I’m not having a very good couple of days. My webmaster has put my Ode to Pope John Paul on my site and it seems all of you can read it, but it won’t come up on my computer! and yesterday I had two meetings, one was like stepping back into the past, the second, well it’s a world I don’t understand – more later.
Firstly the past: I spent a really interesting couple of hours with Brian Barker at Teesside Uni where we viewed lots of old film from the Uni archive. Mostly I’m researching so that I can construct some interesting writing workshops for some students at King’s Manor School in Middlesbrough and the Uni has some wonderful old film about Teesside life. But of course I’m always interested in Thornaby and was in my element looking at old film about the railway station, plus proper trains with STEAM!!
Now the world I don’t understand. Apart from the frustration of a missing poem from my website, the time I spent yesterday with Steve Thompson, also of Teesside Uni, (you all know him, ‘Digital Man’, ‘Blog Man’, ‘Song Writer’, ‘Computer Guru’ he’s all of those things as well as a brilliant ‘sound man’, almost pushed me completely over the edge. I had to listen to him telling me to ‘hold my control’ then ‘refresh myself’, (believe you me, ‘fresh’ was the last thing I felt), then, to add insult to injury, he set up a little camera on his desk thatlooked like a space alien with a large head and three skinny legs. He didn’t tell me about this, but recorded all my confusion about websites, e-mails, blogs, radio blogs, frames that are frames, but only sometimes, then played it all back to me! Mind you, I forgive him because he’s produced a lovely CD of me reading poems from ‘The Works’ and he’s put a soundtrack underneath which sounds really good.
I won’t even bother to tell you about the interruption we got from a ‘Radio Sculptor’ in the middle of all this techie stuff – and that’s another thing – I’ve just tried to include the confused ‘smiley’ to add to this note and it’s coming out like this :-/ See what I mean, everything technical I touch turns to rubbish. Still my poet colleague in Oxford has received my hands and has decided to use them with an extract of poem I sent him – so that’s good. Anyway, I’ve decided to give you a poem here on my blog.
Seeing the old film of Thornaby Railway Station yesterday reminded me of one of my poems from ‘The Works’, just opposite what’s now the Student Union Bar and overlooking Thornaby Railway Station was:
The Kissing Place
an erogenous zone
at the nape of a narrow-neck bridge
on the other side of the tracks.
There, pressed up against brick
hard on my back,
the tunnel of his mouth round mine,
way beyong Redcar,
past everything my parents know,
out to sea
to a foreign place I’ve never been before
past the ear-splitting shuggy-boat swings;
beyond donkey sweat
and candy-floss stickiness.
– out of Punch’s reach
jumping from baby-teeth street
straight into the crocodile’s mouth –
that’s the way to do it.
Yes, that’s the way to do it girl,
that’s the way to do it.