ANATOMY | Poems | Poetry

NaPoWriMo 2017

By on 28 March, 2017

I’ve been terrible at writing this year. Great at reading it out loud and also about shouting and chanting a bit (yoyoyoyoyoyo check out my band ANATOMY), but creating new stuff? Not really.

This is why, and also because I love a challenge, I’m doing NaPoWriMo this April. It’s like NaNoWriMo, but instead of writing a novel, you write a poem each day.

I’m following the pitches and ideas from The Poetry School. If you join their free group online, they can send you information every day.

Also, if you have a website, add it to the official list so you can show your commitment. Scary. But fun. But scary. But fun.

Particularly because it’s my birthday on the 2nd of April, I’ll be belting all over the East Midlands during the first half of the month, and maybe reading stuff during the second half. Fun.

Save me, Barry!

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ANATOMY | Film | Films | Leicester | Music | Music | Painting | Poetry | Portfolio

House of Her – An International Women’s Day videocast

By on 8 March, 2017

Hello, cuties. I’ve been doing so much stuff these months I seem to have neglected this blog. Gonna break the silence and share this luffleh press release by the luffleh House of Verse. Luffleh.

“House of Her”

Leicester’s female performers and artists come together in new video for International Women’s Day

Over 15 female artists, performers, writers and musicians have come together to create a compilation of performance pieces to celebrate International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017.

Produced by House of Verse curator Jenny Hibberd, the video offers a kaleidoscope view of the issues and thoughts of Leicester’s female artists, and what International Women’s Day means to them.

“After a conversation with fellow poet Asher X, we realised that only one fifth of the House of Verse performance collective are female and we wanted to think of something we could do together to big up the ladies. Realising it was soon to be International Women’s Day was mega inspiration to create this multi-woman video.”

– Jenny “Hibword” Hibberd

Artists contributed one-minute pieces, offering uplifting, empowering or challenging messages in response to International Women’s Day. With everything from performance poetry to hula-hooping, the video shows a variety of perspectives and represents the many talented female artists making work in Leicester today.

“Wo! Man. You glow, man. Kind of everywhere. You know? You brimming, flowing, human beam. You light-packed fateful gleam. You dream.”

– Hibword

Released on 8 March, the video will be shared on House of Verse’s website, social media and Youtube accounts.

Many of the artists featured in the video will also be performing at Moonshine Word Jam, an International Women’s Day special at The Exchange Bar on 9 March. See the Facebook event here.

House of Her: Celebrating International Women's Day 2017

Happy International Women's Day you divine beings <3Enjoy this kaleidoscopic compilation of female artists, performers, writers and musicians to celebrate ^_^Produced by Jenny "Hibword" Hibberd.Contributing artists in order:00:05 Rhiannon Jayne Townsend01:05 Lulu Rose May02:30 Danni Spooner03:30 Asher X (Ash Er)04:41 Mellow Baku06:06 Amber Woods07:23 Rosa Fernandez08:23 Anatomy (Cynthia Rodríguez, Emily Rose Teece, Adrienne Jones, Leonie DuBarry-Gurr)09:24 Natalie Beech10:27 Punky Hoops (Rae Lloyd)11:27 Hib Word (Jenny Hibberd)13:18 Emily MerchantMusic credits: Erykah Badu – AppletreeTove Lo – Habits (Stay High) – Hippie Sabotage RemixOdesza – White Lies (Instrumental)Links:www.houseofverse.co.ukwww.facebook.com/thehouseofversewww.instagram.com/house_of_versewww.twitter.com/thehouseofverse

Posted by House of Verse on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Produced by Jenny “Hibword” Hibberd.
Contributing artists in order:
00:05 Rhiannon Jayne Townsend
01:05 Lulu Rose May
02:30 Danni Spooner
03:30 Asher X
04:41 Mellow Baku
06:06 Amber Woods
07:23 Rosa Fernandez
08:23 ANATOMY (Cynthia Rodríguez, Emily Rose Teece, Adrienne Jones, Leonie DuBarry-Gurr)
09:24 Natalie Beech
10:27 Punky Hoops (Rae Lloyd)
11:27 Hib Word (Jenny Hibberd)
13:18 Emily Merchant

Music credits:
Erykah Badu – Appletree
Tove Lo – Habits (Stay High) – Hippie Sabotage Remix
Odesza – White Lies (Instrumental)

Links:
www.houseofverse.co.uk
www.facebook.com/thehouseofverse
www.instagram.com/house_of_verse
www.twitter.com/thehouseofverse

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Culture | Gender | Lifestyle | Nottingham | Poetry | Race | Sexuality | Spoken Word

Cutiepocking Notts Pride 2016

By on 26 July, 2016

nottspride

After Coventry Pride, and after all the gross stuff going on with the world, I felt it was my responsibility to get more involved with Pride and speak out as a member of the community. So, going the extra mile, I’ll be performing not once but TWICE at Notts Pride this year.

queerzinedeanatta

First, at the Mouthy Poets Queer Zine launch. The zine was conceived by Dean Atta at his Queer Poetry Masterclass, as a way to show the resulting exercises and similar material. It was a very fruitful experience, and I can’t wait to hold it in my hands. It features work by Atta, Alex Bond, Denise Dee, Petra Mijic, Neal Pike, Barbara Schaefer, Beccy Shore, Milla Tebbs, Joni Wildman and yours truly. The launch and readings will be at Lee Rosy’s Tea on Broad Street, 2:30pm. But please, be there from 1:30pm to enjoy the full Poetry Corner and see regular performers from Write Minds Wiff Waff.

qtipocalypse

Later, the end (or the beginning?) will be near at the QTIPOCALYPSE, an open mic for Queer Trans and Intersex-Identified People of Colour (or like you can pronounce the acronym, Cutiepock). It’s organised by QTIPOC Notts, a group that was just set up last November and aims to give space to people of colour with diverse genders and sexualities who may not feel comfortable in the average mainstream LGBT community. Allies are welcome to watch and listen. Hosted by the grand Dr Angela Martinez Dy, better known as El Día. It will be upstairs at Rough Trade Nottingham, also on Broad Street, 7pm.

So yeah, come to one. Or the other. Or both. I recommend both. Also, everything else at Notts Pride. Marching, listening to music, making music, looking at pretty things, getting pretty things, celebrating our identities and fighting for recognition with words and glitter.

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Film | Films | Internet | Media | Mental Health | Poems | Poetry | Spoken Word | World

The Tube of You

By on 22 July, 2016
All these tubes are yours. Image: MorgueFile.
All these tubes are yours. Image: MorgueFile.

Dunno if I’ve mentioned it already, but when my therapist found out I was trying to do “poetry stuff”, she told me to film myself and upload the videos on YouTube. It sounded terrifying. I mean, I’m going to therapy and stuff. Why would I want to be so “exposed” to mockery and disdain? That’s why I uploaded most of my film work and footage to Vimeo instead. No chance of sick comments, very niche, from filmmakers to filmmakers. Plus, none of that soul-selling copyright nonsense. I didn’t know YouTube let you register your films under Creative Commons!

Image: MorgueFile
Image: MorgueFile.

Then, Pangaea World Poetry Slam came. Submit your videos, people can vote, you may win money, and will definitely get to be known internationally. However, you have to upload them on YouTube. Nowhere else. Get naked. Also, there are some cool free workshops on Hangouts that will help you to improve your game.

Thank you, Pangaea, for making the impossible, possible.
Thank you, Pangaea, for making the impossible, possible.

So I followed my therapist’s advice and here goes nothing! The official Cynthia Rodríguez YouTube channel. I’ve been uploading pieces for Pangaea once a week for the past three weeks, and will upload one very likely next week. From live footage to just talking to the camera from interesting places to full-blow film montage, I’m just looking for different ways to share stories and messages as they might benefit, amuse or *inspire* others. It’s already helping me improve and become less camera shy, and people have already started doing their own spoken word/films and looking for open mics to share. Sharing is caring!

Last week’s delivery was “How to Leave the House in Times of Trouble”. I want as many people as possible to see that one because the world needs you, obvs. Before that, it was footage of “Pepper Spray” from the open mic at Coventry Pride.

This week, the weather was so nice I sat on the grass at Victoria Park and relaxed a bit. I was so chilled out that I ended up filming and uploading my entry for Pangaea right there and then. An old-ish poem, from three months ago or so. It’s called “Frivolous”, and I wrote it after the Open Stage at The Y where I read a lot of my hardcore pinko shit and then came the adorable Anna My Charlotte with an ukulele (she plays harp too! <3) and said she would see a bit frivolous after all my stuff, and then proceded to sing and play the most charming and nostalgic stuff ever. The perfect songs to play in the park on a peaceful sunny day.

So yeah, follow, like, share, whatever, and if you have videos and words, share them to the world!

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Culture | Films | Gender | Internet | Mental Health | Poems | Portfolio | Race | Sexuality

VIDEO: How to Leave the House in Times of Trouble

By on 15 July, 2016

leavethehouse1

The world sucks sometimes. You’ve read on “Craig David” about a lot of the boogers that happened in the world, and that was just for ONE WEEK. The following weeks kept getting worse and worse in small and great scale: police brutality, terrorist attacks everywhere, your parents damning this country to hell and validating those who hate us to be more outspoken about it, horrible people inside and outside taking sneaky pictures in the changing rooms and laughing at those who don’t exactly please Grandpa Hugh Hefner’s rotten standards, etc.

It can be awful daring to step outside with the piercing fear of being attacked one way or another, but then there’s also the fear of ourselves that, if we stayed indoors all the time, we might never be able to come out and our voice will be muffed and lost. The fear of not coming home alive, the fear of not leaving house alive. This is for you, for us.

leavethehouse2

It’s a poem/film/guide thingie called “How to Leave the House in Times of Trouble”. For those of us trouble by agoraphobia, being members of one or many “minority” groups and seeing our worst fears come through every day. There’s still a world outside, and this world still needs you. So get ready and earn some courage however you can, if possible.

The poem was written as an exercise at a Writing Poetry Google Hangout Workshop with Dean Atta. He gave the queue of making a how-to poem on any topic of our “expertise”. Later, I turned it into a short film for the Pangaea World Poetry Slam, who organised said workshop. It was lovely to merge three of my loves — writing, filming and sharing — and use them for a good thing.

Here comes the fun part: click, like and share with as many people as possible. Particularly people who would benefit from the message. You never know the ordeals someone could go through just to live a “normal” day. If I ever make money out of the streams, shares and likes (LOLS), I’ll give it all to a mental health organisation, particularly one which helps queers, POC and/or people who may not speak English and need someone to advocate for them. It comes with subtitles/captions if you don’t understand my accent, and I’m working on a Spanish translation. Subtitles in any other language are more than welcome. <3

There are a couple of things that might be misunderstood. The “wear something that doesn’t attract negative attention” is not slut-shaming. We should be free to wear whatever we want, but some people don’t know or don’t want us to know this, so they attack. On low “spoons” days, you don’t even feel like fighting or defending yourself, so you keep your energy levels to a minimum and just try to roam by in a way that attracts as few bigots as possible.

Also, the “you’re still a woman on trainers, you’re still a man on stilettos” bit includes cis and trans people alike. A lot of trans people I know fear wearing items that are associated more with the gender they were forcibly assigned at birth. They don’t want to be “read” as “impostors”. A trans woman is still a woman on her Nike Air Force Ones. A trans man is still a man on his Louboutins. An NB is still an NB on whatever they want. Also, the fear of fragile masculinity or the fear of not being “seen as a woman” even if you’re cis because your exterior doesn’t match the “desirable standards” (women of certain colours not recognised in feminininininity, fat chicks like us seen as “one of the boys” by our crushes, et al). So yeah. I love you. If you find any fuckups in my work, let me know.

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Film | Nottingham | Poems | Poetry

Film Haiku

By on 7 July, 2016
Image: Morgue File.
Image: Morgue File.

On Monday, I went to Nottingham for a workshop with Leanne Moden in preparation for the Words for Walls contest organised by Nottingham Uni. Since the workshop was hosted at Broadway Cinema, most of our freewriting exercises were film-centric. This was the first one: writing one or more haikus about some of our favourite films without mentioning their names and letting people guess. Here are mine, and now I will ask you to guess from each plot which films I’m talking about. Answers in the comments section, please. 

1.

He had just one job,
but his car proved that he was
a real human being.

2.

Village of the damned?
Get ready for these bad boys:
have a Cornetto.

3.

“Slicing up eyeballs”.
Pixies said what I had to.
Forgot piano.

4.

My voice for these legs,
alas life under the sea
was better than this.

5.

Back in our homeland,
sing “This Corrosion” to me.
All alien robots!

6.

“I did not hit her”.
“You are tearing me apart!”
Catch the football now.

Still angry about the state of the world, but here’s some light fun as a method of self-care. 🙂

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England | Europe | Poems | United Kingdom

Smiling in the Slaughterhouse

By on 27 June, 2016

A poem for those who think we should still be friends with fascists, specially if we’re from the demographic groups they hate the most.

Image: Eli Goldstone.
Image: Eli Goldstone.

No, don’t ask me to smile in the slaughterhouse,
kindest grin reflecting on the blade as it sinks
down my neck, through my throat, through my muscles and spine;
blood splattering the walls as you beg me to sing.

Save the smiles and the memories from yesterday
and put on your new glasses so you can see clear
that your kindest affections were all shallow and fake,
for you wish that my family drowns in the sea.

When you say “it’s not you who I’m talking about
but the Poles, and the Czech, and the Muslims and Paks”,
it just feels even more disturbing to find out
you categorise people using different ranks.

Ranks so voluble, soluble, flammable, foul-
-smelling, horrible, and mutating according to the nuclear
clock, its hands manually moved by those who want
to dictate who to hate, and you fall for the trap, you don’t

question intentions, do not offer protection,
you don’t search for real clues and your rage sways towards
anyone but the real traitors and great masturbators.
You don’t look at the finger, but at what it’s pointing at.

And it’s pointing at me, at them, at everyone,
he laughs at you in secret. Though you can hear him roar,
you pretend it’s an earthquake caused by vessels in hoards
that cannot simply wait to deflate at the shore.

You can’t go have a drink with a corpse you just stabbed
and you can’t kiss and punch at the same bloody time.
Can’t give someone a ride while your car drags away
after you obliged them to leave and don’t dare to come back.

I repeat, don’t ask me to smile in the slaughterhouse,
please stop holding my hand as you’re holding the knife.
Hearing my vertebrae crush after you behead me,
you may wonder if, actually, you have no spine.

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England | Marseille | Orlando | Poems | Portfolio | Russia | Spoken Word | United States

Craig David

By on 16 June, 2016

craig_david

Almost as read (slightly mended) at Find the Right Words last night, 15 June 2016. Includes references to sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, fatphobia, racism, manipulation, and a bit of self-harm and suicidal idealisations; all in connection to horrible current events. Plus, a few swearsies in Spanish.

This week
has been like a rubbish
Craig David song.
Every side of my identity
has been attacked,
vivisected,
out loud
and in silence.

christina_grimmie

On Friday,
a young voice was cut dry
by an obsessive fan
who dragged her along to his grave;
the 100 virgins of Valhalla
concentrated in one small girl
with a roar of thunder inside.
The female Dimebag Darrell of pop,
the female Dimebag Darrell,
the female,
whose crime
was to become famous.
“If she sang just in the shower”,
the purists say,
“and not online,
she’d still be around”.
Singing,
quietly,
offline,
at home.

russian_hooligans

On Saturday,
the ultras from a wounded
mother land,
factories dismantled by capitalism,
the lover that split countries
and blocks apart,
aimed to flare us into disruption.
“May your divorce be as gruesome as ours”,
they charged into us, the horses.
“May your star fade away
in your constellation”.
In the eyes, the tear gas eyes, of the police,
when the victim fights back
against the bully,
the victim becomes the bully.
The hooligan,
as usual.
“If those drunk gits
stayed at home,
mouths shut,
jazz hands for every goal,
in England, in their own country,
this wouldn’t have happened.
Guess who’s not having a party.

orlando_pulse

On Sunday,
shots through the stomach,
nails on every limb:
Queer bar,
Latin night,
“callense el hocico, putos”,
was the shout,
but in English;
none of this “Allahu Akbar”
the same people who hate you,
hate me,
swear they heard all the way
to their Hamptons cottage.
Some of the dead
had previously died
when their parents said
“you’re dead to me”.
Wish granted, mami and papi,
now shove that lamp up your arse.
I may just be a greedy pig to you,
and maybe you read me as part of the norm,
but my head still hurts
from all the panic and crying.
Mis tios, tus tios,
all caps on newspaper message boards:
“si no anduvieran de jotitos
y se quedaran en casa,
calladitos,
casaditos y con hijos,
seguirian con nosotros
y no ardiendo en el infierno”.
(this is why I don’t talk to them)

jaime_bronco

Don’t get me started on Monday:
back in my other house,
our independent,
super punk,
vaporwave governor,
quoted as saying
“nobody likes fat girls”.
Set ablaze for bodyshaming,
he dug a deeper hole in the ground
and made his point clearer,
more hateful:
“I didn’t mean ‘the obese’,
I meant teenage girls who get pregnant:
nobody likes them,
baby daddies leave”.
I swear
to the Virgin of Guadalupe,
that if I were a teen mum,
after all this neverending rain of dung,
I would have hung myself
from a Job Centre sign.

murdoch_beleave

No time to put that rope away
back in that chest in the attic:
as, on Tuesday,
the only bloody foreigner who should get deported
(if he lived here in the first place),
obliged the masses to change their minds
and give away their rights,
your rights,
our rights,
because he’s a nobody in Belgium.
Because
he is
a nobody,
he wants us to feel
like nobodies.
And sometimes,
unfortunately,
it works.
It nearly worked for me
enough to take the knives out of the cupboard
but I didn’t want to
clean up the mess afterwards.
So instead, I took out my pen
and bled red ink all over the paper.
Please:
let’s go and party,
let’s stay and shout,
let’s stay together
and hope
for a better Wednesday.

castrolove

And then, of course, on Thursday (today) a Labour MP was a victim of a terrorist Britain First attack. I could expand this poem forever. Please, make it stop.

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Canada | Las Vegas | Media | Music | Poems | Poetry | Portfolio | Sports | United Kingdom | United States | World

El Gordito Goes to Vegas (FTRW Speed Poetry Challenge)

By on 28 April, 2016

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.

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Poems | Poetry | Portfolio

Lust LP

By on 27 October, 2015

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.LustLP

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.

Stand up and walk, carry that smell around
like a train on a dress,
like a train on its way
to everlasting success.

Like the tail of a dragon
who is ready, just ready,
always ready to fight.

Keep on carrying that smell
like a tale you won’t tell
but that you and the world will remember forever.

A blush on their cheeks,
a secretive wink,
a furtive kiss or two in the dark.

But above all things you, you, you and you
since you are yours and I am mine
and our love will not tear us apart.

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