Tuesday 31st March



At 4:30am this morning, ragged from an excesses of technicolor
dreams, I ran, growling, into the wind, rescuing the flags of Essex,
straining to escape pegs & lines, fly free across sodden fields of
mud to impale themselves on the amputated limbs of hawthorn hedges.
Heads buried deep beneath duvets we groan, surf the rim of sleep,
agitated divers hunt elusive dark as windows fling themselves wide,
welcoming the storm’s forced entry, grinning, hissing, spitting
broken grooves like shattered teeth at our woeful attempts to sleep.


Monday 30th March



Washing drying in the wind, the sweat soaked stripes of nights
beneath the lights, filtering the breath of smoke machines &
random whiffs of ‘erb blown in between cheeky grins, celebrates
it’s spotless sweetness, born-again as ‘nice’, returned to
civilian life as garments good enough to go see mom.


Sunday 29th March



Back in Mother Essex I miss the tour already, the team around us,
the venues, the house crews, caterers, traffic cones, debris,
the signature sounds & the charismatic odours of the cities we visited,
the buses that were our home-from-homes, the fresh towels 7 the shower
stalls we scrubbed in every morning behind stage & the trucks that
were loaded-unloaded every day, carrying our heavy metals as delicately
as hens eggs. I miss mapping unfamiliar streets, scraping words,
snapping sight-specific works off pavements,
notebook & camera, notebook & camera, capturing the cracks, the marks,
the beautiful dirt you left for me to find. The energy that’s gone
into this run of shows was enormous, made good people ill & yet
produced results that gave thousands of people happiness & left me
with one clear thought, that, of all tours that I have ever been on
this one was my favourite.


Saturday 28th March


Empty streets on the edge of town, old industrial architecture 
reborn, rebranded, dancing with the ghosts of industry. 
Trucks reverse to kiss the lips of loading docks, disgorging 
heavy metal, blacktop inset with rails, torn strips of hazard tape
flap in gentle breezes like pony club rosettes tied to galvanised 
crowd control barriers stacked against factory walls, red brick, 
precision engineered, catching the first rays of the sun. 
Heavy bread, real scrambled egg, crisp strips of salty bacon, 
glistening in steaming trays, juices, fruits & tiny cakes. 
The Angels of catering greet us, smile in languages, delivering us
from chocolate temptation in t-shirts, jeans & last night’s hair, 
more fabulous than catwalk models, build cairns from salt, pepper, 
ketchup & tulips to remind us others passed this way before. 


Friday 27th March



Apple & cinnamon cake of Heaven trips me out, best drug on Earth.
Apple & ginger, beetroot, black tea & lavender,  sunlight streams
through walls of Crittle windows, wood on wheels, jungle plantations
perched on illuminated glass tables, sing to mirrorball reggae,
naked bulb festoons celebrate waitress smiles.
Paradise, was waiting as we rolled in, names on the guest-list,
triple ‘A’ passes, comes out to greet it’s Prodigal children,
patient at the gates with open arms, seats us around it’s table,
feeds us gentle soul food, bathes our bruises from the inside out.


Thursday 26th March



The maitre d’ takes my hand in both of his &, smiling, shakes.
The waiter does one more balletic flourish across the floor for
me as I swing my bag onto a shoulder. He twinkles, beaming,
pristine, crisp in black & white, manicured & perfectly sculpted
hair, dances away between the tables, waving.

“Thank you for staying. Please come again”

Big blacked-out car waiting at the curb to take you away, we shake
& make that rarest of hugs, the best one of all, neither of us
capable of finding words enough to express our feelings.


Wednesday 25th March



I hear a woman’s chocolate giggle, in the room across the
corridor, muffled by the fire door as I leave to comb the
streets for poetry in the rain, dance between the cracks
again. They’ve been up all night & at it, cocktailed to
infinity, traveling back through time in the dark recesses
of the hotel bar, girls in tight torn jeans, exotic, magnetic,
to the boys in heavy jackets with close cropped hair.
I remember this hotel, 1991, too drunk to stagger, legs up on
gothic stone balcony balustrades, feet in the night sky,
an animal mind cut loose & hungry for more than could be found,
burning from the inside.