His Name Was Sal

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starsHe was an American, a couple of years older than me. I was sixteen.

In the summer of 1968, I hitched from my dreary Welsh town to see Pink Floyd in Hyde Park. After a long, scary, but interesting journey, involving a lift in an abused Transit with a stoned roadie, I arrived in the park after midnight the night before the concert and leaned against a tree to rest and absorb the vibes. Excited fellow travellers buzzed around me looking for somewhere safe to crash. Despite my exhaustion I felt I was part of something significant, a revolution was taking place and I was at the heart of it.

A pair of London louts tried to sell me a lump of dodgy-looking dope, it was probably chewing tobacco, or henna, or something. They looked shifty and vicious, like sly hyenas. I felt exposed and alone, so I shook my head and turned my back on them. I was skint anyway. The big one pushed me against the tree and pulled a knife. A young man in a black leather jacket stopped and stared narrowly at them. His hair was slicked back like James Dean, his face smooth and unreadable. The dealers sized him up, thought the better of it, and swaggered away into the gloom.

That’s how I met Sal. Continue reading

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Birth of a Blue Woman (With Yellow Flowers)

A Ble Woman with Yellow Flowers is a painting. The pictures show how it developed over a few days. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s finished or whether it ever will be. It will probably end up in a corner of the shed and get chucked during one of my periodic clearing-outs at some point.

It’s painted in acrylics on a home made canvas. Dimensions 65cm x 55cm – about 26″ x 22″

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The Three Bears is a Work of Art

3bears cover small“What it is is a work of art, in the fullest sense.” This is a quote from the late great American poet JT Ahearn after he read The Three Bears, a novel I wrote. It was published in 2006, and again in a slightly revised edition in 2008. It is without doubt, the best thing I have ever written and probably the best thing I will ever write. When I say ‘best’ I don’t mean it’s the best plot. the best story, the best characterisation or even the best writing, I mean it is a true work of art, it’s completely unique and wonderful in entirely its own way. By any measure it’s a long way from perfect and if I’d thought about it rationally I probably wouldn’t have published it, but I’m glad I did. Continue reading

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Home Made Tofu

Home made tofu is amazing – make some today (or tomorrow, because you’re going to need to soak the beans)

Get hold of 250 grams of organic soya beans and some coagulant. A heaped teaspoon of nigari is good but you can use the juice of a lemon or even a tablespoon or two of vinegar at a push. You can of course make more by using multiples of 250 grams, but you will need a very big saucepan if you make a bigger batch.

250 grams of dried beans usually makes about 300 grams of firm tofu Continue reading

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Glastonbury 1998

It was 1998, 27 years after my only other visit to the Glastonbury Festival. I’d always wanted to go back to see if it was the magical mystical place that had stayed with me and influenced my life so much.
 
(There is an account of my experiences at Glastonbury 1971 – here)
 
I wrote this poem the night before I went back with my family in 1998.

Continue reading

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About the Journey

It’s not finished yet, this journey
that began when the first eyes
opened, to a universe unknown.
When the composition
was a mystery.
When colours melded
into one space-less blur.
Before the images resolved,
and a birth shook the world.

Continue reading

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Bumps in the Night

TAPS – Television Arts Performance Showcase were an organisation whose aim was to discover and develop scriptwriters for television. They did pretty good for a long time then, I believe, the recession put paid to them in 2009.

I was involved in a number of their schemes and wrote a short drama with them in 2006. The drama “Bumps in the Night” never quite made it to production. Anyway I thought I’d put the script up here in the faint hope that someone will be interested in it, or at least to give an example of a tv drama script, the length of an episode of a soap opera on ITV.

Click below to download / open the script

BUMPS IN THE NIGHT 2014

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Old Poems 2

The second instalment from the old poems book dated 1970/1971

Click here for the first instalment

.3.
Feeling very good and
knowing what we all should
I smile

Looking all around and listening
to the best sounds
I laugh Continue reading

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Glastonbury 1971 – Episode 3

Arthur_BrownGlastonbury 1971 – Episode Three

Click for Episode 1 or Episode 2

I found a way through the gridlines of power or whatever they were and saw the sign for the Release tent. I didn’t know much about them other than that they were a charity that helped drug users. A face loomed out of the crowd that wasn’t mine, well, it was me, but it wasn’t this me, if you know what I mean. I recognised him as a person I’d met the year before, or it might have the week before. I’d been sleeping rough in Tenby, scrounging off the girls who worked in the cafes and hotels and occasionally begging off the tourists, when I met Sarge and some other people at a barbecue on the beach one night.

We hung around together for a while, Sarge and his mate, Captain I think, came from the valleys somewhere, maybe Ystrad Mynach? Anyway we marauded around Tenby, harassing the holidaymakers and the locals, for a couple of days I think. Continue reading

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Glastonbury 1971 – Episode 2

Melanie_Safka_1972Glastonbury 1971 Episode Two

Click for Episode 1 or Episode 3

It’s likely that this narrative will get a little jumbled up at this point. There are a few reasons for this, principally, I suppose, is that it’s about events that happened 43 years ago, but also because the events that happened were experienced while I, the narrator, was in a state of mind that had been heavily altered by drugs of one kind or another – principally LSD, which, as you probably know tends to muck about with the brain of the person who’s taken it, causing delusions and hallucinations that may or may not have any relationship to what we know as reality. Continue reading

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Glastonbury 1971 – Episode 1

Glastonbury 71Glastonbury 1971 – Episode One

I have to tell you that even though this is about my experiences at the Glastonbury Festival in 1971, I am only now, 43 years later, writing it down in this form. I also have to tell you that in my opinion, 43 years is a bloody long time, and no matter how hard I try to make this piece an accurate retelling of what happened back then, or even an accurate retelling of what I perceived to be happening back then, it is going to be blurred by the years and by the myths about myself that I have built up over those years of my life, and by the myths that society has focused on and enhanced over the same period of time. Continue reading

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Cock of the Walk

cock-of-the-walkPenny looked at me with that adoration that embarrassed me so much. “Darling Charlie, I love you. You are so strong, so good-looking, and so successful; you are everything a girl could wish for,” she said.

“Come here my lovely, my lovely gorgeous Penny,” I said, and gave her a big, almost rib-crushing hug.

She laughed: “Take it easy Charlie, there’s plenty of time for that later, we’ve got work to do.”

“Yes, of course.” I pulled away reluctantly. “OK, you know what’s best my love.”

She sensed my disappointment. “What’s up anyway, you’ve been very distracted today? Is everything all right?” Continue reading

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The Time Machine – a short story

goldfish“They say that goldfish only have something like a twelve second memory . . .”

“Who says?” I asked. One of my last pleasures – challenging the assumptions of the young.

“I don’t know – they. Anyway, goldfish have no sense of time, they can’t get bored. By the time they’ve swum around the bowl they’ve forgotten what it’s like, so it’s always new and exciting.”

“Oh to be a goldfish,” I sighed. Continue reading

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Life is Shit!

Well – not really, life is a wondrous inexplicable miracle, but this is an audio recording of a song I wrote with Marc Roberts about 5 years ago for The Flight of the Wren, the Rock Opera that never rocked – performed by Marc

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Web Street – Soap on the Web

The nostalgic mood continues. Here are the first two episodes of a soap-opera / drama thing I started writing specifically for publication on the Internet in its early days – 1996. The idea was that it would be published online in short sharp episodes using only text in a visual style, though there were always plans to add pictures and possibly videos when the technology got fast enough to make that viable. Maybe it’s time to do that now?

I know it needs editing, think of it as a draft.

Figanwr was a pen name I used occasionally then. Continue reading

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Old Poems 1

These poems were typed in from an old book dated 1970 – 71 on December 26, 1993 and re-edited a little bit for blatant typos only during June 2014. They are still a bit raw but I’ve kept them like this because it’s a link back to when I was a teenager and it would be a bit of an imposition to edit them from the perspective of a 62 year old man.

Notes: I used the pen name Del Brennan at that time. From Del – a shortened form of Derek and Brennan – my mother’s maiden name. Continue reading

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