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This is old now. The tooth came out last Friday, a week ago today – and there has, to put it mildly, been a bit of water under the bridge since then. (I never before envisaged this old saying as being anything to do with dental bridges… you live and learn.) But the picture, which I chose for one set of circumstances, now seems to have an almost universal application – a kind of existential reality which the great 18th century caricaturists alone knew how to achieve. Sometimes, maybe a toothache really is for life.

And Life has certainly been to the fore this past week. Aside from Mlle B’s exams and half-term, and increasing talk of a kitten, there is a subplot regarding a personage increasingly known as the Elderly Doolally Aunt; this name is becoming increasingly merely accurate, the humour is growing black, and it is apparent now that your correspondent is a member of a kind of club. The secret band of people who know what it’s like when a GP or social worker says to them: “We have this conversation with families all the time.” Despair. But where are the services? The services seem to be for the housebound. Nothing for the person whose whole problem is that they might go out at any minute, and end up falling asleep on a bench in Shepherd’s Bush, and also forget to eat…

Meanwhile, the whole family is job-hunting. We urgently need positions for:

  • A whizz communications person who will shine up your editorial standards, design commissioning, publications, web, blog and social media copy, joined-up messages, team morale, etc etc. Self-starter, team player, experienced manager. Strategic thinker with solid hands-on skills, picks up and synthesises new information quickly (though not on a synthesizer, you’ll be pleased to hear), and can proof-read, copy-edit, sub like a demon etc.
  • a whizz digital designer and front-end web developer
  • a whizz picture researcher, and/or corporate photographer with portraits a speciality
  • a very organised and reliable Saturday girl
  • a whizz barmaid with a very sweet disposition

All information to the email address in the sidebar, please. There may be a prize.

But on to other topics!

Egg Printing Explained was utterly launched last night (along with fellow Salt poet Tamar Yoseloff’s The City With Horns) at Purdy Hicks Gallery. It was a glittering occasion (by which I mean that I had a new sparkly top under my new open-knit jumper, but also that the sun sparkled in through the glass wall, that the bubbles in the Prosecco twinkled like little stars, that the bright eyes of some of my best friends and most admired poets almost dazzled, once or twice). I got a great response to what is fast becoming known as my Moth poem and Tammy read “Death Car Girl,” from her Jackson Pollock sequence, which will be published in Horizon Review once it comes out. (Sigh.)

Tammy and I will be reading at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea on July 28th. We’re also reading (with Roddy Lumsden and David Briggs) as part of the new Park Street Poetry series in Bristol, on September 9th. Before then, I’ll be at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop in Oxford (with Ernest Hilbert, James Byrne and Niall McDevitt) on June 12th, and at the Poetry CafĂ© in London, with Christopher Reid, on June 24th.

Copies of the book can be purchased from Salt Publishing’s online shop, from the Book Depository (with free shipping anywhere in the world), or (I suppose) direct from me. N.b., the Book Depository seems to be out of stock, which is good in one way, I suppose; you can order it for when it’s back in. (I’m sure that will be soon, she says…)

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