Photo by Bohdan Piasecki
Q1) What is your connection with Poetry&Words?
It goes back to the days of PVT West. I think Marcus Moore recommended me – thanks Marcus. I didn’t camp with the rest of the poets because I was also working on a travelling hot tub/sauna outfit called Spa Trek on the main drag of Glasto’s ephemeral city. A strange and wonderful time. I hung out at Poetry&Words as much as I could, and heard poets like Francesca Beard and Roger Robinson for the first time
Q2) If you had to describe the Poetry&Words stage in just three words, what would they be?
Tender inspiring & true
Q3) How would you describe Glastonbury Festival to someone who’s never been there?
It’s like a lot of different festivals interwoven weirdly together, perhaps all the other festivals you’ve been to soldered together by benign mutant elves.
Q4) Can you name two other poets who you admire?
I could name loads but I see what you’re saying, two to be going on with. So I’ll offer Byron Vincent and Caroline Bird. On the understanding that John Hegley goes without saying.
Q5) What kinds of things inspire you to write?
All sorts of things, so many things. Solid things more than abstract things. Tea bags, kippers and slugs, more than truth, justice and beauty, though I try to do justice to the true beauty of these things. Having said that, recently I was commissioned to write lyrics on the themes of Friendship, Respect, Equality, Excellence, Courage, etc, and though I found it challenging I went for it & was ultimately pleased with the result – especially when set to music by Thomas Hewitt Jones. I like to think I’m driven by an old-fashioned mix of wonder and longing, the desire to touch the inner chambers of people’s most secret heart. That sort of thing.
Q6) Where is the most unusual place you’ve performed your work?
Tight contest between a toilet in Cirencester, and an empty Newton Abbot Market place – the latter the most strange because I was contractually obliged to perform to this empty space, and did. Builders on a nearby roof came to the edge to listen. I asked them for a chip, a chip was chucked and I caught it on my mouth. Their applause brought more people out. They listened politely. Later one of the builders bought a book and recommended Les Barker to me whose work I didn’t then know. Now I’m a fan and have been proud to have him on the Wondermentalist Cabaret.
Q7) What are you working on at the moment?
Just written an intro to new book ‘Mindless Body Spineless Mind’ a motley collection of flotsam and jetsam, stories and poems, out Dec 1st, but as soon as I’ve answered these questions I crack on with a new poem about harvesting the elements ‘siphoning sunshine’ for a turn at The Green Energy Awards the day after tomorrow.
Q8) What’s the closest rhyme for ‘orange’ you can find?
I would end one line with ‘sporran’ and start the next with ‘joy’
Q9) Can we have a poem please?
Here’s an onomatopoeic tennis poem Thwok , put up recently by wonderful Chris Redmond of Tongue Fu and Hip Yak Poetry Shak.
Q10) Where can we find out more about your work?