Wednesday, September 18, 2002


In 1998, Indoor Fighting Press published the first of my two books, both called 'Failure Crawled up my Leg?'. The tantrum-aetiology of the title poem, as it fumes about failure, suggests at one point that my unfulfilment can be traced back to the humiliating experience of discovering a forest tick attached to my testicles whilst I was having a shower on the morning of my 20th birthday. I was very excited about getting published. I had recently been sacked from my job; and I hoped that my book would shoehorn me into serendipity, but the failures persisted. I'm still failing - though I've recently set up a business, based in Woking, providing sound effects to production facilities and theatres in London. The enterprise has spirited me to places I may never have visited otherwise - I'm meeting some very dedicated folk and taking an unusual array of sounds into custody: Tesla coils, in a midnight yard at the far end of a museum outside Amberly; reticent kookaburras in an aviary at Waddeson Estate; a football match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke; and an illegal immigrant, wearing clothes made of sacking, catching a train from Waterloo, and pestering me to arrest him. In August, I gave up my job working as a sound engineer for a facility in London. My boss invited me into his studio for an appraisal and said that he didn't think I was a very 'Soho' kind of person. I promised I would make an effort to 'shine'. This appraisal was the fillip I needed to start making plans to set up my own business. But soon after I finally left, I was very nearly shooed into applying for more jobs by the scaly responsibility of having to be self-disciplined - making the choice between spending one's time ringing around to make useful contacts or watching a cloying interview between Oprah Winfrey and a counsellor who has written a book called 'Relationship Rescue'. During this period, I had dreams of being a trifling wire-artist on Oxford Street, watching Ziggy Stardust and Vince Taylor crawling flamboyantly over a map they had opened on the pavement; and of being a foundation pad, crushed between old hard powder and the lid of my case - in a toiletry bag that is silent, apart from the occasional flutter of settling eye-brow tweezers. And when I woke, I imagined that my pillow smelt of the lipstick, still hovering over the mouthpiece of a public telephone that was recently used by a girl who was chatting with the only friend who hasn't avoided her since her brother was killed in a motorcycle accident a few days earlier. I felt a conflation of comfort, inertia and fear. These days, I swagger around with my DAT recorder and microphones, like I'm some kind of bounty hunter, and hand out my business card to wholly inappropriate people. I recently returned from Silba - an old pirate's island off Croatia - and have incorporated many of the field sounds I recorded there into my music. If you want more information about my music, or would like to buy my poetry, please send an email to