I’ve written about Jay Rayner before, using that very line or similar [see here] and so it must be true.
But he has been away for a while. Not from his weekly restaurant reviews in Sunday’s The Observer Magazine, but having stopped for some time – as far as I recall – being critical of the places he has visited.
That’s good news for those restaurants. And Rayner is a fine writer whether praising or the opposite. Yet I do enjoy reading the more questioning.
In this Sunday’s Seabird review, he does have a number of positive things to say about some of the food. However, this was my favourite section,
‘People complain when I criticise waiters, given the dismal pay and the misery of dealing with people in general and me in particular. I sympathise. We all hate people and I hate me. But service is a part of the deal and if it’s administered with all the grace of an unlubricated colonoscopy, it has to be mentioned.’ © Jay Rayner
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[image photographed by my brother, 1969 – and go here to read Tom’s Silver about photography]
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My collection of found prose poems with Knives Forks and Spoons Press is available here.
As a writer, it seems to me OK to have ‘favourites’, poems that one feels have worked well, and here as found poems when the finding and combining and shaping produces some kind of effect/impact, be it mystique, puzzlement or a glimmer.
The phenomenon of found writing is its accident of meaning/discovery and thus that remove from control and intention which seems to me to make a writer more able to choose and like – as a less presumptuous act, so to speak.
So I like Finding Nothing, probably for its irony as much as anything, and I am fond of The Philosophy of Being Delayed on a Train which was prompted by a tweet I came across simply scrolling through and took on something other than that person’s actual [and of course common] experience.
A writer explaining his poems? Not really – though nothing wrong with that – but if I was giving a reading, I think setting a context or painting some setting would be appropriate and hopefully welcome.
[Image by artist and photographer Nick Dormand]
A poem of mine that never made it to the finishing line of a poetry anthology about running. So here it is passing by.
Delighted to have this poem here at International Times today, with thanks to Rupert and IT.
This actually comes at a time when there are the beginnings of a counter to the fad for punitive/nasty ‘behaviour management’ approaches in UK schools, prompted by ideas/developments in the States [as with the infatuation for the Knowledge curriculum].
I’ve been coming across cogent but also empathic/empathetic arguments against, for example, isolation booths and similar – these proffered by false prophets like the Behaviour ‘guru'[!] Tom Bennett and acolytes – explaining alternative experiences. I have written about this kind of behaviour brutality before, like here at Stride with my poem Flattening the Grass.
There is also the beginnings of a backlash against the dismantling of Arts subjects and creativity in general in schools, these the demolition jobs proffered by those other charlatans Cummings and Gove. The English and Media Centre are particularly proactive and persuasive in this, mainly to do with my subject of English, but organisations like STEAM Co. here are making dynamic statements about creativity in all our lives everywhere.
NB Late afternoon, and I have just noted that the image for my poem has altered, as has the layout which was meant to be in two line stanzas. Interesting…