Paul Bowles – In Tangier

“Like any romantic, I had always been vaguely certain that sometime during my life I should come into a magic place (Tangier) which in disclosing its secrets would give me wisdom and ecstasy-perhaps even death.”

Paul Bowles, An Invisible Spectator – Biography

Writing Routine of Famous Writer’s Series (no. 1): Philip Larkin

“…it’s much better to leave it for 24-hours, by which time your subconscious or whatever has solved the block and you’re ready to go on.”

‘I work all day, and get half drunk at night,’ Larkin wrote in his 1977 poem “Aubade”. A few years years later he described his real life (and not so dissimilar) routine to Paris Review

My Life is as simple as I can make it. Work all day cook, eat, wash-up, telephone, hack writing, drink, television in the evening. I almost never go out. I suppose everyone tries to ignore the passing of time-some people doing a lot, being in California one year and Japan he next. Or there’s my way-making everyday and every year exactly the same. Probably neither works.

Larkin worked as a librarian for almost his entire adult life, realizing early on that he would never be able to make a living from his writing alone. “I was brought up to think you had to have a job, and write in your spare time, like Trollope,” he said. Although he admitted to wondering what would have happened had he been able to write full time, he also thought two hours of composition in the evening, after dinner and the dishes, was plenty: “After that your going round in circles, and it’s much better to leave it for 24-hours, by which time your subconscious or whatever has solved the block and you’re ready to go on.”

My mother’s uunsi (frankincense, sandal wood, incense)

My mother’s uunsi (frankincense, sandal wood, incense)

the smell of crows, omens and ancient gods,
the smell of gold in caves, chiselled numerals
the sublime and the wretched
the rotting fruit, the derelict bridges, moss eaten football pitches.
abandoned cities.

the gold thread of time,
adorning your wrists like gold bangles, like a bridal knot around your waist a heavenly consolation

and you mother, burning

smoke emitted from the caves of history….

On suffering

Why do good things to bad people:

Refrain from harsh judgment it is an uneducated guess, and try to see the world as made up of individual with unique experiences, you don’t know every life as intimately as God does, there is a hidden narrative and a communication between them and God, when God shows his favours to what you deem an undeserving sinner when he saves them, He is teaching them to love, giving them hope while rewarding them for things you don’t know, or failed to imagine. Respect the diversity of experiences and respect the struggle.

William Burroughs Quote 

When I was a young child I wanted to be a writer because writers were rich and famous they lounged around Singapore and Rangoon smoking opiums in yellow pongee silk suits. They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and penetrated forbidden swamps with faithful native boys and lived in native quarters of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly carressing a pet gazelle.