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It's like...

This weekend couldn't have come soon enough. I always look to the end of the working week as 'my time', which really equates to 'writing time' or simply 'reading, arting around, and catching up with friends time'. I'm hoping to have a nice cycle tomorrow and get stuck into some writing. There are so many books out that I'd quite like to delve into though.

On my way home this evening I popped into Kew Books and read first page or so of Vargas Llosa's The Dream of the Celt, based on life of humanitarian and Irish nationalist Roger Casement.

There's also Kitty Aldridge's 'What I Learn from Dead Men', about a young man working as a trainee in a funeral home, yet dealing - or not - with bereavement at home. There's also 'Joy' by Jonathan Lee, about the attempted suicide of a corporate lawyer on the day she is about to be made a partner in the firm. There is also 'Dirt', by David Vann. So much to read, so little time. Mind you, sometimes I make do with the reviews in the LRB or the TLS or the New Yorker - though more often than not the Guardian. It gives me a feel for what's out there. I will have to write, though. I'm pretty sure that Per Pettersson also has a new book out, but not managing to finish To Siberia and After the Wake, both of which came after the sublime 'Out Stealing Horses', that maybe I shouldn't bother. I'm also awaiting news on new books from Ian Holding and Paul Harding, authors of Unfeeling/Of Beasts and Beings and Tinkers respectively.

Maybe on Sunday I will visit the Munch exhibition at Tate Modern, which aims to represent the late Norwegian artist as achieving more than just The Scream(s)!

The writer Adam Thorpe is in the Freelance seat in the current TLS, recounting when he included a poem in a new selection by the late John Fowler, which turned out to be by another poet!

Hugo Williams has a new poem in the TLS too, 'I Was Like', and I can't help but think/feel that his time spent on the dialysis unit is paying poetic dividends as he includes the idiom 'I'm like...' as the few trips to the hospital each week bring him into sustained contact with all manner of dialects, yoof speak, and all-round characters attempting to act their way out of their realities. Williams's poem includes: 'When I hear the knock/I'm like "this is it".' He may feel like he's ageing rapidly on that dialysis unit yet his words are sounding younger an more, like, vital. D'ya get me? (Not his words!)

However, the literary moment-of-being for the week has to be another poem in the TLS, Paul Batchelor's 'Brother Cole'. I was right there, in each line, each image, each feeling of each well-placed alliteration: 'My childish heart sinks like a falling flare'.

I shall have to keep it. It's a returner read, alright.

More anon.


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