Wow! What an amazing meeting of the People’s Arts Collective on Tuesday night! It was a slow start going through the minutes of last meeting and a rather unfocussed discussion, but then during the second half Cliff gave us some of his poetry and all of a sudden the thing came alive. He started by reading from the page and I asked if he could pause to give us time to digest; and then he started to speak the poems – and oh my god, what a difference! He is a total natural; not quite a rapper but with something of that energy and feel for the voice and how it connects with people.
There’s something of this coming through in Sound Cafe, too – Paul, one of the regulars, has been inspired to write and presented me with a sheaf of poems. He uses rhyme and assonance in a very rap-like way, too, and I tried to reflect that as I read them out. Rapping is not easy! It’s not my style at all and it gave me more respect for the way rappers make it sound so natural.
I have been a busy bee this week: first, the organising-group meetings for next year’s Clarendon Park Artbeat (we’re going to have a poetry breakfast called ‘Poetry on Toast’ as well as guerilla poetry in the streets) then the People’s Arts Collective on Tuesday and Sound Cafe on Wednesday after which I had to rush home, make pizza and then write my talk as it sizzled in the oven* before charging off on my velocopede (as my music teacher used to call it) to the Secular Hall for a very positive Left Unity meeting in which I gave a talk on the place of poetry in politics. I may put some of that on this blog.
On Tuesday night I also did my poem ‘Spike’ about the anti-homeless spikes and the statue of Christ on a bench (see previous post)
and Andrea, who is new to the group, joined in with some drumming. It was terrific and we’re going to do that again at the Twilight gig, coming up at Embrace Arts.
So that’s us up to date. Tomorrow there will be another guest poem by Graham Gee Connolly, called ‘A Poem in Your Head Can Keep You From Your Bed’ – so stay tuned!
*the pizza, not the talk. Although possibly the talk as well…