Manchester: The reading.

I wake 6am and trawl the poem .  As it stands the work is in  the net but the net is  still in the water . I need to haul it onto the ship and then sort through  the catch and throw the detritus over the side.   This will leave me with some form and then the conversation with it can begin.   On the  ships flor I can see two distinct poems taking form.

I arrive at  the Midland at 10am to hear a brilliant one hour speech by Martin Narey Cheif Executive of Barnados and then decide to spend the day writing the poems based on the resaearch and actual events of the conference.   Tonight at 8.15pm I shall be reading poems to the entire audience which now includes the directors of Childrens Services and key organistations. I can not eat with them as I find it difficult to eat just before a reading.  “Ladies and gentlemen” says Maggie Atkinson  after an impassioned and  moving introduction “Lemn Sissay”

After the reading I leave and  walk to the Malmaison from the midland hotel from one side of town to other and as I got to the Malmaison a crowd of young men walked towards me, each of them holding something shiny in their hands with threatening desperate looks on their faces.  They followed me to the door, like the zombies in Shawn of The Living Dead. Autograph Hunters. “whoever it is, it’s not me” I said to them with an apologetic look on my face. And it’s true, it wasn’t for me.

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