A poor night's sleep, worrying about the house sale. Got up at four and wrote a letter to the letting agents for an hour before returning to bed to lie awake.

Up early and slipping on the desk manacles, slogged for many hours on blood clots to meet my deadline. Lorraine working at home today, which is always soothing. She and Betty slipped off to the florists around the corner to discuss nosegays at one point.

Blood clots done, sent a stiff letter to the letting agents after showing it to Lorraine, then off to the gym, which allowed me to shed some of my growliness. The business of using the gym as a way of regulating murderous impulses is a boon.

Later I received a reply from the agents, who have offered to lower their fee for doing nothing, for which I suppose I must be grateful.

Home to hear from Robin Houghton (a new poet friend I met at the poetry workshops) had seen my name on the back of the latest Frogmore Papers magazine. However my actual poem appears to have been bumped. That poem seems doomed, having first been accepted by a magazine that folded, then it made it into print with Other Poetry, but was so badly mangled, with a different title and lost lines, that it might not have been published at all. And now this. Good to see my fame repellent continues at full strength.

Still, a pleasant evening. Lorraine and I had a slimming evening meal of salads and tuna, but then went to sit in the garden of The Signalman with Betty talking about acting and weddings and so on.  

I post the poem Cicada here. I wrote it a long time ago in Greece, after my friend the writer Tim Gallagher, a great lover of all things Hellenic, had died.


Another Greek island,
dignified with thyme,
dried flowers, photos.
Cicadas are everywhere.
Plato, I remember,
said they were the souls of poets.
Then I spot one:
its vivid wings retracted
into its cacophonous carapace.
A squat little Cavafis, perhaps,
a drab little Blake,
or someone unknown,
an author in a long-burnt library
shrilling on an island,
from a cypress tree.