So what, I hear you ask, why do you tell me about this? It's because that slip on the stairs caused me to miss September 7th's Poetry Open Mic at the Keystone, for the first time ever, because I was completely immobilised.
But I didn't want to consign that excellent evening to the mists of unrecorded history so Dónall caught a lot on on the camcorder that he set up when he hosted the night on his own and I've watched and enjoyed the excellent poems by the open mic readers and the brilliant set by Steve Pottinger. Steve's relaxed but intense performance was his usual wonderful mix of poems about the dissemination of ignorance, fear and disinformation by the media on both sides of the Atlantic ("It's a Fox News Fact" and "Every night the same Dream" and "Why You are Beach Ready"); kindness and tolerance ("The last Train Out of Birmingham") and love and a belief that fairness and a good life are achievable despite the odds. His last poem, "You ask me where I want to Live" is a tender masterpiece.
Here's a brief rundown on the poems from the open mic readers you missed if like me you were not at the Keystone on 7th September. Dónall was occupied with hosting the night so we couldn't take photos this time but I've included some of the video footage..
Dónall asked Lorri ('not for nothing - in fact not at all! - known as "wild Lorri Pimlott" ') to come to the mic and raise the mood. Ever her own woman, Lorri responded that she would now make everybody miserable. She tried, but her poems about Aylan, the little refugee whose body was washed up on a Greek beach last week and the violence she had seen in Papua New Guinea in the 1980's were too good to lower the mood for long.
We were very pleased to see Veronica return for a second appearance at the open mic, after her debut at the Keystone Poetry Slam in July. This time she had two hilarious pastiches of James Bond theme songs, especially for gardeners: "Aphids are Forever" and "Greenfinger"! Shirley Bassey, to the life!
Alex de Suys, fresh from his holiday tour in Europe, was first up to the mic. He was a bit subdued for good reasons, perhaps mainly because he was back in the UK where summer's fading. Having all his worldly goods stolen from his car in Belgium can't have helped his mood, either. Alex transferred blame for his bad mood on to the wind and took it out on the paper he wrote on, in a poem called "OK now I see the point of writing on a phone."
Where Lorri comes, can Geoffrey Pimlott follow far behind? And Geoff came up to the mic with his 'found' poems cut and pasted into fierce denunciations that changed the mood to one of generalised protest. 'Shove the Pig's Foot' which Geoff had posted on Facebook earlier, seems to invite careful analysis, or maybe its puzzling images need only the vehemence of Geoff's reading to justify them. Thank you for the photo of Dónall, too, Geoff.
Though the secondary school term has begun, Kyle McHale had managed to finish his homework. and got out to play this evening. He treated us to thoughts on time, space and coffee breaks that took us out of the mundane world in another way. Here's "Wrong or Right."
Karen Izod read an excellent, very recent poem about her family and her name, and Eddie Chauncy's poems about time, space and coffee breaks were as always spell-binding. We can't post the videos here, unfortunately. You must come to the Keystone to enjoy their work!
Andy V gave us a 'poetic snapshot of Glencoe' inspired by his recent trip to Scotland.
Andy B J Low began with romantic tales in two poems inspired by the same starting point. Here's the first one:
Now Richard Jaehme's lovely Keystone Pub, lined with local art works and home to a variety of music and entertainments, will be Guildford's main platform for literary and performance poetry artists and an even more valuable creative outlet for writers and performers of poetry in our local area.
See you at the Keystone, 3 Portsmouth Road GU2 3BL, on Monday 5th October for another open mic night topped off by
Cecilia Delatori entertaining us with tales of Leytonstone and beyond!
Jan Windle September 2015