Archive for July, 2010

David Gilmour

July 29, 2010

Although On An island is a great David Gilmour solo album, his best solo album is his first album, simply entitled David Gilmour.

David Gilmour was released in May 1978 in the UK and on June 17, 1978 in the US. The album reached #17 in the UK and #29 on the Billboard US album charts and was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. The album was produced by Gilmour himself, and consists mostly of bluesy, guitar oriented rock songs.

David Gilmour was recorded at Super Bear Studios in France between December 1977 and early January 1978 with engineer John Etchells. It was mixed at the same studio in March 1978 by Nick Griffiths. The cover was designed by Hipgnosis and David Gilmour.

The tracks are:

Mihalis – 6.00

There’s No Way Out of Here (Ken Baker) – 5:24

Cry from the Street (David Gilmour/Eric Stuart) – 5:18

So Far Away – 6:12

Short and Sweet (David Gilmour/Roy Harper) – 5:33

Raise My Rent – 5:49)

No Way – 6:14)

It’s Deafinitely – 4:29)

I Can’t Breathe Anymore – 3:40)

All songs by David Gilmour except as noted.

A five song promotional film was made to promote the album. The band comprised Gilmour himself on guitars and vocals plus the two musicians on the album (bass player Rick Wills and drummer Willie Wilson) plus David Gilmour’s brother Mark on rhythm guitar and Ian McLagen on keyboards. The band performed “Mihalis”, “There’s No Way Out of Here”, “So Far Away”, “No Way” and “I Can’t Breathe Anymore”. There were additional female backing singers on “There’s No Way Out of Here” and “So Far Away”. The performances of the tracks in the promotional film differed to the album versions.

“Mihalis” had an extended guitar solo at the end.

“There’s No Way Out of Here” was slightly shorter as one of the verses was deleted but the guitar solo at the end was different from that on the album and had a clean ending instead of fading out like on album version.

The track “So Far Away” had an extended guitar solo at the end on this performance and ended in a faster tempo than the album version.

The performance of the song “No Way” had Gilmour playing regular lead guitar solos at the end of the track on his Fender Esquire (with distortion) instead of the lap steel guitar solos (with distortion) that had appeared on the album version and had a clean ending instead of fading out like on the album (the remastered CD version of the album had Gilmour’s lap steel solo extended this time to feature a duel between himself playing high notes on his lap steel and lower notes on his trademark Stratocaster during the fadeout on the remaster). The middle part of the album version, for where the first of two lap steel guitar solos were on the album version, was deleted.

“I Can’t Breathe Anymore” had Gilmour playing a regular guitar solo at the end of this song’s performance whilst on the album version (and on the remastered CD in an extended coda), a distorted lap steel guitar countered the guitar solo at the end. The ending of the promo performance of “I Can’t Breathe Anymore” was longer than on the album.

And that’s David Gilmour for you. Arguably, it’s David Gilmour’s best solo album.

David Gilmour © R J Dent (2010)

William Dunlop, Poet

July 29, 2010

William Dunlop, poet and English scholar, was born in Southampton on 5 July 1936; he taught at the University of Washington from 1962-2001; and he died in Seattle, Washington on 20 October 2005.

William Dunlop

William Dunlop was a writer whose work was much admired by his fellow writers: as Jonathan Raban rightly said, he had “a coterie reputation as one of the finest poets of his generation”. His poems are peculiarly memorable, taut, often bleak, sometimes joyful, always finely crafted. He worked carefully with form, metre and rhyme, and achieved a subtle and ambiguous clarity.



Landscape as Werewolf


Near here, the last grey wolf

In England was clubbed down. Still,

After two hundred years, the same pinched wind

Rakes through his cairn of bones


As he squats quiet, watching daylight seep

Away from the scarred granite, and its going drain

The hills’ bare faces. Far below,

A tiny bus twists on its stringy path

And scuttles home around a darkening bend.


The fells contract, regroup in starker forms;

Dusk tightens on them, as the wind gets up

And stretches hungrily: tensed at the nape,

The coarse heath bristles like a living pelt.


The sheep are all penned in. Down at the pub

They sing, and shuttle darts: the hostellers

Dubbin their heavy boots. Above the crags

The first stars prick their eyes and bide their time.


‘William Dunlop’s bleakest visions are rendered with such technical elan that one rejoices with them at the simple pleasure of finding darkness made so wittily palpable in rhyme and meter.’ – Jonathan Raban


William Dunlop received his education at Eastbourne College, with the Gordon Highlanders, and at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he edited the magazine Granta. In 1962 he moved to Seattle to work with Theodore Roethke and started his teaching career at the University of Washington as an English instructor. By 1973 he had earned tenure as an Associate Professor of English, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. His poems appeared in Encounter, New Statesman, TLS, Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review, and other leading journals. In 1997 Rose Alley Press published his poetry collection, Caruso for the Children & Other Poems.


The Downpour


Sleep will not come. He keeps his eyes

trained on the ceiling that he cannot see

and pays heed to the darkness. On the roof

the rain is typing his biography.

How it taps on, and on! Taking dictation

at the wind’s will, insufferably it hammers

away at all the commas that prolong one

long lifetime sentence to a constant stammer

that’s sometimes moved to desperate fits and flurries,

then sullenly lulls back to the dull pounding –

out of narrative humdrum and numbskull.

When will it ever end? What chance of rounding –

off a tale so sodden, soggy, so banal?

All wasted energy, diffuse, damp, incomplete …

He wants it just to stop. His best hope is

rain too must have a deadline it must meet.

Beside the Seaside


You wouldn’t say that she “submitted.” No,

Whatever prompted her was something new

and docile not at all. Perhaps it had to do

with the short turf, the white cliff edge, the slow

cloud promenade, the surge and thud below

as each fresh wave broke down. So, anyway,

touch, tremor, nakedness all made good sense

to her, quite suddenly, and down she lay

and smiled, and helped him to forget the tense

first panic, meeting not the least defence.


And afterwards, she begged a cigarette,

lazed on her back, and beamed back at the blue

sky, blameless. He was dumb. More vehement yet

the sea beat up against the cliffs, and threw

its whopping slogs into a cave that drew

the sinewed swell out of a foaming sleeve

and sucked it in, to—like one heaving block

of quartz – explode: boom hollowly; and leave

in skittery files licksplittling through the rocks,

till the next wave recruited them, and shocked

itself to spume, finding passivity

exceeded penetration. He watched (while she

lay with her skirt around her hips, and smiled

as at a dutiful, obliging child)

and felt the strangest pity for the sea.

William Dunlop died from cancer on October 20, 2005. He will be remembered as an excellent teacher and poet and as a critic who fearlessly defended high aesthetic standards.

Of special interest to fans and admirers is the 2007 volume of William Dunlop’s Collected Poems.

The book was published by:

 Classic Day Publishing,

2925 Fairview Avenue East,

Seattle, WA, 98102.

Phone: 877-728-8837




To purchase a copy of Collected Poems, please contact Carolyn Busch, Assistant to the Chair, Department of English, Box 354330, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4330. Email:

Alternatively, contact William Dunlop’s widow directly at to order copies.


Collected Poems is also available at bookstores and from




William’s widow edited Collected Poems, which features previously unpublished poems. The back-cover blurbs are by Jonathan Raban and Margaret Drabble. These esteemed writers rightly valued William not only as a friend but as a great poet.



NOTE: The Downpour, Landscape as Werewolf, Beside the Seaside and Square – Copyright © William Dunlop (1963 & 1997), and Copyright © Revelle Dunlop (2007)

Author: William Dunlop

Title: Collected Poems

Publisher: Classic Day Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-59849-035-0

ISBN: 1-59849-035-4

Price: US: $18 / UK: £10 / Can: $21

Format: Paperback

Pages: 182


William Dunlop, Poet

© R J Dent (2010)


The Joke by R J Dent

July 28, 2010




“How about that one?” Guard 2932 asked.

     Guard 1548 looked across the enclosure at the shuffling prisoner. Gaunt, stooped, hollow-eyed, clearly not long for the world. He nodded.

     “Okay. He’ll do. Does he have a friend?”

     The two guards stood and watched the gaunt prisoner as he circumnavigated the enclosure. Every few yards the prisoner stopped to inhale and exhale deeply, as though he was having trouble breathing when he walked. Once or twice he looked through the security wire at the drab and featureless surrounding countryside. Sometimes he stopped to mutter a few words to other prisoners.

     On his fourth circuit, the guards had determined that he spoke mostly to a tall fellow with yellow skin and protruding teeth.

     “That’s his friend,” Guard 2932 said.

     “Let’s call him over.” Read more…

 tj rjd

R J Dent says: ‘I wrote The Joke because I wanted to examine the ways in which brutality engenders humour and the way that humour can – out of necessity – come into existence out of – or because of – brutality. I was also interested in writing a prison-camp murder story. Finally, I wanted to write about jokes – and some of their unfunny manifestations.’

Information on R J Dent’s novels, novellas, short stories, translations, essays, poetry, song lyrics, videos and blogs can be found at:







The Joke

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


More to the Picture by R J Dent

July 21, 2010



When he was drunk, which was often, Maxim was loud and obnoxious. When he wasn’t drunk, he was still fairly loud and obnoxious.

Normally, this would have been a severe problem, but with Maxim, it didn’t really matter because he was very good-natured and very funny. He would help anyone. He would also think up jokes and funny stories on the spot and relay them with perfect timing, sound effects, appropriate voices and wonderfully hilarious punch lines. He was good to be around.

A lot of people claimed he could have had a phenomenal career as a stand-up comic, and although this was often suggested to him, Maxim always self-deprecatingly turned the idea down flat – as though the suggestion was meant for someone else, not for him. Read more…


R J Dent says: ‘More to the Picture is an urban horror story I have written. First published in Writer’s MuseMore to the Picture is based on real people and a series of real events, although the names of those people have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.’

More to the Picture (2554 words)

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)


Details of R J Dent’s published books, including novels, translations, short story collections, poetry collections, non-fiction works, as well as song lyrics and videos can be found at:










Mimique by R J Dent

July 11, 2010

Mimique by R J Dent

He stands on an unlit stage in a darkened theatre.

A single spotlight beams down, illuminating his whitened face and white-gloved hands. He is enacting the commedia dell’arte story of Harlequin and Columbine. He is playing both parts and he is now acting – miming – the scene in which Harlequin stands over the dead Columbine, wishing she could be alive once more. He clutches a tiny purple flower – an Aquilegia vulgaris – in his left hand. He sniffs the flower. A single tear trickles down his face, leaving a dark trail. When it dries, it will be a diamond. Read more…

R J Dent says: ‘My story, Mimique, was inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s Mimique, which can be found in his seminal collection Divagations.’

The French text of  Mallarmé’s Mimique can be found here:

Text: Mimique © R J Dent (2009)

Image: Harlequin by Justin Robertson


Charles Baudelaire’s The Abyss

July 10, 2010

Here’s Charles Baudelaire’s The Abyss.

Charles Baudelaire's The Abyss translated by R J Dent

The poem is from R J Dent’s translation of The Flowers of Evil, published by Solar Books.

Charles Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil translated by R J Dent

Details can be found here:

The Abyss has been set to music by the Finnish composer/musician Outi Tarkiainen.

The first performance of The Abyss was in Helsinki in September 2009.

Here’s the video clip:

Translation © R J Dent 2009/Music © Outi Tarkiainen 2009

And here are the lyrics:

Charles Baudelaire’s The Abyss

Pascal had his abyss that followed him.

Everything is abyss: action, desire, dream – word.

I feel the wind of fear pass frequently

through my thick hair, which often stands on end,

up and down, everywhere, into the depths,

through silence, space, captivating, ugly…

During my nights, a god with clever hands

draws never-ending multi-shaped nightmares

and I’m afraid of sleep – it’s a big hole

full of horrors that lead to the unknown.

Windows show me infinity. Seeing

it, my hurt mind suffers from vertigo.

How I envy the sense of nothingness;

I’m never free of numbers or of beings.

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

Charles Baudelaire’s The Albatross

July 10, 2010

Charles Baudelaire's The Albatross translated by R J Dent

Here’s Charles Baudelaire’s The Albatross.

The poem is from R J Dent’s translation of The Flowers of Evil, published by Solar Books.

The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise by Charles Baudelaire translated by R J Dent

More details can be found here:

The Albatross has been set to music by the Finnish composer/musician Outi Tarkiainen.

The first performance was in Helsinki in September 2009.

Here’s the video clip:

Translation © R J Dent 2009/Music © Outi Tarkiainen 2009

And here are the lyrics:

The Albatross

Often, for amusement, the sailing crew

catch that bird of the seas – the albatross;

companion on our voyage, it follows

the ship as it slides through the sea’s abyss.

When this once-great sky king has been dumped,

awkward and ashamed, onto the ship’s boards,

it pitifully drags its great white wings

along its feathered sides like useless oars.

This graceful voyager through shades of blue,

once beautiful, is now clumsy and weak;

one sailor mocks the cripple who once flew,

another stubs a pipe out on its beak.

The poet is just like this prince of clouds;

beyond range, above storms – these are his haunts;

exiled on Earth amidst a jeering crowd,

his giant wings won’t permit him to walk.

Translation © R J Dent (2009)

Frida Kahlo’s art

July 7, 2010

Here are some paintings and drawings by Frida Kahlo.

Diego on my Mind

There is a very good online resource of all of Frida Kahlo’s paintings and drawings. It’s at:

The Wikipedia entry for Frida Kahlo is at:

and details of Pascale Petit’s stunning Frida Kahlo-inspired poetry collection, What the Water Gave Me can be found here:

I’ll simply let Frida Kahlo’s art speak for itself.