Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sleep, Say Owt Slam 6 and Monkey Poet

It has been a while.
Too long actually. I should post more.
But I have done more, just not on my blog.
So it is high time to update it, yes?
Well, I am doing it anyway. Bugger what others think.
What I want to say is important to me!

OK, guilty rant over, last night I performed in my very first poetry slam.
I am still reeling from the after affects of Say Owt Slam #6.
The poets were amazing, my fellow slammers had lots of talent, with the words they wrote and then performed to almost riotous applause.
A heartfelt well done to the winner, Lily Luty and to Stephen Quinlan who was a worthy runner up. And to the lad I was sat next to but I have failed to remember his name, He decided to show his skills for the first time at a slam! I have great admiration for you mate. Other great poets who's names I do remember were Rose Drew, and Bob Horton, ace performances every one!
I have to give a great big thank you to Monkey Poet, who talked to me over my own performance before I quite recognised who he was, and gave me hope that my attempt was not quite as bad, or my subject matter a bit too ordinary for a slam.
Ok, the fact most of my score were quite solid 8s should have been a clue but it could have been an alcoholic fuelled fluke? No, well I have never been good with honest praise from other people. Call it an adorable character flaw!
I also have to thank Monkey Poet for this!
I have already read half of it, and am quite glad no one else is about to listen to my attempt to read aloud, or listen to my laughter. So much to say, and said well. A proper collection. And well worth a read if you cannot get to see this guy in the flesh.

Thanks also go to Stu Freestone and Henry Raby for organising a wonderful night, and of course starting Say Owt Slam in York to give poets a chance to do and experience something different with the spoken word.
How long will this feeling of elation stay? I have already gone back to mundaneity, doing the washing, and drinking tea, but every time I think about last night, a grin appears on my face and my chest feels tight. And I can't stop rhyming. This isn't meant to be a rhyme. Just a marvellous thank you for such an amazing time!
No, It wasn't a poem, it was meant to be a sentence, although I imagine there are some out there who could point out why it wouldn't be a sentence either.
This is my blog and I'll write it how I like, thank you!

Well all I have to do now is tell you my poem. It is titled Sleep and was written over a fortnight of bad nights when I couldn't. Did the poem stop me sleeping? or did my sleeplessness inspire the poem? Might as well ask what is consciousness? The answer would be the same.

I am cursed.
As many are, with that hated four letter word.
And sleep,
Although an enjoyment, an indulgence, nay a requirement
As I lay me down.
Pillow seal-soft beneath my work-weary brow,
Body heavy with lethargic desire
Mouth a-yawning.
Eyelids pulled and tugged by insistent gravity
So, so heavy
Until the light goes off.
I sigh,
As the suddenly endless night stretches to the dawn.
My mind awake once more.

Tick as time ambles forward.
But I will not look.
I will not!
I will not look at my phone
Will not look to check the time again!
Oh shit, its 1am.
Tick goes my insidious brain
Entwined with who knows what again.
Oh sleep, please come.
See, all my caffeinated blood is gone.
Hear, the silence is all but complete.
Feel, the bed is warm and comfortably neat.
It presses against my legs and chest,
Teasing me with its gentle touch.
Throat vibrates with deepening snore
And yawn.
Yawns as great as a walrus in majestic lethargy,
Mouth so wide,
Like a whale that gulps and strains the sea for sustenance.
So I do seek for sleep.
But it does not come for me.

What was that noise?
Heartbeat racing, thumping against tightened ribs
Feet gone cold in breathless fear.
It is nothing.
I know its nothing.
Body heavy, clumsy, slow
But that ominous creak.
That door slam in someone else's home.
I am listening now.
And sleep is gone.

A tangled web,
Bejewelled with frost laden mists of night
Glistening in the bloated orange dawn.
So obviously avoided by the fly
Is sleep, that will not come.
A poor courtier I
with no relaxing lullaby
With which to entice it into my over active mind
When the hours of darkness arrive.
Yet finally.
When alarm screeches incessantly into my ear
And I crawl from vile bed,
Snoozing seconds held to my breast so dear
As I fight for those last moments of rest.
Duvet tangled around sweaty feet.
Eyes, hot aching piss-holes in my head.
I am obliged to drag night heavy limbs through knee-high,
mud-thick mist,
To work.
Too early for the birds.
4 am.
5, or 6.
Far to early to cope with shit.
Far to tired to think of owt but sleep.

But without this nightly battle, my poem would not be complete!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope you are enjoying my poetry journey as much as I am.

Thank you for reading.
Joanne xx

Saturday, 4 April 2015

napowrimo 4

The universe is.
I am.
You are.
Thank you.
It is more than enough just to be, if you exist.

A poem about love without love mentioned, I am really this year.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Not the Best Fourteen in the World

This is a hard one. A poem with fourteen syllables in each line. And I am finding it harder than I thought I would. But I have half an attempt here.
Not good, but its made me think... quite hard!

Fourteens a number I have come to hate with a cold heart.
Just thinking what to write today is making me just barf.
All the brainache it produces, its driving me insane.
How I wish to write in fifteens but the rhythm ain't the same.

Thank you for reading, l think.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

a mustard scarf.

A mustard scarf.

There are no stars tonight.
'Though the moon slowly grows,
And glows through mist laden clouds
That casts a circular rainbow.
A watercolour, bleeding in the rain.
And I am cold.
Oh how I ache for the lost warmth of a mustard scarf.
So long, I could wrap it
Thrice around my neck.
So thick, it muffled against my ears
And swung comfortingly against my chest
In bright, custard yellow swags of joy.
But it is gone.
Left behind.
Unseen but remembered.
Like the stars.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Am I A Poet?

Am I a poet?
I ask myself.
As words from my pen, vomit upon a crisp, white page.
Like pigeons flocking for crumbs
amongst the cracked paving slabs.
So i search for hidden meanings
In those words.
And find,
Only wonder.
And doubt.
Am I a poet?
The question presumes I know one important thing.
That I know what a poet is.
What a poet does.
What a poet is for.
My pen stumbles through brambles that catch,
and tear the meaning apart.
Leaving strands of tattered thought behind them,
wisps of coloured wool.
Snapping in a flickering wind.
Leaving only this moment to fall,
forlornly on the page.
The rest:
Washed away, and dissolved in the humdrum of the every day.
Am I a poet?
But this is not the question that needs an answer.
Is this, a poem?
And that is not for me to decide.
Is it?


Say Owt Slam 4 is back on 19th May and I have agreed to give it a go. So as well as trying to write a poem a day, I have to find something to say for then.
But really, I am wetting myself just thinking about standing up and having others score my attempts, and I have too much time to think it over. I am always better doing things off the cuff.

And sat owt slam 3 was beyond amazing. So many talented folk to tickle my mind with thoughtful insightful and funny prose and poems, I know I have a lot to live up to.

Ok, OK it is only my own expectations that make my heart thump madly, when ever I think about strutting my stuff on a stage, my voice echoing oddly in my ears as lights blind my already watering eyes but I am looking forward to it.

At least I think so.

Thank you for reading. xx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Story of a Crochet Beer Jacket The Poem!

This is how I spent my Saturday night.
At the open mic night at York city screens the Basement, where I spent last Friday being inspired by some magical combination of words.
Although it took  this Friday night with a beer, or two to relax enough to allow myself the time to play. So, with out further waffle, here it is.

Story of a Crochet Beer Jacket.

It started thus:
On a whim.
On the realisation that I call myself a crocheter
But I haven't done owt,
In a while.
And with the beer festival due
In a month; or two
In chilly September. I would need something
Warm to see me through
My inevitable beer journey.
So started my granny square tourney.
Square one appeared,
Beneath my hook.
A simple delight to the eyes.
And soft as ears, full of fluff
As the fantasy drowned out
The realisation. That. I. Must
Crochet 72.
At least.
At the very least
To make a simple jacket of downy fleece,
And my mind boggles.
But the ale trail beckoned.
New beers abound.
Each in a different pub.
New ales unfound, until now.
And if I work hard
At a granny square too
It 'ill be not long before I'll have quite a few.
So I think.
But my hands are taken to a painful brink
And cry, no more.
No more.
No more granny squares, no more.
But I have advertised.
So I cannot back down
And I bully my hands to compile.
Though they ache, and they twitch.
Muscles burn most profound.
'Cause even on twitter, a lie is a lie.
My granny square stash, it grows
And pint after pint of ale does flow.
A slight soporific effect
On my hands, and my head
From the beer kinda helps don't you know.
The magic number is reached,
But this jacket is far from complete.
So I continue to crochet some more.
Edge to edge the squares grow.
Four by four.
The sleeves stretch down throughout the long night,
And the hood hides my face from my tired look of fright
As the jacket is finally done.
On the morn of the third day of the festival,
It is born.
But there is something very, very wrong.
There's a flaw in my numbers after all my work
That damn jacket's too big for me frame.
Even though I made it me sen.
But I wear it all day, 'cause it keeps me warm any way.
And thankfully, this is the end.
But I shall be back, in all my crochet glory,
To bring you another fabricated story.
30th Jan 2015

Thank you for reading

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Say Owt Slam 2

What an amazing night.

So may wonderful and talented poets to listen to on one short evening, almost too much to take in. But I tried and enjoyed every minute of it.
What a slam. And I so want to be in it, but to try and rank myself with those that competed that night, my beer poems will need a great deal of work, and I need some more open mic nights to quell my nerves, and to practise, practise, practise.
Well I might manage to talk myself into doing it some day, meanwhile I have Say Owt Slam 4 to look forward to on 22nd March back at City Screen.

I must give my congratulations to everyone who participated, to Jack Dean who won, and to Sophia Walker who was just so magnificent and touched on a myriad of important subjects with insight, imagination and boundless tact.

Thank you for such an informative night.

Back to more mundane matters, after my last post which was just a moaning rant, I have managed to do totally nothing that I wanted too. having the first cold in years for the past two weeks is no excuse, but it was interesting to explore How I felt exactly with a vague idea to use the experience in what I am sort of writing.
I did have the very unpleasant sensation of trying to cough up my uvula, (you know, that dangliy thing at the back of your throat). It just vibrated with every breath and played a cacophony with my gag reflex.
I am still coughing now, but only when I talk, or laugh and its getting better. No gold watches to cough up any more.

Well I have had a go at words in poem form, but only once, and that was in the dark, with a tasty pint of York Brewery Snowflake in my hand, while listening to some ace spoken word artists, and not up to any decent level at all. I will have to start editing some day but meanwhile...

Say Owt Slam.
Only here to nick ideas.
To be inspired,
Not enspired which would be painful.
But after my day,
At least this work would be gainful.

Both elated, and deflated
At the talent on show.
Where would I fit in?
I doesna know.
Tickled by words
Beyond my ken.
But I never had a Barbie.
I had Sindy instead.
Beyond the remit of this rhyme.
My mind both sings, and lingers
Wondering what delights I'll hear next time.
It thrumbs to internal  bringers
Of joy. The thought provoking word
That makes me laugh, and cry
And is fleeting as a snow shower
In the middle of July.
And as solid as a rock
In a blink of a poets eye,

Thank you for reading. Xxx