28th July 2016, The Swan Hotel, 1 Church Street, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LN
Such a great night last Thursday at the Swan - thanks to all who came along (and there was a big crowd) to share their words, or simply to bring their ears. Our guest poets David Clarke and Rachael Clyne were such a great pairing.
Rachael gave us both playfulness and wisdom, zooming in often and with deft precision on the small mysteries of the everyday, and those things left unsaid - the 'hidden noise that you can't ignore', as her Toads poem has it. That theme is most powerfully caught in the spotlight in her excellent mother-daughter poem about dementia, and in fact our journey with Rachael took us first through an unusual family landscape (where relatives were introduced as chair, ironing board, pouffe) via circumcision (that one shortly to appear in The Rialto) to a richly external landscape of birds, mountains and the wind at the window. It was quite a trip; a powerful set.
David, meanwhile, maintained that he writes about things he reads, not experiences - popular music, films - though we did wonder, seeing as one striking sequence of sonnets applied itself to 'addictive substances' (they include Candy, in case you're wondering...), not to mention the Philosophy of Cake. But yes, we had Lois Lane longing to see her boyfriend dither in Dear Superman, we had Lenin at the Music Hall, and, based on a book spotted in a secondhand bookshop, a few 'ultimate hard bastards' - a surreal picture of life as we might not know it. And David's delivery is marvellously understated - it makes you think wait, yes, I want to read that one later, savour it like - well, candy, cake, anyone?