Sunday, 20 August 2017

August 2017: It's Not You, It's Me...

This is our new pet, Snibby. She sleeps a lot. I am finally a cat lady.  #catsofinstagram
Maria Taylor and her new owner, Snibby.
Commonplace Blog: What's going on? You never write or call anymore?
Maria Taylor: Oh, but you know how I feel about you...
CB: That's not good enough. What have you been up to?
MT: Stuff.
CB: I don't want to hear about the other stuff, just poetry stuff.
MT: Well. I had a few outings on other blogs.
CB: You mean you've been seeing other blogs and didn't even bother with me!! *sheds tears*
MT: Yes. You can read these posts on Kim Moore's blog and an interview I did with Maria Isakova Bennett on The Honest Ulsterman. And there was John Foggin's blog post a while back.
CB: I see. *Sighs and composes self* So what else. Have you actually been writing anything?
MT: A bit.
CB: Have you sent anything out, like normal poets are meant to do?
MT: One or two things. I have a poem in an anthology about pubs coming out in the autumn, edited by Helen Mort and Stuart Maconie.I have a few poems about to be published in 'Poetry Salzburg' and a poem featuring a certain Donny Trump back in '67 meeting an unimpressed flowerchild on 'New Boots and Pantisocracies'.
CB: Oh, now you tell me! *Huffs*
MT: Yes and I've also got a sub on a 'maybe' pile somewhere. So I'm bracing myself for a possible rejection.
CB: Well now you know how I feel.
MT: I never wanted to hurt your feelings.
CB: *sniffs* Well have you done any readings lately like other poets do?
MT: A few. None coming up as yet. There was one back in June at Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham.
CB: That could have been a whole freakin' post! Why didn't you tell me.
MT: Sorry.
CB: Have you been seeing other social networks? Break it to me, I'll cope. Somehow.
MT: I'll be honest with you. I've spent a lot of time with Instagram.
CB: *Furious* Oh I see. You trade me in for a younger, flashier model! What's so wrong about an old fashioned, RELIABLE blog post!
MT: Ok, I'll try and see you more often.
MT: Yeah I know. Look. I'm working on a review of two pamphlets and a collection.
CB: That's better. Proper poetry stuff. How's the pamphlet going?
MT: It's actually going to be taught on an Bath Spa Uni course led by Carrie Etter next year which was a pleasant surprise. There have been a few reviews since the one on Matthew Stewart's blog. A really lovely one in Orbis. Plus some equally lovely ones on the OPOI site and one by Tim Love, on his Lit Refs site. There's one coming up in 'The North' in the next issue. I think I've told you some of this.
CB: Whatever. You don't seem to remember what you've told me these days.
MT: And I'll be hosting the September Shindig in Leicester on the 25th. We're very excited to have Rebecca Bird and Matthew Stewart reading.
CB: Glad to hear it. I don't expect you'll be telling me.
MT: I'll do my best.
CB: Can you write another poem now, like NORMAL poets do. Instead of Instagramming everything in sight. You're a poet, not an amateur photographer!
MT: I think you can do all sorts of things alongside poetry.  I was commissioned to write a monologue based on Adrian Mole in April by the University of Leicester. I loved it. Did I tell you I wrote a short story recently?
CB. You. Wrote. A. Short. Story. PROSE! You wrote PROSE. I don't know who you are anymore.
MT: Yes and...hello. Are you there?
MT: Hello? Hello?