Issue 6

JUNCTION BOX 6

Issue 6

8039007 no 5

The sixth edition of Junction Box has more of a Welsh-based feel to it than usual, with contributions from writers working along or deriving from the south of the country, in an area stretching from Newport to Cardiff to Swansea, then up along the Swansea Valley, across to the Black Mountains and down again along the eastern edges of the now grassed-over coalfields. A circuit of endeavour. Nothing programmatical about this, it's just the way it happened. So Chris Paul talks about the amazing Bosch Collective in Newport; Rhian Bubear, who has just completed a book on Dylan Thomas, discusses a late work by the other Thomas, RS; John Freeman recounts an incident on a childhood holiday; Brighton-based Bridgend-born artist, David Rees Davies, unleashes a human/not so human pictorial avalanche. Elsewhere, Junction...

taken from Roots, Peter Finch’s current work in progress, a rock and roll trip to the mountains and beyond. Roots will be published by Seren next year.   The car is full of rising sun. There’s western swing on the radio and the great open spaces of America are rolling past the car windows. I’m travelling like you just can’t travel anywhere else. Who am I? Hugo Williams looking for Chuck Berry in No Particular Place to Go. Duncan McLean searching for Bob Wills in Lone Star Swing. Burroughs seeking satori in Tangier. Kerouac looking for Cody Pomeroy. Everyone heading for Denver, for San Francisco, for Mexico, for New Orleans. The road always moving. The fluid, shifting, American state of mind. The radio is WKSF, Asheville’s Kiss Country, broadcasting from Mount Pisgah,...

FREEDOM OF THE SEAS   Freedom of the seas Murmurings between the four walls from the blood-drops on the thorns, like going off to gather blackberries along paths worn away by remorse and hope, and risking the teetering slopes. What! It astonishes you, does it, so much wastage from so many wounds? Haven’t you leaked enough of those death’s heads through the gashes in your own lining to understand? Good grief, this wind’s strong! Between the lines of the rain, between everything that isn’t the false coin of life—that is, all that stuff that quenches the thirst of the tough-headed. Over to you. —What do you want? To win the game, or to lose it—the kind of time that reigns supreme, or the kind that drags itself out for an eternity? It’s all the same...

Steve Boyland was born in Liverpool in 1957, and sang with several local rock and blues bands during the mid-70s, before joining jazz-rock quartet FUSION in 1976, which was led by former KING CRIMSON drummer ALAN MENNIE. He studied improvised music at the University of York in the early 1980s and moved to London in 1983 where he began participating in the free improvisation scene with figures like Maggie Nicols, John Stevens, Lol Coxhill, Pete Nu and Paul Rogers. Steve returned to York in 1984, attending harmony and improvisation workshops with Jazz Composer-in-Residence BOBBY WELLINS and his successor, RICK TAYLOR, while extending vocal studies with ROBERT LEE at York Minster. Performances with Wellins and Taylor led to a series of broadcasts for BBC radio and to the formation, with trombonist...

Editor's Note: We asked David Rees Davies to send some pictures and what we got back was a stream of images which arrived, in fact, as a torrent in the Inbox, overwhelming the system completely. What you see here, arranged in a long column of rectangles of various aspects and sizes, reflects, though, on the whole, not so much the disorder in which the pictures arrived, but the disorder in which they ended up in a folder on the desktop after many kinds of struggle with downloading and formatting. The arrangement itself, then, is without obvious significance, but one of the ways I personally have enjoyed reading it is as a kind of mutilated visual essay (I might have said 'meditation', but the noun doesn't sit at all well with my sense of this artist's hyperactively playful, paratactical...

A “Shifting Identity” Never His Own: The Echoes Return Slow as a Poet’s Autobiography.   What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music. (Kierkegaard)[1]                                                                                          During the course of a 1990 interview for Planet magazine, entitled ‘Probings’, R.S.Thomas made what, at first sight, might appear to be no more than a passing remark:  “I complained once to Saunders [Lewis] about the tension of writing in one language and wanting to speak another and his reply was that out of such tensions...

A Review of Scott Thurston's Reverses Heart’s Reassembly   Scott Thurston’s poetic sequence, Reverses Heart’s Reassembly, takes place within the structure of a dance, the Five Rhythms dance created by Gabrielle Roth, and Thurston is attracted to its aim of freedom through the discipline of a specific practice. I had personal experience of Roth’s Five Rhythms when I took part in a Tavistock Institute course called Womens’ Work: wisdom, balance and influence. In this context it was taught as a way of combining psychology and dance, and we were encouraged to take notes about our psychological state. At the time I was working on an anti-racism project and there was a fair degree of scepticism about psychology generally, unless it had a clear political and social agenda: in...

Unless you have spent a bit of time in the furrowed husks and underground niches of the alternative Wales artsworld, then the chances are you probably have not heard much about Bosch (actually not the Power Tool enthusiasts, at all).  This is a happy incident of geography, because the arts' economy, culturally as well as financially, is kinda like legal and other political powers, located mostly in London, with a few shining satellites elsewhere in England.  There is no specific racial or nationalistic agenda behind this, nor any supply side issue that means Wales is short of what gets commoditised as talent.  It is just more people live in London, and more rich people live in London in particular, and while no-one opposes the idea of conceptual art in the overspills, suburbs, and backwaters,...

Ses the corpse, “Hey Robert, I got black, boot-black, soil under my back and night-black sky above like you. But you got blood about your body.” Ses Johnson, “Stay outa my ears crossroad creature. I’m movin on… just ‘cidin which way to go.” Ses the scrape-voice creature, “Which ever you choose, you in a walkin blues, rambling on your mind, travelling riverside blues from four until late, wishin for a kind hearted woman… An all the time your love in vain.” Ses Robert Johnson, “Shake my shoes of you! Stamp the ground on you! Fill your mouth with stone! Make you hush in your quick-buried scrape! You in the crossroad of no escape!” Robert Johnson falls upon his knees, hands clenched in prayer learned over hard years, feeling sanguine tides pounding in his...

"Where are you from? England? But isn't it better there?" I write this on holiday in an exotic location in the Brazilian Highlands, surrounded by quartzite mountains, in a small village that has no traffic noise with cattle and horses wandering freely in the streets. However, I live in young city of tower blocks (80 years old) located in what I often like to call the Agri-desert. But first, let's explode the myth of a cultural melting pot (I believe that means little brown people jumping about in gay abandon), beaches, bikinis, "The Land Of Samba" and the Amazon. Brazil is not simply an Ipanema beach fantasy for sun starved Europeans; in fact, contrary to that dream, it has a very conservative culture. The big question that everyone, Brazilians included, asks is: "why don't things...

[caption id="attachment_3224" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Wu Fu-Sheng and Graham Hartill in BBC Swansea studio.[/caption] Glasfryn seminars hosted Professor Wu Fusheng from the University of Utah on the 4th May 2014. He spoke about the history and forms of classical Chinese poetry and his approach to his recent project, the translation of Dylan Thomas’s poems into Chinese. Here he is filmed in conversation with his long time friend and collaborator, Graham Hartill. Having met in 1984, when Graham was teaching at Nankai University, they have worked by correspondence on translation and done readings and presentations together in the USA. Their second collection, after twenty years of work, has recently been published in China by the Commercial Press, and they have a third appearing...

I got off lightly compared to many people. There was Eddie in the playground, only nine but with an old face somehow, a straight lipless mouth, sharp features, pale faded skin. His mousey hair, curly but thin, looked as if it had been sprinkled with dust. His grey shorts and socks and jacket – I can’t see him in any other colour, except the black of his shoes – managed to look like rags without actually being rags. He placed his fist on his other palm, fingers stretched towards you. Smell my cheese, he’d say. I’d rather not, thank you. You were supposed to bend and submit to being punched in the face. On holiday that year by the sea I was walking alone through a street of lofty cream-painted Georgian mansions all big enough to be hotels, utterly deserted, until I came where a group...

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