Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Meeting Mario

Sleepy and unfocused as the lively weekend took its toll. I went to London today for a general mooch around and to meet Mario Petrucci, who is an old friend who has become a fairly famous poet. I waited some time for him at Baker Street station, where I was early and he very delayed by appalling trains. Reminded me of times I used to meet Mum there when we both worked in London as I lurked by the Sherlock Holmes statue. Waiting gave me the opportunity to do a spot of freelance tour guiding, being obliged to point people to the nearby Madame Tussuad's.

Great to see Mario, who I had not seen in a couple of decades.  He had commuted down from Brunel University, where he has a residency. We repaired to a local cafe and spent two and a half hours chatting. I had re-read his iTulips recently, and this really is a magnificent book; spare and modernist, but full of beautiful words and imagery and vibrant emotion. I told him how much I admired it. He told me it contained part of a sequence of 1,111 poems, the last of which would be in eleven parts. He started on 11 November 2011, at 11:11. He said five minutes before he felt overcome with nerves that he would have nothing to write, but when the hour came round at last a dam burst of poetry was released.  When I asked him where his fluency came from he said, after a moment's pause, "faith", and the belief that the channel would be open.

Otherwise we indulged in a fair amount of gossip, lots of it about poetry, giving me confirmation if any were needed, that I am far from the poetry world these days. Lots of news to share, of various relationships and life events. I found Mario at something of a crossroads having made some heavyweight personal and professional decisions lately. He signed my copy of iTulips, and I gave him a copy of A Guernsey Double. Felt important to have reconnected even for just one afternoon. Mario says his social life is minimal, so I felt lucky to have hooked up with him.

Fond farewells, and then having talked myself out with Mario, I decided to head home via Waterstones near Piccadilly Circus where I bought a copy of Memories, Dreams, Reflections which is Jung's autobiography. On the train home I finished A Very Short Introduction to Jung, which feels like a key to a door locked inside me.

Greatly stimulated by seeing Mario, and my mind buzzing with Jung.

Although I was unable to watch it, not having the despicable Murdoch owned Sky TV, Chelsea miraculously drew away to Barcelona, and now find themselves in the Champions League Final. Astonishing, and Torres, the striker who is psychologically unable to score, managed to score the goal that sealed it for them. Catharsis. Chelsea captain John Terry, however, whose slip in the mud snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for Chelsea in the final several seasons ago, will not be able to play in the 2012 as he was sent off today, which must seem like a personal disaster.

Below Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street station. The green dome of Tussaud's behind.

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