A surrealist poet called Kevin Bateman contacted me a month ago on Twitter and asked me to perform at a spoken word event he was holding in a forest in Galway.
My immediate reaction was to say "I don't do poetry and I don't really do performance stuff."
He said, in effect, "Ah sure, go on."
After a couple of weeks, he messaged me again:
"Are you performing at the show?"
I said "I dunno."
On Friday night, he asked me again. The show was on at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.
"I'll come to it," I said, "but I dunno."
The event, held in the open air in Merlin Woods, on the eastern outskirts of Galway, took a small trek to reach. There's an environmental group, Friends of Merlin Woods, and Caroline from that organisation was good enough to lead us through the forest on a quick guided tour before we arrived at our stage, An Néad (or The Nest). Kevin kicked things off.
Perhaps the latter point is a philosophy I ought to embrace, given his wonderful encouragement to his fellow performance artists.
In one poem, Mr Bateman claimed that he would like to be an air hostess, seizing on the mundane day-to-day life of red eye service, requiring little thought, emphasising appearance over the inner life - this idea seems to echo Eliot's wish to be a pair of ragged claws.
Another line from Kevin:
Nightfalls and bats fly, let us all belong to the darkness.