This week saw another return to the “live arena” or the “meat space” to read at the inaugural Resonance Poetry night at The Three Hounds.
I love that my local booze emporium is branching out and doing different things to bring in the punters. They run music nights, games nights, and a running club. I am a founding member of the running club, and had worrying visions earlier in the week that running and poetry club (the first rule of which is….) would be on the same night. The fear that crossed my mind as I wondered how it would look if I ran in, hyperventilating and sweaty, clad in lycra to then begin a poem…dear god..thankfully they were far more organised and had them on separate nights.
The night is organised by the irritatingly young and talented Jack Emsden, and I commend his excellent Stephen Wright-themed poem to you here. He opened and closed the evening with some wonderful and affecting work that managed to touch on the personal and the universal without ever over-simplifying things. I hope we see more by the lad (although not in lycra as he is also part of the running club).
I have found myself reading work with less personal stuff in of late…probably at the last three or four readings I’ve stuck to poems that aren’t about family or friends, but more of what a friend calls my “riff poems” and I hadn’t really noticed this until I read this post recently by Renee Emerson called Why I Don’t Want You To Read My Book (collected via the excellent Via Negativa by Dave Bonta).
In the post Renee, whose work I’m ashamed to say I don’t know, talks about the fear of people you know reading your work and not getting it, or worse not liking it, and this is something that I ponder on a lot. I don’t have to worry about it from a book POV, yet, but when people I know are coming to readings (as we all want them to) I seem to be pulling back from showing that side of my work. I will have to work on that and learn to strike more of a balance I guess. Or not, I’m sure no one had even noticed.
After the “gig” I was talking with my friends and Jack, I asked Jack if he had new work coming out and we discussed the sometimes lengthy wait between work being accepted and appearing. He has something coming out in about three months— I think, the beer had been flowing by then. I remembered I’d had two accepted in March this year that aren’t due to be out till Feb next year. I’m chuffed they will be out there, but crumbs….
I’ve been starting my sets with a poem called ‘No, You Are…’ of late. I quite like it because it’s got the potential to raise a laugh and it’s always a good idea to get the audience on side with a laugh. It was accepted and published in Raceme earlier this year*, so I’m happy to post it here no, but I was surprised and delighted by a small coincidence the next morning when the first album I put on to accompany my working day was by Honey Ltd and the second track was called ‘No, You Are’. Spooky enough for Halloween. Sod it, it is now.
No, you are…
When filling out a magazine quiz,
your scores are mostly always Ds.
Do you even read your small print?
You’re quite the quietest panjandrum
—after scratching beneath your surface,
we found a load more surfaces.
You’re sugar poured into petrol
conversations. Have you ever
been picked up by an algorithm?
Run up a flagpole, your ideas
are stuck underneath quarter-mast.
You’d bring trowels to a gunfight.
So, to summarise recapped facts
your in-a-nutshells last for days.
I think I’m speaking to myself.
Published in Raceme, issue 11
* Issue 11, including poems by Tamar Yoseloff, Dominic Fisher, Ann Williams, Pat Simmons, Myra Schneider, Rosie Jackson, Alyson Hallett, Tim Cumming. John Freeman, Matthew Caley, Christopher Heath, Stephen Payne, DS S. Maolalai, Sue Dymoke, William Thompson and Sharon Phillips.
New title for Arecibo
THE WEEK IN STATS
1 walks in a woodland area
1 visiting mother in law
15K in the last week. Really slow week.Need to up my game some more. I can feel myself getting unfit again
0 x acceptances
1 rejections: Assumed the North have said no. I expect it’s the same with New Welsh Review, but if they want a little more time to think I’m happy to give it to them
0 poem finished:
1 poem worked on: Bedside Manner + an idea for something called Rodeo
3 new submissions: Banshee, The Stinging Fly, Bad Lillies
36 poems currently out for submission.
68 Published poems*: Was 69, but one was not used in the end, having been accepted.
43 Poems* finished by unpublished
26 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
1 review to write (I’ve read the book)
2 days without cigarettes…I was doing well…
0 Days since drinking
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green
* To date, not this week. Christ!!
Shouting At A Passing Mongoose
Donald Justice: Collected Poems
Rishi Dastidar: Supercut Scenes
Olga Dermott-Bond: A sky full of strange specimens
William Wootton: Looking At The Horsemen
Kostya Tsolaikis: Ephebos
Poetry Salzburg #35
Derek Mahon: The Hunt of The Night
David Crosby & Graham Nash: Wind On The Water
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: The Witch Doctor, Mosaic
Wye Oak: Civilian, The Louder I Call
Floating Points: Reflections – Mojave Desert
Zoey Van Goey: The Cage Was Unlocked All Along
Cymbals Eat Guitars: Why There Are Mountains
Craig Finn: I Need A New War
Mirah & Thao: ST
Joy Wants Eternity: The Fog Is Rising
Speck Mountain: Some Sweet Relief
Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime
Telstar Ponies: In The Space of a Few Minutes
The Surfing Magazines: ST
Jolie Holland: Pint of Blood
My Morning Jacket: ST
Jaymay: Autumn Fallin’, Various Singles, Long Walk To Never, Lvng Rm Ep, To Tell The Truth
Lucy Dacus: Historian, Home Video, No Burden, 2019
Hop Along: Painted Shut
Honey Ltd. : LHI
Christian Lee Hutson: Beginners
Mary Lattimore: Collected Pieces, Hundreds of Days
Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide-Guitar Odyssey
Dinosaur Jr. Emptiness At The Sinclair
REM: New Adventures in HI Fi
Only Murders In The Apartment
Rebecca Watson: Little Scratch
Holly Singlehurst: The Sea Turned Thick As Honey
Rebecca Watson: Little Scratch