On Tuesday via Zoom Saltaire Writers met and we did a fun writing exercise, on black out poetry using articles, newspaper cuttings, flyers, a local free mag etc as our found text.
Here’s my effort, from the Guardian and an interview with Louis Theroux about his wardrobe.
I wore this cream jumper for a publicity shoot for Weird Weekends. I had never done any publicity stills before, so we did a whole bunch that in different ways spoke to the themes of the programme: one of me looking at the camera and waving a crucifix to promote the episode that was about evangelical Christians, and one that lurks on the internet where I’m wearing a feather boa but otherwise naked, to promote the one about the porn industry.
This was the neutral one that would work for any of the programmes. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine what was in my mind but, as far as I can recall, it was severe conviction. That was supposed to be a normal photograph. That was me trying to look professional and presentable. “BBC presenter excited to talk to you about his new series.” But it obviously isn’t quite coming off.
Let’s study it. I’d bought this jumper at Gap. Combined with a leather jacket I supposed it looked quite roguish, a bit like Bodie in The Professionals. It was a wool-cotton blend – they tend to lose their shape a bit so I remember early on there began to be some drift. In this picture around the neckline it’s sort of OK, but the sleeve is dangling down.
Early on I was trying to cultivate a relaxed, off-duty kind of air. It wasn’t like I wanted to be a correspondent; I was there almost to have an adventure, see people in their homes, from militiamen in Idaho to those working in porn, who would not themselves have naturally worn a suit. So I was just looking for presentable and not making too big a statement.
So what’s left is the poem below:-
Don’t look at the camera!
it lurks –
where I’m naked –
Imagine me normal
(imagine me) excited
Roguish in wool-cotton
and no statement . . .