On Saturday I shall be speaking at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival on the art of political poetry. If any of you out there have any good ideas as to what this public yet all too recherché art might be, do let me know. In particular, I am concerned with whether the poet of the page is now clearly a superseded item behind the performance poet – actually, I’m not interested in this in itself, but rather for what it might tell us about the condition of literary ephemerality. Nothing can be retrieved; but nothing can be finally deleted. Our own memories wizen and atrophy; the memory of the machine appears in one sense indomitable, in another utterly at the mercy of the power supply. What, I increasingly wonder as arthritis sets in and my muscles creak, is my power supply? Am I (whatever that is) in a curious kind of co-dependency relationship with my own body? If I think so, would my body agree?

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