Get set, go….

I’m doing really well with this post every week plan…

Congratulations to every one that signed up for, trained for or took part in the London Marathon. My poor mate, Linds, had to withdraw yesterday after getting a stinking cold from his kids…the little blighters. Linds and I did the Ultra Marathon a while back, and while I’ve effectively sat on my arse since then, he has been out training still, so I’m gutted for him. His brother made it to the start line today, but had to withdraw after 8k with a nasty bout of hamstring knack…Still, I’m sure there’s a lesson and/or parallel to be had with writing and the like, but I’m not going to be the one that makes that leap.

Especially as I’ve been so quiet on the writing front of late. It’s put me in mind of this Lorine Niedecker poem that I read in a recent mail out from the excellent Pome newsletter.

Poet’s Work

   advised me:
         Learn a trade

I learned
   to sit at desk
         and condense

No layoff
   from this

Lorine Niedecker, 1964

There has very much been a layoff from this condensery of late, but I can feel the snuffling of ideas coming, and perhaps more importantly, the desire to sit down and capture them.

I felt an idea come out of the ether last weekend when I was at the launch for Neil Elder’s pamphlet, Like This. It was during Lorraine Mariner’s excellent first set of poems. Please note that I waited for the reading to finish before writing it down. I’m not a monster.

Perhaps, it really is about what you put in. I’ve been reading, but maybe just being in a room again with excellent words flying around me was/is the catalyst I needed.

I was also reading at this event, and with it being the first reading in public for sometime it got me thinking about constructing a set list of my work. I noted to the audience last week after Lorraine had read a set of new poems that all mine were technically new poems when you don’t have a book out yet.

Both Neil and Lorraine were a joy to watch in full flight and it was an honour to read with them both, and to see them both reaching beyond their current collections to read new stuff, and at least, unlike at music gigs, the audience didn’t head to the bar/loos when the words “this is a new one” came out. There were a surprising amount of references to petrol. I’d even inadvertently included a poem that mentions it as my starting poem. That said, it’s my standard opener – if I can be said to have such a thing

I also read ‘Riches’ (a poem based on cars, sort of) and called it my “big hit” because of the New Statesman, but do poets have “big hits”, or poems they have to read every time? Do you have such a poem that you read every time? I wonder if there’s a Setlist fm for poets.

As 2023 and pamphlet publication gets closer, I’m starting to think about what might be good poems to put into a loose form for the pamphlet—it’s still too soon to be finalising anything, but there were a few that have made a strong case already for inclusion.

Neil even asked beforehand if I had a name for the pamphlet. I replied that I don’t even know what’s in it yet, but I think I’ve abandoned the title I had in my head of ‘Dropsonde’ because the poem that it comes from is not on the starting line up yet, or even on the bench at the moment. One did sort of suggest itself to me during the reading, “the playground of fruit”, but again, I’m not sure the poem it comes from will make it into the book and also if it works as a theme/coherent.


2 weeks since the last post
3 alpacas feed and 1 afternoon tea had
44K in the last fortnight
2 days in the office
At least one massive hangover
0 x acceptances
0 rejections: Bath Magg
1 poem worked on: Walt Disnae
4 new submissions: Frogmore, Stand, Alchemy Spoon and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal
32 poems currently out for submission.
68 Published poems*: Was 69, but one was not used in the end, having been accepted.
42 Poems* finished by unpublished
26 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
0 Reviews:
1 review to write (I’ve read the books)
1 day without cigarettes…
0 Days since drinking
4 more hours in the car
1/2 a tank of petrol left
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green

* To date, not this week. Christ!!

Detterents Stamp
An Orchestra of Bastards


Lorraine Mariner: Furniture
North – latest issue

The Felice Brothers: Yonder Is the Clock, Iantown
Swell Maps: Jane From Occupied Europe
Honozulu Division: The Los Alamos Self-Hate Institute, Druid Lust
Mogwai: Young Team
Johnny Flynn & Robert MacFarlane: Lost In The Cedar Wood
Big Thief: Capacity, Live At the Bunker, Masterpiece, Two Hands, U.F.O.F
Bill Janovitz: Live From The BombshelterBicep: isles
Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun
Native Harrow: Ghost
Nico Hedley: Painterly
Boo Radleys: Wake Up
Public Service Broadcasting: Bright Magic
Explosions In The Sky: Live at RAH, Live 2017, The Rescue, Take Care X 3, Prince Avalanche OST
The Sea & the Cake: The Biz
Collections of Colonies of Bees: Flocks
Sonic Youth: The Eternal
The Blue Aeroplanes: Welcome, Stranger
The Archers
Arsenal Vs Spurs (5Live)
Voice of the Beehive: Let It Bee
Mary Lattimore: Silver Ladders
Pearl Jam: Gigaton
Carl Broemel: All Birds Say, Wished Out
Marisa Andeson & william Tyler: Lost Futures
Bonny Light Horseman: ST
Myriam Gendron: Not so Deep as a Well
Bull: Discover Effortless Living
The Lucksmiths: The Green Bicycle Case
Black Francis: Nonstoperotik
Yumiko Morioka: Resonance
The Mission: Another Fall From Grace
Andy Shauf: Wilds
Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, Decoration Day
Explosions In The Sky: Big Ben (OST)

The Wire S3-4


Lorraine Mariner: Furniture
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Vinyl for the child)
Orbis Subscription renewed
Michael Lavers: After Hours
R’s Anniversary present

Lorraine Mariner: Furniture
Arctic Monkeys: AM (Vinyl for the child)
Frogmore Papers #98
Michael Lavers: After Hours
Orbis 197
Fenland Poetry Journal 5


No connection (however tenuous)this week. Just played this a lot this week

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