Greetings from the end of the weekend.
On Saturday morning the post kept coming through the letterbox for something like a full minute, while I sat at my desk and kind of ducked my head down behind the computer so the postman wouldn’t see my shadow… It just went on, and on, and on, and on…! It got almost creepy to listen to the endless rattling of the flap and the thud thud thud – but when I got up to have a look, here is what I found!
1. a thick A4 envelope of court papers for some guy I’ve never heard of called Efraim Stein, who must have given this as a false address (though how did he know the postcode, very strange), on which I had written RETURN TO SENDER last week, and posted back! Why is it here again? Idiots.
2. Something else I can’t remember. Oh, I know, fat letter from Mlle B’s new school. Very exciting.
Now this IS very exciting, because of course there is an essay by me in it, which is a vastly lengthened version of the one I wrote last year for Frances Leviston’s website, Verse Palace, as regular readers may recall. It’s called The Line, and from the very beginning it sets the scene with that magical phrase, le Théatre des Funambules… The book will be published on Friday, price £9.99, and it looks fabulous. Huge range of poetic practice in there. Many thanks to Penned in the Margins for commissioning and publishing it!
4. And this!
I heard Annie read from this book a few weeks ago (though it was also, she said, a last outing for some of the material from her first one) and it was pretty great. Published on October 8th. Friday week.
5. But when I was out in the afternoon, it was so flipping freezing out I bought a scarf. I mean, I had one on: cotton, with silk. I bought one viscose, with fringe. Its officially cold out.
6. Nail bar in Dalston. I thought when Iain Sinclair wrote his wonderful stuff about the old barbershops in Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, he missed a trick with the Vietnamese nail bars. Of course that’s a female terrain. He wouldn’t get it even if he went in, but I like them – even though they’re full of dodgy DVD-sellers and fumes and unhygienic-looking stuff. I shouldn’t really be spending the money, but not only do my nails look better and are growing, it cheers me up to go in there. One day I’ll get the ones with designs. (I have spent some time, waiting for my nails to dry, looking at the designs in the place in Stamford Hill – only after many times looking did I gradually realise that all those little calligraphic swishes were in fact lots of pictures of people doing it. In different positions. On fingernails!! What for? Well, who knew. I’ve just got tame, classic French tips.
1. Bag of stuff to the charity shop.
2.Took my old printer that wouldn’t interact with the computer down and left it by the pavement. Someone took it. I love the ecosystem.
3. Poems. Tonight. I will send some. Yes!
4. Me and the Dead.
Terrible news – Salt Publishing’s local Post Office is closing. This is a crystalline example of why this wholesale closure of Post Offices is so disastrous for the country – 2,000 years of civilisation to get us to this point and now look. So Salt are having to close their online shop next week, because it will simply become too uneconomical to ship stuff.
So there is, for this week, a GRAND 70% OFF sale, and among those books featured is yours truly, Me and the Dead, in paperback no less – so this is your chance! Gwaan. I think it’s even nicer in paper, frankly. A lovely autumn read, there’s a couple of very autumny, wintry things in there, and one about that little girl crying on the right-hand side of the cover, there…
And if I were you I would also order a copy of Cossacks and Bandits, by Katia Kapovich. After this you will have to go elsewhere. Better avoid the dreaded Amazon, you can get things from The Book Depository or the Poetry Book Society’s brand-new online shop.
5. Out in one sense, in a way: spent this whole morning copy-editing content for the forthcoming issue of Horizon Review. I think it’ll be a good few weeks yet till it’s out – so don’t hold your breaths – but it is looking very exciting if I do say so myself! We have plans afoot.