"Sienna's Wearing Alexander McQueen" - Part I

This two-part poem is based on the poetic style of Frank O'Hara. It is a reworking of celebrity/fashion magazine Grazia in celebration of reaching Issue 100 - '100 special issues with Toni in Lloyd Klein and Drew in Dior!'

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"Sienna's Wearing Alexander McQueen" - Part II

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A mesostic poem in the style of John Cage


the underground

One evening on a tube journey home I caught sight of a poster which read: "This is a dull poster but you're still reading it" I couldn't help but smile - A commuter spends so much of his/her time mindlessly absorbing images and words advertising insurance policies or ba.com (to name but a few) - it's unavoidable. It doesn't matter how "dull" they are the fact is that when we catch a glimpse we naturally read on.

It is this idea of the speed at which an image or message can be delievered to masses of people on a daily basis which I have tried to recreate in my own work. This piece began as a poem jotted onto a scrap of paper on the tube. However, I have combined this work with a type of visual textuality using the digital processes of Photoshop. Each image forms the basis of my digital experiments which combine one line from my poem with a digitally enhanced background. The overall form of each image has been set up to resemble posters you find on the tube. Each image can be viewed singularly as the each possess there own individual style, or in relation to the others as the words of the poem unite the pages to create a complete piece:

Page 1.

Word combinations such as '4mins', 'steps on to the platform' and 'mind the gap' recall the dialogue and singage of a daily commute. These words coupled with the iconic image of the tube map instantly establish the context of my poem and the tube experience I am attempting to recreate. I have distorted the colour of the tube lines and the overall clarity of the tube map, in an attempt to draw the reader's attention more so to the text which overlays the image. The reader absorbs both image and writing with neither element ignored but seen as an accompaniment to each other - the basis of an effective poster pehaps?
Ideas for improvement: Erasing station names and in their place filling in words from my original poem.

Page 2.

This simplistic but bold couloring and style of font was employed to give this 'poster' a "retro" quality. I took inspiration from the work of Jean Roelke who in her work Hammerheads stays within the confines of a black and white text with simplistic diagrams to create an overall striking image. I too used limited colours - black, white, red - and relied on the contrast between them, which I believe, draws the reader's attention to the white lettering standing out against the black shadows.

Click below to see Jean Roelke's Hammerheads: http://www.albany.edu/~litmag/work/current/roelke_01.html

Page 3.
Here, I wished to create a cartoon element by cutting cartoon figures out of one image and combining them with the black and white photograph. The text has a glossy fininsh in keeping with this cartoon-like quality. I used this technique of layering images from multiple sources to create a finish similar to that of artist Scott Helmes, who uses digital software to combine contrasting images to create collage.
Click below to see Scott Helmes's Bones VIII:


Adults Should Not Fantasize

Inspired by a visit to the Tate where I encountered Jackson Pollack's "action Paintings" and André Breton's surrealism, which is preoccupied with Marxist and Freudian psychoanalytic theories.


Location: Tate Modern, London
Exhibition: Poetry and Dream
Date: 22/07/07

Surrealism and the work of Jannis Kounellis and Giorgio de Chirico. Both employed techniques such as free association, chance, biomorphic form and bizarre symbolism. In the 1960s, Kounellis was active in the Italian Arte Povera group focusing on breaking with tradition. They used new materials and processes, for example, architecture and in particular theatrical settings.

Other surrealists:
Andre Breton - the idea of the 'revolution of the mind' drawing upon Marxism. In 1924 Breton wrote First Manifesto of Surrealism stemming from Freud's Uncanny.

Jackson Pollack - uses poetic metaphor to represent human condition, for example, a sculpture of a bed stand signifies 'protection'.

Hermann Nitsch - Poured Painting (1938) a performance piece. Performance occuring on the canvas and during the making as paint was poured on to the canvas to express aggressive sexual and moral issues.

Also that day...

...an exhibition Global Cities. Takes inspiration from the effect of architecture and urbanism on the contemporary world. Focuses on the ever-changing social, cultural and economic forces that give shape to a city. Some of the talented artists and architects include: Nigel Coates, Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Nils Norman, Fritz Haeg, Richard Wentworth. Connections can be drawn between the concept of mapping major cities and the poetry of Charles Olson. Like Olson's techniques of mapping this exhibition also displayed facts and figures being merged with maps and images all in the same place. In his Maximus Poems Olson combines a poetical narrative with statistics and figures relating to his hometown.

Ideas include three-dimensional shapes and structures such as using sugar cubes to build a miniature Tate Modern. The sugar cubes draw upon the area's history as before the Tate was constructed, the site was home to a sugar factory. Therefore, materials relating to area being mapped.

Nigel Coates Mixtacity (2007)

Nils Norman Bus shelter 2015 (2007)


Daughters wrapped in pervsome ribbons.
Read a bloody book every now and again -
from the potentially deadly British school
libraries with blood boiling killer rave drugs.
The Social Democratic Party is a myth of the near future - This is America!
And the European Union is an infectious disease - it could mutate into a
straight - haired blonde wearing bright red lipstick.

I tasted the HN51 bird flu virus covered in watermelon sugar - looking nice
and well groomed as Thatcher's willingness was transmitted from person
to person - her frizzy hair?
Chicks are supposed to be hot!
Female ambition - SHOCK HORROR - is a global pandemic!
So don't beat around the commercial bush you stunning Californian Senator.

TOPS OFF - whistles - crowd noise - it's what the people want - a fucking brilliant but pigeonholed pop group. Prog fans have been slaughtered and found washed up in a harbour - They're no risk to consumers!
You and me are mourning the death of the 1980s
so let's hold up the glowsticks and fluoro fibres and sound the rave horns!

Forget the dental assistants, secretaries and baby-holding dubiousness -
samples from the infected.
They are a one-way trap to the sexual scrap-heap.

I need a Rolling Stone - twenty six years old - a gurning, novelty rave act
with sharp lines - possibly hectoring and bitter.
A disgusting old hag like her
is found amongst the turkeys and a fast-rusting vagina - tests show that this
is a dangerous form of avian flu. But I want to put this all in a pot to make something new -
a curly, bare-faced brunette with ideas of collage and pastiche...
No lack of originality here! Let us not sell out. Let us see skin which is thinner and more wrinkle prone than men's.
CALL UPON THE CITIES OF THE RED KNIGHT and a statement from the EU commission.
GO nuts BUT go NUTS politely.

Female nudes over fifty rave spontaneity and chaos and have broken the marble ceiling.

LDN in 30

Dance tangle - free. Ready spring - form.
Dash. Move. Transfer. King's Cross.
Dangle free. Rapidly fold.
Press. Advance. Enjoy.
Darkness thick. Growing paramount.
Skirting. Simmering. Underground.
Damsel. Running. Until Westminster.
Night. Wireless. Dissolve.
Dank Paddington. Recognise ground.
Dandelion. Garden. Blissful. Cake.
Dart - Open. Now stand.
Darling. Home. Perfect. 30 mins.