babbling and strewing flowers

April 28, 2012

It’s been a busy month. I’ve been desperately trying to finish Fashion Tips for the Last Days (my new book) in time for the launch on May 9th, and trying to arrange the line-up for the launch event as well. If all goes according to plan, the book goes off to print (and into the hands of fate!) on Monday morning, which should give me about 48 hours between delivery and the actual launch. Cutting things fine…

I’ve also, somewhat foolhardily, allowed my Jeff Wayne dentist to hack out three quarters of one of my back teeth and replace it with a temporary “peg”, which means I’m much more whacked up on Coedine than I’d really like at this point in the year. But as has been remarked in the past, some of me & Amy’s best ever shows were when at least one of us was totally hepped up on painkillers, so possibly this may be a good thing.

I’ve also been doing lots of gigs – took part in the Hammer and Tongue UK Grand Final to find the best poet in the country last month, which involved a very early (by my standards, especially on a Saturday morning) dash up to London to read poems in a beautiful old music hall. Suffice to say, I didn’t win (Philistines!) but had a lovely time, however daunting an 11 hour poetry day may have sounded on paper, and I got to meet a load of great poets from around the country who were much better at promoting themselves than I am.

I also went up to London a couple of weeks later to record Men of Straw for the Huffington Post – it’s not up on their website yet, but I shall link to it when it is. They’ve got a special piece of brick wall in their office to make it look less like an office and more like an 80’s comedy club. And where better to rant on about liberal (and illiberal) news sources than the US’s number 1 liberal news source. Although I’m not sure whether bad jokes about Polly Toynbee and William Hague will make any sense to an american readership. We shall see.

The other day, as an official Brighton Fringe performer who hails from the fair cathedral city of St. Albans, I went on the Brighton Fringe ice cream relay race, which involved shouting some poems in St. Albans town centre, achieving one of my lifelong dreams of being photographed for the Herts Advertiser, and harrassing a load of weary commuters with rush-hour poetry in the station. Quite a bizarre day out, but very enjoyable nonetheless – whether we persuaded a load of Albanians to up sticks to Brighton this May is yet to be discovered…

The book launch is getting very close now, and I’m pretty excited (and alarmed) about it – but it should be a fantastic evening. If for any reason you’re in Brighton on a Wednesday night (specifically Wednesday 9th May), you should definately come along. It’s only £3 – find out more here…

Finally, I went round to Jimmy’s new gimp-basement and recorded some poems in his new recording studio he’s been building down there amidst the Adam Ant castoffs and serial killer books. Although I’ve heard the sound of my voice lots before, it’s always a bit funny hearing it again (I seem to get much more high pitched and less posh than I sound in my head – although realistically it’s only a small leap from lower-upper-middle-class to plain old middle class.) So, presenting the first poem that I’ve ever had recorded of my own free will – the rough edit of the title poem from the new book – Fashion Tips for the Last Days. Enjoy!

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