A Career in Accompaniment by Alex Reed draws us into an intimate experience of caring for a lover that leaves your palate aching for tea – strong, comforting tea.
I recommend the high-tannin punch of the mighty Assam leaf, or for the connoisseur, the coppery tones of Sapphire Earl Grey, with just a touch of bergamot and blue malva flowers. Infuse longer for a more robust flavour – you will need it to be strong to help you through this journey of love, loss and challenge in the face of long-term illness.
From a "beery dance" club on a Northern quay to a lonely café table in Padua –the observations of a trip that becomes a fall and then "the trace of a limp" will leave your palate dry. Dry as the "flame licking dry wood" of Reed’s love and stifled rage (in ‘Woken by your Cough’) as he tries to hold on to what he is about to lose:
“Ambiguous loss. But I’d prefer
to say that I am haunted
by the ghost of her motion,
the flow of her - ”
This is definitely a read for a rainy day, tucked away with teapot and cup in a dusk-filled room. Let Reed take you to his lover sitting "at her table by the bay window - a flask of tea…within easy reach" (‘Long Day’).
Sip. Savour. Reflect.
“The trees almost bare
just a few leaves hanging.
Rothko red. Framed by nothing
but pure air.”
Jane Campion Hoye
For a sample poem from A Career in Accompaniment, please click here.
You can buy a copy of the pamphlet, RRP £5.50, using the paypal link below.