As a rule I don’t drive to Southbank Centre but today the sun shone gloriously and my car is a cabriolet and it’s nippy so with the roof down and the music up I drove happy as a boy in a motorised bath of sunshine.
At 10.30am I’m at The Riverside Rooms for a meeting about SE1 United. It’s a great start to the day. At noon I have lunch with Lucy Macnab to discuss another early idea but mainly to catch up. We eat Biriyani from a stall in a square. The stall is run by a local ndian restaurant and Southbank centre is transformed into a festival called Alchemy.
Afterwards I meet Jeet Thayil an Indian poet with whom I read at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi in 2006. Jeet maintains it was the biggest audience for a poetry reading that he has seen in New Delhi. Jeet edited the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets . We sit upon 6th floor, take in the view and catch up . We decide on meeting tomorrow.
Back at the Riverside Rooms Cape Farwell impresario David Buckland gives me the finished film of The Cape Farewell Voyage which I am featured with Ryiuchi Sakamoto, Jarvis Cocker and the like. And he tells me that the American production company that made the film say my other short film What If has over a half million hits online.
At 4pm I meet at Canteen with Jane beese and Kate St John to discuss an evening of Political Song as part of Meltdown Festival headed by Richard Thompson. Alchemy is everywhere here at Southbank centre. “You can Get alot done if you don’t need to be recognised for it” Is what distinguished professor Nikki Giovanni said on the day I left Virginia Tech.
This past two days Claire Stringer the artist has been working quietly and meticulously on my poem. She slowly and painstakingly painted each letter onto a wall in The Queen Elizabeth Hall Artists bar. I receive a text to say it is done.