Momentum in the area of gigs is something I’d really like to have; to swing from one (paid) gig to another, to travel the country bringing emergency poetry to areas of need, to hop on a train down to London one night and up to Nottingham the next, then over to Brum, maybe up to Edinburgh the next week; that’s the life for me. Swinging from tree to tree…
I’m a poetess and I’m OK;
I gig all night and I write all day
(Before you write in, I dislike the word ‘poetess’ as much as anyone; I just used it for its syllables.)
But until that day comes I must content myself with a gig for Momentum. This happened on Sunday at the Criterion in Leicester:
a venerable pub with plenty of good beer (alas, I was driving so had none) and a separate music room. It was a good afternoon with a mix of musicians and poets: I met some old friends and encountered a new poet, Will Horspool, whose poetry I enjoyed. Myself, Bobba, Richard Byrt and Will were the poets and Steve Cartwright, Sheila Mosley and Paul (sorry Paul I forgot your last name) the musicians. It was a game of two halves with each of us having a ten-minute set in each half.
I have now finished Stephen Fry’s ‘The Ode Less Travelled’ and begun my poetry journal. This is proving very useful as I can record not only what I’ve done in terms of practising and writing, but the thoughts and ideas which occur while I’m practising and writing. These are many and varied and writing them down is a good way to begin organising them. To my intense relief Fry says ‘Please do not send me your poems.’ He is terribly polite about not having the time to read them, and it releases me from any compulsion I might otherwise have felt to send him a sonnet I’d written in response to one of his prompts. However in case he should stop by this blog for a moment, I’ll reproduce it below.
The poems for Momentum were:
Spike (written for Sound Cafe)
A Hostile Environment (about the effects of austerity on the poor)
Spirit of ’44
More in Common (for Jo Cox)
Poet-Tree, a peace poem
and The Lady in the Van.
These were well-received.
The sonnet prompt in Fry’s book was to write about voting in elections from two opposing points of view. This is the first sonnet, exhorting people to vote – the second is a work in progress, probably because my heart isn’t in it (if you’re interested, this one is based on Wordsworth’s poem about Milton:
On Voter Apathy
Voter! Thou should’st be living at this last
hour, for all the signs say life’s expired
x does not mark the spot: you can’t be arsed
for apathy is tiredness beyond tired.
Arise! The ballot box hath need of thee
thy paper crossed and folded but complete
your vote could be the one to change the MP
take part instead of voting with your seat.
La politique s’occupe de vous, said Jean-Paul;
he’s right: not voting now is voting Tory
to sofa-sit effects no change at all
you have the power – now go get the glory.
They fought for this, the people of our nation
sometimes a right implies an obligation.
(c) Liz Gray, 2018