Report from the 27th February 2012

Every week either me or Alberto is faced with the challenge of organising a SpokenWord. We agonise that the lighting will fail, the tango class will refuse to vacate the cellar at 9pm without some kind of physical fight, or that the beer will run out. Last week, one of these terrible things did indeed happen! Nevertheless we switched to wine and continued to the end of the night. 

 Here you can see the concentration with which we choose the running order for the night.

Thanks to Margaux for these photos!

At nine o’clock the cellar is emptied of tango dancers; the pews, sofa and cabaret tables are put in place, the piano is wheeled out and then… and then… all that remains is to face the audience and try to give things a good shove so that they start moving. 

This week, James was one of the poets clever enough to see things that aren’t there. 
Lisa asked the right questions of souls reincarnated as caged birds.
Gary called in about therapy.
– Habibi? 
– Yes, amore.
– You don’t like lying because you’re American. 

 Marie knew they don’t love you like I love you. And she said so.

 Ferdia pitched his story idea to Chris:
Girl meets werewolf, an Irish werewolf from Cork.

Magda explained he was nothing to write home about.

Scott’s machine birds were singing.

Brian had been getting way too much sleep. He steered the conversation past an awkward subject with the grace of an acrobat.

 Suddenly it was round two and Lucky Hopkins emerged from an unexpected alcove. Like a beast with its horn, like a baby stillborn, she tried in her way to reach out to you.

“What a waste of space is man, so quick to coalesce in clan” complained Chris W. But Awoko kept smiling. And singing. And playing guitar. Chris N had Shakespeare off shagging Belinda Big Jugs while Hamlet got philosophical. Troy took his heart and ate it. Like Kate and a few others he’s writing a poem a day for Lent. Margaux ended the night with some Gainsbourg, amongst which, for your edification and delight we reproduce this one here:
A celle qui louche
    Je dis
“Je trouve ta bouche
Si elle begaye
    Eh bien
Moi je fais pareil et
    C’est bien
Lorsqu’elle zozote
    Je dis
“Toi tu n’es pas sotte
    Et puis
S’il te manque une dent

    De lait

Ca te donne l’accent

Tomorrow night SpokenWord will have Kate Noakes as our Special Guest Poet. That’s Monday 5th March, Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud. Sign up in the bar from 8pm, poetry starts from 9pm underground.

Meanwhile just a note to say Rest In Peace to the much loved John Kliphan, poet of Boston, San Francisco and Paris who ran The Live Poets Society. Here’s a clip of him reading his poetry.

John Kliphan (b.1933, Boston – d. 2012, Paris) was a passionate and compassionate poet, teacher and lawyer. His poems are accessible, incisive, lyrical and often humorous. First published in Boston, then San Francisco, where he lived for many years, Kliphan befriended the Beats and was counsel for the North Beach art community. In the 1980’s Kliphan moved to Paris, where he founded and directed the Live Poets Society, an internationally recognized series of readings celebrating the oral tradition of poetry while providing a venue for new voices and verse in Paris, the city’s longest-running series of its kind. Invited to perform his work at events and festivals around the world, Kliphan was author of three books of poetry as well as individual poems and articles published in the United States and Europe.

David Barnes 
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