Let me tell you where I went yesterday.

The Room above a Pub will be where many a poet of a certain age began their reading careers. In the five years this has been my life I’ve read in a Leeds college building, a small downstairs room underneath a café (and the home of a poetry institution founded in 1909), in a large building in a park and in a theatre in the Lake District, but never until yesterday in a boozer. All those evenings on the Internets using Zoom are all well and good and everything, but honestly, you understand why real people are a Thing. I can’t see an audience without my glasses, but can’t read with them on, so last night I stood, read some poems, and a bunch of blurry shapes clapped. It was GREAT.

I want to write this down now because so much happened yesterday, and if I’m not smart it will get lost and warped in the process of my often unreliable memory. There’s a list of things to remember, too, so let’s do that first:

  • Work out where to park BEFORE you arrive. The one-mile walk to and from the Hotel with badly thought out baggage choices can, and should, be refined;
  • The seagulls in Brighton are cannibals. I hope the one that swiped my half a Hoisin Duck wrap enjoyed his illicit scran…
  • If you turn up for an event, and it is clearly not to your taste, and you then decide to fuck off at the Interval, I will assume the worst. To the couple who sat with me and then left? I am assuming you lied, and didn’t have an early start, and the poem about Gordon Ramsay and turds was the last straw. If I am incorrect, please let me know in the comments…
  • The same goes for the bloke who turned up with his GF and Grandad, read his poems in Part One, and then left. You stay to the end, and you respect the space. It’s not rocket science;
  • Marc Coverdale‘s a fucking GOD;
  • Hazel Davis deserves a publisher.

I’m putting this here because something happened last night which will change the course of this journey. It’s all about change and growth, after all, and last night was fucking shedloads of both. I am trying to remember the feelings and experiences for as long as possible as a result. This was a rare and special night for me. I felt invincible, and I managed to sell something to someone who isn’t an IRL friend or family.

That tenner might need to be framed as a result 😀

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