lost elation


Tag: michael keenaghan

The Festival of Darkness

Lit Fiends and those languishing in bedsitter land gather round – the festival of darkness is upon us – and so what to do on these short grey days and long dark dreary nights. That’s right, nestle round a roaring fire, bottle of vino in hand and tuck into –

Push 19 and possibly the best yet…

P1000711 P1000710 P1000709


And if you do decide to venture out on one of those wintry and woebegone nights – make it Saturday 19th December and get down to Sophie Parkin’s private members club in East London. Meet the elusive HP Tinker in person and hear me read from Burrito Deluxe and Ridgwell stories for the 1st time ever in the Capital. See link for details –

vout -o-reenees

Peter Burrito yellow 6

Ridgwell Stories

Milk Race radicals and tugboat partisans. Check out this dramatic piece of old stag movie footage. Pure Super 8mm gold dust. One, two, three – if you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise. If you go down to the woods today you wouldn’t believe your mince pies…


NB: The phrase- The Festival of Darkness – was coined by Craig Gibson and featured in the 2004 edition of Edinburgh’s One O’Clock Gun. Auld Reekie’s finest and only free literary magazine.



Verbal, Peyote Visions, Handjob Book Party & with Regards to Light…


So summer is nearly over, what summer there was, which wasn’t much. But that’s what being British is all about. And living in hot countries ain’t all it’s cracked up to be and I should know as I’ve lived in more than my fair share. Think tropical diseases, malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and the dreaded jumping spider plague. Add to that unsanitary conditions, weird food, communication barriers, xenophobia and living in Swindon might not be as bad as it sounds.

So get ready for winter lit fiends coz you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the winds blowing. Anyway I relish the short days and dark nights, where a pub with it’s yellow lights indicative of warmth and shelter are always a welcoming sight for any lonesome traveller looking for respite from the elements.

And winter is a good time to stock up on reading material. Lifestyle magazines always spout on about best beach reads, but no one really reads on the beach. The beach is just not a good place to read, unlike snuggled next to a roaring fire with a glass in hand in the middle of December.

Now, it has been brought to my attention that some of my publications are too expensive – nay even elitist. Could be true or might be that some of you are tightwads. Whatever – if you are looking for an inexpensive read that features some of my writings then look no further. The latest edition of Verbal is out now, which includes work by myself, Michael Keenaghan, Joe England, Martin Knight & Irvine Welsh amongst others. And when I say something is good then you know it’s good and at £2 a pop, you’d be a mug not to get your sordid hands on a copy. Then there is John Morrisons – With Regards to Light & Dark – another zine that has appeared out of nowhere and which features a short story of mine. Click on the links below to sort yourself out.

In Regard to Light and Dark

London Books

Fancy some lit fiend entertainment this October then get yourself to Nottingham, England’s renaissance town. See poster below and start booking train and hotel tickets.

Hand Job 9

Last but not least – on a recent trip home I unearthed a publication that I’d presumed lost for 18 years. With my novel Burrito Deluxe days from publication it was a weirdie experience that it turned up now, but it did and so It’s time to get cultivating…


Milk Race Fanatics – stop shagging that grapefruit and check out this Super 8mm knee trembler…


Be there or be square lit fiends



The Bell


On Friday 26th September The East London Renaissance brings a literary extravaganza to Old Smokey. Some of the UK’s finest literary and artistic talents will converge at the Bell Pub in Whitechapel for a night of mystical sexy mayhem . This is adults only – lit fiend only – the line up itself is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. There’ll be readings, art exhibitions, book and art sales, erotic cabaret, music. What more do you mothers want? And for those fruits with a weak constitution or sensitive nature we say stay away – don’t take any unnecessary risk with your fragile mental health. We don’t want any freak outs on our hands. The filthy illuminations start from 7pm onwards. Are you brave enough, experienced enough – do you think you can handle the pressure of raw emotion and honesty coming at ya like a midnight express! If so show up – pay jack shit (gratis) to get in – and be prepared to have your intellectual melons well and truly tested.

Joseph Ridgwell

Milk Race devotees I’m here for ya – you bunch of depraved weirdos. Check this 8mm mother out!

nudie alert



Gather round all you sordid lit fiends – be you in the pub – the strip club – the lingerie department of your nearest BHS – stop all that sleazy shit at once – put your ears on and listen in:

PUSH 11 has now hit the streets and verily it is a scorcher – ideal to read late at night in bed when your partner wants to go to sleep. When he or she complains about the little light being left on – you – being a free-thinking individual – merely hold up the copy of PUSH 11 and say in doleful tones – Do you really want to contribute to the decline of Western civilisation or do you want me to carry on reading? Then tell the droopy-eyed philistine to put that in their pipe and smoke it!

Now, fiends I know what you’re thinking because I can read you fruits like the books you fetish over – where the fuck can a mother get their hands on a copy? Stop getting frisky – Go here:

 push magazine

This scinttilating interbellum edition features brilliant poetry, short fiction, artwork, and great interviews. Some of you, especially those of a cinematic bent have been harassing me about the film of the Child of the Jago literary event held in East London a while back. Well there is a film, but currently – like Victor Lazlo’s letters of transit in Casablanca – it has been lost in transit. Mother, I hear you say, but do not fear, for one day it is bound to turn up and once again your life will be worth living – so do not – I repeat – do not – suicide over this minor combobulation. Meanwhile get hold of a copy of PUSH 11 and read some in-depth interviews that were recorded on the night by Joe England and are transcribed for your reading pleasure in the magazine.

Joseph Ridgwell A Child Of The Jago_0002

The only other way to get a handle on that memorable night is to read a poem by Ford Dagenham that was inspired by actually being there:

inside joe ridgwell’s head

Now, one more thing – before I hit the bars of Stockbridge for some light refreshment – News on the lit vine is that a brand spanking new publishing venture is about to commence in Edinburgh. This, I can assure you, will be of interest to geniune lit fiends all over the world – and  will be coming your way via future posts on this site – and elsewhere online – in print – and via the best way of all -word of mouth. Stay tuned for more on this exciting literary enterprise.

Joe Ridgwell


Okay Milk Race participants gather round and feast your mince pies on this stunning hi-res 8mm set


P.S To any pendant sitting in a roach infested bedsit somewhere who has the audacity to question if the words combobulation and interbellum have been used in their correct context – I say only this – question my syntax at your peril. The same goes for punctuation. As for spelling – now don’t test me

A Long Distance Telephone Call

Author Photo

McCreesh: Hiya Joe, whaddya know?

Ridgwell: I’m on the dago red

Ridgwell: right, where do we start

McCreesh: Laphroaig this morning. The goddamned cork is dry, so I better finish the bottle.

Ridgwell: groovy

McCreesh: So — we talked briefly about this ridiculous article declaring the “literary bad boy” either dead or pointless.

Ridgwell: pointless

Ridgwell: and purile

Ridgwell: typical hack work

Ridgwell: And not very informative, was it New Yorker

Ridgwell: or NYT

McCreesh: The article was a joke. And they said no one was worth mentioning if they were a literary bad boy.

Ridgwell: cretins

Ridgwell: What about literary bad girls?

McCreesh: And I’m not even sold on there having once been literary bad boys…so much as it was simply a way to sell books, and had little to do with the writing.

McCreesh: Or literary bad girls.

Ridgwell: Yep, there are just really great male writers, who maybe liked to drink and fornicate and partake of thee old narcotics. At the end of the day that probably didn’t have much to do with the writing, or maybe it did

McCreesh: Off the top of my head, I can think of folks whose writing might be categorized as such — and they’re all pretty solid writers.

Ridgwell: Aye. Writing comes in all forms. I myself prefer the ones who write with courage, verve, exburance

McCreesh: So, writers like Bukowski, Fante, Henry Miller…

ADeepandGorgeous-COVER SMALL Ask the Dust

Ridgwell: A good deal of writers today, write well, but the books are dull. I refer to it as safe writing.

McCreesh: The masters wrote with great humor, and guts.

Ridgwell: Certainly did

McCreesh: Where are the folks today who are doing it right?

Ridgwell: Well, I only have limited experience, in that I know of a few, but of course there could be loads more out there that I’ve never heard of

Ridgwell: Cookie Mueller was a literary bad girl


McCreesh: I have found a lot of tough writing coming out of the UK.

McCreesh: I’ve got most of your books, and enjoy the hell out of them.

McCreesh: Lots of fine writers out of Pittsburgh right now.

McCreesh: And there are folks dotting the map.

Ridgwell: The UK underground scene is vibrant, but an interesting aspect is that they are influenced by American writers

Ridgwell: but mostly dead American writers

Richard Brautigan 1084

Ridgwell: where are the John Fantes, Richard Brautigan’s and Bukowski’s of today

McCreesh: Culturally the UK stills seems to invest in and care about writing.

Ridgwell: You strike me as a startlingly original American poet, but you appear to be operating in a cultural vacuum

Ridgwell: Are there any lit movements over there, like the Offbeat Generation,

McCreesh: I think a few U.S. cities have lit scenes — but they don’t enjoy any sort of systematic support from their local or federal govt.

Ridgwell: fuck the govt

Ridgwell: there’s nothing worse than getting handouts from corrupt regimes

Ridgwell: any artist who does that loses all credibility

McCreesh: Well there’s certainly no danger of that happening any more.

McCreesh: In order to even be considered for such things you already need to be some sort of established academic.

Ridgwell: the writer, writing is a solitary pursuit, has to go it alone

Ridgwell: Educational establishments appear to harbour and promote mediocrity

Ridgwell: To be a genuine underground writer you have to have balls. Like John Lennon once said, they hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool

McCreesh: Nice.

McCreesh: I actually think that now, more than ever before, it’s easy to be the writer you want to be…and there are no reasons to do any of what you don’t want to do.

Ridgwell: that’s true, but it’s a hard road to travel.

Ridgwell: In my view though, it’s worth it as reputation is everything.

Ridgwell: just got grab a beer

McCreesh: I look forward to the next Ridgwell book, and the next and the next. You’ve got a few presses that will do your books up right, and that, my friend, is all we need.

Load the Guns

McCreesh: Sitting right next to me I’ve got LOAD THE GUNS from Blackheath, and A CHILD OF THE JAGO from Kilmog.

McCreesh: You’ve got something in the works with Bottle of Smoke Press.

Ridgwell: You know whenever I show those sorts of publications to mainstream people, it blows their minds

McCreesh: As rightly it should.

Ridgwell: the craftsmanship etc

McCreesh: They fucking bring it.

Ridgwell: truly, but it always makes me smile

Ridgwell: gotta Singha beer, Thai beer, reminds me of my Buddha Bar days

McCreesh: They are amazing artists.

Ridgwell 2012 698

McCreesh: Ah, BUDDHA BAR — another gorgeous book.

McCreesh: If people ONLY buy books from megabookstores then they will never see the vibrant small press masterpieces created every year.

Ridgwell: But I don’t want to be too critical of the mainstream. Most times it’s not their fault as such. There are some good people working in it, but they are controlled by bean counters. I feel sorry for them. Often they are bitter about it, you know kinda frustrated

McCreesh: With the internet, social media, all the various ways to spread information about there’s no excuse for people to simply accept what’s on the shelves.

Ridgwell: You know as well as I do, that you can put stuff out online and it disappears into an information highway blackhole

McCreesh: White noise — to be sure.

Ridgwell: Anyway, what about your booze book, you’ve been promoting the fuck out of it – worthwhile or soul-sapping?

Blog Tour Banner

McCreesh: I thought of promo for the book as an experiment.

Ridgwell: You know I love to drink and get drunk, and defo have a deep and gorgeous thirst,

Ridgwell: not to sayan unquenchable thirst

Ridgwell: but it’s a big book of poetry

McCreesh: I’ve been writing some 15 years now, and promo — to me — seemed pointless. The white noise again.

Ridgwell: about booze, where did you get the inspiration?

McCreesh: Mainly I just remember all my drunken escapades, and found a way to write them that worked.

McCreesh: Promo for it has been a lot more fun than I expected.

Ridgwell: so, you’ve been drunk a good deal

McCreesh: Not nearly enough!

McCreesh: I love drinking.

Ridgwell: hahahaha

McCreesh: It’s a joyous fucking enterprise.

Ridgwell: Some of the poems were quite existential, or so I thought.

McCreesh: I told myself I’d push this book as hard as I could just to see what, if anything, came of it.

Ridgwell: I take my hat off to you ya for effort

McCreesh: And I believe there is value in pushing. I imagine all books from here on out will have a promotional period.

Ridgwell: I couldn’t do the same, don’t have the energy, but I like the way you’ve gone about it. It’s like fuck it, I’m gonna have to do this myself

McCreesh: But you have to do it in a way that’s fun…for yourself if not others too.

McCreesh: And that’s truly it: at the end of the day, the outlaw, the rebel, the true artist wants to do it themselves.

McCreesh: You’ve got an event for JAGO coming up.

McCreesh: That’s exactly what I mean.

Ridgwell: As you know, my partner, Miss Urchin Belle, is getting pretty famous. Last six months all she’s done is promo work. Can’t get any writing done, and is constantly bitching about it.  D’ya think it takes away from the writing at all?

McCreesh: Get some booze, book a mitt joint, drink too much, and sell a few books.

McCreesh: That’s the stuff that matters.

McCreesh: Not fucking NYTimes articles saying literary bad boys don’t exist, or aren’t worth your time.

A Child of the Jago Poster

Ridgwell: Yep, Jago reading is coming up week after next, but I see that more as a big party. I don’t like reading, not very good at it. Usually only do one a year or less if I can

McCreesh: It absolutely keeps you from writing…while it’s happening.

Ridgwell: I think so, but breaks can benefit a wrier

McCreesh: These are the first readings I have ever done. And I don’t feel comfortable — but try very hard to give a good read.

Ridgwell: Yay, when doing something or committing to something, best to give it your best shot

McCreesh: I saw a bit from Rock/Rap producer Rick Rubin in the TV.

Ridgwell: beastie boys

McCreesh: He said, as advice for bands, make music, record it, go out and do shows– and don’t pretend that it happens any other way.

McCreesh: And it’s true.

Ridgwell: Yes

McCreesh: Put your fucking heart and soul into what you’re doing — and then go share it with anyone smart enough to get it.

Ridgwell: Writers can hide away, but not forever, at some point they have to come out and face the music

Ridgwell: some names to drop into the hat

McCreesh: I think of it like this: If you don’t grab people by their throat say “just give it  a look — you’ll like this” then they never will.


Ridgwell: Michael Keenaghan and Jose Arroyo. I think at some point both will cross over

Ridgwell: Jose’s from Calif

McCreesh: His woodcuts are gorgeous.

Ridgwell: He’s doing the artwork for my SS collection on BOSP

Preying Mantis

McCreesh: That’s a fine fine thing!

McCreesh: He needs to do a cover for Burrito Deluxe!

Ridgwell: Talk about blowing one’s own trumpet, but I think that collection will twist a few melons

Ridgwell: Ha, Burrito Deluxe, it’s a road book that has become like On the Road, first started writing that in 2003

Ridgwell: and still not in print

McCreesh: Well, just like ON THE ROAD, it’ll hit, and you’ll fall apart, disappear into the bottle.

Ridgwell: Lots of interest, publishers don’t know what to do with it

McCreesh: Fuck ’em.

Ridgwell: It’s a book without a plot. note to wanna be writers, include a plot

McCreesh: It’s gonna be fine.

McCreesh: Unless you want to write a world changer like TROPIC OF CANCER.

Ridgwell: And it’s  a little misogynistic. Note to wannabe writers. Don’t go there.

McCreesh: If a plot organically grows out of a thing we’re writing, great — if not, who gives a shit?

Ridgwell: fucking a

Ridgwell: so, what you got planned next, what’s up Hosho’s sleeve

McCreesh: Follow one goddamned compass: your own spirit.

McCreesh: This year I’m finishing Chinese Gucci.

McCreesh: My first novella.

McCreesh: In fact, starting March 18th — that’s all I want to be doing.

Ridgwell: Promo. I’ve got two copies of Marching Unabashed. One for me one for Jenni. note to collectors, be jealous

McCreesh: My THIRST promo will be done. No readings booked.

Ridgwell: Good, get the word down

McCreesh: It’s 70% there.

McCreesh: And I’m loving it so far.

McCreesh: Think a Japanese Holden Caulfield meets Under the Volcano.

McCreesh: Also, he sells fake purses on eBay.

Ridgwell: Liking it

McCreesh: Juarez, Mexico — one of the murdering-est places in North America these past few years, plays a decent role in the book.

Ridgwell: nice

McCreesh: And the lead, Akira, is a world-class shit that I just can’t help but root for.

Ridgwell: I don’t know what’s going on in Mexico, it’s like drugs have reverted them back to the violence of the Aztec era. Legalise drugs!

McCreesh: Not the drug so much as the black market for them!

McCreesh: It’s capitalism failing on a grand scale.

Ridgwell: You know I travelled extensively through Mexico in the last days of the last century, and all I found was peace and love. But then, I was a gringo

McCreesh: It’s so stupid. Would you risk get your throat cut over an ounce — or would you prefer to buy it at the local drug store?

Ridgwell: Looking at life through the eye of the cactus. (Peyote)

McCreesh: That’s fantastic.

McCreesh: Legalize it; tax it like booze; help anyone who wants off the shit get off but otherwise keep it safe.

McCreesh: And make a pretty goddamned penny doing it.

McCreesh: Maybe then the govt could fund a decent art project or two?

Ridgwell: you know Hosh, they never will, not while we’re alive anyway

McCreesh: Well, if they were doing things like guaranteeing you had the chance to be the person you want to be — instead of some 40hr/wk drone — then a lot fewer people would say “Fuck the govt!”

McCreesh: I know, I know…I can’t help it. I’m a dreamer.

McCreesh: I think we should put every idea through my Caveman-o-meter:

Ridgwell: Don’t get me started on work

McCreesh: if it doesn’t make sense to a caveman, then maybe we don’t need it.

Ridgwell: At present I’m very anti-work

McCreesh: Work is a hard thing to not be ANTI about.

McCreesh: Work sucks: that’s why they give you money to be there.

Ridgwell: Have read the essay by US anarchist Bob Black

McCreesh: But, like the true artist — man, I want to control my own destiny as much as is possible.

Ridgwell: The abolition of work?

McCreesh: I vote yes.

Ridgwell: I’m with William Blake

Ridgwell: I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man’s

McCreesh: If we can figure out how to not fucking want shit we don’t need and not eat each other in the process.

Ridgwell: fucker wrote that over two hundred years ago. Nothing changes

Ridgwell: I need a rich benefactor

Ridgwell: Know any millionaires?

McCreesh: Shit — Ben Myers posted something by Basho about how stupid “useless toil” is…that was in the 6th century!!!

McCreesh: Not Basho — Li Po, my bad.

Ridgwell: http://deoxy.org/endwork.htm

McCreesh: I’ll read that…Monday…at work!

Ridgwell: Ha, yeah Li Po wrote an awesome poem about a young man moon gazing, but then has to get up and work in the paddy field next day

McCreesh: fucking horseshit.

Ridgwell: Flip side, is that work is great for gathering material

McCreesh: Not sure why mankind invented all this busy work, this shuffling of shit from inbox to outbox…

Ridgwell: as a writer I mean

McCreesh: But I don’t imagine we’ll someday just grow tired of it and give it up.

Ridgwell: All those shit jobs I did, all that human activity and characters. I wouldn’t be the same writer without having had to go thru that shit.

McCreesh: Doesn’t matter. My job keeps my roof, and keeps me in Laproaig.

McCreesh: It fuels me, even as it takes my precious time.

Ridgwell: Like I say to all aspiring writers, don’t give up the day job

Ridgwell: But make that day job work for you

Ridgwell: that’s rebellion

McCreesh: But I’ll sack up…I’ll gut it out. And, when I get retired, like my gal’s old man, I’ll do nothing but drink, write, paint, live, laugh, clean the pool, and marvel at how fucking amazing life is when you do it right.

Ridgwell: what is a rebel? A man who says no.

McCreesh: A man who balances the juice vs. the squeeze.

Ridgwell: I’m on the verge of walking out of my job

McCreesh: Uh oh — bottles empty!

Ridgwell: Got offered a small package. Been in same job for 13 years. Gonna walk of into the sunset

McCreesh: Man — I can make a case for keeping yours, or dumping it.

McCreesh: Either one is fine. Either one works.

McCreesh: Someday the sun will devour all human effort (save the shit we’ve jettisoned beyond her reach) and none of this shit will matter.

Ridgwell: could be worse mistake I’ve ever made, but gonna do it anyway

McCreesh: A fiery cataclysm unmaking all that was made.

Ridgwell: First six months gonna write a new novel

McCreesh: We are but a pale blue dot hurtling through the vast empty black.

McCreesh: And everything’s gonna be just fine!

Ridgwell: then pray to the gods to look after me

McCreesh: They will!

Ridgwell: YAy

McCreesh: Your a fucking writer, for christ’s sake!

McCreesh: You are favored by the gods!

Ridgwell: Gonna have to cut this short Hosh, ribeye steak and 2nd bottle of red is calling.

McCreesh: You lucky bastard.

Ridgwell: Think more productive than last interview

McCreesh: I think i should eat something. The Laproaig seems to be working!

Ridgwell: those gods are smiling, for the moment anyway

McCreesh: Man, fuck it — even when it’s terrible, they’re giving us all we need.

McCreesh: Great books are born of our ridiculous fucking suffering!

Ridgwell: Aye, eat, drinking on an empty stomach leads to blackout time

McCreesh: I know — and it’s barely past noon here!

Ridgwell: I’ll think about that as I eat my steak, hehehe

McCreesh: Good chat, man.

Ridgwell: adios amigo

McCreesh: Glad to know you, my good man.

Ridgwell: Stay groovy, man.

McCreesh: Enjoy the weekend.

McCreesh: They’ll put us back in our cage soon enough.

DrunkSkull Survival Kit

And for all you freebie screwball lovers:

Giveaway Info:

Hosho McCreesh is giving away the DrunkSkull Survival Kit ($50 worth of fabulous prizes!). The Kit will include:
-a copy of the book
-a recycled wine-bottle glass with the DrunkSkull logo on it 
-a jar of Fiery Gardens Artisan Jams & Jellies, 
-a DrunkSkull fridge magnet, 
-some stickers
-temporary tattoos
-a coaster
-a patch

Giveaway link:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This is one stop #10 on the tour — and fiends should check out the other stops too. (click on link below)

Milk Race fanatics, of course I never forget you far out fruits:


A Child of the Jago – Promo

A Child of the Jago Poster

Only two weeks to go before the grooviest poetry reading since those angel-headed antics at the Six Galley San Fran. Click on link below to read an illuminated promo at monkey picks – home of the hippest man in Old Smokey. 

monkey picks

PUSH 7 – Lit Fiend Heaven

PUSH white copy

Fiends, fiends, now don’t go all soppy on me and breakdown in tears, but get this PUSH no.7 is is genuine lit fiend heaven, featuring stellar writing, beautiful artwork courtesy head lit fiend Jose Arroyo, and two intriguing interviews with Granta Best of writers, Jenni, The Panopticon, Fagan & David, Damned United, Peace. Now go forth all you screwballs and strange people and order a copy, if they’re are any left that is.


Joe R

And here’s some stag film action for all you milk race devotees

Adam Stag Party Record 4 Back For Seconds