Well, yesterday - Saturday 20th August 2016 - I headed into London to read at John Smallshaw's open-mike night at St Barnabas' near Tottenham Court Road. Considering that it looks unlikely that I'll get to do another Poetry Café Show this year due to the refurbishment I intend to go to as many of John's nights as possible...
It all went very well and I recorded all I read for a future podcast - hopefully it came out, I've not had time to check yet. As with one of my recent Kent episodes I had intended to focus on reading from my 2006 collection, POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL... I did do this to a certain extent, but ended up reading more from my latest collection, A YETI WAY OF THINKING. Returning to POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL, I didn't feel that this book needed the same regeneration as my earlier collections had - mainly because it was the first of my books that was designed to be published on Lulu; however it is nice to be able to celebrate its 10th anniversary as I had done my earlier books. Hopefully I'll do something similar on my podcast or for one of my shows in 2017 when it comes to celebrating the 10th anniversary of my next collection RHYMES BEARS STEAL PIES FOR... In fact I might well dedicate my birthday trip to Venice to this particular collection - we shall see...
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself - so at John's night I was able to read the following pieces which I am hoping I will be able to share with you eventually via the podcast...
PICCADILLY IS RUBBISH CIRCUS*
DO SHEEP MIGRATE?#
RUNNING ON EMPTY*
HANGING OUT IN GRAVEYARDS WITH MY SWEETHEART*
I read two sets of four poems. Poems marked with a * are from A YETI WAY OF THINKING. Poems marked with a # are from POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL. CHUBBY CHERUB is a completely new piece - available at the bottom of this post.
Thanks again to John Smallshaw for inviting me to come and read at this show... It was also especially nice to meet poet, Thomas McColl whose latest book, BEING WITH ME WILL HELP YOU LEARN is definitely worth checking out. As I'm off to Luxembourg later today it would have been very easy to have decided that I was too busy to go - so I'm very glad that I packed in good time and came to have a read and to hear all the other poets... John is hoping to do another show in September.
Before we go I'd like to share with you a new poem - although it's not actually THAT new - well, bits of it are, I suppose... It's actually one of the unfinished pieces that I discussed during episode 14 of the podcast, which I began writing in 2014... It's called CHUBBY CHERUB and it's one of my dafter poems; just what we need in this rather melancholy year, maybe.