Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ubuweb and the Edge Lane Avant-Garde

UbuWeb has some great experimental film, poetry and music. Here's a couple of links you might enjoy:

Marcel Broodthaers: Interview with a Cat

Eric Satie: Four Gnossiennes

On its main page UbuWeb announces itself as the YouTube of the Avant-Garde. Whenever I see or hear the words avant-garde, it reminds me of an occasion when I was a student in Liverpool. I was looking for a new lodging after being practically fire-bombed out of my previous flat on Edge Lane, a rough area of Liverpool.

Thus it was that I stumbled on Mr Goodfriend, a classically sleazy landlord with an incredibly oily demeanour. As I looked around the tiny flat he was offering for let in Allerton, he asked a lot of probing questions and somehow found out that I was interested in writing poetry. Then he asked me where I had lived before. I told him: Edge Lane.

With a very serious look on his face he said: "Ah yes, I've heard it's very avant-garde around there."

Unfortunately, I took the apartment and signed his watertight contract which kept me paying the rent for two months after I left the flat six months later. I had to leave. It was so cold I would go to bed in a tracksuit, sleeping bag and two duvets. Eventually, I gave up on that and just started sleeping on the sofa in front of the gas fire. Now that's Avant-Garde.

Below is a poem called 'Wallpaper' which I wrote while living in that place. It was published in the New Statesman magazine thanks to Hugo Williams who was the poetry editor at that time.

powered by ODEO

No comments: