Dónall was in a tinsel mood and read a set full of snow and Christmas, claiming that love is a karaoke, an empty orchestra and a paper moon. Rodney came up with a jazz horn and complained that David Cameron doesn’t work.
After this peaceful beginning, we had our first ever Poet Fight in the Bar Des Arts – no need for concern though, this WAS a “Poet Fight” and no bones – or even egos – were irretrievably broken. It seems to have been Pete who started it – the insults flew unseasonably round Alex de S’s head squawking viciously but they were batted away heroically by Alex a few minutes later, without blood shed.
Eddie didn’t understand goodbye and sang about both sides, Gianni had “only flash fiction” – but what flash fiction!! Alex T, after a lot of White Russians, encouraged us to be the wave that we hadn’t asked for, and took us to Mexico, Morden and an interview. Richard invited us to a wedding and longed for peace and a clean environment.
Andy Fiver got off his bike and gave us the Suburban Boy Blues and Andy Low’s poem was still-born to good effect and we’re watching that space where it is developing.
Alex and Pete finally declared an armistice and sang it.
Ivor asked us to consider consideration as a fine art, as the finale of 2014’s last Spoken Word at the Bar Des Arts.
We passed on to AF Harrold, whose new novel and collection were available at a knock - down price that lots of us took full advantage of at the interval. A F learned from Alicia and her husband – who luckily walked in just in time to teach him - how to say “Sh*t” in Spanish and Estonian and a lot more languages. We also found out, among other useful truths, how – and if – cats survived before the invention of cardboard boxes, and enjoyed the obituaries of several of A F’s friends from childhood who are not necessarily actually dead. The tale of Goldilocks and the Three Wise Bears gave a festive edge to the set.
Alex de Suys, after replying to Pete’s challenge, ate sour grapes, turned philosophical, thought and therefore was.
Amy McAllister introduced us to another new area of knowledge with her tale of a man who was truly deeply and physically in love with his car – and, (quel horreur!), with another man’s car, with disastrous results. Amy claimed to have 99 problems and fat is one – but she was lying, by the look of her!
After the interval Liddy demanded to know if that was what we wanted and then appealed against star-gazing. Jen McGowan had some feminist poems and some anti-feminist poems. She made us consider that Ulysses had been lucky not to have had shop stewards or health and safety inspectors on board the ship whose crew all ended up dead except for him, on his odyssey. Mary Magdalen also came in for some rewriting as a feisty piece (one of our favourites among Jen’s poems) Iago’s wife and grandmothers also featured in Jen’s set.
2014's last Poetry and Spoken Word evening at the Bar Des Arts was a night of foreseeable jollification and exuberance, given that our guests were A F Harrold, Amy McAllister and Jennifer McGowan! We also had a great audience containing lots of open mic readers old and new, all with good things to offer.
We’ll be back – see you on January 20th, same time, same place, new year. Happy Christmas!
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Janice Windle & Dónall Dempsey
We are poets, writers, spoken word performers, editors and organisers of spoken word events, based in the United Kingdom.