‘Outlaw Blues’ plays on the radio As I think to myself: when is the stage-coach to Paradise? Outside, the drifter is obviously alone. Others, too, have had desires denied. Hand me my whisky. Pour me my moonshine. The hotel lovers, half unclothed. The poker-game gambler down to a dime. Saddle my horse. The saloon has just closed.
I was born in Oxford but grew up in Devon. Then I moved to Italy at 28 where, to cut a long story short, I've been teaching English. I've lived in Cagliari, Sardinia since 1995.
For writing, I've been influenced by poets such as Phillip Larkin and WB Yeats and lately by Simon Armatage. However my first love is music and I’ve always paid particular attention to lyrics. I got a book of illustrated Beatles lyrics at 18 and that got me thinking about illustrating every poem I would write. I liked that extra ingredient of something visual and have, by and large, illustrated any poem I’ve ever written since.
I don't consider myself an artist so doing collages with paper, scissors and glue was a great way to cheat a bit! Sometimes I illustrate poems with photos, or drawings and watercolours, and recently a few oil paintings which is very dfficult!
I've had exhibitions of my collages which has been an added bonus. These have been put together with poetry readings. I have read my poems and there are examples here, either just audio, or video with my cat, Moony, named after Keith Moon, in tow. Cat's full name is Moony Gainsbourg Taylor, Telemachus Peter George after other influences! A great influence has been Johnny Morris and his renditions of my poetry. There are examples of his readings here.
I have written songs with Chicco Fresu which appear on this blog. He comes up with the music and then I fit the words and melody to it. I’m not a singer but we’ve recorded the songs because otherwise we would have forgotten how they went! I have also written songs by myself, and there are a few examples here too.
First and foremost, I like writing. Everything comes from that. The main idea is that poetry always goes together with visuals, music and performance.
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