It was a fun challenge to do my first stint at a Speed Poet at Find the Right Words. The instructions are easy: people shout topics at you, you go off to write a poem involving some/all of these topics, then you come back and read the results. Here is mine, on the junior doctors strike, Martin Castrogiovanni preferring to party in Las Vegas over playing against his former team, Victoria Wood and Prince leaving Earth, and the Hillsborough disaster verdict. How the feck did I manage how to connect these subjects? I have no idea.
Poetman is a superhero in the making. He has only been doing spoken word for the past 18 months, but he’s already a staple of the local scene. A wonderful thing that differentiates Will Horspool from other poets — besides his use of cool pedals and musical gadgets — is that not only he wants to create and share, but he wants other people to create and share as well. “Spoken word is not dead”, was the name of his open mic in Glenfield. And to keep it alive, he knows it’s very important to constantly plant new seeds.
Times have not been swag at all. Not cool. Not coral. Not tubular or whatever kids say today. Between still hurting from a film fallout, being played like a violin twice by a large corporation which promised to employ me, a fresh medical diagnosis I have no idea how to control, and the illness and demise of my favourite furry creature on Earth, my heart has been filled with equal parts solitude and equal parts fear. Too unsafe to build trust in people (and above all, myself), too overwhelmed by a fog of loneliness and grief. Also, every time I go 9-to-5 job hunt I’m reminded I have failed as a freelancer and that none of my skills and experiences matter at all if they don’t generate an income. I doubt I’ll be ever be able to make it, and think that the little I’ve achieved so far has been a fluke and it’s one blow away from crumbling into ruins.
I used to volunteer at the Oxfam near my house. A few years ago, I was mostly operating on the till, greeting people, charging them for their acquisitions, sorting out refunds, or simply establishing conversation with good neighbours while enjoying our limited playlist. Haven’t seen it to this day, but the Dirty Dancing soundtrack gave me so much life.
I’m in my hometown Monterrey for a couple of weeks taking care of family business; and while I’ve been mostly visiting relatives and arranging serious stuff, I’ve also had the chance to touch base with local happenings in matters of art and expression. Thus, I was thankful to attend the second edition of Drink and Draw Monterrey.
Written and performed at the latest WORD! poetry and spoken word evening at The Y, headlined by Bohdan Piasecki. It explains a bit about why I’ve been MIA.
Written at the Perfume and Poetry workshop at Lush as part of Everybody’s Reading Festival, later performed at Find the Right Words. Based on Lust by Gorilla Perfume.
Just because someone won’t touch you
— someone who really likes you —
never assume that no one else will,
never assume that the world ain’t your oyster.
A couple of Sundays ago, I had my first official public performance in Britain, and the first ever in five years. It was all part of Emergency! at The Y, a periodical showcase of new talent in arts, theatre, music and general entertainment in Leicester. I had already attended as an observer, and was really fond of the concept: sharing your work with an audience, perhaps as a rehearsal or perhaps as a result, open to honest feedback and in constant conversation with your colleagues, your crowd and your compere, getting to know each other and helping each other expand and improve.
Poem written as part of Inua Ellams workshop before Find the Right Words, Wednesday 30 September, Upstairs at The Western. Read at the same open mic session.
[:en]Tuesday wasn’t a good Tuesday, so on Wednesday I tried to keep myself out of the house as much as possible and do as many activities as I could to stop staring into the abyss. Fortunately, Everybody’s Reading Festival is happening this week and Leicester is flooded with literature. What a wonderful time to get lost in words and all things related! [Click on title to read more…]