The Black Dog At Marlborough College

Tonight  I “performed” my poems on stage at Marlborough College and afterwards had supper with the students. The event was hilarious and the food cooked by Mrs Ponsford was astounding. The students were between 16 and 19 years old, I think and came  by choice.  It was packed.  The college is where John Betjamin also studied and has a rich history in poetry.   I think poet John Hegley would go down an absolute storm at Marlborough College and I meant to suggest as such. The students were articulate  and brimming with confidence. Good people to be around. 

Thing is, I have the black dog at the moment which makes everything  a little difficult.  Sometimes I wake up and it's there by the bed. It's fangs hang over its slobbering snout and its drool splashes on the floor. It's bigger than the bedroom door and has to droop is head above my bed.   The purple  eyes are sagging and rimmed with red fleshy illness. It's claws dig into he carpet and it drags a gammy leg too.   If you look at its matted wiry hair you will see the faces barely beneath its skin. Wherever I go the black dog goes. 

One morning I wake up and it's gone. Just like that. What can you do. It's a bugger to get on the return train from Swindon to London.

4 thoughts on “The Black Dog At Marlborough College

  1. I don't know who exactly reads this…
    Lemn Sissay you are amazing and brilliant and awe-inspiring and breathtaking and astounding etc…
    I went to the gig at Marlborough and i'm obsessed. The enthusiasm with which he involves the audience in his poems and himself is unique. I felt that although he got the audience to a near hysterical state many times in the night, he has poetry of such a fine and moving quality that the comedy was not needed to impress the crowd in the slightest.
    Good luck with Churchills 'black dog'…
    Will G

  2. on Marlborough Black Dogs
    may your poetry continue to rock
    and your seritonin continue to drop
    Tony Hillier, Swindon's Community Poet
    ps Am a Calcutta fanatic – any tips for getting British Council to spnsor me on a poetry gig there?

  3. Thanks Tony. I am not sure what the science is on “how to get bookings from British Council”. I've certainly never known one. I think their process is somewhat fluid to reflect the arts scene in Britain.
    Thre is a literature officer and team in London. You can find them easily enough on the web. And then there are British Councils around the world. I'll bet there is one in calcutta (or kolkotta is it?) You can find them too, on the web.
    As for the British Council based at HQ Spring Gardens they are an alert switched on bunch of arts administrators who scour the scene for artists and who also react to requests from the British councils out in the field. There is a literature panel of some sort which meets every now and again.
    Hope this might be of use to you.
    All best

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