So on Saturday I went on retreat.
You know, I thought I had a terrible attention span but actually I just needed NO PHONE and NO INTERNET. And to be fed and watered all day like a particularly lazy housecat. I didn’t have to think about anything, and because I didn’t have to think about anything my brain kind of unfolded and all the bits that had been hiding or buried under shopping lists and PE kits and appraisal forms and those knickers (I was wondering where they’d gone) – those bits, they reappeared. So I chased them down and now I have some more poetry to show for it. In fact, I finally have enough for that pamphlet I’ve been banging on about for years. Perhaps you will even be able to buy it at some point this year. Certainly I’m planning to go on retreat again. And I have all sort of other ideas swirling about too now…
I can’t recommend it enough, if you never seem to have time to sit down and truly be with your writing. You can find out more about the one I went to – including how to book your own place – at Chez Goldberg.
Here’s one of the things that turned up whilst I was sitting quietly and looking at the clouds racing up and down the Shard (I didn’t mention the view did I? My God, the view.)
I’m not judging you. No. I’m not that type.
Best counsellor face on; head to one side,
Handing you tissues whenever you cry,
Tugging out things that are best kept inside.
Your secrets are spilling straight up from your gut,
You think that your stories are safe with me but
I’m reserving the right to polish them up,
To twist them about with a nip and a tuck.
I’ve stored them all orderly inside my brain,
Until the right moment to use them again
and put them in writing toward my own ends.
But judging you? No. Of course not – we’re friends.
I’m just… that type. Writer.
I’m not using you. No. That’s not like me.
We have fun when we’re out and you’re good company.
If I seem a bit distant whenever we kiss
It’s only because I’m remembering this
lad in the Midlands who once sadly said
I was never that ‘present’ when we were in bed –
Maybe cos I was thinking of ways to describe
The feel of his hands as he parted my thighs.
You think I don’t care and that’s not really true
I’m telling our story to my whole Writers Group.
Things seem more dramatic than they need to be?
It’s only because you’re involved with me and
I’m that type. Writer.