Karma has dealt Drumsleet's second best poet a cruel blow. Having relentlessly slagged off local thistlemilk entrepreneur Stevie Neil's misfortunes throughout 2007, I myself have been laid low by a painful haematoma which disbars me from any practise that makes human existence worthwhile.
I have been forced to take to my bed, feverishly dozing away my days, interrupted only by passing locals who, on their way to various rustic tasks, pause outside my window to snigger at the location of my injury.
It would be good to say that I have passed my days creating literary works of lasting importance but in spite of a new pen which, using NASA technology, allows me to write flat out on my back, I have written nothing but rubbish. Some would say this is merely the continuation of an honourable tradition.
I have however read a lot, including the excellent short stories of Paul Bowles, which led me to his letters and then again to those of Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac etc. Reading writers letters - Dylan Thomas, Kingsley Amis, etc-is always good. I am continually reassured by the amount of time they spend complaining of lack of money and annotating the people they think have cheated them out of it.
I myself have a very minor complaint of this sort and will soon reveal the name of the dastardly publishing company that owes me a tiny amount of money and should have paid me long since. Of course in this game you're meant to be slavishly grateful for anyone accepting your squibs and payment when or if it comes should be seen as as mere icing on the cake.
More seasonal spleen later.