This was the first time since I started two and a half years ago that I’ve done SpokenWord (formerly called Kerouac and hosted in the cellar of the Lizard Lounge) entirely sober. The stress! The anxiety! All those nerves that 2 pints usually deadens. Not about doing my poems, that’s rare now. But anxiety about whether enough people’ll come, about whether they have a good time, about whether they’re getting bored because I let someone go on too long or whether they’re pissed off with me because I cut somebody off at the time limit. Not to mention whether we’re gonna get drunk or high arseholes come in, or there’ll be a fight. (We’ve nearly had fights 2 or 3 times.)
On the other hand, being sober makes everything more real, more intense. The world and whatever’s happening has more presence. I don’t feel very tempted to drink, because this sobriety gives the same kind of benefits as meditation.
On to the report.
Thomas opened singing Smelly Cat and a long half sung, half spoken rendition of a song from Sweeny Todd. (A way to get around the 4 minute rule?) John McNulty brought remembered rain & radiosongs. Erika, backed by Betty on box, said Smell transports us across a 1,000 miles. Helen Kelleher said. Scratch’n’sniff cinema. David Fishel’s feet still stink. A secret language of dry wit, and bull-shit. I had a case of halitosis of the soul. Maybe I’ve been watching House too much. Erik smelled chocolate crepes and a paniiiiiiiiini… and – cough, cough – a nasty cigarette. Denise threw fresh oranges to the crowd. Noses awake! She had a story of Love at first smell. Kelly said Karen made her move on the Greyhound bus. Lifted one idle finger to her wet mouth. Loss transmutes to beauty. Ellen sang for Garcia Lorca, poet and revolutionary murdered in the Spanish Civil War. Also, Will we last the Fall? Jaco dreamt of being a shoemaker. Vivement qu’ils inventent les pouls qui auront des dents. Elena said France smells. And she likes it. There’s something fishy about Sarah – she has fins for hands, fingers fused together. Peter brought the truth – Everything you thought about poets but were afraid to ask. Leemore sang of doves, with thick earthen breath. Michele produced a poem written on his way to do military service in Italy and something about sex in the Bottleshop. Camille slammed. She met a man once, who shit out of his side. Masha was, to be terrible frank, a 68 year old Russian man, her alter ego. Great monologue! Peter Two was drawn in like a wasp; his lover’s scent moves with her like a haze. (Oddly very few people talked about the way the people they love to smell.) David Fishel came back to the stage with an ode to cheese – I’ve posted a clip of this on the blog. Amber says You smell! and spoke of daffodils’ teeth. Christophe had a murder mystery in mind. Smells are like soul to all things. My name is Chris. Chris McCrump, private detective in Belleville. Frank Sinatra crooned ‘Shadow of your smell’ and someone was out to get me. I’ll leave you with Ally, who woke up with a second chance.
Thanks to all who came, apologies to those who I didn’t manage to jot down what they did for this report. See you Monday 6th April! David
From Monster Munster:
Tollerant does not even come close to where I am now…