Wednesday, 22 June 2011

New Worlds and Old Paint

I have been burning the paint off the woodwork in my hall today and am glad to have stopped. There is a rhythm to the work, but I do not find that it enables me live in my head while I work. It is far too fiddly for that, instead I have to keep my attention on ensuring the lowest layer; a sort of brown varnish is removed. I suppose it is good to have a day or two where I interact with the world rather than inhabiting my head.
Before continuing with the DIY I had just completed the second draft of a script for the first part of a graphic novel. It is early days yet but I think in the preceding two weeks I had created a suitably different world that chimes with this. I now await the comments of my editor. I am really impatient; I want instant feedback and know as I write this, that it sounds ridiculous. It is not possible, wheels that grind fine grind slowly. I will keep you informed.
When I stripped the wallpaper in the last house I lived in I wrote this about the experience:
Stripping Woodchip
Even with an industrial strength steamer,
The paper will blister and bubble
Before stretching under scraper blade.
It will take longer to remove than to fit.
Heavy paste, no worries if the paper stretched
And it will cover many things.
In this case institutional green walls,
The shade of urinals and forgotten wards.
It seems the whole house was this colour.
Did it comfort the painter
Knowing every room was identical?
Was the woodchip a stop gap?
Or an illustration of limited thinking?
There are no pencilled signatures under the coarse Paper,
No record of identity or belonging.
The job expands and takes forever.


  1. Congrats on the script for your graphic novel! I hope progress with it is smooth.

    Interesting poem.

  2. Thanks for that. I talked to te publisher and the are very pleased with it. Corvus Press is talking about a first issue for the Bristol Comic Expo next April, I am very pleased and not quite beliving it is real.
    Glad you like the poem.