Friday, 21 September 2012

David Gaffney

I went, last weekend, to the 60th birthday celebrations for Stand magazine, which has played a major role in contemporary poetry and deserves to be supported in every possible way. I gave a reading and listened to others and the general standard was extremely impressive. The most distinctive though was by David Gaffney who writes micro-fiction, - each piece 150 words long. He read, for example, one about the emotional meaning of the spiral structure of Ikea stores,  a deeply creepy one about wardrobes, and one about a man who hates grocery shopping so much he starts - on the principle that people buy more or less the same things - to commandeer trolleys which have already been loaded by other people. One day his victim notices what he's done, but he decides to pretend he knows her:

'Darling, I'll just get eggs.'
'We've got eggs,' the woman chirped. 'Listen, do you want to go out to the car? You look stressed. You can listen to your tape.'

I talked to David at the interval and, in an attempt to influence him, broached the subject of blowdry handriers: how the conventional ones breathe a death rattle on your hands and leave them no drier than before, but the Dyson Hyperblade is scarily effective - if you look at your hands while it's operating, you can see it drives deep ripples across them, as though it's plunging underneath your skin to dry it from the inside. It may work, he seemed interested.