Sometimes there's a quiet hour at the start of the Inspiration Exchange, but not today. We're starting at lunchtime.
I swap TAKE THE CAMERA HOME
For A VERY M1 CHRISTMAS
I swap 01369 870212
For FLINT & CHANCE
I swap AN ESCAPED LUNATIC IN CANNOCK CHASE
I swap A 6B PENCIL
For THEY MISSED US OUT COMPLETELY
I swap BUILDINGS AS TIME TRAVELLERS
I swap AMPERSAND & INTERROBANG‽
For TWO SIDES OF THE FENCE
I swap THE INSIDE OF A SAXOPHONE
For MONKEY VISIT
I swap 36 DAYS LOOKING FOR STUFF IN THE FRIDGE
For I AM CALLING TO TELL YOU...
I swap DENDROCHRONOLOGY
For INVENTING UNIVERSES ON PAPER (& MATHS THAT DOESN'T EXIST YET)
I swap LETTING GIRLS BE
For "NEVER READ A POEM SITTING ON YOUR ARSE!"
Although punctuated by a short break to eat cake(s) and drink tea, this feels like one long, discursive conversation. A conversation about being able to imagine a different future. About enabling other people to imagine a different future, for themselves, for their environment, for their homes. About enabling change to happen. About not being able to teach imagery to poets (or to anyone). You can't. Imagery is in you. Let's hope you've been paying attention, absorbing what you've seen. A conversation about remembering someone the way you want to, remembering beyond the grief of their passing. About the usefulness of metaphor. About the way artists and scientists do actually understand each other. About the importance of coincidence and how something external can feed into a creative process that changes the direction it is going in and then once the show (or whatever it is) is made, thinking back and wondering if that external thing hadn't cropped up, if you hadn't heard that thing on the radio (or whatever it was) that changed your thinking, what would that project have turned into? A conversation about the value of the unfinished story, about leaving space for questions, questions that can't be answered, about how sometimes you can over-explain something.
We realise that we are way over time, and outside the room of the Exchange, people have left, and the venue is being made ready for a party. Reluctantly, I close up for the night.
The next morning, I talk a bit about all of that (you can hear that - and lots more from the event - here), then I invite people to join me, and re-open the Exchange.
I swap MONKEY VISIT
For GLOOMY SUNDAY
I swap "NEVER READ A POEM SITTING ON YOUR ARSE!"
For THE FIRST YEAR SHE WASN'T THERE
I swap THE IDEA OF A RETRONYM
For TURN LEFT INSTEAD OF RIGHT
I swap THE FIRST YEAR SHE WASN'T THERE
For DYING FOR A FAG
I swap DESIRE PATHS
For THE RACE GAME
I swap AN 86 YEAR OLD AUNT WHO SMOKES 40 A DAY
For I ATE A SHEEP
And then we're done for the day.