Dónall began with a shorter set than usual, as we had so many other readers. His lovely poem "Audenesque", seldom heard, had an airing. Then he sent up a pious prayer reminding us that Google is the new deity in our lives – “Our Avatar...” and got us in party mood with his unconventional haiku (full audience participation included) entitled “Handyman”. He wasn’t actually wearing his pink high heeled shoes, we were relieved to note.
Alex T and Elaine Stabler became interchangeable in Dónall’s version of events and but we were not convinced that they had really swapped identities. Elaine’s poem about a full-blooded love was so powerful that though I pressed the wrong button on the video cam and missed the first few of the lines, it's worth hearing the rest, and here it is on a clip (right)
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Alex Twyman was remarkably stoic in the face of Dónall’s insistence that only his (Dónall’s) inflicting actual bodily harm on his (Alex’s) private parts would ensure the microphone’s functionality. It seemed to work, anyway, and so did the mic (mostly) and here's most of Alex's fine set (left) Understandably, perhaps, he did complain of waking up with the blues!
Stephen Davids addressed poems to his family, several of whom were in the audience, and declared himself a part of nature’s art in seriously sensible poems (in the original sense of the word). One of the poems, "Love Has a Name", has been published in the Little E-Book of Interflora Romantic Verse, and was very touching.
It was great to see Eddie Chauncy taking a night off from his studies to read some of his wonderful meditative sonnets in the Keystone.
Charles, declaring himself a poetry performance "Virgin", gave us a poem about drowning in the bath, reliving in words the sensations of semi-consciousness. We’re glad he survived and hope to see him back with more next time, now he’s taken the plunge.
Louise Etheridge made a welcome return to the Keystone mic, as usual promoting the moral high ground! (not, as she would say!) This evening she exhorted us to be more considerate of the finer feelings of our pets, to avoid flashing our underpants at our hamsters, let alone what’s inside them, and not to moon at our cats or flash at our goldfish or embarrass dogs by removing our trousers – timely warnings in this over-permissive age. She also had stern words to say about haggis.
Andy Low was in sombre mood tonight and his poems caught us by surprise with their dark gravity. The death camps of Nazi Germany, still-birth and the poet's role in expressing sadness and evil were his themes.
Haley Jenkins, another "Keystone Virgin", almost disappeared under Dónall’s hat but with spirit declared “PS I’m still your friend” to a correspondent whose friendship credentials sounded very suspect.
Kyle’s lovely poem about dining among lemon trees in Amalfi brought back memories of a warm Mediterranean October. His love of Robert Frost's work inspired "Birches' Directive" .
Damian O’Vitch, calling in en route from Kingston to his home in Hampshire, had us laughing with him about the problems of Botox, the end of the world and the warmth we bestow on others via an unexpected public resource. (Watch the video, left). We’re looking forward to Damian’s guest feature appearance with his music partner Claire and their songs and poems, in November.
Alex de Suys was ...well, Alex de Suys. OK, I'll elaborate. Alex issued a warning about the corporate beast. You want more? Alex was ,,, funny and serious. (OK, you had to be there.) (video right)
The show was the very opposite of the Yeti credo, though. One of my favourite bits was the Poetic Rave, as Yeti recited to trance music a poem by, I think, one of the metaphysical poets, from the AQA GCSE Anthology, and the audience frenetically waved twigs (poetic Glo-sticks) while wearing symbolic snow (cotton-wool) in their hair and, in Alex de Suys’ case, dancing wildly with the fabulous Animal. Here's ten minutes of Yeti's 40 minute set....
Gary from Leeds is to be seen at the Lightbox in Woking on 26th February, as resident poet at a new comedy night: http://www.thelightbox.org.uk/Event/joke-in-the-box