The evening of poetry, MCd by Rab Wilson, at the Leith Arts Festival last night, was very enjoyable. I heard some excellent poems, a few from people whose stuff was entirely unfamiliar to me. My set seemed to go down well. Of course, a set-list is now obligatory:
1. My Dentist, Aniela
2. Our Inventions
3. The Actress
4. Paint Marks
I chatted between poems as well, as the atmosphere was relaxed and informal.
The poets and audience then retired to a nearby bar. Afterwards I was waiting for a bus in a quiet Leith street. This guy shouted to me from the other side of the road. He wanted to know the time, but he had an unhinged quality about him that made the most innocent question sound like a threat. I told him the time. He went into a phone box.
When he came out, he looked over at me again. “Hey, pal,” he said, “See if that phone rings, don’t touch it!”
Who thinks to warn someone not to answer the ring of a public phone? I said I wouldn’t answer it, but when he turned the corner, I was left with a dilemma. If that phone rang, should I answer it? My bus didn’t arrive for another 8 minutes. The phone didn’t ring.