Monday, 28 September 2009

Gonzo Dreams In Ol' Appledore (2)

I was driving down to Appledore and I was on edge. My eyes were constantly darting to the left, to the right, and up and down. I suppose you could describe my actions as manic! I had to be so careful: I didn't want to squash a jaywalking Peter Rabbit, or run-over a ruminating Rupert Bear! How on earth would I break the news to Mary Cadogan if I'd injured, or killed them?

My Paradise Lost (2)

at Coca-Cola Hotel -
little land crab

I was glad to be there, head high
in the freshening September haze,
down by the cool, bird-lined
and neatly pointed old stone quayside
at people-packed Appledore...
doing little,
other than sitting quietly
and dreamily deliberating
on what I could write next.

I was unintentionally lending an ear
to the low munching and mumbling
a few ambling peacock-people were making,
and to the distant tut-tut-tutting
of small outboard motors
complaining their weary way
from left to right...
and then from right to left.

"It takes about a year-and-a-half to write a book: twelve months to think about it and six months to write it. I like to get all the characters set firmly in my mind first. It's then like taking dictation when I write it down: like a 'False Memory.'" - Patrick Gale

A 'False Memory.' I love the sound of that.

I know Appledore pretty well.
It's the sort of place
where you can take the weight
off your feet for a while and reflect
on whatever you want to reflect upon,
or talk to strangers, read a good book;
maybe just take-in the striking views.
Then again,
you don't need to get involved
in anything if you don't want to.

a small child
holding on to a feather -
learning to fly

I'd completed my stint of deep reflecting
for one day and come up with the same ol'
well-worn conclusion:
'You gotta read more. The answer
is in a book somewhere, and you ain't
come nowhere near finding it yet.'

For some reason, the image of an old
page marker of mine came to mind:
a photograph of a creased Hawaiian maiden.
She was lightly holding on to the neck
of a brightly painted ukulele.

She sat there,
like a beautiful rounded statue:
grass skirted...
leaning back on her heels,
on soft, manicured grass
under a shady palm.
A thin strip of blue,
which was the ocean
(and I swear I could hear it)
was the backdrop to her lovely smiling face.

The page marker was a favourite of mine.
I bought it on Waikiki Beach
from a pretty girl wearing little more
than a couple of coconut shells.
A tourist trap, but...
I always keep that page marker handy
when I'm reading.
As I said, I'm always searching
for something else.
Well, that time it must have been the period
when I was searching for...

How stupid was that?
What the hell!
It was the Appledore Book Festival
and I was there.
That was all that mattered.
If there was such a place as Paradise,
surely it was to be found there
in those narrow twisting streets?

I'm sure I'm going to find it this time!

Surrounding me were authors, readers,
performers and books!
Books, books and more books!
Yes, this is Paradise enough for me alright.

" You can never get your writing perfect. We can all improve. Somebody always knows the facts that you don't." - Kate Furnivall.


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