Friday, January 15, 2016

Bangkok Expressionism 2016



Where: Brainwake Café, Sukhumvit soi 33.
When: 14th January 2016 - (currently running.)
What: Art. Expressionist Bangkok Noir.


Artist Chris Cole’s current show opened on Thursday 14th January.
This is the most comprehensive of Chris's shows to date with works that were first conceived years ago hanging besides more recent pieces.  





Also on display are examples of the flower series, smaller portrait pieces and even a pencil study.




Opening night Poet John Gartland theatrically performed to an audience including authors Christopher G. Moore and Lawrence Osborne. A film crew recorded the event.     









Below. A selection of books by local authors are on sale at the café.



Above and below portraits that appeared in the artist's book Navigating the Bangkok Noir.





The really good news is the smaller Bangkok portraits are for sale at the café meaning that if you dig the work there is now no excuse to not start a collection. BTS/MRT Prom Pong / Sukhumvit.













Saturday, January 2, 2016

Fun City - Chapter Five (short draft excerpt)




LA Noirscape


FIVE

 

EVER HEARD the sound of insects dying? Ever seen the sun rising over a doomed city? Love turn to madness? The serpent singing scopolamine words in the abandoned playground. Nairobi hotel at dawn sat watching birds of doom, black kites, vultures, circling over the city before swooping down to devour the dead and rotting bodies consumed by the recent epidemic. Twelve years old. A hotel room in Paris, chimney pots studding frozen grey roof slates, a cool morning mist rising from the Seine, dusty books, Shakespeare and Co, and, oh yes, a ship took me there, a Goan rooftop garden, houses brushed pastel pinks and blues, Himalayan valleys, vultures slowly circulating above the lake, a Koh Sok bungalow, gibbons calling from the canopy, hornbills, wings beating above as we paddle along in a dug-out canoe. Catfish slosh underwater as the sun beats down upon the backs of our necks. Have you ever lived, dreamed, transgressed from one film set to another with the cool understanding that there are only two lives that matter and both of them are yours?

I’ve travelled East, West, North and South and each city, each country; each destination had its own special moment illustrated like an image on a postcard. I’ve run through blade-runner cities at dawn chased by wild-haired women in paper dresses brandishing broken sake bottles in one hand and stiletto heels in the other. I’ve sat on top of mountains wrapped in blankets with campfire smoke in my hair and whimsical conversations on my tongue. I’ve bivouacked for nine days in a jungle lagoon waiting for a connection that never showed and left the bush flat broke, lost and lonely. Each one of those and every other episode happened exactly as it should have happened for if they hadn’t happened the here and now would be simply gone before or  will never happen again.       

What would that special moment in Fun City be?

Seek and you shall find…      

Out onto the street, rain falling heavily before settling in iridescent oily puddles below a ragged man rolls along the tunnel wall and smiles, his teeth catching a sudden shard of neon. His trousers completely tailored from the plastic bags tendered by convenience stores and left to rot on the streets. Never look down on the street man for all of us are closer to it than we  should like to think. See the door. Open it. Inside the office, slammed the door shut, slid the deadbolt shut. A crazed poet screams outside the door, and let him scream, let him scream.

Let them all scream.

Rat bait taken, traps unsprang.

Switched on the ceiling fan and listened to it grind. Rattle and hum, rattle and hum, cough and splutter, like Beethoven’s fifth. Count the coins in my pocket realizing for perhaps the first time that value is subjective, arbitrary, nonsense. Is this what people lived and died and killed and fought for? The coins were worth both nothing and everything, solid metallic objects that weighed the carrier down. Time was equally unquantifiable as minutes stretched to hours before dawn broke into late morning and a bottle of Tiger Sweat had taken the edge off the cactus nightmare. Hell, I’d seen The Devil on acid, had some experience in these matters and others and much, much more. This trip, eventually, like all trips, dies a death leaving the tripper both physically and mentally drained questioning his own existence along with the existence of everything else, resolving never to digest peyote in a sex jazz dungeon ever again.   

  

Should I have stretched the case out a little longer? No, that wouldn’t have been the way to play it. Clients instruct me because I am cheaper than a lawyer and get the job done faster with no fancy stories. Lawyers simply complicate issues to make themselves seem important. See it this way. A poor uneducated man gets the toilet unblocked with minimum fuss and greatest effort. He, the humble man, will roll up his sleeves and remove the shit with his bare hands. A privileged educated man will get the toilet fixed in a completely different way. He will have that toilet unblocked with maximum of fuss and the least amount of effort. Oh yes. He will talk about the toilet. Blame will be distributed liberally as to whose ass had shat in the offending latrine. He will employ others to hold presentations about the best way to remove the shit. Men will sit around a table and discuss waste disposal. Oh yes. Ceramic surveys will be undertaken. A graphic designer will be employed to design pie graphs. Focus groups, committees, it will go on and on and blocked with shite the toilet shall stay. The privileged man will do everything in his power to unblock the toilet apart from the simple act of unblocking the toilet. That simple task, beneath him, will be undertaken by another man and while the humble man unblocks that toilet a casual observer cannot but question the existence of the rich and privileged man who is already in his mean-spirited way scheming how to cheat and steal from the man who has unblocked his shit time and time again.

Never play the client against the subject of investigation, never pad the bill, and do not take an assignment that looks like a lost cause. Roll up your sleeves and remove the blockage and move on. This is what we are here for and there is no use trying to complicate or romanticize it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

List for 2015/16



Asked recently what I have written and have out there in cyberspace I realized I need an updated list. So here it is. There may be some I've missed out but I think this more or less covers the last five or six years of struggling with sanity.


Thanks to all of you for reading, stay good, and best seasons greetings from here in sunny Bangkok...


SHORT STORIES

MEAT– September 2009- 69 Flavors of Paranoia
CARMEN– March 13th 2010– Freedom Fiction Anthology Vol: 1
KIM– April 2010– Scalped Magazine
RAVANA– February 2011 – Freedom fiction journal
CLEAR– March 2011– Freedom fiction Anthology Vol: 2
THAILAND AFTER DARK– Bangkok Book House– August 2011
TWO LUMPS AND A PAIR OF GLASSES- Big Pulp Magazine- March 2013
THE COLD SUN- March 2014- Twisted Tales
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY- Exiles Anthology-2014- Blackwitch Press
THE FAST RATS- 2014- Strange Story Saturday
GHOST HIT - 2014 -Freedom Fiction
UNDEAD CARGO - 2014 - Spanking Pulp Press.

NOVELS

BANGKOK EXPRESS– August 2010- Bangkok Book House
THE BOY THAT PLAYED CHEQUERS- August 2011- Fried Fiction. Serial.
BANGKOK EXPRESS- Revised 2012 edition. Books Mango.
RED NIGHT ZONE- BANGKOK CITY- 2012 - Books Mango.
LIZARD CITY- 2012- Books Mango / Spanking Pulp
THE WHITE FLAMINGO- Spanking Pulp Press 2013
THE BLACK ROSE- Spanking Pulp 2014
ITCHY PARK- 2014- Double Dragon. Blood Moon Publishing.
FUN CITY - Work in progress.

NON FICTION

THAI MEDITATIONS (As James Alexander) – September 2010– Bangkok Book House

ANTHOLOGIES

TRIPLE WEIRD - Spanking Pulp Press
TRIPLE ZOMBIE - Spanking Pulp Press
EXILES - Black Witch Press
BIG PULP - Matter of Storage - Big Pulp Press
FREEDOM FICTION ANTHOLOGIES - Volumes 1 and 2

SCREENPLAYS

THE WHITE FLAMINGO (commissioned 2015)
FREAK MUSEAM (Spec script. Work in progress)

STAGE PLAYS

THE NATIVES (With Tom Earls 2013)

POETRY

INTO THE NIGHT (Amazon)

Here's a link to the Amazon author page. http://www.amazon.com/James-Newman/e/B004XFWCYU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

And here's a link to the Goodreads Author page. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2253186.James_A_Newman

Extending best wishes into Christmas and the New Year!


James.