I was sat in a café, reading a great poem about my home city of Manchester.*
The opening lines read:
Queen of the cotton cities,
nightly I pick you back into existence:
the frayed bridal train your chimneys lay
and the warped applause-track of Victorian rain.
You’re the blackened lung whose depths I plumb,
the million windows and the smoke-occluded sun.
A couple took the table behind me. The lad never spoke, but the girl:
“I’ve always had weird drinking habits. I used to drink the vinegar out of cockle and muscle jars. I think it’s the cause of my leaking bladder.”
All of this was underscored by a female cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love. Haunting and ethereal. Alchemical.
All of these things merged and mingled into one tributary, collaborative moment, leading me to the page, transcribing slowly.
*Manchester, Adam O’Riordan.