David Ralph Lewis

Poet and Author


'Birdman', Superhero Films and Spectacle

27 Apr 2016 Category: films

Riggan: How about Jeremy Renner?
Jake: Who?
Riggan: Jeremy Renner. He was nominated. He was the Hurt Locker guy.
Jake: Oh, okay. He's an Avenger.
Riggan: Fuck, they put him in a cape too?

One of the best and most inspired films I’ve seen recently is Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a fantastic multi-layered meta commentary on hollywood and the creation of art. It features Michael Keaton as an middle-aged actor struggling to make what he sees as ‘real art’, after playing a superhero called ‘Birdman’ twenty years ago. This superhero, or...


The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan- Book Review

21 Apr 2016 Category: book review

I picked this short novella up recently and devoured it in about a day. Having previously read some of Ian McEwan’s later novels such as Saturday and On Chesil Beach, I wasn’t expecting such a violent and horrible little story. It deals with four children left abandoned in their house when both their parents die, and the unpleasantness that follows their isolation.


The Work Never Stops

18 Apr 2016 Category: creativity

After I published my first book of short stories, Amber Stars, I took a week off writing. I enjoyed the achievement of actually finishing a project and publishing a book. So I kicked back, read some books, browsed the web a lot and created absolutely nothing.

Then after a week of slacking off, I started waking up at six again. I deleted unnecessary apps, stopped wasting time on websites and got back to work. I started writing again. Austin Kleon’s Share Your Work! helped me refocus on what I want to do. It gave me a kick up...


Newspaper Blackout Poems

12 Apr 2016 Category: erasure poetry

In the past month, I’ve been messing around with a strange form of ‘writing’ called blackout poems. I was inspired by Austin Kleon, who helped popularise the form. Since then, hundreds of people have ran with it, creating new and different poetry using existing texts.

It’s a really interesting format that has a lot of potential. You take a newspaper article, pick some words and scribble out the rest. Weird phrases and snippets of almost poetry emerge. It reminds me of William Burrough’s cut up technique, where he would re-arrange his sentences at random. The resulting poems are reliant on the...


Zaireeka and the live experience

07 Apr 2016 Category: music

The live music experience is still thriving, even as CD sales fall. For many bands, it is the primary way of making a living. It seems odd that even as we devalue recorded music, live music has stayed important. I believe it comes down to the experience.

A live performance is special partly because it is a shared experience. Even if you attend a gig by yourself, you are surrounded by like minded fans and the band. We are social creatures at heart and being physically present with others adds a power and intensity to the experience. You are forced...


Thoughts on 'High Rise'

04 Apr 2016 Category: films

Last Saturday, somewhat spontaneously, I went to see High Rise, the newest film by Ben Wheatley. I’d previously seen Sightseers and A Field in England and enjoyed them both. The later wasn’t wholly successful, but it felt very different to any other film I’d seen before.

High Rise looks like his most conventional film yet, given its slick advertising and Hollywood stars like Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. However, it manages to be much more shocking and unconventional.


On Writing and Publishing a Book

30 Mar 2016 Category: writing

Last Good Friday, I found myself hunched over the computer, fiddling with styles and formatting while outside was bright sunshine. It was all in aid of getting my first collection of short stories published, Amber Stars.

The book started as a couple of stories and ideas I was playing around with in private. I wrote Welcome Home and The Underworld mostly for myself. It was an exercise in keeping my fingers busy. I often have quite a few writing projects on the go and these stories were just another one I was going to keep to myself. My tendency is to...


Marbles and Creation

08 Mar 2016 Category: creativity

Why not take five minutes out of your day to watch this:


It’s an incredible machine made by Wintergatan. Overly complicated and intricate, it is fully programmable and has the ability to play the melody, bass and drums all at the same time while changing key halfway through the song. It took the artist fourteen months to build.