That’s easy for this whyteboard in Shenton Park to say. Free to do what? Free of what? ‘Grants me years of sickness and fever/make me sleepless for months at a time./Take away my child and my lover/and the mysterious gift of rhyme’, as Anna Akhmatova said.
What would Joseph Brodsky have made of the Angus cactus? Is the price of fame being shat on by seagulls? Perhaps that is more Chekovian? The Lord Mayor certainly knows about the price of fame.
As do I: a bloke can’t even come out of the Perth Magistrates Court without someone trying to get in his face. I left like reciting Maria Petrovmykh to the papper: ‘Love me. I am pitch black,/sinful, blind, confused./But if not you, who else/Is going to love me?’
Basil Zempilas regularly pays the price of fame. Sporty young men acquire his number, and text him late at night. One thinks of Alexander Blok’s crowd nightmares. It must get a little annoying! But as you can see, Baz handles them with aplomb.