I just got back from London, where I half-competed in a slam to win a residency at the Transport For London Museum. Sadly, I didn’t win and nobody has informed of who did. Best of luck to them anyway. The prize was mighty good.
I had to leave early and head to Acton, where Y, I and myself read to a small but attentive audience. The black history theme went out the window, since it was enough that we were all three of us pretty damn black. It wasn’t a bad set-up. We whispered amongst ourselves for two minutes then decided to ad-lib. I’m not sure why this isn’t the structure for more poetry events. Y and myself went to see Philip Gourevitch and Zadie Smith ‘in conversation’ at the ICA. They were wonderful, brilliant, intellectual, funny, total giants and we, the audience, were treated to the theories and the literary history that lies behind every writer. Whilst none of us edit a magazine of international repute or have degrees from Cambridge (in fact we’re all undergraduates) or an international fan-base or best selling novels — there is nothing to stop us ‘upping our game’; trying harder, working harder, pushing ourselves further.
I speak for myself here. I think 2007 has been a shoddy year because I have succumbed so often to idiocy. This morning I thought it would be a nice theme for a dissertation – ‘Idiocy: how dumb acts or ideas have shaped global politics.’ I’ve wandered around the planet, writing rubbish, leaving London when good things were happening and returning when the literary scene was littered with tumbleweed; I’ve failed interviews due to questions that I KNOW are stupid; I’ve applied for strange courses and have chosen odd institutions to do them in. Somewhere in all of it is a bastardised interpretation of Whitman – ‘make it new’. I suspect he meant something in the order of genius, not random choices, not half baked ideas or endless second-guessing.
So when I thought about the way we handled tonight, I started raving (as ever) about how we could band together, do something, BE something..! I think I will have to work on myself first. I suspect this year will be an anti-climax. It will end with a pamphlet, yes, but much more could have been achieved. 2008 will be the year…