Last night’s Lamb reading, the second in two weeks, featured Paula Claire and Anthony John. Apart from the reversible names the two didn’t share much else. Chalk and cheese more like. Paula Claire has been working with sound (and visual) poems for forty years or so now. Yet, apart from ‘Ode’, a piece listing words of Greek origin, the work (in the first bracket anyway) was less than impressive. The audience were asked to join in though, being Blue Bus regulars, it was probably unnecessary to explain the poems to us as though we were a group of primary school children. While I should have been wondering at sound and the potentialities of language I instead felt as though my soul was departing outwards into the rain and the gloom, leaving behind it a lumpen residue enduring these tedious exercises in audience participation. I just hope that Bob Cobbing was a lot better than this! I left at the end of the first bracket but not before hearing Anthony John’s ten-part poem which in its way succeeded in doing everything the ‘sound’ pieces promised but didn’t deliver. I would very much have liked to buy his book but it was A4 or larger and it was very wet outside. He made the reading a worthwhile one. Still, the thought of enduring another bracket of Ms Claire was enough to send me scuttling off to St Pancras.