Hello.I’m a poet, and I’m not at Glastonbury.
Not many poets are at Glastonbury so it’s really not a surprise that I’m not there, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I want to be there because it’s all on tv anyway. It’s a bit like going to a motor race. You miss most of it if you actually go, and then there’s the traffic jams to contend with, and the last time I went to a motor race the person in front of me kept smoking a pipe.
But afterwards I was able to tell everyone that I’d been, and there was something about the sounds of the cars that made it all worthwhile.
Glastonbury comes round every year. And the tv schedules fills up with coverage and there are some damn good bands but most of them I’ve never heard of. That’s probably because I’m getting old, and Ken Bruce only plays certain types of music these days. I’m rather excited about FFS performing on Sunday, but I expect they won’t put it on tv.
The thing is, though, there’s a poetry stage there, and the poets who get picked are always seen as the cream of the crop, the best of the best, the up and coming and the big names, and part of me wants to be listed among them even though another part of me knows that I probably aren’t as good as they are. They’re all young and trendy and enthusiastic and I’m only one of those things, or they’re older and more established and worshiped and I’m only one of those things, too.
So they haven’t asked me to go and perform at Glastonbury. They wouldn’t even let me be the person who says ‘One two one two’ before the proper poets come on. Because apparently that counts as a poem.
So I’m caught in this weird mix of not wanting to be there at all, and wanting to be there. I know that if I was there, I’d probably show no interest in the music or the camping or the activities or the subculture or the alcohol or the whole ethos of it, though I probably would make a handy reference map for the other performers of where the best burger vans are. Is probably just mooch around the poetry area like a ghost. Muttering under my breath.
I’m not at Glastonbury this year. In fact, I’m at work tomorrow, and I’ve got to do the Saturday figures and there’s loads of stuff needs doing in my day job, and I think there’s some motor racing on tomorrow on ItV4.
I’m not at Glastonbury.
But I went past it on the train, once.