Sunday, 6 March 2011

This week in POETRY

Been writing more lately, so my soul feels good.
Lost my notebook back in October, probably in Jersey (if you have it please give it back!!) with plenty new stuff in, and I didn't think I could ever write again. Dramatic, I know, but yeah, serious...

It's also difficult when you do a lot of performance poetry and start relying on "greatest hits". So then you think, I'll never write another poem like... [fill in blank] or [fill in next blank]. And sometimes it's crippling.

So it's good to be writing.
Having said that, a lot of what's coming out is angry. And a couple of things I've written over the past few days have shocked me, and I don't think I'll share... At least I don't think it's a good idea. Yet.

But angry is sometimes good. I work in places where I'm meant to be on some kind of high-ground, clinical schools with one-size-fits-all rules. I push pens. I don't push limits (although, I'm no pushover).

So sometimes I feel the pull of the macabre, the irrevent and the violent.
Sometimes I think I want to write something that will make me go mad. Or cry until I drown.

There's something I heard/overhead/misheard probably yesterday (Friday) night from a friend who was quoting someone else who said a good writer should run right to the edge of the cliff called Crazy and needs to take you there, hold you right over the edge, make you feel the drop but not jump. Really crazy people jump, writers are too concerned with surviving so they can get all of that down on paper...

Anyway, I'm sure I could find that quote on Google, but it's all too easy and neat.

Oral memory is kind of undervalued right now
That's why performance poetry is SO needed.

Case in point
Went to World Book Night event at the Southbank Centre tonight, and it was good... BUT, as expected, crowds began to drift off when the poets came on (and these are GREAT poets, I'm talking Raymond Antrobus, Simon Mole, Jasmine Cooray, and a girl I'd never seen before who had some very touching pieces that had me straining to hang on to her words). It - mostly - sounded better than the writers reading chunks of their prose because they'd written poems to be read aloud. And the words tend to stick with you more. Unlike the crowd!

Having said that
a) I imagine most of the audience had come to see the big names before that part of the evening - Margaret Atwood and Mark Haddon have written legendary books... so fair dos
b) It was getting late... so fair dos

The whole point of WBN, I thought, was to introduce people to a world of words that they wouldn't otherwise experience. So it was kind of a shame that the poets came on towards the end (followed by a very funny comedienne who had a very worn-out crowd to work up before we were chucked out).

It's a shame performance poetry still hasn't got the kind of platform in this country that I think it could have. I'll leave it at that as I've just deleted a chunk of possibly controversial drivel moaning about the divided demographic you tend to get at certain poetry nights.... Shaky ground and needs a well thought-out and well-argued argument before I even go there. There's ranting and then there's bleating for a beating.

Anyway, back to the main thread, I've been writing a few pieces - the ones I've written this month on here, I've pretty much written them directly onto the blog straight from my head, which has been interesting... Later this month, I'll think about edits, and I'll also add on some more poems from my new notebook. Yay!

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