I know it probably seems as if everything’s gone quiet here, as if there’s been nothing but virtual tumbleweed blowing across this little corner of cyber-world. And I’m very aware that in a world of 24/7 social media and endless self-promotion, this apparent silence is tantamount to a disaster.
So, no. I haven’t died, or joined a cult*. I have taken a little time off from ensuring I have a ‘profile’ and the – frankly exhausting – business of enthusing about myself, to go and do other more important and interesting things instead. Sometimes it does your spirit good to spend all day out on a mountain bike rather than in front of the computer dreaming up witty things to post on facebook.
I’ve been chasing gigs, too. And I’m really pleased to be the resident poet at Rhythmtree festival in July, which sounds like it’s going to have some fantastic musicians from all round the world. And one poet with some words, a quirky sense of humour, and a belief in social change. With any luck, we’ll have the barricades built by curfew.
As long as it doesn’t rain.
Much of my time, though, has been spent knuckling down and working on a project which has been quietly bubbling along for twelve months or more. Four years ago, I was lucky enough to work with Steve Ignorant in writing his autobiography ‘The Rest Is Propaganda’. Now, I’m busy with another book. Again, it tells the life story of someone who grew up with punk. We’ve been grafting away at it, and now we’ve almost finished the first draft. With a little luck, and a modicum of nose to the grindstone, we could have it ready by the end of June.
For now, this is the calm before the storm. In fact, it’s the calm before another couple of months of calm, after which there may – if not a storm – be squally showers, possibly cyclonic. Especially in Dogger, and German Bight. Though hopefully not at Rhythmtree, which will be blessed by unbroken sunshine if a poet gets his way.
If you don’t hear anything from me for a while, folks, I’m busy with the book.
Or a cult. We’ll see how it goes.
*other than the cult of slightly strange people who believe poetry still has a role in the 21st century. That’s quite enough to be going on with.