Last Wednesday night, in some god-awful wet and windy weather, I travelled to Geelong with my writer friend Zoe Werner. We both competed in the Australian Poetry Slam heat being held at the Geelong Regional Libraries.
It was a fantastic night of passionate poetry and I was very proud of myself for coming second! This means that I am off to compete at the Victorian Finals on Friday 4 October at the State Library, Melbourne.
See the video of me performing this poem at Words Out Loud or you can listen to the audio and read the text below.
No Pockets We never switch off. And it’s any wonder we’ve got so many balls in the air. No pockets, see? But we can’t surreptitiously fondle them like you do on the train. Or at work. In a queue. On the couch. At the cricket. In a lift. We too manipulate constantly To avoid dropping the ball Coz that shit’ll get you killed, man. We keep juggling until the terror is back in the back of our minds. We keep cool. We keep our hands where you can see them. We keep our shirts on. We keep cracking our perfect non-committed smile Like a dropped egg’s thick yolk Reminiscent of the blood that stained the grouting that one time But he didn’t mean it. We’re on our hands and knees, scrubbing To ensure we don’t end up on the evening news. We run surveillance. We run to the other side of the street. We run a constant stream of ‘what will I do if he does that’. We’ve run home, balls to the wall like harpies To find our secret safe places drawn upon by sharpies. Yours truly, dicks & balls. Your genitalia emblazoned across the paper, and the paper-thin walls. You turkey-slap us on the train. At work. In a queue. On the couch. At the cricket. In a lift. And you can’t understand why we keep walking home with our keys In our fists like some kind of budget wolverine? Well, it’s simple. No pockets.
I’ve fallen in love with spoken word. I’m not so interested in acting anymore, but I really enjoy the feeling of performing poetry aloud. Being able to read the poetry I write aloud enables an additional level of catharsis, and being a thespian at heart means most of my poems are best experienced as spoken word, rather than read off the page.
Every month, Words Out Loud runs an open-mic spoken word event in Ballarat. When I go, I always meet some great like-minded people and share some of my poetry in a five minute set. You can hear my set from last month’s Words Out Loud online.
On Saturday 11th May, I’m going to be running a spoken word workshop for Art In Dereel. Using participants’ original writing or a variety of existing texts – including poetry, informal prose, dramatic monologue and political speeches – we’ll explore structure, dynamics and rhythm in the delivery of text and learn techniques to engage audiences. The workshop will be followed by an open-mic Spoken Word event.
After many months of unavailability on Thursday nights, I was finally able to go along to the monthly spoken word event Words Out Loud. I closed the night with three of my poems – “Light Pollution”, “Add Smile, Hit Send”, and “Here, Nights”.
You can hear my performance via the Words Out Loud Website. Please ignore the nervousness in my voice and the fumbling over words as I try to decipher my own handwriting. Next time I’ll rehearse!
You can read “Light Pollution”and “Add Smile, Hit Send”, for yourself as part of my NaPoWriMo collection.
And put next month’s WOL in your dairy. Thursday 21st June at 7pm in The Printers Room.
I’ve been trying and failing to write a poem a day in April. As you can see from my collection, there is a week or so where I was too preoccupied with the Creswick Theatre Company season of The Sum of Us to write poetry.