Prompts.
Hey, there's a new web site on blogspot called Totally Optional Prompts. The idea is that they give you a poetry prompt each week and then every thursday you publish it to your site and put a link from their site, sort of like Poetry thursday used to be. Anyway, clink-the-link and find out for yourself. Oh yeah, my poem Salt Girl: is HERE!
It was National poetry day last week and I took Nicola to a poetry 'read around' at Oldham library. I had written a new poem for the day but as luck would have it there were more important people there than me and by the time it was my turn they were in a hurry to close the event. I really didn't want to rush my new poem so I did a very short and very old rhyme - maybe next time...
I'm not in a rush right now! And if you don't have to hurry, you can clink-the-link to my pub-poetry page and read it for yourself. It's called TOUT-TOUT... I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I've numbered it PC28907 and it will be added to my ever growing Paris collection.
The poem is mainly about Modigliani, the Italian artist. He spent most of WW1 in Paris. What strange times they must have been. Anyway, if you do get a minute to check TOUT-TOUT you should know that Jeanne was Jeanne Hebuterne the mother of Modigliani's daughter, who shared the same name. Mario, was Mario Varvogli the Greek musician who was reputedly the last person to sit for Modigliani before he died in 1920. Livorno, was the Italian town that Modigliani came from. The model who posed for Nu Couche in 1917, I'm sorry I don't know her name. But Nic has a very nice picture of her on her wall.
We went on one of those end of season bargain breaks, three weeks for the price of two, granny goes free, and gratis car-hire if you book a budget airline flight thru the same agent. We only wanted to go for seven days so when the company lady added up the deal and subtracted the discounts they actually owed us money! How mad is that? When they say it's cheaper than staying at home, they really mean it. We'd have been daft not to go, so we packed our bags and headed for Lago di Garda!
It was a bargain break on a budget airline and we had to fly from Liverpool's John Lennon airport. How Rock 'n Roll's that? I had flown from Liverpool airport many years ago on one of those wind-up-and-go-planes to Ronaldsway in the Isle of Man. In those days Liverpool airport was called Speake and the terminal was like a garden shed! I know they've done it up now - it's more like a double garage these-days! Don't you just hate flying? I do! But what can you do, if it's cheaper to go abroad than to stay at home - then you'd be a fool not to go! Anyway, as it turned out we left on a miserable autumn day and flew for two hours to Milano, where we encountered summer sunshine.
We picked up the gratis hire-car from the aeroporto and drove for one hour to our accomodation on the banks of Lake Garda. The nice car-hire people had up-graded us to a large four door vehicle, which was very handy for Ziggy! So, thank you very much to the wonderful staff at Bergamo airport, which is about as close to Milan as Liverpool is to Manchester, but that's budget (bud-jet?) for you I guess. As it happens, it turned out in our favour as Bergamo is a lot of Kilometers nearer to Lago di Garda than Milano. So, the sun was shining and the camp site was first class, did I mention that we were in a tent? Well, you can't have everything, can you? And the tents are FM! flaming massive!
One thing we noticed this time in Italy was the number of people wearing some kind of uniform, we were strolling along the lake road when a bunch of people on bicycles came towards us, there must have been fifty people in the group, men, women and youngsters. There were fat people and thin people and tall people and small ones, but the funny thing was they were all wearing the same outfit, black lycra style cycle shorts and a black and red vest. We sat by one of the little harbours on the Lakeside near Simione and a car pulled up and six young men got out. They walked towards the harbour wall in single file. They were identically dressed in long blue shorts and white pumps and socks and purple polo shirts with a little anchor motif on the chest. They climbed down the wooden ladder to a waiting boat and sailed out into the morning mist on the lake.
The best uniform buddies that we saw were the Soprano's. The campsite thermometer thingy read 32 degrees and these guys were dressed in wellington boots and orange waterproof trousers, big oven-mitt style gloves and blue polo shirts and dark glasses. They all looked and acted like Tony Soprano and they were the campsite bin-men. All the happy campers on the campsite had seperated their empty bottles into one bin and their plastics into another, cardboard into a different place and general rubbish into another skip, all for recycling and then the Soprano's came along and recycled everything! Into one big dustbin-cart!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Back on song...

To cut a long story short, we've just got Windows Vista on a new computer. I won't bore you with the why's and where for's but the dastardly deed is done. What a pain it has been to not be able to get on the net and blog! But guess what? looks like I'm BACK!
Being unable to use the computer has enabled me to whittle my way through a pile of books that I've been meaning to read for ages. I've just finished a book by Patrice Chaplin called Into the darkness laughing. It's mainly a story about the life of Jeanne Hebuterne who was Modigliani's last mistress and the mother of his daughter also named Jeanne.
We've lived with Modigliani pictures in this house for the last fifteen years, I hasten to add that they are NOT originals but merely prints. Well, framed posters if you want the truth! Anyway, I wrote a poem about the wayward Italian artist last week and I really wanted to read a bit about him in a book I knew Nic had, called The True Bohemian or some such thing, but after searching hi and lo, here + there et al. I came to the conclusion that she had leant it to someone else. Whoever you are please return it soon! I'd still love to read it.
It's well known these-days that I write really bad poetry and if you don't believe me you only have to search my name on google or clink-the-link to my pub-poetry page. Well, I've written this thing about Modigliani in three languages but I can't publish it to the blog until I've checked all the dodgy French and Italian words... maybe NEXT WEEK!
Okay, I mentioned the book launch thing to you some time ago now I know, but here's the update anyway! This friday at The Manchester Muesum as part of the Manchester International Literature Festival, Nicola's twin sister Suzanne is launching her new book The Barking Thing and will be reading along with other Bloodaxe Poets at the event. DON'T MISS IT!