24. 23. Future? Hope. Election. Pencil. Nald. Southbank. Obama. McCain. Winter. My Birthday. Love. Life. New Apple Macs? Opera. The Last Genie. Rushdie. Fatwa. Seraphin. Winchester. KnightWatch. News. Lilly and the Ladybird. Things Lined with silver... snap shots of my October, what are yours? The formula: three news items and something good from YouTube: My FUNNY VALENTINE// THE LAST GENIE // BATTLE OF IDEAS // BARACK OBAMA.

My FUNNY VALENTINE // So. (I like beginning messages with 'So', it denotes a straight-to-business approach don't you think?). So, the Terrance Higgings Trust is the leading, largest HIV and sexual health charity in the UK. It has been running for 26 years, reaches out to 50,000 people year and does truly inspiring work. As a charity, the organisation runs on donations from nice, kind rich people, or everyday salt of the earth types wanting to do some good... In this light, lemme introduce Nick Bailey, a cheerful, charming, chap who has organised two fund-raising events for the trust; two Back to Back evenings of Classic Jazz, Great Music, Singers, Food, and I'll be there to drop a poem or two. ALL Proceeds go to the trust, there is a multi-prized raffle you qualify for when you buy a ticket, and you will get that warm fuzzy feeling we crave this time of year. Here is what you need to know:

Show: My Funny Valentine. Date: 29th & 30th November. Tickets: £10 - (for charity) Doors: 7.30 pm, Show: 8pm Contact: nick_bailey@hotmail.co.uk Phone: 07921 550 820 Venue: Pizza On The Park Add: 111 Knightsbridge, London, SW1 Tube: Hyde Park Corner.

BATTLE OF IDEAS. On Sunday, I read at an event called the Battle Of Ideas at the Royal College of Art in London. It is an annual festival where intellectuals, leaders, students and all in between meet to argue about topical issues. Debates raged on America's election tonight, to the 'Credit Crunch', Malthu's ideas of over population and birth rate reduction, Education, Youth Crime etc... I read at the Poetry debate chaired by David Bowden, with Tom Chivers, Glyn Maxwell and Shirely Dent. There were five other poets reading who I was familiar with except a lady from Chicago, she read a short beautiful poem, I got to speak with her very briefly afterwards and found out she is currently a professor at the University of Chicago, her name is Leela Gandhi, she is Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter. Yeah.

I mean, that in itself doesn't mean anything, and I am not so low as to name drop for the hell of it, I just thought it surreal that in a festival of freedom of speech, two days before THIS year's USA Presidential Election where Obama echoes Martin Luther King whose politics was heavily influenced by Gandhi, in this current 'Credit Crunch' which is at its cruxa debt crisis, a variant of third world debt spawned from colonialism, against which Gandhi fought, I read with his granddaughter.

All the debates were filmed and will be uploaded to the website, I encourage you to browse, listen and get angry about things. http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/

THE LAST GENIE at ROH // Remember the Libretto I mentioned writing last month? Well, I met the deadline of the 20th of Oct and for the last fortnight, I have watched it become an Opera. During the half term holidays, there was a week long intensive of rehearsals and development. The main characters now have motifs and melodies that float them into mind wherever I am... the songs are coming together, the choreography, the actors are taking to their roles... It's been fascinating seeing essentially a long poem set to music by the terrific team and the forty brilliant younglings starring in it... but here is the real news: The tickets are on sale, there are four shows over its three day run, come see, buy one.

Name: The Last Genie Dates: Dec 18th- 4pm, 19th- 4pm, 21- 2&5pm. Tickets: £8 / £4 concessions Buy at: http://www.roh.org.uk/ Venue: The Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House Address: Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD Tube: Covent Garden.

YOUTUBE: BARAK OBAMA. Yes. I want him to win. I won't sit you through my reasons. At the Battle Of Ideas, I heard opinions for and against him, spoke with a poet friend based in Chicago for an hour discussing her choice, read a little, but watched a lot on the net, this is one such video. These artists got together of their own vocation, set his speech to song and pumped this across the net... It is perfect, simple, effective use of virals. One aspect of Obama's campaign was his embrace of new media, an attempt to reach young people on their own grounds. The fact that this was a central campaign strategy shows a willingness to listen, to try new things, to be radical and if that doesn't speak of progress, I dunno what does? Anyway, you may have seen this before... this months youtube offering has been viewed by more than 11 million people across the world. On the eve of the election, sit back and watch: Yes We Can: