Friday, July 15, 2011


'Israel is not a fascist state, Hannah. It's a democracy with full human rights.'

'You would say that. The Earth Corporation have bought you off with an academic title, so you can defend the existing system. You won't destroy a system that has made you the great Professor. It's not in your interest...'

'It doesn't stop me being critical of the system,' Wilson interrupted again.

Frederick Burrell Possessed (Home'Baked Books by Michael John Weller, 2010).

With Beckenham Bubble over, present writer considering 'bubble-vents', local and international politics, education, fees, cuts, radical poetics, and ultra-localism of place.

And who exactly is teacher, and who is pupil/student, in Weller's current work-in-progress
Songs Our Teachers Learn Us, or, Lessons To Be Taught. No question mark in poetics.

Here's some question marks. If the writer was to consider post-graduate course when reaching rapidly rising state retirement pension age - what British university? Which course? Would artist/writer be viewed as consumer? Can learning have cash value? How to measure new learning when memory storage and rapid recall ebbs with age. Writer-in-residence MJ scribbles artist into local U3A with one sweep blue biro.

From among writer's first self-publications
Ain't Bin To No Art School (1979-80) to Space Opera (visual associations, 1999) up to "fics from the sticks" Slow Fiction (Home'Baked Books by Michael John Weller, 2010) experience of twentieth century English education at primary, secondary, further and higher is ripped to shreds by 'Michael J. Weller, English novelist', (Slow Fiction Character & Scene Guide, 2010). Fictionalized institution New Olympus University appears in twenty-three tales wellerverse set 3World in 4Time.

Realtime summer months packed with local litfests and uni graduate shows. Thursday, July 14, the writer attended Goldsmith's University of London Department of Art's postgraduate exhibition (Ben Pimlott Building and Laurie Grove Baths). View Master of Fine Art (MFA) degrees in Fine Art, Art Writing, Curating (Mick had been watching Mike curate two evenings @Becfest. 'Didn't realise you needed a degree in curating,' Mick grins. Class clown.) Rowena Easton's poetry as Art Writing appeared on artist's modernist female poet radar @Ken Edwards' blog entry here, subsequently doing it better from first July 2010 edition
& Holly Pester...

Post-grad Exhibition different from southeast London reality nearly quarter century before when Hirst and other Goldsmiths undergraduates BA'd from Young British Artists to Britart establishment 2010s. Beginning to understand why younger generation artists, writers, poets, critics take career prospects and academic qualifications seriously. Can new generation poet/artist make it without university post-grad, sustained academic publication, or peer review? Can Bob Cobbing's stuff be academicized? Question mark question marks - pejorative 'anti-intellectual' rubber ball easy throw. Difficult catch.

At back of Laurie Grove Baths SE14 exhibition space, writer somewhat bemused by request to "open up" canvas bag for concealed "weapons". Looks like wired-up Jewish Community Security Trust (CST) presence for Noam Edry's MFA degree work in Fine Art. And Mick thought Noam was a bloke (Chomsky, geddit? Mick could have checked website) or Noam's YouTube ID. Fine artist Edry was dressed for her opening in an immaculate white suit. Strikingly beautiful, rather like John and Yoko (Social Reality Earthtime 1969). Peace Now brothers and sisters.

Next to entranced in-on-the-joke security fellow chill-out space with Arab-Israeli coffee stand.

But surprise, Noam Edry's bubble-space looks hit by Hamas rockets fired from Gaza. Something of a happening-vent here. Holistic therapist massaging (mostly) female attendees'
'left sides'; working tv set playing video loops from rubble skip; canvas paintings daubed in hand-paint, same calligraphics as venue wall graffiti, recognizable from Edry's handwritten artzine "Conversation Pieces: Scenes of Unfashionable Life".

Post cards, agit-prop t-shirts given away to persons brave enough (with UK uni boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement countered by new Israeli government 'Boycott Law' targeting Israeli jews, palestinians, arabs, working class, Settlement-protesting bourgeois democrat-citizen-dissenters too) to public catwalking wearing slogan

Bubble-within-bubble screens twenty-minute looped interview - in effect a filmed self-portrait of Jewish/Israeli/Zionist artist Edry's experience girl's English school education- to- Israel Defense Forces warzone soldier- to-post-grad "Goldsmiths Made Me a Fundamentalist".

And maybe all these young Israeli soldier-girls want is "cool" meaning simply okay as in normal; dressing sharp 'n' smart, looking nice, and catching town bus for a date without getting head blown off.

& Noam Edry does it better.

no question mark

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Hello Mike
Thought I'd let you know I turned up at Beckenham Library at 18.30 tonight to find it closed. Tried front doors and back doors which were locked, and peered inside to see no sign of movement. What happened?

- email from Leonard Emmerson, former Beckenham Scribbler, participant in Beckenham Bubble 1, and expected attendee at Beckenham Bubble 2, July 4th 2011.

reply mail -
hi Len, as far as I understand Beckenham Library "closed" doors to public at 6:00pm, tho front door was left ajar for pushing open until 6:30pm when vent started. Did you try pushing door?
Meant to 'look' closed but secretly be open!

Notes on a local literary festival, part nine
(parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight)

Two Becfest vents (I like descriptory "vents" - which may originate with Joseph Walton, ie, vent: slit at the back of a poetry jacket) have been cancelled this week. An audience of two turned up for one visiting author, and a second author cancelled as pre-bookings didn't reach minimum of twenty-five necessary to make visit viable. 'Literary festivals - who needs 'em,' laughs Mick.

Both Beckenham place-bubbles were planned for spaces within the public library lending section at end of evening for continuation after closing. Participants and attendees thought Bubble 1 an excellent night.

Hi Mike, I didn't get photos for Bubble 2 - I was too absorbed but I have a picture of the break during Bubble 1!
Vanessa Williamson
Assistant Group Manager (west)
Beckenham Library
0208 650 7292

Vanessa, facilitator of Bubble 1 & 2, and the writer as organiser, agreed on draft for evenings (viewed as advanced docs by participants) without going into finer details of bubble-space.

Bubble Two took place in closed reference section - there were several pre-bookings - and Vanessa needed comply with housekeeping, health & safety requirements, use of local state venue after public closing. In the hour and a half Openned, Natalie d'Arbeloff, Leila Dewji, and press free press occupied space and made of it a vent.

On receiving copy of press free press's limited edition 'independence day self published and be blessed' text, the writer - being performative - improvised for about thirty seconds with to be and to be a book: then press free press read and voiced their text - made and printed during the Beckenham Bubble - to finally burst it.

As bubble-within-bubble, Two worked as praxis. Leila, organiser of borough-wide Bromley Literary Festival and Acorn Independent Press participant mailed later -

One of the reasons we put the festival on was to find out what interesting literary activities and groups would come to the surface and I've really enjoyed meeting you and your fellow Beckenham bubble pals.

That's total nine notes. Beck Fest end.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

(Natalie) d'Arbeloff's uneven practice - working within, through, and against strata, suggests activity of an itinerant 'rhizomath'.
The Making of Slow Fiction (Home'Baked Books by Michael John Weller, 2010)

Notes on a local literary festival, part eight

(parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nine)

On June 23 2011, in London, three face-to-face consecutive 'bubbles' of linguistically innovative poetics and poetry "clashed". Keyed here as events A, B, and C.

A) Contemporary Romanian poets
B) Special poetry event at Parasol Unit in association with exhibition of paintings by Jakub Julian Ziółkowski
C) Crossing the Line special at The Horse Hospital

Mike W, in attempt to experience poetics of 'bubble chasing' - left 'bubble' B, reaching 'bubble' C during break, to find fellow attendee Chris G also reaching C during break - after attending 'bubble' A.

As printed publications and E-readings, or blog entry poetries, find own multiple niche-pockets of followers, viewers, readers, and collectors - so gig or poetry sociates, hearers and attendees, seem likely be drawn to face-to-face bubble-space of choice in simultaneous retinue "bubbling bubbling bubbling, bubbling, bubbling" in words of late Gil-Scott Heron, recently sampled by Kanye West on 'Lost in the World' track from My Dark Twisted Fantasy album.

Second Beckenham Bubble with invited guests planned for Monday July 4th with other expected UK poetry bubbles also coinciding in London, Bury, Cambridge, Brighton, Luton, Manchester, Withington, etc. But apart from Lisa Appiganesi @London Literature Festival are there other 'bubbles' in London? Is there no free poetry in New York City on Independence Day?

Bubble-space may be moved from small screened lending area to Library reference section as July 4 evening time-space bubble poetic concentrates at London's capital litfest, smaller suburban Bromley litfest plus smaller Beckenham Bubble within that.

So next London 'bubble-chasing' evening of poetics looks as if it may be Wednesday July 6th here and here.