Cal, my fourteen year old youngest son asked me yesterday at breakfast 'Who decides what's good poetry?' From the mouths of babes. Good question. He's just started his GCSE's. I honestly don't know. Contemporary poets I like are Wendy Cope and Seamus Heaney. As The Moose lives in Hebden Bridge and in the shadow of Ted Hughes, I steer away from poets. They are everywhere. In Hebden we don't have a gang problem, we have a poet problem. They accost you in the middle of the street and bark stanzas at you. If you don't listen they come round in the middle of the night and throw Haiku's through your window. When we have events they force you into corners with their spittled assualts and trip you up with their meter and scan. Not all poets are mad bad and dangerous to know but I still think Ted Hughes's best work is his children's story The Iron Man.
I bumped into 'No dog Dave ,' yesterday. He's got the moniker because he hasn't and everyone else has a dog in Hebden. I tell you this because he used to work for the Yorkshire Post and a photographer from The YP came round yesterday to Take Steve Clayton's photograph for a piece in the YP's Arts and Culture section next week. Steve is the author of The art of being dead. We had to climb some moss laden steps high up in the Pennine Hills for the shot, just beneath the lip of Heptonstall village where Ted Hughes's wife Sylivia Plath is burued. Now Ted would have coped because he was a country boy. Steve and The Moose didn't. We were both slipping all over the place because we are 'Town Mice.' Steve was in his new Docs, he's a rock and roller you see and me in my pointy Chelsea boots. Middle aged men trying to be cool. So sad, I know. Mmm you can guess what the photographer was thinking but kind enough not to say. We then went to The White Lion for more photographs. No dog Dave looked through the window but didn't come in but waved at the photographer. It looked very poetic but I refrained from putting it down in stanza form. I'll leave that to the poet I call 'The egg man.' He has trouble finding his mouth when eating his breakfast, and you can guess what's on the menu and his shirt come 9.00am.
Off to York and Knaresborough today