are you recieving me...blip...blip...s.o.s.....blip...hello? is anyone there? a salute to all boutiquers - writing to you from HQ office...Arvon...logging in to say hello to you all at once...to let you know i am still alive...those of you that have been to Arvon will be able to picture me right now...appauling conditions...mess in my pants...in a muddy cell with dry bread and water and broken bleeding nails from clawing at the walls to escape...and it is raining of course....on the border of Wales and the troops are awesome and bright...they have been programmed to be very good writers...i have decided to be like some kind of poetry spy...breaking rules by sneaking poetry through the bars and into young minds... i may be beaten for it, i may be beaten within inches of my life...but i gave the work of Jean Binta Breeze to a young Jamaican girl to make her smile, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon to a budding war poet and Baudeliare and Richard Brautigan to a great young prose writer and so on it goes and word soead amongst the troops and now they all want specially picked out books. its dangerous and a huge risk to fill young people heads with work from the other side...writing from Dannie Abse, Lorca, Brian Patten or Alice Walker...but i see i have no choice...i have no fear for my own life just the safety of books. The poetry library here is well hidden and stocked with black market and forbidden writing like Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg and even one by Andrew Motion...its unbearable...i am forced to spend almost all day there, reading, writing and teaching.
You'll be pleased to know my dear poetry friends, I have great news...i have seen lots of your books there too, they are safe and intact and they send their love, and i must also tell you that i have quoted your work to these young minds - For example yesterday Patience Agbabi proved very popular with a young lyrical writer who wanted his words to be punctuated and slick as her work is. There are also 20th century copies of Gargoyle and Apples and Snakes anthologies too...we were so young then my dears, so young and free... A long time ago i remember i was free at Latitude and it was a glorious lark. It was a lifetime ago it seems and it rained but that was all part of the show. I remember dancing on stage with Grace Jones kind of...i remember dancing backstage drinking mojitos...i remember performing 'imagine if you had to lick it' jumping on the white sofa in the poetry tent whilst the rain poured outside...Yes, Latitude is a purple haze of laughing and wellingtons and tents and wee wee and nameless bands and DJ's...sheep...cider...woods...yes i remember the dark and light in the woods...and and and...i remember Thom Yorke singing chirpy happy Sunday morning-song...and the last night when Keith Allen was rapped apart, quite literally rapped to pieces by the razor tongued MC Angel. Terrific fun. Eternally grateful and big thanks to the lovely Luke Wright and all the crew for yet another storming Latitudals...long may they reign! Ok i must not stay here too long in this dank communications bunker before the authorities come and check my papers and see i am a poetry affilitator co-operative and not a guard. incidentally i had to kill a guard and steal his uniform to get into this room to type this missive. its important you know this much and this little... they let another writer in last night to read to us ...he said his name was MARK HADDON...author of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME. He tells me you are still all there in The London and that not much has changed - but i find this hard to believe or fathom - not now i am here in this strange place where trees are trees and books are books. so many trees and so many books and neither one knowing that one needs the other to be...chilling thought. if you do see one of the BCB's tell them i am alive and i always loved them and i always will...
i just have to tunnel out of here towards the great CAMP BESTIVAL on the day they insist on calling Saturday..then there is a tent and a gig and microphone for me like the old free days...apparently there is also fake passes and disguised transport from the LVV army to get me further south to the great PORT ELIOT and where there will be shelter, top buddies and acid rocking blues. i managed to get some signal down in the cow-shed yesterday and broke the code that: PATRICK NEATE'S Jerusalem was launched last Monday to great laughs and joys and drinky's and Nii Parkes and Fliiped Eye are taking over the Boutique next Monday for the last party before we break up for the summer festivals. BACK SEPT 14TH!!!!! aND HOORAHhhhh.... i just managed to unscramble news that The Book Club Boutique representative for the LDM - AMBER MARK's won the LONDON LITERARY DEATH MATCH on Tuesday...SHE WON THE CROWN...BCB WIN THE LDM.....THE BCB RULE...WOOP WOOP WOOP!!!! Do you know what this means in real terms comrades? Why it could mean freedom, it could mean trees and books living together in perfect harmony, it could be the end of paper rationing, it could mean ink for all and pens we can chew again... andi have a dream that one day we will set the books free from these prisons and make them into boats and sail into the sunset... love.life.live.long.alive-o sha-boom this is your captain speaking good work soliders fall in over and out put your left leg in and your right leg out in out in out shake it all about woop woop!