I went to Reading University. Used to go to this venue to eat spicy jacket wedges. Reading here now … http://readingarts.com/southstreet/event.asp?id=SX10A9-A78233C5 21st March.
Everything And Again (And Again)
When the taxidermist wouldn’t let me buy
the magpie, rampant, on a bark-stripped branch
with a diamanté bracelet wriggling in its beak
because, tradition says, that bird’s reserved
for jewel thieves to give to one another,
it put the tin hat on a week that featured
a walk up a mountain to a café that had shut,
moth in my winter coat and a puddingless date.
Decode the magpie’s song and sing along:
My daddy is a dove, a raven’s my mum.
My feathers are dipped in midnight and noon,
sin and salvation, milk teeth and amalgam.
I once saw fourteen magpies in a day –
some pairs, some threes. They all belong to me.
Everything And Again (And Again) January 28, 2014
… is the title of this print by the lovely Adam Bridgland (go to his website and buy his things for the good of your walls and your immortal soul). Adam’s exhibition at the Poetry Society runs until the middle of February, some people wrote poems for its private view. I will post mine shortly …
I’ve been working on a project at Southbank Centre where poets are invited to contemplate the refurbishment of the 7,500 pipe organ, write new pieces and perform ‘em in the Royal Festival Hall. It takes as long to build a pipe organ as it does to build a battleship. The RFH organ is a beast, this is me playing the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth on it. The performance is on 30 March, details here.
Back to my home town for a reading – Thursday 13 February at the Yellow Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury. 7pm or so. My mum and a lot of her mates in the audience.
Me reading at the Cafe Writers event in Norwich this month, looking like I’m about to sneeze hugely. I wasn’t. I was reading the rude breakfast poem.
Plump the Hazel Shell October 21, 2013
This is the poem I’ve written for the Keats feast mentioned below. (Keats helped.)
Plump the Hazel Shell
A chop, junket, gingerbread, a pheasant or a partridge, cabbages, another bottle of claret, a hare, a dish of filberts, salt-fish, clotted cream, pippins, the wine of love, the bread of friendship, rum mixed with mountain water, a cup o’ tea, toddy, a ham, dirty bacon, dirtier eggs, dirtiest potatoes, oatcake, a pint of milk, two capital roastbeef sandwiches, radishes, buns and tarts, porridge, a grouse, a sugar plum, a great bit of apple dumpling, celery stalks, a woodcock, a poison fruit, barley sugar drops, ratafia cakes, ale, wine, cream, thin bread and butter, plenty of lobsters, pear, apricot, peach and melon, a piece of bride cake, ginger-beer, boil’d leg of mutton, jam and jellies, vegetable food, fish for dinner, a basket of grapes.
Talking of Pleasure, this moment I was writing with one hand, and with the other holding to my Mouth a Nectarine – how good how fine. It went down all pulpy, slushy, oozy, all its delicious embonpoint melted down my throat like a large, beautified Strawberry.
(The food mentioned by John Keats in the collection of letters to his family and friends edited by Sidney Colvin and first published in 1891.)
And this is me reading it.