Tuesday, October 22, 2013

words & music, words & art, words & lions

Moving around in the outside world after my prolonged demi-incarceration is wonderful, like having a house-arrest sentence lifted. I'm still cautious, replacing wild dancing at the Silk Milk with the newly-discovered joy of Strictly Come Dancing ~ don't judge me till you've slouched a mile in my slippers ~ but daytime activities are back on the menu. So on Saturday afternoon I was down at Crocker & Woods coffee shop in Catherine Hill to hear Pete Gage playing fabulous 12-bar blues, and on Sunday went along to a superb poetry workshop led by George Szirtes at the Holburne Museum in Bath. Interestingly, George's guidance resonated closely with Seamus Moran's words on Friday about the artist's entire life coming out in his work: The shape of a poem, George suggests, is "haunted" by the stuff around it - "all the stuff of our life which we bring to it." He used the analogy of a perfectly placed goal shot being described as sheer poetry and focussed on the 'playful' element of writing. "Don't be be burdened down ~ there's this impulse to be significant, to seek for admirable poetic qualities. Be playful!"
So we did - and I took this notion to my Words at the Black Swan workshop at Seamus' exhibition that evening. Nine imaginative writers shared responses to the imagery and 'played' with the notion of creating 'moulded' patterns in words, with some stunning responses which will all be posted on our facebook site and displayed in the Gallery while the exhibition lasts, so do take a look next time you're at the market or in Divas.

Luke Wright brought his latest show Essex Lion to Bristol last night: it had glow-stick reviews (I nicked that image from Anna Freeman, good one eh?) in Edinburgh but this Blahblahblah performance Luke reckoned as his best night yet.  Luke's lion is lifted from last year's news item about a spurious siting, and he takes as link theme to a diversity of character stories ~ hilariously satiric, angrily political, or unexpectedly compassionate ~ "the things we see because we want to see them." As well as rapid-fire rhyming, striking imagery, and sublime turns of phrase, Luke's observational comedy is never far from self-deprecating and it's this quality that makes his flamboyant style work so well. Whether he's pretending to strut in Cuban heels, parodying his penchant for posh plumbers or recalling teenage delusions, he reminds us that we all share the same conviction as the Essex lion spotter: how can a thing that makes you feel / be anything but fucking REAL?

Final footnote: congratulations & big virtual bouquet to my co-participant at the Holburne workshop Daisy Behagg who has won the Bridport Prize for best poem, viz: praise from judge Wendy Cope and a cheque for £5000. Wow.

1 comment:

Pete Gage said...

It's nice to hear what you have been doing, and nice that you were able to mention the Piano bles and the photograph.Thank you. I enjoyed talking to you afterwards. See you soon. At Nunney hopefully x