Why MBA…

(I hope you’re now singing a version of the Village People classic)

It’s been what can only described as a breakneck couple of weeks. The run up to last week was all about organising a surprise birthday party for my wife and then the actual celebration of the day (and dealing with the extensive hangover that followed the first part, but we will gloss over that). There were rooms to decorate at the venue I’d hired, there was me- an idiot- piercing an inflatable mylar balloon while trying to inflate the bloody thing. There was also me—an idiot—not bringing enough helium with me. There was me attempting to make a cake and chilli jam at the same time as well as trying to maintain the surprise element and get R out of the house. But it was all worth it, she enjoyed it. She didn’t hit me when the surprise was revealed, and I think all that attended enjoyed themselves. I was shattered on Monday though.

Then this week has seen a series of late nights as the Exam course work for marketing course I’ve been doing for work was due in. I had to write a marketing plan for an imaginary photocopier company as part of a Mini-MBA in marketing. We had two weeks to do it, but I had to squeeze it into one to sort R’s birthday and fit it round work and life in general, so cue at least three late nights this week and some furious segmentations, etc.

In the middle of all of this I went in for my now standard one day a week in the office with a view to bringing home some of the stuff I’ve accumulated over years. Our floor is being closed down as work wind down our occupancy of our current building, and so I looked a bit like I’d been made redundant as I lugged a cardboard box of rangham* home.

The box mostly contained work-related books (Statistics for Dummies, etc), pens, mugs and the like. But I also remembered to rescue the poem that I had pinned to the divider.

Contingencies – Aidan Coleman


with data




A well




I don’t know or remember how I first found this poem, but it fits perfectly with my day job – where sentiment tangles with data. I know nothing about Aidan Coleman, but I now discover he has a wikipedia page that I’m sure wasn’t there when I first found this poem (about 5 years ago, I think). It looks like I shall be working out how to buy books in Australia.

* I’m not sure I’ve spelled this right, but it’s a word my wife taught me that means detritus and accumulated dreck.

The breakneck pace of this week has meant that I’ve not been able to properly bask in the joy of having two poems go up at Wild Court. These were accepted earlier in the year, and while I knew they would be a while before they went live, I’ve been on tenterhooks since the acceptance. I am grateful to Rob for taking them, and for having me back after the last time. I am also grateful for the learning about the powers of proof reading.

I’ve been working on a review today of Stephen Payne’s The Windmill Proof – Spoiler Alert, I like it. The book contains a poem called ‘Typo’. The first two stanzas of which are as follows…

What the proofs prove
is that there must always exist
more typographical errors
than can be noticed,
even by the most careful scrutiniser.

And among the overlooked
is one that confronts the author
the very first time
he opens the published version.

These lines have never felt more relevant this week. Within an hour or so of the poems going up, and despite me writing circa 15 drafts of the poem, a friend reviewing each of those drafts and Rob proofing the final version four times, a typo still snuck through. I won’t tell you what it is or in which poem as it’s been corrected now, but FSF, FFS.

I would urge you to go and read the poems that surround mine by Stephanie Powell, Tuesday Shannon and Alan Buckley. And while I’m here, please do go and read Matthew Paul’s poem, Pathé News Visits the Ace of Spades, over at The Friday Poem. I know, I know …I need a swear jar for mentioned TFP. Go now, as it will be replaced next Friday (that’s how it works). I can almost taste the decadence and feel the filth when I read this poem. Who can ask for more?

16K running.
0 hangovers
0 rejection: Rialto
1 poem finished: Bedside Manner
0 poems worked on:
3 submission: Crannog, Poetry Wales, Poetry OXford
29 poems currently out for submission.
70 Published poems*: Was 69, but one was not used in the end, having been accepted.
42 Poems* finished by unpublished
25 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
3 review to write : How did that happen, I’ve gone from 1 to do to having more…Hmmm
0 days without cigarettes…I was doing well…
0 Days since drinking
3 sleepless nights: This is not a development I approve of
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green

* To date, not this week. Christ!!

Curried Knees


Sam Gardiner: The Night Ships
The notes for my mini MBA in marketing
Inua Ellams: The Actual

Elbow: Flying Dream No. 1
Cate Le Bon: Mug Museum
REM: Automatic For The People
Poltergeist: Your Mind Is A Box…
Explosions In the Sky: Live, Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
My Morning Jacket: Live Red Rocks 2015
Nadia Reid: Listen To Formation, Preservation, Out of my Province
Poetry In Aldeburgh: Wendy Cope & Rory Waterman
The Archers
Camera Obscura: Biggest Bluest hi-Fi, Desire Lines, Various Singles, Let’s Get Out of This Country
Mary Lattimore: Collected Works
The Dream Syndicate: How Did I Find Myself Here?
Dropsonde Playlist
The Decemberists: The Crane Wife
Avi Buffalo: ST
Caoilfhionn Rose: Truly
Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun
Jon Hassell: Vernal Equinox
The Triffids: Born Sandy Devotional
Cowboy Junkies: Ghosts

Ted Lasso
Friday Night Lights
Dexter: New Blood

Naush Sabah: Litanies
A replacement part for a vacuum cleaner
A book for Secret Santa at work

Jeremy Page: The Naming
The part for the vacuum cleaner

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