Monday 10 August 2015

Poem: Funny Thing Being A Writer / August, dog days and whiskey...

'funny thing being a writer'


Funny thing being a writer

Most of the time you don’t get to do any writing

A lot of the time you wonder where the writing went

Oftentimes you miss the writing

And missing writing feels like nothing else

Sometimes its like an absence of a horse between your thighs

Or a wave crashing over your head

Or a sweet swallow, a taste in your throat

Or an ache in your chest that hurts

Missing writing is a bit like missing a person

But the person is the real you

And you pick up a pencil and your notebook

Looking for substance and worth

For some sort of healing balm

You know you only have an afternoon

Or less until you are required

Not to write anymore

And that writing is hot

That writing is like an affair

It’s a hard-motel-fuck of a write

You make that time mean something

And you don’t wash your hands after

So you can smell yourself on your fingers

Then its off back to the front of the shop

Dressing the windows, selling your wares

You are the head chef of your own restaurant

You’ve got hungry customers that need servicing

Got something in the oven waiting to rise

Got some good stuff ready to publish on ice

Your larder is full of writings you did years ago

Back when you were cold and poor and thin

When all you wanted to do was be a writer

When all you ever did was write all day and night

And nobody expected you to do anything else but write

Back when you thought writing was all that writers had to do.

(c) Salena Godden. 2015
'Funny Thing Being A Writer' 

Hastings with Luke Wright and John Cooper Clarke

Lovebox Festival with Daniel Cockrill and Gemma Rogers

Lovebox, class of 2015

Hello to you and hello these the dogs days of summer -
Here's some gig dates and news for August as the hay is spun gold, the world is all bronzed, the tomatoes blush red and the sunflowers blossom and bloom. 

Since my last update, I've been in Hastings with John Cooper Clarke and Luke Wright; I've been performing at Cornbury Festival where Tom Jones ruled the waves; we had it large at Lovebox Festival. I've also been in Brighton at Oli Spleen's Fag Machine paying tribute to our much missed friend Sam Culpeck. Then we were in picturesque Cornwall, reading with my phenomenal 'Ways With Weirds' comrades at Port Eliot Festival. I love Port Eliot and Way's With Wierds is like a pocket of wisdom and goodness I will carry for the rest of my year. The moon was whole and full, the music perfect and the sensational line-up was out of this world. Ways With Weirds, find them on twitter, find the others.

Ways with Weirds

Oil Spleen, Fag Machine

Sam Culpeck, Fag Machine

This week I have a new work published in The Pool - I wanted to write about suicide because I wanted to salute a friend of mine that we recently lost. I wanted to write about the curse of being seen as an 'extrovert' and express that it isn't always the quiet ones you have to watch. I wanted to talk about appearances and the way we measure success and failure with such cold, sharp brutality. The piece has garnered such a warm response, thank you so much for your messages and tweets. I think this piece resonated with people that have loved and lost and lived through this, survivors, and though it was a raw subject to tackle, I'm so glad it's out there. The piece also featured excerpts from Springfield Road which I haven't seen in print before. Amazing. Thank you. 

"When my father hung himself it was a pane of glass we carried between us for the rest of our lives. It took decades to talk and write about it. In the playground, some kid told me that people who kill themselves don’t go to heaven or hell, they go somewhere else. And, ever since then, I always pictured a party of extrovert ghosts ie my kind of people: beautiful characters, larger than life, creative, talented and funny spirits, and, as I write that, Robin Williams comes to mind, because it’s not always the quiet ones you have to watch.”  Read full article here

Kelly-Anne Davitt 'Beach Balls and Melons'

Back in London and on a bouncier note, here's some whopping great big fantastic tits! I was delighted to see Kelly-Anne Davitt's beautiful and bold new work ‘Beach Balls and Melons’ included in the 'Off Kilter, An Age Of Oil' show at Dadiani Fine Art on Cork Street  -  it's a fantastic collection, the exhibition will continue until September 7th. Please go to Cork Street and see these paintings for yourself and also click here to check out Kelly-Anne Davitt's NEW Beach Balls and Melons website


If you are in the states you'll find six poets poeticising the joys of whiskey in an advert for Laphroaig this month. Six poets, one whiskey, many opinions. It was a trap, I was lured into a room, with nothing but a typewriter and a bottle of whiskey and challenged to write a poem in just thirty minutes - here is a sneaky peek on youtube: 

This weekend I'm going to beautiful Wales to read at the lush Green Gathering. Then I will be in Scotland, doing a handful of shows at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. My gig was mentioned in the top five things to see in Edinburgh this month by The Skinny...

At the Edinburgh Fringe I'm looking forward to catching shows by Paula Varjack, Luke Wright, John Osborne, Dan Simpson and Nina Conti to name just a few, I'll tweet the good bits I manage to catch, follow me on twitter @salenagodden ... And then I'm in Berlin ... Only to zoom back and return to surreal Portmerion, just in time to gig with Luke Wright at the fabulous Festival No.6.  Phew! 

I am working on the logistics for this New Orleans road trip this October. I've been enjoying a daily to and fro of emails about possible gigs and book festivals and I'm in a lovely tangle of maps and time zones with seemingly limitless possibilities and routes. I am looking forward to the freedom of the open road with my Dickie. I'm excited about big skies and landscapes and truck stop diners. Absorbing myself in the roots of bluegrass and country and jazz and blues. And I know I'm gonna meet lots of new poetry friends, writers, musicians, book lovers and whiskey drinkers... please leave me a message below if any of my gigs are near your town, and maybe we'll hook up, share a poem and a shot of whiskey on the road ... See you here and there! 

Thank you for subscribing to 'Waiting For Godden'  (if you would like to subscribe put your email address in the box up there on the right underneath the instagram logo button!) 

Here's to raising a glass to these,
the glorious dog days of August, sgxx


For more words, pictures and audio archives:



Coming up:
August 14-16:  
Green Gathering, Wales

August 21:  

Edinburgh International Book Festival 

10am: Ten at Ten - Writers' Retreat

2pm: Salena Godden and William McLellan - Baillie Gifford Theatre


September 1: 
BBC World Service, Click Radio, BBC Theatre

September 4-6:  
Festival No.6, Portmerion, Wales

September 18 date tbc:  
Word Life, Sheffield

October US road trip: 
Heading to New Orleans, stopping at...

October 13: 
Litquake, City Lights, San Francisco 

October 24: 
Wisconsin Book Festival

October 31: 
Louisiana Book Festival 


Fishing In The Aftermath published by Burning Eye

Springfield Road published by Unbound Books


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