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Thursday, 21 August 2003

Bukowski and Wyatt - working when you don’t want to

It's an eternal problem - work is a state of mind. And sometimes you just can't find that state of mind. Sometimes you can blame those around you, and be convinced that there is a conspiracy going on to stop you getting to the things that need to be done. But, sometimes the great distraction comes from within. The only person who can be blamed for not getting around to things is the self. When I want to get on with things I can, when I don't at some level it just doesn't happen…

Dress it up however you want, but the fact is that the energy cycle (want to know more about my energy cycle theory, email me) is causing confusion, chaos and a state of nothingness. All of which gets me nowhere.

Next up! If in doubt, talk about music. This morning I received the latest issue of 'The Wire' through the post. Marvellous! And to my pleasant surprise I see that there is a new album out by Robert Wyatt. That's one to rush out and get - his last album, 'Shleep', was a wonderful album and that was six years ago.

Yesterday, I was looking at the work of Charles Bukowski - American rant poet. It strikes me that Robert Wyatt and Charles Bukowski are at opposite ends of the productivity spectrum. In the review in 'The Wire' Wyatt is quoted saying that he writes about a song a year. That's slow! There's a video on his album 'dondestan (revisited)' where he talks about his slow levels of productivity. Meanwhile, Bukowski seemed to pour out poems at the same pace that he would light cigarettes or pour himself drinks.

I can see the sedate beauty of Wyatt's work - and I like his self-effacing sense of humour. (He must produce more than one song a year, otherwise the new album would have taken twelve years rather than six!) But I am drawn to the manic creativity of Bukowski - his driven poetry in all its ranting glory makes me feel excited. I like the idea that he was writing so much that we are given access to all parts of his life, even if this is more persona than fact. It's the idea that poetry permeates every aspect of his life - that's an amazing idea.

Live it like that - or a fraction like that, and I'll be satisfied.

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