"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
Right then. Whose bright idea was it to send me to Glasgow on Monday night, and then to London for a midday meeting the following day? Really? Oh. So I have only myself to blame for that very early start – and there was another timetable cock-up yet to come.
The Glasgow journey was worth it. Robin Cairns, comic poetry genius and thoroughly nice bloke (left), had prepared a proper Burns Night welcome for me at his regular open mike event, Last Monday. Unsure of what to read, I followed my general rule – if in doubt, stick to filth. It went down well.
In That London, I met NT people about a short film/ poem, then settled into my home from home, the Wellcome Institute. Last week’s discovery, Write or Die, came into its own – I set it to ‘kamikaze’ mode and got my head down.
Wednesday passed in a haze of sleepiness and inefficient
working, nominally on a foreword for the National Trust’s very attractive forthcoming book of landscape poetry. Then in a further triumph of half-assed scheduling, it was back to London to meet Graham Henderson of Poet in the City, with whom I am concocting a very exciting project. More importantly I delivered belated Christmas presents to my special friend Wee Tilly, and her very unimpressed little sister Iggy.
On Friday I was desperate to get some work done on Aching for Dick but got swamped by other stuff. On Saturday, it was back to Birmingham where I have lately spent so much time, for the first of our Writing Squads. This project provides writing coaches (me, Leila Rasheed and David Calcutt, below) for children up to 16. I don’t normally work with kids but it was a great day with very creative young people.
Somewhere along the line a little web page was born, for the new show Jenn Ashworth and I are doing in spring. It’s a simple affair, just a selection of readings from her brilliant short stories and my… er… filthy poetry. At last, dear reader, I can reveal that it’s called Too Much Information. We have three dates and hope to collect more on the way.
I ventured into the local on Saturday night with the maps for the Coast to Coast walk, which Smily Man has suggested would be a jolly good wheeze for the summer. Turns out the man next to me had walked it three times! I now have a lot of information about pubs and campsites to enjoy. Nothing is wasted, as we writerly types say….