Monday be-damned: Chris the printer phoned this morning to say the new copies of 24 for 3 are ready – which is less than 24 hours since I made up the new cover file (including, oh yes, a quote from the Guardian review) and took it in. By some misunderstanding the new copies are on different paper – so narrower spine, but the paper (less starkly white than the previous) is the one I should have chosen in the first place, and I changed the margins a few millimetres on the text file, and the result is altogether a nicer book.
The Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace emails to say they’ve sold all the books we left with them and they want more. How many? Six of each title. (I used to write poetry, was published by Faber, and the hardship of getting those books into the shops: maybe one here, maybe two there. I called round once at the warehouse of the old Secker & Warburg to try, with some headed letter paper, to blag the Collected Stanley Kunitz at trade price; found myself talking to the gravedigger from Hamlet: poetry, he says, it rots on the shelves.)
Something, soon, is going to go disastrously wrong. But in the meantime . . .
Wiesiek wants a party-launch for the Grabinski book at the Colony Rooms, remembered with fondness. We met in Soho: a drink, an amazingly cheap meal in a quiet place, the Colony shut and barred, another drink in the French pub. The folk at home surprised to see me back early and sober. But we were at the cusp - to carry on talking, drinking, or stop now - and I think I want to read, or write, and if I can’t steal that time from work then I have to steal it from somewhere else.