Bowie and Me

It must have been the spirits connecting who persuaded me to stay up late last night and watch the Bowie documentary I recorded over Christmas so you can imagine my shock this morning to hear he had died around the same time.

I am not going to pretend I knew him well, I wasn’t a girlfriend but for a small moment we held hands, snuggled up and kissed. I met Bowie after the singer Danny Williams (Moonriver) was brought to our flat. I think Greg Edwards had already left Manchester but the guy who brought Williams didn’t know that. The three of us went into town. I think to the Explosion club where DJ Dave Eager brought Bowie and persuaded me to get them into the Time and Place. I was happy to do so because though Bowie was excited to meet Williams I didn’t like the crooner so off we went.

Eager lived quite close so I was happy to accept a lift with them but instead of Longsight we went straight to their hotel by the airport where Eager (yes you did) drove off and left me with Ronson and a snotty blonde. At the bar he told me about his music ambitions and while there he took a call that informed him they had a USA hit so he was over the moon. It was really late when I left and with not enough money for a cab I was given a handful of cash; over fifty pounds. I was living with the man who was to be the love of my life and knew that even as a night taxi driver Pete Gresty was already home with the sunrise. Not mentioning the kisses I told him I had been with this extrovert Gay guy I had after all been snuggling up to Ziggy still I was confused. Bowie was a toucher (not a groper) a caresser and his kisses were not gay!

Even though he had asked me to join him at his show at The Hardrock (Stretford), I was still in my teens and had no idea how I was going to get in, plus my music taste laid more in American Black music. That afternoon the same taxi driver arrived with my tickets and flowers. I hid the tickets and binned the flowers which was a good job because when I pointed Bowie out on Top of The Pops Pete went ballistic and that was that.

SuAndi Honorary Degree Lancaster University, UK


Photo and Content Courtesy of Anne Rothwell Lancaster University, UK

5 March 2015 10:57
An internationally acclaimed performance poet has been awarded an honorary degree for her outstanding contribution to British art.

SuAndi is a performance poet, whose works include poetry, prose and librettos. She has published numerous collections of poetry, including Style (1990), Nearly Forty (1994), and There Will Be No Tears (1996).

SuAndi was presented with the honorary degree by Alan Milburn on 4 March, which was one of his very first tasks as Chancellor, having been officially installed that day.

On receiving the honour, SuAndi said: “This honorary degree illustrates that Lancaster University values voices outside of academia and for me, as a self-taught poet and writer, it is my Oscar.”

Born of Nigerian and British heritage, she was a dancer and a model before becoming a performance poet in 1985. In more recent years she has also worked in Live Art, touring and lecturing nationally and internationally.

An active supporter of the arts, both locally and nationally, SuAndi has been voluntary Cultural Director of the National Black Arts Alliance since its formation in 1985. She was appointed OBE in 1999 for her services to the Black Arts.

Lancaster University has been awarding Honorary Degrees since it was founded in 1964. They are awarded to people with an outstanding international reputation in their field and those with a leading national reputation who have a strong link with the University or the local region. SuAndi has a strong association with Lancaster University, both through her work with Theatre Studies and the AHRC-funded ‘Moving Manchester’ research project, which explored how migration has informed Manchester’s literary scene since the 1960s.

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Milburn 20150157

Photo and Content Courtesy of Anne Rothwell Lancaster University, UK

Massacre • Charleston S. Carolina June 17, 2015

The they that kill us
threaten our lives from dawn to dusk
plot our extermination
In public arenas
of council office
self identified churches
that are without the true God
they who claim what we have achieved
they permitted
and the rest we took
through stealth crime
by any means necessary
because that is in our genetic makeup
thieves from the cradle to the grave
sexual deviants from puberty until incarceration
and they hope no appeal death row
first they cloaked themselves in missionary cloth
then in the wealth trappings of slavery
and when freedom brought emancipation
they donned pointed hoods and white sheets to conceal their uniforms and shields
Who are they
Theses senators, mayors, sheriffs. Officers of the law. Ordinary citizens. Priests vicars, red necked bigots of ordinary guys
whose mantra kill kill kill
divides this nation
because the fear sits close to our consciousness
as our kids climb into the yellow bus
we travel the subway
Check into work
lunch out
watch a movie
go about our business
minding our business
Bow our heads in prayer
That as we reach out to our neighbour
He isn’t taking aim

SuAndi Bio PhotosmallSuAndi OBE

Manchester, England

Acclaimed International Artist – Writer, Performance Poet, Lecturer

Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance

Honorary Degree Lancaster University, UK

Untitled Prose

How many of us
Have stopped to stare
As we wash dishes
Brew a far too expensive coffee
While yearning
For cool white wine.

And the young ones
Looking for something to fill
Their emptiness of nothing.
And off course those with green fingers

Especially those with green fingers
They linger longer
Confusing memory with what is now
Impossible to see.

Yet they continue
Looking hard in concentration
Through glass turned opaque
By the light reflection of the room

Sometimes what is invisible to the eye
Our ears hear.
And for a short breech of time
Our hearts flutter
For what might be out there
Is magnified by fear
Causing blood to pump out of rhythm

When clouds stop blocking the sun
To make space for the moon
What do flowers do.

Do they bow their heads in slumber
Do stems and stalk flex so they can lean on another
As they wait.

For The slow slimy trail of those invaders
That we think we can hear
That crawls up stems
Gnashing holes in leaves so they wilt and die
As a momentary starter to their late night supper
Which they chew
One petal at a time

By sunrise they are gone
Invisible again
Save the silver trail of their passing
Like a tip reflecting
In the sparkling morning dew
Of the tears the flowers shed
Over the agony of their evening

SuAndi Bio PhotosmallSuAndi OBE

Manchester, England

Acclaimed International Artist – Writer, Performance Poet, Lecturer

Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance

Honorary Degree Lancaster University, UK

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