Writing poems with the performance in mind?
Writing poems and then when you come to read them, you perform them.
Any time you’re on stage it’s a performance.
You’re performing all the time. [Bad thing.]
Writing poems that, when read out loud or no, the reader, no matter who it is, is moved to action, either at the very moment of reading, or later, through life, mysteriously.
Tim Wells, featured guest at Bang Said The Gun tonight.
I was thinking some of the thoughts above in the last 5 mins of my journey home from Bang Said The Gun. In these same minutes, overlaying these thoughts, I was occupied with a new activity: I have developed a habit of peering into the darkness round where I live. Fox-spotting. The comfort of furry animals playing the everlasting, super-exciting game of feeding their hungers. Frolicking and ranging for sex and edible treats. Grubs. The word “grubs” is a satisfying, sensual word. It grows in you, on you, grubs do.
BSTG. It reminded me of an evangelical church session. Noise-making. Who were all these people? A lot had office jobs they didn’t like, if Tim Wells’ survey was anything to go by. I wish I had hollered, “ME! ME!”, when he asked who of us would be going into the office tomorrow. I wish I had continued to shout, “I FUCKING LOVE MY JOB!!!”, because I do. And if anyone had asked, or perhaps even if they hadn’t, I wonder if I would have had the balls (clearly I hadn’t thought of doing this any time near when this opportunity occured) to declare, “I GET PAID TO ASSIST PEOPLE WITH MONEY TO MAKE MONEY! YAAAAYYYY!!!!”. Saying this would have given me joy, especially as I was wearing a fairly Sloaney outfit: a pink fluffy Vivienne Westwood collared button-down jumper, camel rah-rah skirt, and super lovely leather ankle boots. If only I had put on my pearls like I had wanted to this morning. Ah! I tell you this as truth: I work with the best people in the world. They’re good, kind, generous, smart, wise, upright, nobel, loyal, loving and open-minded. I love going in to work because it’s pretty much like being hugged by friendship, if friendship was the love of your life who also loved you back forever.
Tim Wells has a lovely character, amplified version of himself, who hates “the toffs”. Here is photographic evidence of this. Tim has captured Adrian and me holding an emblem of his feeling, a gift to Porky the Poet aka Phil Jupitus:
I consistently tell Tim that I am a right-wing, racist, royalist, toff. I think he’s proud of me. I’m proud of me, when I have the balls to do the things that give me pleasure. When I follow my pleasure. I trust in myself enough to know that the things that pleasure me aren’t at the expense of anyone else, as far as one can ever know. Oh, hang on, that’s untrue, as I do eat a lot of meat. However, I did spend an awful lot of time thinking about whether I was ok with the fact that many animals die for my meat-seeking self. And it has to be said that I am not very good at making sure that the products I buy are fairtrade and not from slavery-ridden areas of the world.
BSTG. A strange mix of a roomful of people. A old lovely man on the way out with a hat with a sparkley band and a sparkley heart on it. Some girls had given it to him but he’d made his other, “better” hat, which had coins stuck on to it. Some guys downstairs, Mike from Sky Arts and Lesley, poet and biochemical engineering student, said that the guy made fudge tonight and had been handing it out. He’d also been seen on stage doing a striptease singing Shirley Bassey. I would never have guessed.
By the way, I am a person who pretty much means almost everything I say, rather literally.
Porky the Poet says that most people are shits. He had a few more, better adjectives, but I can’t recall them. They weren’t polite words. As he said this, I found myself agreeing. I am not so sure, though. Perhaps it’s the way I’m feeling now, or then, and perhaps people seeming like shits (or whatever it is he said) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It also depends on the timescale we’re operating on and what we’re trying to get done.
What are we trying to get done?
Bang Said The Gun.
Students. People younger than thirty. Office workers? Dads and dads to be. Couples about to continue then break up. Was this really their wildcard night out? I have no idea! I am also not the only person to look at other people and think, “My god! I’m an alien!”. Tonight, I like the music in my head. I liked watching people I met compute, in 10 seconds who they thought I was: Ah, she’s his girlfriend and here because he is. (Er, NO.)
The music was loud throughout. I loved my glow in the dark neon bracelet and my noisemaker shaker. But, my thought is, perhaps no one likes to speak to the people they’re out with? Lovely amounts of poking and stimuli and we can’t talk about it! BARGH! Adrian and I shouted and waved arms at each other, miming like fools and elasticating our faces. (It’s really rather fun.) There wasn’t even a 5 second gap to say something about the act that had just been on or share a moment about the one about to start. Go go go go GO! I had to wait till the interval to be smarty-pantsy about the German vs the UK 50 Shades of Grey bookcovers: differences in depictions of erotica. The Germans had a colour cover of an orchid, 100% mysterious and tantilising genitals on display. I am never going to read the books no matter the country. I can be a dick about stuff like this. Meh. Robin Ince was angry last night about the pressure to watch Skyfall when there’s a history of cinema to delve into at will. His fury was delightful and I felt too precious and smug, but happily, not for long. I had those 5 seconds and I cosied them to my chest, let them go, and kept the shadow.
No one really did the Mexican wave. I wanted to but didn’t either. Too Roast Beef, as Gaulier would shout at me. Damn it! I don’t want to be so roast beef that all I can do is the ska side to side step, delightful as it is. I am not there yet, but I felt twinges of guilt for not following a steady, sensibly-paced rhythm when we were shaking out shakers (home-made maracas things made out of milk containers filled with shaky bean things. I didn’t look. I should have. Adrian did. Adrian also did a wavey dance and enjoyed his rhythm.)
BSTG. It got me writing this. A poetry night for people who don’t like poetry? I’m the girl with the (Brautigan) book club for people who fear book clubs. I fear young people who studied literature, or theatre, or classics, or art, or writing, who are still young. I’m the person making an opera that isn’t an opera for those who hate theatre and despise opera. I know almost nothing about book clubs nor opera but I know what I love about people, books, reading, friendships, community, creativity, live performance, music, experimentation, rule-breaking, long-term collaboration, hanging out and jamming, wanting to be alive and really feeling and seeing and then having friends to share this with, and why true freedom of expression and art is important.
Burn, baby, burn.
PS I fancy going down to Margate. There are few things better than a British seaside town.