I am not a poet.
At least, I didn’t think I was. Poetry has never really clicked for me, other than a couple of pieces I kind of liked.
I’ve never really understood the form, the rules etc. Without understanding that, I didn’t know how to break them. Because that is quite often the way I write. Take an idea, a phrasing, and turn it on its head.
The theme of the night was ‘Warm World’, and I said, jokingly, that I would write a poem about climate change in a vagina. The story strayed away from my idea a little bit, but I was really pleased with what came out at the end:
Riding on the success of not-effing-up in front of a crowd, and with a surprisingly lovely reaction to my very first ‘cunt’ poem, I decided to sign up for another open mic.
I’ve been meaning to go to Tongue in Cheek since it started. One of the organisers, Candice, actually contacted me a couple of months back, asking if I would headline, but at the time I was going through a bad patch and much too terrified of reading. Part of me wishes I’d said yes then, but I’m just going to smile and hope they might ask again sometime 😀
I decided that if I was going to read, I would write something new. I had an idea I’d begun work on after my last creative writing workshop, which was a poem based around the following prompts that were developed through an exercise:
as heavy as a sick ocean
as frightening as the top of the compass
as soft as going home with someone you don’t know
Obviously, the idea of oceans was still going around in my head after the first poem, so I followed on almost from where I left off at the end of Floundering.
Aside from meeting people and having some fantastic feedback on my writing, the best thing that’s come out of these two nights is encouraging me to do it more, and to write a lot more poetry. I’m already committed to perform with Stirred Poetry again at the Queer Alt festival next Friday. This event aims to provide an alternate space to the very commercial and exclusive Manchester Pride. I won’t get into that discussion right now, but I’ve never been to Pride in this city as it’s always left a bad taste in my mouth, and I’m delighted to be able to join in with an alternative! Find out more about the event here.