Thursday, 23 March 2017

New Write Up on the End of Summer

The following write up has appeared on the publication page of The End of Summer by Michael Holme (for which i am grateful for)

Right from the start of the first poem in this collection, I realised I was reading words penned by a writer very different to myself: “The first few times we met / was under a crossing of invisible bridges…” Whilst hard to picture, it seemed ironic, then not, crossing bridges separate, whilst it was established that a meeting had occurred. Andy’s words are sometimes simple, sometimes hard, and at other times plain obscure. I thought he offered a set of poems levelled at all manner of minds. My own poetry often mentions the season, more often spring than any other, and I like the seasons as a theme in Andy's poetry. Do not expect clich├ęd descriptions here though: “After Summer / autumn is always brushed / under the carpet / like a half baked afterthought…” Expressions such as “womb sunrise,” “forgotten shadows,” “splattered hammers,” “colliding motionless,” “like a postcard out of breath” and many more, make the poems the readers own. They offer an ambiguity that begs the book is reread with a different angle on previous suggestions. Some poems, for example, Out of Reach II, make me imagine parallels with the abstract painters, but not total abstraction. Again, there is left an offer for the reader to define the looser parts. In “Edge of the Flames” I recognised a poetry I was more accustomed to, and it’s presence in the volume only added to the overall richness. This, as an example, was admittedly, an easier read for me. But still offering gems like, “Before morning / the night was as vicious as ice / and the wind branded the windows / with a punk like sneer.” And the poet doesn’t always restrict himself to formal sentence structures, something I have never had the courage to do myself. Does it lack because of that, and the odd missing comma? I don’t think so. It’s like further food. For me the clearer works like “Divorced Memories” were favoured. Then I though, is that a laziness? And I loved seeing local references. I felt the last piece summarized much, in a hope and mystery perhaps?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ghost Story IV

Ghost Story IV will follow on from Ghost Story I to III looking at horror over a series of at least 30 poems told in 30 days.

In previous stories, we explored horror through a tram crash in Salford where a ghost came to warn a man about the forthcoming crash to a shooter at a un-named train station and a poisoned rat king running amok, Ghost Story IV will follow a new theme and turn the volume up louder than before.

In this story, although the core characters from Part I to III will remain Andy and Michelle, a human and a ghost trapped in a whirlwind of a puzzle of a up coming un-seen horror creeping into play, Part IV will focus on a character who came into the forefront Ghost Story III right at its end, Mandrake with his war that was hinted at during Part III now boiling over and exploding from one point onto the streets and into the underworld.

Andy and Michelle will still be an important part of this story and the full narrative, as will Inspector Brooks and Ghana and all over surviving characters (so far) but Ghost Story IV will look at things at a slightly different way before spinning back into focus and dragging the reader on a gore filled journey

As always told over 30 days, Ghost Story IV will consist of short and sharp poems designed to build up the tension and by the end of the sequence will leave the reader battered to the point of exhaustion but filled with an excitement what next?

And where next?

Due to start: April 2017

More details here 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Review of last year / a few hints of things to come in 2017 / 2018

Review of last year..

Some quick notes on things that happened last year..

  1. Ocean in a Bottle pretty well managed a EP or album throughout all of 2016 which I am pleased over and it should carry onto in 2017 all being good.
See here for more details –

  1. Spoken Label– my interview podcast with writers, poets and all kinds of artists and I managed to do 36 separate podcasts throughout 2016. It is currently sleeping but the second season of it should start towards Spring 201The archive for this can be heard -

  1. I maintained doing solo poetry readings through 2016. Although none were videoed – highlights of some audio can be heard on my own bandcamp page Andy
    More details here -

  1. Work has been progressing slowly but surely on my third full length book ‘From the Diabetic Ward’. Expect a release date in 2017.
  1. My second full length book The End of Summer was re-released at the end of 2016. It can be bought here and has had some excellent reviews
  1. A split book with Nick Armbrister, Europa II following on from our well received anti war book in 2014 also followed. This can be seen here

  1. A steady stream of publications has also followed this year. These can be read here

  1. My live band A Means to an End alas finished in 2016 but not before releasing their debut album.
This can be heard and purchased from here

  1. Ghost Story III – my third Napwrimo Supernatural series was released and blogged

     (Part 1 to 3 were also released in a book -

Plans for 2017 are varied but will hopefully include:

  1. From the Diabetic Ward
My third full length poetry book.
  1. Ghost Story IV

  1. The Wall ‘series’
(A series of epic fantasy – swords and sorcery poems set in a world which has a land called The Wall in it – the first one is now called Enemy of the Wall. All being good when the third is done – I’ll then be able to start looking for a publisher for the book and then work on the next three)

  1. Acers and Jokers (A joint comedy novel with Adam focusing on two very stupid kids akin to the Inbetweeners who get fed up of seeing the local drug lords make loads of money and decide to join in with chaotic results)

  1. The Author Series – more likely 2018 at least but this will be a rewrite of childhood novellas wrote focused on a character called The Author who is a Charles Bukowski ish kind of character mixed with John Carter from Mars who stumbles his way into all kinds of adventures.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Post little tib bits from Write Out Loud Stockport

A few of you know I go to Write Out Loud Stockport and always love getting the report from John Keane who runs it with his always fun write ups.

Here is the one for December which features my pieces only:

Lightening the mood, Andy gave us a remix of an old poem, a fictional thank you letter by Snow White to Father Christmas – predictably full of fun, frolics and (cough) innuendo.

Caught up in the spirit of the season, Andy read us The Snowman Came Alive, a poem vaguely inspired by Raymond Briggs’ soulful fairy tale. Sadly, the Snowman’s ruminations came to nought in the end. And we were lucky it wasn’t Simon’s Snowman…

Andy delved into The origins of Evil (with the Birth of Evil aka The Origin of Billy the Kid) with an evocative piece about a gangster in Stretford who went by the name of Billy the Kid. He ended up in Boot Hill – no surprises there, then.

Andy’s poem (From a new sequence Europa II – Part VIII) seemingly contained the deathless line ‘Moaning like Lanterns’ – a phrase worth the price of admission right there.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Birth of Evil (aka the Origin of Billy the Kid)

Lost in gutter talk,
The history books
Suggest it was his two brothers
Who took him to the fair
At Longford Park
Boasting of dead fireflies
Instead of fish in little bags,

And follicles of lights
In the ghost house
Almost invisible from
The roller coasters
Descending from the sky
Like space rockets
Replacing sledges.

Crossing the meadows
Blanked in snow
With echoing laughter
The reports stated
Then missing balls
At coconuts stall
Then footballs

Before proclaiming
It was fixed
And gave up wandering
Over to the roller coaster
Leaving Billy stood there
Protesting it wasn’t

Sucking cheap gobsuckers
Hiding his tears
Turning a perfect illustration
Into a pastoral scene
Of fireworks
Kissing the moon

Tying themselves up
In his mouth
As a attendant said
‘Six shots for two quid, son’
Accompanying over each shot
‘Lower, lower, lower’

Crossing shots over the tins
Like pennies in keyholes
Wrestling with uneven prayers
Chiselling his nerves
Over sweatshop erected fingertips
‘Lower, lower, lower’

Knifing through
His childhood
One shot after
The other
With each target
He shot through.

(According to the history books Billy the Kid 
was a known hitman in Stretford in the 1970s) 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Ghost of Dukinfield Cemetery (New Poem)

Catching her tears in the breeze
From one row of headstones to the next
Some days you would see her ghost
Walking up and down
Like a private on patrol.

Entwined with the sun
Just before sunrise
Creeps over the hill
Cascading into a silent film
As the shadows sank away

Repeating his name over
Like a broken tape machine
Caught up in a tangle
Of half forgotten prayers
In at least two different languages

Echoing in the wind
Butterfly shaped with regrets
In a tidal mystery of anger
If things had been
So very different

Over skeletons of feelings
Before they turned
Into scraps of meanings
After the burnt out end of summer
Into a willow shaped autumn

Following him
To the grave
Within weeks
Filled with nothing
But regret

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Summer will rise again

Two short poems from my recently released book 'the end of summer' (
Summer will come again
and the rain will stop spraying
the air like spilled pepper.
Leaves will stop crunching on the floor
and sleet will stop reducing
your shoes to tears.
The wind still stop slamming
shut your back door
and poppies will stop dancing
in the wind.
The mood will soften before
totally changing
and the blood in the sky
will change to a different texture,
Stripping away
the mistakes of the past.

There is no summer left
like a seaside shop on reduced hours
with one eye on the horizon.
No more summer
with the heavens thumping themselves
together trying to wake the sun up.
No more summer
and no more blue whispers in the sky
wanting to keep on dancing.
No more summer
pressed up to your nose
whispering I love you in your ears,
Or a gate which had been
swinging open
which now shatters like glass.