When I lived in London, I visited Poland twice a year with my partner. The Polish mountains in the summer. The Manhattan Estate in Katowice for Christmas. For a few years, during spring break, and also summer, we also visited Portugal, Italy, and Spain. We have tried many things for healthier living, mentally and physically. The visits to the continent inspired us to move from old Britannia. Easier lower middle class living. Healthier. More sunshine.
When I lived in East London, we walked along the canal near Christmas and ate the Christmas cake. I thought about my family, especially my brother Aaron, gone now 8 years. We were very close growing up as new immigrants in America, and also in Milton Keynes, where he was born.
Here is an excerpt, about my brother and family and Christmas in East London, from my first novel Never Mind the Beasts. Available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.
I am working on a new book of lyrical essays, inspired by my creative non-fiction workshop, run by the terrific Amy (McDaniel) Robinson. Highly recommended.
“My hair should have nothing to do with it, and yet it does, this thick coarse hair, often unruly, I prefer to tame it. My hippy phases were Jesus phases, full of Venus. During my Venus days, I was glazed and the wave of my locks was pleasing, but upon return it blew into my eyeballs in the windy Docklands of East London, it became a nuisance, and too much of a spectacle, since I prefer to remain invisible, watching rather than being watched.”
I am working on some essays, creative non-fiction, and I am starting to realize maybe I’ve been leaning towards creative non-fiction for a while now. A hybrid form. Poetry and essay. Narrative and essay. The lyrical essay. So yes. A book of essays. In the future. Here is an essay. It’s about chimps and bonobos.
” I take the train to Barcelona. The train enters a tunnel. A baby coughs very lightly, an older man clears his throat. The tunnel, that’s where we all go, light or no light no one is to know. My amphibian throat gurgles, will the language spill out of me, it is a great accomplishment. The people to the right of me are joyously trilling their tongues, dancing their hands. I intertwine my fingers, rub the knuckles of my right hand into the palm of the left, elevate feet, try not to slouch into the seat. My right hand, usually a refrigerator, is warming up nicely, middle age but not only, you have to keep the blood circulating correctly. Out the window, a blur of trees and small mountains, good foliage.”
My story, “cosy,” just published at The Art of Everyone. Part of my novel in progress The Dreamlife of Honey.
Back in the day, when the days were longer, and then shorter, much like today but faster, I began to write poetry under cover of full moon during my Mormon mission. Bloating/unbloating. This was the beginning of my behind-the-scenes spirituality. Now part of my behind-the-scenes novel-in-progress, The Dreamlife of Honey. The second in my nomadic surrealist trilogy.
After Turkey, and a stint of dog walking in Italy, he moves to London, falls in love, lands a gig as an adjunct professor at an American style university in London. He feels a sense of community with the avant garde poetry community and starts to write a novel from his experiences living in various countries. Feels the joy of NY school poetry. His brother, in Utah, dies suddenly from an overdose and he visits his family for the first time in over seven years.
An excerpt from the first of my nomadic surrealist novels, Never Mind the Beasts, available now from Dostoyevsky Wannabe.