I’m writing this with the remnants of a slight hangover – this is left over from Friday night – nowadays I don’t seem to be able to drink very much without feeling ill and it takes me longer to recover.
On Friday an old friend of mine from university came to visit. He has been working as a professional trumpet player ever since he left music college thirteen years ago and I think its safe to say he is as obsessed with playing the trumpet as I am with poetry, except he makes a living from his obsession. Oh, and travels round the world on cruise ships and on tour with musicals.
But my obsession did take me to Lancaster on Friday night, which is just as glamorous as going to Singapore to play in Annie the musical! I was reading at Lancaster Library with Trevor Meaney. Trumpet playing friend had never been to a poetry reading before – I do like going to readings with poetry virgins.
And then yesterday was Poem and A Pint with Fiona Sampson. Fiona was staying at my house and bought her new georgous puppy, Dushka, a lurcher cross collie. Luckily Dushka got on great with Miles and Lola ( the resident border terriers at my house) although Simba, my cat, was not impressed at all with the introduction of another dog.
We had a lovely Saturday and were late going to the meal before the reading because we were sat talking and didn’t realise the time. I’m hoping to have a poem on here in a couple of Sunday’s from Fiona’s new collection, due from Chatto in March 2013.
If you look on the Poem and A Pint website www.apoemandapint.co.uk you can find a write up of the event and some photos – I think it will be up in the next couple of days.
Today’s Sunday poem is by Hannah Lowe who had a wonderful pamphlet ‘The Hitcher” published by The Rialto in 2011 http://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/poets/hannah-lowe/ and has her first full collection ‘Chick’ coming out with Bloodaxe in 2013.
I met Hannah at the Inpress Poetry Garden Market a couple of months ago which was a day of readings and workshops to celebrate Inpress’s birthday, but I remember reading a poem of Hannah’s in The Rialto called ‘Fist’ and being struck by it, and then buying her pamphlet, which I would recommend, so I’m really looking forward to the new collection. She’s also coming to read for us for ‘A Poem and A Pint’ next year.
I could have chosen one of a number of poems from her pamphlet because I really like it, but decided today for various reasons I was in the mood for a love poem tinged with regret and missed opportunities, complete with cupcakes. What’s not to like?
ARTISAN DU CHOCOLAT, BOROUGH MARKET by HANNAH LOWE
So I unwind my body from yours and I clamber from bed
to cross over the river and find myself here
in this little patisserie just off the market,
its countertop loaded with bright yellow cupcakes
and chocolate eggs wrapped in ribbon and tissue.
I order hot chocolate, so thick it stands up,
while in between mouthfuls, the girl to the right of me
talks of her therapist, whether she’ll move to the suburbs
or stay in the city. I’m lonely she says to her friend
who is nodding, her mouth full of tart that is topped
with glazed apple. The waiter is yawning, leant on the counter,
chocolate smears at the sides of his mouth.
Through the window I see that the stalls have packed up
and the sky now is gathering and darkening as though it might sigh.
You are leaving tomorrow and here we all are
with the gateaux and pastries, the windows steamed up
and our hands round our mugs as we lull
our poor hearts with sweetness and sugar.