The Maltese sure know how to party – something to do with Catholic guilt, I think, & the sun – but whatever it is, I’ve got one hell of a hangover. Lent starts in a couple of days, & the Maltese have been partying since last Friday – AND ARE STILL GOING! They have a mad carnival on Gozo – carne vale means without meat & for the next forty days that’s what they are supposed to do. There is a town on Gozo called Nadur & basically half the Maltese population turn up (200,000), rent the pads that are normally filled up in summer & unleash their libidos on each other. There’s a constant procession of dj-floats & costumes from about 8pm to 6am – EACH NIGHT! Got dressed up as a blood-soaked serial killer on Saturday, but unfortunately I had dropped an acid & got lost from the group – no wonder I didn’t get too many responses when I asked for directions. I did manage to find Glenda & our party in the end – a mixture of Maltese, Serbians & Glenda’s mate with all the mdma – & have just woken up from a two day sleep. Just trying to get my head back together again as I had set off writing the Maltiad – a number of poems for Malta which I’m trying to squeeze in before leaving.
I am beginning to tire of the sonnet form a little now. A year of intense composition in one form has seen me grow deep roots into rosy-bedded sonnet-lore, but at the same time, as familiarity breeds contempt, I feel ready to try new modes of poetic composition. One of my first new efforts is set in Calypso’s Cave, near where we are staying. In the Odyssey, the hero gets enchanted by a sea nymph called Calypso & forced to be his sex-slave for seven years. It seem’d a suitable place to share the seven-century-old customs of Valentine’s day, & we made a midnight picnic there, lighting the lovely pad with candles & knocking back the wine, perch’d high over the moonlit magic of Ramla Bay. As we snogged to the sounds of the sea, this was my most romantic Valentine’s night to date.