It’s been a bit hectic in the last couple of weeks. I’ve run workshops with film students at UCLAN, performed and helped generate new poems with English students at Manchester College, taken part in the wonderful ‘Poets at the Harris’ Museum and Gallery event in Preston that ties in with the national Portrait Gallery on Tour’s ‘Picture the Poet’ exhibition and was also guest poet (along with the fantastic Melanie Rees) at Manky Poets on Friday evening. In the middle of all that I had a horrible bug that took me out of action for several days but I’m over it and really looking forward to things that are happening in the coming weeks.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 24th March) I shall be at Manchester Central Library in St Peter’s Square, launching a poetry collection with Melanie Rees. We have amazing guest poets Cathy Bryant and Gerry Potter performing too. Excited would be an understatement!
A friend shared this on Facebook this morning.
I’ve since found out it is a man who makes signs and puts them up in different places for his own amusement but it inspired me to write a silly little poem about it to help him with sales when I first saw it. I was rather disappointed to find out it wasn’t a real ad and a little part of me secretly hopes he has made the picture too :-)
Judas was a tractor, a digger,
a man who planted seeds of doubt
In the fuzzy felt of theology,
Phil Lucas has it all figured out
No mistake brought on by carelessness
when putting toys away
No apostle accident,
but apocryphal profundity at play
Da Vinci may have used it
had the materials been at hand
And the £7.50 is obviously
a numerological reference
To the twelve in Jesus’es holy gang (seven and five add them together!)
And the eleven who didn’t betray him
went on to act as chickens
Denying him before the cock crowed thrice
(That picture also has dancing kittens)
Phil Lucas is a visionary, an artist and a master
So go and buy his seminal work
The Last Supper with Judas as a Tractor.
This evening, I’ll be performing some of my poems at the beautiful Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston as part of an event that ties in with the Picture the Poet Exhibition (a touring exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery featuring photographs of 56 living, nationally recognised poets).
From 6pm, there’ll be lots of poets ‘Passing on a Poem’ that means something to them followed by headliners from the last year of Korova Poetry performing their own work from 7.30pm. It looks like a good line-up and the evening is being hosted by Lancaster Litfest in partnership with Korova Poetry.
As I was thinking about portraits of poets and poetry that meant something to me, I thought I’d share a little poem I wrote about a writer friend who is sadly no longer here. Perhaps ‘poem’ is too grand a word as it’s just a little mash up of references to him and his poems but it’s how I remember him. Sometimes I watch his performances on youtube just to see his face and hear his voice. A lovely, talented, inspiring man that is definitely missed by everyone who knew him and his work….
Still Wrapped in Your Stufferation. (For Adrian)
I still feel your hug.
You dreamt of Charlie Parker,
Holborn High Street,
sang your song in space.
You let us all ride on your nightmares,
held a mirror to our monster-meat face.
air-punching, like-that-stuff, vision seller,
apeman who cried
“The world is broken!”
I miss your words,
but I still feel your hug.
You can watch and listen to Adrian performing a few of his wonderful poems here:
I’ve not been very good at blogging but I thought I’d give it another try.
I’ll start with a little poem I wrote over a week ago, after Geraldine Green posted the first two lines in response to seeing the story about the eight year old American girl who receives little gifts from crows.
Here’s a link to the original news story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31604026
A draft poem inspired by Gabi, the girl who receives gifts from crows and Geraldine Green’s two lines….
Blessed be the pure of heart
for they shall be brought gifts from crows
Lightbulb treasures of strange lives to hold up,
rumours of stories to turn over in tiny hands,
braille-tales, clicking together
striking each other like flint,
Blessed are the crow children
for they are generous of spirit
Offering meat, peanuts, nuggets of love
Throw kindness skyward daily
Are rewarded with beads, sea-glass,
a spume of memories, patchwork made solid
stitched together by sharp claw and shiny needle
Blessed are they,
For they know what beady eye and beak does,
Smile knowingly at low whispers of avian travels
Sleep soundly on a pillow of black corvid feathers
Hold all the night’s secrets
in an a tuppaware box,
keep the lid on tight.
In response to Britannia, an art installation in Manchester City Gallery by Joana Vasconcelos as part of her exhibition ‘Time Machine’ .
(Manchester City Art Gallery 15th March 2014)
Monsters and fantasies
Wild beasts and carnivals
All breasts and ovaries
Teeming into life
Fur and feathers
Flowers and pom-poms
Trim polite drawing rooms
with their enlarged vulvas out
Tasselled and stretched
into saggy boobed strippers
Twisting and cha-cha-ing
Roots writhing about
Evolution run riot
in the petri dish of art
Makes a northern rainforest
or a Manchester tart
Escaping old cotton
Layers cutting deep
to embrace hedonism
In search of its own
glittery bass beat.