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World Exclusive

I seem to have a hat-trick of these up my sleeve at the moment.

I have typed that sentence with my tongue firmly in cheek, in case the regular reader thought my years of creative failure had finally gone to my head… I can assure you it hasn’t. I live that part of my life very much by this maxim.

It serves me well. Today’s world exclusive is a fail better poem called Blake’s Tyger by the Thames. It was the first poem I wrote with performance in mind. The performance I had in mind was on the South Bank last autumn, but that went into the tray marked ‘tried/failed’, so tonight its premiere is on the Broken Verb programme from 8 p.m. on Reel Rebels Radio.

Reel Rebels is a community internet radio station and, in a virtuous circle that relates to my own Songs of Experience, it is based in Stoke Newington, Hackney, where I spent my wildest years (they weren’t that wild). They broadcast out of Politi Arts Centre on Manor Road, which is an old Turkish Delight factory, and literally round the corner from my last flat in Stoke Newington. It is practically next door to the Indian takeaway that often provided my dinner. I had no oven in the flat (other than a one ring camping gas cylinder) so I subsisted on basmati rice and raita from the Indian, boosted by a weekly dish of jerk chicken with rice and peas in Cricklewood. I used to skip lunch and breakfast was Jordans muesli and plain yoghurt. I was a lot thinner back then. Those were the days.

Anyway. Now you know.

And a thank you is due to Tim from No Tall Stories who, I think, is reading the poem.

So, thank you.

by Franz Marc