Thursday, 6 November 2008

Liddypol, Lollipop, Lidl, Loblolly, Loadsamoney..


Hotel room with working wireless. By wireless i don't mean X but Y, as you no doubt realise. I have printed out the (eighth!) version of the lecture I am due to give tonight. I corrected for the last time about half an hour ago according to what seemed then a stroke of genius, but may well turn out to be something less. Too late now. Planned a very few poems to read too, so everything is as ready as it will ever be.

Train route, via Ely and Nuneaton. I know Ely platform better than the back of my hand and have certainly spent more time looking at it. It would, after all, be a sad affair to be spending a very long time staring at the back of one's hand, though there may well be a little Zen in it. As to Nuneaton I have waited on its platform too, but just once before, I think. Nuneaton has an air of post-industrial Adlestrop. Nothing comes and goes on the bare platform and mistier, farther and farther off all the Toyotas and Skodas of Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham.

All the way along the journey that slightly wet-looking, limpid, lightless light, as if houses had spent decades pressing their faces through water. It is what I think of as English light, a soused light, and not precisely light. I would call it dream light but it is more that state of waking from a dream very slowly, the dream-light hanging in there.

The Liverpool voice. I cannot help but think of it in terms of affection. That is quite something for a Manchester United supporter to be saying, but I am barely responsible for myself, I know not what I do. Chirpy and faintly inquisitive but matey, might locate it a little more accurately. The train grew dense with it, people on cellphones buttering each other up in Scouse. And the hotel staff are friendly and helpful. I know they should be, but hotels, especially reasonably smart ones like this one (The Hope Street Hotel, as it happens) tend to make me feel like a small errant boy in someone else's pristine parlour. Well, this one doesn't. It may be because I am in a suit and a white shirt but that can't entirely be it, can it? I am not actually wearing a tie. I don't much like wearing ties.

The light is exactly the same now at almost 4 pm as it was at 8 am. I like dependable light but I do think it should enjoy a good fling now and then, even in November.


*

It's done. It went far better than I anticipated or hoped. The lecture theatre is the place where dissections used to be carried out for the benefit of students who would crowd the amphitheatre. I left my coat and bag where the cadavers used to be stored before being wheeled out. It's an echoey place. A good crowd. I did the lecture then read four related poems. Signed some books, chatted a little, then went to dinner with the VC, the Dean, the Head of Department and others senior dons, as well as dear friend, M. In the audience, another old friend, Charley. Good dinner.

Now back in the hotel. Perhaps Beyoncé - also staying here - will drop in for a late drink? Yes, but I might be asleep. It could be straight Pete and Dud. Who do you think was tap tap tapping at the window, Dud? Who, Pete. Only bloody Greta Garbo... (see below, a little way in)





Go away, bloody Beyoncé...



6 comments:

~ h ~ said...

George you managed to be staying at the Hope Street in Liverpool on the night when Beyonce and Kanye West and a million other rock, pop and Hip Hop stars are in town to perform at the MTV Awards. Let us know if you get into any adventures with rappers or other musical superstars.

And yes, Scousers are nice people too.

Background Artist said...

i've just checked and it says the Dead Good Poets on Hope Street in the Everyman Theatre cellar, is on the first and third Wednesday of every month, which is tonight, and the main reg-star is softy southener David Bateman who the rest of the crew are in green O jealusy about coz he's a three book fella with urbane witty verse and if you turned up, they would be quing up in a deep acting frnzy, pretending not to know who you are, but you know the score G, they'd be buyin yer ale all night mate.

Excellent way for the canny boozer to drink for free, AND get mass adulation by the am-drammers from one of the UK's premier provincial pools, run with expert ruthless efficiency by that team of forty summat career maidens gettin to the top of the poetry pole by claw or fur-spat machevelian will and ice cold stare alone mate.

Then, after three pints, a couple of whiskeys you can let them force on yer with the mock heorics of, no no no, ar go on then...the excitement levels at 11pm tonight will be so palpable, the fact of yr presence will have spilt over to the heavier hittin artists of the main Everyman bistro mob, and you could have the night of your life, bustin shapes with the scanty clad scousers who dress in thong and trackies come sun, sweat or snow, and all those council housed men and women, with deprived IQ's and model bodies, worshippin at the temple of yr person, in town, mobile camera, spalshed all over the Echo with the headline:

Poet Saviour of the New Scouseology with ten supermodels who attacked him in the early hours of Thursday moprning in scenes not seen since the Cavern heyday. George Szirtes said at 5am as he was pictured collapsing up Bronlow Hill.i only wanted a dance maaannn..then all these crazees wimmin set about me, tearin at me clobber lah, yah yah yah la la la la, da da da da hey drood...wash tha yiz sane..hicup...i've gorra be speakin in four hours, bout poe-tree...zzzz

gra agus siochain

boopag - is the letter sequence poo bag, goo bap, goo bap, gob opa

modists - second go letter sequence - mod is ts - od mists - tis mod S.

good luck

Background Artist said...

oops, i fink i got it wrong again dad. it's firsdee innit? doh !

George S said...

Indeed, h, I am in the very hotel where they are staying, but they are still at the Awards and while Beyoncé has shimmied and pumped across the TV screen on one or other of my sleepless nights, I don't think I will be staying awake to catch a glimpse of her.

On the other hand...

George S said...

Indeed, h, I am in the very hotel where they are staying, but they are still at the Awards and while Beyoncé has shimmied and pumped across the TV screen on one or other of my sleepless nights, I don't think I will be staying awake to catch a glimpse of her.

On the other hand...

Poet in Residence said...

George's 'Collected and Selected' has just been released. I know this because, and I quote from an email, "book dispatched today ...by Royal Mail...".
Note those fine words my friends. Not any old acne boy racer in an international white tranny carrier, no, it's coming in old-fashioned the dignified way, yes! by Royal Mail.