Saturday, December 31, 2016

Let's remember at least this image from 2016

And apologies to all those we have failed - for a second year - to send our New Year cards to.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Carl Hunter : A Winter's Tale

My Edge Hill colleague, Carl Hunter (also of The Farm fame), produced this short based on The Winter's Tale with a text by Frank Cotrell-Boyce. It takes a central VISUAL metaphor of the play and runs with it ... up the Crosby coast to another place. That's Gormley's 'Another Place'. Something to watch over Christmas! Great work Carl. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Patricia Farrell Sixtieth: the concluding POST: December 1956 Moving on to 1957

This is the last of the posts for Patricia Farrell's sixtieth birthday. If you have missed the posts, they are available via links at the introductory hubpost here. Patricia was most surprised that I assembled such a wide range of tributes (and others were delivered by hand at the party we held on 10th December), and I searched out some of her oldest friends. It was a shame Geraldine and Alan didn't get over for the party, but we wish Geraldine a speedy recovery from injury. Joanna was ill too, which was a shame. As was Patricia's sister, Sheila, though her brother and sister-in-law, Michael and (a different) Joanna made it. It was a classic Sheppard-Farrell party, running from 4.00 pm to 5.00 am! Then I was ill (again) and this delayed some of the blogging. But do follow it through. Robert

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Patricia Farrell: A BIG THANK YOU to contributors to my celebration!

Thank you very (very) much to all the extremely kind and inventive people who sent poems and other works of art to Robert’s blog to mark my 60th birthday. Thanks also to Robert for organising this. I have enjoyed these pieces immensely – because they are wonderful in themselves – and I have been very touched by everyone’s generosity to me in sending them. I intend in the next couple of weeks to make a proper Thank You card to send in the post. (I may need to email a few people to get their snail mail addresses.)

Thanks xx


Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here

Friday, December 16, 2016

Robert Sheppard: A Petrarchan Sonnet in the Style of Wayne Pratt for Patricia Farrell

VE Day 1985
                                                after Wayne Pratt

At the VE Night piss up, the gloom of the Blitz, the chill
Of V2s, Goering’s capture, Berlin scorched, were recalled.
Then forgotten, the old girls squawking along with Al Bowly.
On our first rendezvous we’d landed on this lot.

But this wasn’t the time for cockney triumphalism;
The cheeky young man in the SS glad-rags
Tickled the dollies’ flab. They all roared
Till they pissed their bloomers, pickled in gin.

They fondled me and petted me and Love had to wait…
We sat up all night lost in the depths of each other’s eyes,
My hand just inside your blouse. My excuse was scabies,

And you were under orders to declare your bunch of grapes.
At dawn, we walked around the railings, Clissold Park.
Inside we could hear the parakeets sounding the all clear.

This ‘version’ of Petrarch’s 3rd poem relates the events of the fortieth anniversary of Victory in Europe Day 1985; however, the poem is signalled as ‘after Wayne Pratt’, a fictional poet I invented in the 1980s to parody the mainstream poetry of the time, and so the tone is distorted though the story is true, and both are of their time, as it were. ‘It didn’t seem the time for shields and armour,’ in my translation authorizes a sense of inappropriateness registered in some of my versions; ‘But this wasn’t the time for cockney triumphalism’, the VE Day poem continues, though the (genuine) martial details are indeed surprising, a guy in an SS uniform (pre-Prince Harry Fancy Dress scandal). (Retrospectively, I detect the tone of Eliot’s Four Quartets here among the Pratt tropes and the ambiguity on the medical and military uses of ‘all clear’; the narrator’s ‘excuse’ to not make love is his ‘scabies’.) This is indeed how Patricia and I got together as transmitted via Petrarch and Wayne Pratt. See here and here for other ‘versions’ and here for other versions of Petrarch.

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Read the original and the dog version:

Here are 4 French Symboliste versions

'Petrarch 3' is now in print, see here and here. It is the first part of The ‘English Strain’ Book One, The English Strain, which will be published late 2020; read about it here .

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Robert Sheppard Empty Diary 1956 (True Crime December 1956)

Empty Diary 1956

(no pictures please we’re history our confessions
flame at his lips: blank office block
smiles stiletto eyebrows: tank gun rotates over
mobs touching its armour for luck: hearts

torn out of daily re-animated flags: our
guts a vertical drop down the lift
shaft: dust caked the entire city: podium
imposters: panegyrics: helicopters circle dodging ancient rifles:

so much flesh flinches and hunches: sponges
for their own blood: two men sharing
cigarette kisses: flung as casually as empty
packets from trains (the Empire’s oceanic sperm:

Robert Sheppard

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bill Bulloch: Depth Gauge (for Patricia Farrell)

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here. Bill has appeared on Pages before, here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Patricia Farrell's birthday : all 4 courses at Chez Jules, Chester

Yesterday we went to Chester, to Chez Jules, the restaurant mentioned in my poem 'With You', here. Needless to say it was very good! You can trace the encroaching darkness of our afternoon dining.

Moules for entrees
Salmon for main course
The pleasure that is the cheeseboard
Double espresso
Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Clive and Anne Fencott: KNITTED cakes and Parkin wrapped in avant-garde paper! for Patricia!

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Patricia Farrell Opening Presents!

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Robert Sheppard: four poems for Patricia (from Warrant Error)

Warrant Error (still available here) doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin; it isn’t entirely my work about the war on terror. Of course you can cut the cloth to make that the focus, as I did here, when the US Senate Select Committee released its account of the 'War on Terror'. But as notions of human unfinish came to the fore, during its composition, as resistances to the absolutism of Neo-Con and terrorist alike, the need for positive human unfinished values grew. So here, to celebrate Patricia’s birthday are four poems for her (two of them dedicated to her, two of them not, but she's in there).

for Patricia

We slide the week ahead, pause it trembling
at a future instant, somewhere in extensive
time that underwrites each moment.
All our actions are staged on this surface

We’ll rest upon it during this event, as he
makes a world, augmenting his resentments.
The person who is absent will constitute his day,
a series of evasions to bind him to all he’ll miss.
Everything will curl around the nothing of it

It’s a new game, somehow like faulty traffic lights
guarding a hole in the road, blinking like an idiot.
But the sunflower now you place for me in sunlight

is staged on the other side of sense, making love
happen, firing me with its fiery compound eye


His breath takes her beauty away, deep
in his body where language measures the world

One breath it takes to be no longer winning a war.
They cup warm palms over each other’s cold knees.
Wind shoulders against the flanks of their house;
windows shiver.
They stand in front of it to stand for themselves

It chimes into rhythm that celebrates itself,
this looking at tomorrow, guiding the eye back
to the time of their looking, a swoon into cracks
between history and memory. She dressed in black

from frisking ponytail to stabbing boot toe. Out-
stretching her impossible heels, he buries himself,
moulding her sighs, in soft mammalian heat


The English sky wipes itself clean
And wind turbines thrash themselves
Like national champs in training

I put my arms around you and stop myself
Writing tales of backyard cargo cults
You nestle into the hollow of my dream
Which I want to write out but my eyes are full
Of rusty girders over soupy canals

You frown in your sleep that lulls the jargon
And crackle of newsprint with its fleet score
The trim roofs of shopping palaces steam
Over canopic jars full of carbonised laurel stalks

The painted masks bear no relation
Household gods composted with household goods


for Patricia

The young couples in the crushed Amsterdam bar
dance to Barry White in the old-fashioned way

Later, aloft on Belgian beer, I murmur that I
love you, but then slip away, like the dancers,
into the night, knocking over bicycles chained
to bollards, and singing; into my reverie so far
in which we sit again drinking under the wooden ape

Almost human it grins at us both with more teeth
than the accordion it fumbles. This is all times
becoming a new time which is a now time
becoming all, a swoon through cracks in the paving

where vanished children crouch over hidden play.
Next day, a narrow canal house lips at its reflection;
we stand in front of it to stand for ourselves

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rupert Loydell: Tabletop Telepathy (for Patricia)


for Patricia

A long white piece of fabric

A black and white photo
of a broken violin

Unfinished paintings
(aspiring ghosts)

One idea layered
over another

Eyes pulled sideways

© Rupert M Loydell

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Report of the Select Committee 12th December 1956

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Robert Sheppard: The Dexion Pavilion for Patricia Farrell

The Dexion Pavilion: Burnt Journal 1956

                        for Patricia, December 2016

destruction-frenzy sports
her wifely duties
making her eyes pop
at his imagined failures

the sweater girl stages it
negotiates the typing pool
only the disappointed point
to what is actually a love song

falsies and earrings and the playboy
fingertips for the groom testing sponge
tenor rather than vehicle

and the lady dream-lit her flesh
recorded monthly
a literal elephant sandwich in the sour smog
so she may see herself

a glowering glow the Vulcan bomber
deep in the bell of the machine
pickles arranged on the bridal bed
project a phantom

and the magnifying glass held up to
a gas tank on low pressure is a flounce
cream parting his lurid
shadow falling from the wire

of rouge and an ounce of gold
with black blasts of his kazoo
he’s frozen before her

gracekelly beaches and purple
foxy eyes winking and glinting the
Dexion Pavilion stands four-square

full and unyielding she models
the bikini-girl’s baubled promises
this late in her career
between the bolted metal floors

October-November 2016 (shorter version 2019)

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Robert Sheppard: Poem With You for Patricia Farrell

A Poem With You

Soft thighs open the spring day to sunlight,
sexual thrill in the quality of morning,
the frisson of travel: the Amphitheatre glimpsed
from the Wall, the Deva, the shell of the Civil War hall,

its sky-blue oval windows. We stand on charity,
buying clothes and CDs, catching up on popular music
45 years late. We dine at a restaurant conspicuously French
but covertly Slavic with caraway seeds thrown onto trout.

Workaday grievances rise in the holiday talk
like granite, come and go unscheduled as
women’s legs under tables, seducing no one.

Reading mixed metaphors on the train home,
I’m wary of them. Part of me is still in bed,
as it should be, in such a poem, with you.

(for Patricia)


This is from the sequence 'It's Nothing'. Another poem, the last, called 'Last Look', from that sequence may be read here.

Elvis on 12th December 1956; Sinatra on 12th December 1956

A lucky lady in uniform meets the King on this day 1956, Patricia's birth day in Cyprus.
And here's Sinatra in 1956 (one of his very good years, including 12th December, his 41st birthday)

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Peter Hughes: Plenum for Patricia Farrell


for Patricia Farrell

& so you danced
in these new spaces
drawn & then transformed
by thought through vistas
ruled & etched
rotated swerves
inhabited considered
how it’s never how
it all looks back at us
shimmering & stirred
by your attentions
the gratifying surfaces
hovers in heat haze
registers horizons
as they take a few
steps back & bow

Peter Hughes

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here. And see Peter's own celebrations for his significant birthday here.

Graham Lovatt's Mixtieth for Patricia's Sixtieth playlist now available

Now Patricia has heard the mixey I can publish the full playlist, here. It's a great and varied 60 minutes of sound and music selected and presented by Graham Lovatt. We listened to it preparing for Patricia's party last night, 10th December .... 

Geraldine Monk: SEXAGESIMAL PATRICIA! From Babylon and Geraldine with Love

Alan Halsey: Those acrobats A and Z put on a show for Patricia's 60th

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

James Byrne: Conversational Seedcake (for Patricia)

Conversational seedcake
for Patricia, on her 60th Birthday

Guinness delivers at The Old Post Office. 
Half LION bisects Friday’s vermillion. 

Reverse-charge call to the red telephone.
Fragmentum (re)construes family’s sticky business.

On Bold Street, with a headpaint of canvas,
conversation diptychs us, separable from flesh.

A face to colour any Stanley. Pink anchor in vintage
green heels. Scuttles me claw to lobster.

Happy 40th to you, to you. Numerology is false alarm,
like the eyeball-juicy mass who count on salvation.

Think of the uppers with their Beaujolais noses,
they who would hologram every class plan and feed us

to the Warholian machine. Who cannot see you,
Zechsteinian lantern, bettering this light.

James Byrne

Editor, The Wolf magazine

International Editor, Arc Publications

James' new collection, Everything Broken Up Dances, is published in the United States by Tupelo: 

White Coins, James Byrne's poetry collection from Arc is available.  

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Sarah Crewe: march of the patricia

march of the patricia

she was spoken
                          so softly
              shoes of red
pathways                                     no promises
               no demands
                                     the blood of the martyr
the aspirations    
                                      of an alligator
aerosol                                                                    the bricks
                 baby mash potato
she was at the party                                                she would  stay up    
                                                                                                              & fight
changes                               of expression
                                                                           of possibility
we are young
                      ask me                  in thirty years
i will say
                      love is a battlefield
                                                     the latin for noble
the resident team                                                                      patricia farrell

 Patricias include: St.Patricia of Naples, Non Existent Patricia by L7, Plaistow Patricia by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Patricia Crewe, Patti Smith, Pat Benatar, Patricia Farrell.

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Scott Thurston: Patrician Decorum (for Patricia Farrell)


for Patricia


In a pile of soft boxes lies
a palette knife. You hook it out,
slash together a flash
of lemon-yellow, deep crimson,
        This is a process of thinking,
vertebrae aligning in a moving,
extended spine – an enquiry
is spreading.

Who danced and who sat down?

Let’s lean together in this windy world
wound up, take pleasure in all things,
like the grace of dogs, intricate
and difficult.
        Patch through the mosaic
what the body does not remember. Make,
break and fill that space little friend,
for no reason.

I was waiting for meaning when
the tree of animals collapsed

laughing and singing.

With much love Scott, Autumn 2016

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Tim Allen Disinherited Textures (for Patricia Farrell)

Disinherited Textures (for Patricia Farrell)

This is the latest map it is newer than it looks
This is the latest word on the object it is an exposed order
This is the latest apology for a landscape it is past thinking
This is the latest news it is not true not any more
This is the latest that anybody could imagine
This is the latest Zechstein sea it is your indoor swimming pool
This is the latest craze it was kept on ice
This is the latest friendship turning like a ship at sea
This is the latest cave found carved in air by psychology
This is the latest last time ever ultimately timed
This is the latest drug tested against groups of all-comers
This is the latest in literary fashion you’ve probably seen it before
This is the latest drawing of new water colours
This is the latest recording of your own shoulder being tapped
This is the latest tape keeping fates bunched together
This is the latest supper not the last supper that comes later 
This is the latest information available it is surprisingly musical
This is the latest political party following footprints in the sand
This is the latest seven days of spirituality to be read
This is the latest line in art lectures listened to by trilobites (bite sized lectures)
This is the latest face to grace
This is the latest wave of topological values it is spotless
This is the latest stamp it is a one issue birthday party

© Tim Allen

 Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Tom Jenks: In Praise of Sedimentary Rock for Patricia Farrell

in praise of sedimentary rock

for Patricia Farrell

Six decades is but a blink in the Zechstein Sea,
with its marine transgressions and its Lopingian epochs
and its thin layer of shale or slate.

I would recommend the apricots that they make
from oxidised sulfur, which was how they spelt “sulphur”
in 1956, because it is yellow.

I would also recommend their selection of waffles
which are labelled Z1 to Z5, respectively like
in 1956, when Japan became a member of the United Nations.

But do not touch the dolomites, however widely dispersed,
because during the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
when Norma Jean Mortenson legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe

and Yul Brynner was ascended by an Austrian
and Jerry Lee Lewis became Britain’s first female judge
they dropped them in the canal with Michel Houellebecq

who is a nihilist and cannot be trusted
to jump out of a birthday cake
in 1956, without putting out all the candles.

Tom Jenks

Patricia Farrell's The Zechstein Sea is available from Shearsman Books still here.

Visit the Patricia Farrell Celebrations Hub Post (with links to all the rest) here.

Thursday, December 08, 2016