#4 High Five Friday

This week, I make a list of what my week has been fuelled by, clothes or otherwise.

1)      Golf jumper

2)      Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Time Poems

3)      Energy Drinks

4)      Janis Ian Gig

5)      Woollen Socks and a New Woolly Hat

1) I bought my golf jumper a couple of summers ago from eBay. It was a VERY GOOD FIND. It is a navy Lyle and Scott  jumper with “The Open” written under an embroidered Open trophy, and I love it. I started wearing it again this week. It must be pretty rare because I can’t find it online now. It’s warm and comfortable. I have far too many jumpers and I don’t get to wear them half as much as I’d like. I’m glad I’ve been able to revisit this one.


2) I borrowed Frank O’Hara’s Collected Poems from the library again. I only discovered him a couple of years ago when I studied poetry. I was very into poetry, especially as a teenager, and for some reason, he failed to enter my radar even though I particularly like American poets! He is not as well known as other poets for some reason. Perhaps because he had a rather ordinary life. He had an extraordinary death though. He wrote a collection of poems called “Lunch Poems”. I like the casualness of these poems (as the name suggests), the conversational tone, and how he often wrote about his day – because he was probably writing in between his job, lunch-break, jotting things down on the go. We also really get a sense of the city, New York City, in his poems, as well as the ordinary, daily life. Here is one I like (about Billie Holiday dying) which is a good example of everything I have mentioned here:

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday

three days after Bastille day, yes

it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine

because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton

at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner

and I don’t know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun

and have a hamburger and a malted and buy

an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets

in Ghana are doing these days

I go on to the bank

and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)

doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life

and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine

for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do

think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or

Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres

of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine

after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE

Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and

then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue

and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and

casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton

of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of

leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT

while she whispered a song along the keyboard

to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing

3) I have started to buy a litre of Boost energy drink this last week, on my way to work. I know it’s bad for me, especially when I’m going to work to just sit on a chair which hardly calls for me imbibing a litre of a high-calorific, highly sugared and caffinated drink. I just can’t get enough of this sweet nectar. It is 99p in the co-op: bargain! I blame the bargain. I think I have substituted cigarettes with Boost. Am I an addict?

Janis Ian signs a CD.

4) I had A REALLY GREAT DAY on Thursday. They are pretty rare, I think? Which is good because then we wouldn’t appreciate them as much when they happen. I went out for pizza with my mum and my beau and then we went to see Janis Ian at The Black Box in Belfast. I got them both tickets for Christmas and it’s one of those things that suddenly was upon us (January, where’d you go?!) My mum is a massive fan, and she cried at least twice when we were there. I wrote a review of it here. I discussed how awesome she was, and how great it was to hear her talking about her marriage to her partner, Pat, especially sitting between my girlfriend and mum. It was one of those experiences that makes you feel great. I am sitting here right now wearing the bracelet Janis gave me. Yes, THE Janis Ian gave me her bracelet. It was crazy. I was getting something signed and she just randomly asks me, “Are you a writer?” I wasn’t expecting the question so I just said, “Um, sometimes” whilst taking a beamer, and she took her bracelet off and told me to send her “my first novel” when I write it!

5) It’s been a good week for me for acquiring woolly items. I got a new hat for a fiver in Urban Outfitters:

and my mum gave me the best present in the world. These.


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