Shakespeare House, Chaucer Court, Wordsworth House, Coleridge Court…
The only way I’ll ever know that I’ve truly “made it” as a writer is if an ugly tower block of council flats in north London is named after me,
and even then I won’t know about it because I’ll be long dead and hated by every teenager in the land who had to study me for GCSE English:
yeah, if I ever make it, there will be kids who will throw my poems onto a bonfire the night after their poetry exam and dance around the flames,
just as me and my pals threw Duffy and Owen and Heaney and Betjeman on the bonfire that summer when we were 16 and drunk and stupid and continuing the ancient British school tradition of building a huge fire out of our AQA Poetry Anthologies drenched in petrol,
cheerfully throwing beauty and power and art and inspiration into the heart of hell, relieved to never have to read another poem again, celebrating the fact that we had finally rid our little lives of some of the greatest literature ever written by humankind that we found to be “booooring” and “a load of bollox”, telling Dylan Thomas that he can fuck right off like an even sicker, actively encouraged, more disturbing Fahrenheit 451.
For now, though, I have to focus on remembering my own name and remembering what my name means before I even entertain the notion that one day I may be remembered for anything other than this disaster that I’ve become. But I think even disasters need to have dreams.