I’m on a train heading to Stroud. I’ve never been Stroud before. I wonder what it’ll be like. Probably quite nice, it’s in the Cotswold and quite near Cheltenham, and Cheltenham is very nice. In fact I have about an hour at Cheltenham Spa station. That’s not very nice. I’ve dropped Byron Vincent off there before and it wasn’t exactly and thumping metropolis.
I’m hoping the muse will strike (why do I say things like that?) otherwise I fear it’ll be quite a boring journey. Three and a half hours in total. I bough the Guardian, it was offering its Guide to 2009 Pop Culture in the Guide. But it’s boring reading about how someone you’ve never seen before and heard before is an edgy mix of cod funk and Rollins-esque witty lyricism. And there’s no point in telling me what period drama is going to be on in May. I won’t remember. I’ve got other things to remember between now and then.
The train hasn’t left yet. I was first on (cos I’m a swat when it comes to travelling and knowing what platform to be on), I got myself all comfortable, got a table, found a plug for my craptop and now they’ve just put all the seat reservations on and I’m in a reserved seat. This is NOT FAIR. You should not punish the swat. No one here yet though. I’ve got 12 minutes to sweat it out. I won’t get another table seat now, so I’ve just got to wait it out and hope one of these four don’t show up. Nothing I can do if they do show up. I’m good at warding off other non-bookers; just loll your head around and hum along to Paranoid Android.
I did something awful yesterday. I bought Embrace’s first album from Amazon downloads. Ahh, what’s three quid to bring back 1998 in all its anthemic glory. My mate Jon and I went to Glasto in all the rain and mud that year. As Naive sixteen year olds we thought “if we’re just gonna get wet let’s just wear t-shirts and shorts – less to get wet, innit.” Oh, you fools! Think ye of the cold! We got bin liners from the hare krisnas and shivered away in the mud at Embrace. Jon was their biggest fan. I thought they were alright but wanted to go back to the tent. I remember fucking hating every minute and just wanting it to end. But back then Glasto was about bands. Fucking miserable night. And now I can relive it at my own convenience.
Fucking bastard family. Stupid cute faced kids and their fathers perfectably reasonable request that they occupy the seats they’d booked. Fuck them! Stupid airline seats.
So why am I going to Stroud, I hear you cry. Well, Zara and I are meeting a deaf couple who are to feature in the documentary. I mention that they’re deaf because that’s the challenge, their poem will be delivered in sign language. This is whole other kettle of poetry fish. I know nothing about sign language, but I do know that there are signed poems and that they use visual rhymes, so it’s not just a case of my writing a poem and then having them sign it.
This will be more of a performance piece anyway. As it’s being communicated in an unusual way we thought it would be good to makr this poem about a very mundane subject. A subject that afflicts all lovers – the assembley of flatpack furniture.
Oh christ – I’m sitting backwards on the train – it’s just pulled out and I feel nauseous already.
So yeah, a signed poem. It’s going to be tough, but I’m hoping these guys will be able to give me some pointers today. I’m not really looking forward to it, as i know it’s going to be long complicated day where I will be required to think and communicate. I’m still in Christmas mode. I want to drink and flachulate.
I finished the teenagers poem on Christmas Eve. I was pretty pleased with it. It’s a bit dirty and drunk. I just thought about my teenage days. Sex, booze and an inflated sense of self-importance. In fact that’s all my life is now, just less of all of them. *sigh*
The twenty something poem idea has changed too. We’re doing one about dating. It’ll still be cheeky and in couplets, but more of a first persona social satire. That’ll be good. I might give that one a go today on the train.
Right – Stroud, here I come …