Just back from performing extracts of The Works at Dead Good Poets Society, at the Everyman Bistro in Liverpool, and I have to say, it felt like coming home! not least because Collin and a few other old friends from DGPS were there. There was a brilliant turn out. Friends I made during my long residency for Blue Coat the year before last, came to see me. Thanks Cathy, Brian and Sarah. (Good to hear that you’ve kept my dressing gown Cathy – you never know I might be back!)
Steve, thanks for coming straight from your holiday in Majorca to do sound, thanks Maggie for leaving your Australian visitors to come and do the visuals, Cath (DGPS)as my great host, you played a blinder bringing that pillow case to cover the pictures. And Gill, following your wonderful introduction -I hardly recognised myself.
Thank you to everyone for their warm comments about the poems and for buying the book. I must say, it felt great when one lady said she’d just buy ‘The Works’, because she already had a copy of Oyster Baby and Tailor Tacks which she’d bought when I guested before at DGPS, (good on you Eileen)
One of the lovely things about touring around like this, is the fantastic people you meet. On Wednesday night, after my reading a very knowledgeable young lady called Alison, told me that she’d really enjoyed by versions of Horace – that kind of comment – it makes it all worthwhile. Another man told me how much he could relate to the poems, even though the industry and community where he lived were different, the experiences were the same.
Thanks Liverpool – it was great being back!
Just one more big presentation of the show now at The Youthy, in Thornaby on Saturday, 25 June. This show has been organised by the Mayor of Thornaby, Councillor Beryl Robinson. Pie Peas and Poetry – what could be better? The event is free and tickets are available from Thornaby Town Hall, The Youthy, Westbury Street Library and the main Library in Thornaby Town Centre. Come along, this will be your last chance to see the digital version of The Works. Here’s the closing poem, just to wet your appetite:
I want to be hugged by houses
that share their walls;
close ranks on me;
be where pavements are netted
with pink hop-scotch numbers.
I want a pub or a shop on every corner,
linked by parent-footprints
and the certainty of lemon sherbet.
I want an outside loo
I know for sure
will freeze up in winter; and where
I know every spider by its first name.
I want to wake up to cold lino,
so that when I put my feet firmly on the ground,
my ears sting.
I want to run through a house,
icy as grandma’s skin;
be hit by a Mam-wall of blue gas-oven heat
in the kitchen;
have her breasts against my back;
while she struggles to put shoes and socks on my feet.
I want to know that I can’t go down further
than Ducks, (the proper tobacconist),
or up further than the billboards.
I want to know that Chapel Street is out of bounds
except on tap-dancing night.
I want to feel blistered blue paint
on the back-yard door in fading bommy light.
I want to know,
when I cross that bridge,
that everything will still be there
if I want to come back.