Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The winter has been dank and full of unpleasant surprises but I’m encouraged by the sunshine today which brings a hint of better things to come. I have been keeping my spirits up by visiting the destitute in Drumsleet, one of whose number is, of course Theosyphilis Neill who, having broken his leg for the sixteenth time at New Year, is now a permanent guest of the parish. It is a shame to see a man who once used to send a taxi 20 miles for a case of fine wine to see him through an evening, so fallen on hard times. When I visited him in the workhouse he was a wretched figure, sitting quietly with two other tootlhess old men and knitting a gigantic muffler, presumably to keep the three of them warm in their garret when the snows return. When I inherit the fortune from my Uncle Archie’s Australian lap dancing empire I shall make a point of setting Theosyphilis up in one of his favourite old business concerns, perhaps drug running across the Solway by hovercraft.

A fantastic and long review of Strange Bimbo in the ‘Dark Horse’ arrived this morning. I quote: “McMillan is the real thing…his poems reassure one that poetry is still a free space for the inner life uncompromised by commercialism or by emotion sanitized by respectability. They have the bite of anger, but also that gentleness in us that wishes sadly, and sometimes desperately, for things to be other than they are.”

I’m off to Durham at the weekend to read at Colpitts Poets, which I’m looking forward to. I read there once before when Bill Herbert was writer in residence, and it was very jolly and hospitable. Have to be at a telly by early Saturday afternoon to witness the resurgent Hibees thrash the jambos in the Edinburgh derby, however.

1 comment:

hope said...

Have fun. I'm sure you deserve a little of that given what you've been through lately.

I'm still working on your American least I think I am. I've still got my buddy grumbling at me,"Are you SERIOUS about bringing someone here from Scotland? How do I pull that off?" Hey, it gives her something else to do whilst not writing her own poetry. And I enjoy seeing that look of "what if?" in her eye. :)