The funny thing about miserable poets ...
Had a long dark night of the soul last night in New Brighton as I worked to extend my epic poem 'Thirteen weeks of gut-wrenching misery in Goole'.
The poem in its original form and length (259 lines) was published last year in the internationally acclaimed literary mag The Scunny Onion - run by Scunthorpe Council.
But last night I added sequences based on my time in Hull, and a most poignant prologue about the horrid experience of growing up in Wigan. I was a foundling, discovered on the steps of the Tudor Hotel on a bleak midwinter morn in 1957.
Anyway, after burning my supplies of oil well beyond midnight the poem is now finished - and is rightly regarded (by me) as the pinnacle of my writing career.
It took a Herculean effort to rewrite sections of the original work and to elongate the whole. To help me through the emotional upheaval needed to search my soul I consumed three bottles of Carmenère, a creamcracker butty and THREE Cadbury Twirls.
I've put EVERYTHING into the poem - including the many times my heart has been broken.
Also, I don't think I could have emerged undamaged from last night's pounding of the keyboards without playing ALL my Dorothy Squires records. Inspirational - especially 'I'll Be Walking Behind You (On Your Wedding Day)'. Dorothy, I hope I meet you in Heaven one day.
I need also to thank the Dungarees Creative Writing Collective in Rock Ferry for the immense patience showed to me and my ever-changing moods after they agreed to workshop the original poem with me over a two-month period. I am HAGGARD with gratitude, girls.
The completed poem (568 lines) will need no further revision. It is now called 'Thirteen weeks of misery in Goole, a poor respite in Hull - and still blaming Wigan'.
I shall give the work its world premiere at the Bards poetry night, Magazine pub, Magazine Brow, New Brighton, Wirral CH45 9LB, this coming Monday (14 January).
IRONY ALERT! OK, I WAS KIDDING about all the above - except the bit in the preceding paragraph about the Bards poetry open-mic being at the Magazine pub this coming Monday - following on from our Christmas party, which attracted a record attendance of 40 poets.
Truth is there's hardly any miserable poetry at the Bards. If you want misery and disgruntled bitching please go elsewhere.
But if you want to be entertained (particularly by satire), uplifted, inspired and in good company on the night, please come to New Brighton on Monday (14 January), starting 8pm.
The MCs are me, Steve "Cheeky Monkey" Regan, and Dave "The Accountant" Costello - the drollest of comedy acts.
The Bards - everyone's talking about us ...