Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fiona Sampson - More late maths - A34

Tonight I was read to by:

Jennifer McGowan
Paul Surman
Fiona Sampson - Roehampton Poetry Centre - Poem Magazine
Pat Winslow
Jane Spiro
at the Albion Beatnik

Jane had written something specially for all of us, which was moving and just what I needed. As the evening went along I got all sorts of ideas for what I might want to write about. That must be high praise for a reading.

The one problem with a reading is that I can't see the words, or how they are laid out on the page. I am so used to seeing and reading them that it is a big jump to simply have to do without. They just flow past and are gone. There is no custom of posting a playlist afterwards, as it were, of what a poet had read out on the night.


When I got back H needed me for an hour of subtraction and long division. He still thinks I am a bad teacher, but I say that you learn anyway, because of and also in spite of your teacher. It's just a tricky business. A real teacher will be grumpy and tired, particularly coming up to midnight, and may well lie back in a chair and shut her eyes and say 'Yes, that's right' without looking.


The A34 is the whole of life in microcosm. We see pheasant in a field, a motor boat, a huge span of steel girder, many mobile homes going southwards, trucks with tied on loads which I now overtake as carefully and quickly as I can. The ambulances flow through blocked traffic like butter, we all shift over like a well oiled machine, then shift back into position.

If the traffic is terrible I go to the pub beside the school for an hour from 9.15am. I always take work to do, so I can sit there in peace with a coffee. It is the Royal Sun. Very welcoming.

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