Edited 20.07.04, Murphy Horner being a woman. Sorry, Murphy.
"Richard Burton stars in a brand new production of 'Under Milk Wood,' to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas. Possibly the most famous radio play ever written is given a fresh lease of life in the first new production for BBC Radio in 25 years.
This happens on Saturday from 14:30 to 16:00 GMT, as the Radio 4 Saturday Theatre page linked to above promises.
"The inimitable performance of Richard Burton as First Voice has been digitally remastered and mixed with new performances of all the other parts to create a magical, fresh visit to the unique but universal world of Llareggub."
I shan't miss it and may even "hijack" the event for later listening now that a fast Net connection, the RealOne player and the wonders worked by the 'rogue amoeba' people allow this with a Mac.
What provokes this cheery advertisement is recalling the four wonderful years I worked often with the BBC radio drama department in the 1970s, helping to promote a then still much underrated form of art.
But more particularly, it is the impeccable timing of a recent post at Blogcritics.
Murphy Horner of WonderBlog says that 'Under Milk Wood' reminds her of Edgar Lee Master's 'Spoon River Anthology' (Dover Thrift -- sic -- Editions, 1992), which is new to me.
There's plenty of good timing today.
Despite the late hour I went to bed, I was up with the dawn and had a heap of shopping done by 9:45.
In what we're warned could be the calm before the first of the real autumn storms, the sun's blazing in a clear sky and it's warm enough to have the windows wide open both sides of the flat, which needs the air.
Yet at the Monoprix supermarket the Christmas decorations are going up this morning, including one of the ugliest fake trees I've ever seen with yellow blobs for balls the colour of nausea.
Even this and an alarming test run of muzak had not the slightest effect on my magical mood.
Heavens! I even feel almost as good as after waking up into the lazy early-morning making of love with someone as beautiful as her.
Yup. There can be no doubt of it.
I suppose it can't have escaped the notice of the Loyal 4 ¾ that your rejuvenated Nicholas has changed these past few days. It's no longer just that I love her.
I'm in love with the Wildcat now, with feelings I really didn't expect to know once more ... and she has sheathed her claws for a while and tells me she loves me too! Not for me to ask the ways she loves me; let's not court broken hearts again.
"In only a moment when we both will be old
('1345 Songs for the Harmonica,' a spine-chilling prospect!)
The Google link to that Ames Brothers '60s hit included the eye-catching phrase "Pre-Marital Sex Re-examined", which shows that advertising works.
We won't even notice the world turning cold.
And so in this moment with light from above,
My cup runneth over with love."
Can there be any better remedy for the Condition than the love of a true Wildcat?
By the way, when it comes to PMS -- re-examined or otherwise -- the Kid overheard a fragment of one conversation and expressed alarm, afterwards, that I could share pain and laughter regarding her distant majesty's brief adventures with other men's bodies without jealousy.
I had to inform the youngster that I've learned, in hard ways, that love and trust are infinitely more important than the occasional straying of the flesh, should the Wildcat be so lucky where she is.
"Then you trust her?" the Kid said.
"Absolutely. She'll always come back. I know now that this is in our stars."
Looking highly unconvinced, the 14-year-old shrugged her shoulders, said no more and moments later told me to go away while she wrote a poem I haven't been allowed to see.
The final word came hours later as the Kid eyed up a nice-looking girl on the Métro platform while we waited for her first train back to her other home, her envy of the extra ear-piercings this leathered lass had been permitted quite patent.
"(The Wildcat) is very, very pretty," the Kid said weightily, out of the blue, as if she had been reflecting on the matter for some time. She even let me take her hand, something she's baulked at since the onset of adolescence.
Thus my cup is refilled before it gets time to stop overflowing, because if that, love, wasn't a seal of approval, then I don't know what is...
But perhaps the Kid was simply content because her mother has agreed that she may have one more little hole needled through her ear when she takes a friend to stay with her Gran in York during the winter school holidays.
But that's enough of the sickly moonstruck soup!
I can't let the whole of this front page become a hymn to the wild ways of she who must be adored (obeisance is not one of her strong points, any more than it is mine. Freedom and space in love is what she needs to come out of her cage).
At 'Electric Venom', Kate's spotted an excellent "cure for 'pussification'."
In her own 'Fresh Hell', another leading lady, Kim, has wondered "where are all the real leading men?" -- and links us on to an MSNBC opinion piece which is good news for we foreigners but unkind to some of her fellow Americans.
And still on the front page at 'identitytheory | revolution #6', we're drawn to an interview where we learn that Susannah Breslin, while no longer regaling the blogosphere with those famous extracts from her vast porn collection, is working full time on her novel, 'If Only These Hands Could Talk.'
As ever, Susannah takes issue with plenty of people and notions, including Andy Warhol's "joykill" view of sex.
I'm not sure that the Wildcat would see anything erotic about much of what Susannah has produced, but she would certainly agree about the hands.
Darling, I don't want to steal any thunder you may need soon, but should he prove tiresome, you can send him here for those opening lines of a Brian Patten poem:
"Into my mirror has walked
At the BBC, you can even listen to the onetime Liverpool Poet reading 'Into my mirror has walked' himself (he doesn't sound at all like me...)
A woman who will not talk
Of love or its subsidiaries,
But who stands there,
Pleased by her own silence."
If I could find one for sale on the Net, I'd despatch you forthwith a copy of one of my favourite books, though Patten's poem is not in 'Poetry of the "Underground" in Britain,' which is the subtitle of the "nearest thing to an anthology of British Beat so far (...) Michael Horovitz's Children of Albion," as we're reminded at 'Ragged Edge' (How Beat Can You Get?).
"That Penguin bulged with the works of the spaced-out and marginalised. An effective dose of syrup for those who'd helped themselves a few times to the finicking work of some of the costive Movement bards in Al Alvarez's anthology The New Poetry."
And so it was. Syrup, but sometimes bitter-sweet.
Horovitz's stream of consciousness "afterwords" are dated now, but, like his readings I recall, infinitely more enjoyable than the ponderous Alvarez. I've lost the latter, but never mind -- most of it gave me even more constipation than one of my newly prescribed medicines.
There's a wonderfully written, amusing account by Andrew Darlington, published in Gargoyle, of a Horovitz reading.
"The next few poems he proceeded to punctuate in appropriate places with ripe farts on this roughly hewn but effective instrument. Both punctuation and words balanced precariously -- hanging together admirably," was a bit I especially liked, since I'd forgotten about Michael's farting machine...
I won't risk my own copy of the 1969 'Children' in the post. It's almost broken-backed, dog-eared, yellowed and exceedingly precious.
So if you want it, these months apart will have to end soon. Even if only for a while.
Love, your -- mmm -- leading man!
2:09:57 PM link