This month’s guest was Ed Parshotam, whom we hadn’t seen in Guildford since he came to the Bar Des Arts in 2013. We remembered Ed as a great improviser of raps, weaving words like a magician in front of our very eyes. He hadn’t lost his talent and the first poem he gave us was a resumé of the events of the evening so far! He’d been quietly soaking it all up – Dónall’s naughty stories of his kilt, a pepper grinder, and buying bras in Debenham’s; Liddy’s bad leg; Alex Twyman’s theme of ostriches with their heads in sand; Alex de Suys’ election, Eddie's Lion Poets, Andy’s amazing hat; Kyle’s lesson plans...
Ed’s speciality is gangsta rap and of course he had a piece about creative
criminal behaviour, but he assured us his poetic licence would protect him from police prosecution. And his creativity didn’t stop at word play. In another rap he outlined his incredibly useful inventions (including a bottle with a bottle opener attached because nobody ever has one, and a table that creates food according to the weight of the people sitting round it.) So sad he’d lost the blueprints in his very untidy uni room-mate’s mess.
Then there was a lesson in creating rap which had everyone spellbound.
And last came his impro rap, using sixteen words called out by the audience – a bravura performance! Only in Guildford could he have had to use AVOCADO, SYNAPTIC and BROCCOLI. A little vulgarity crept in here, too...
In the open mic, Andy Low told us about his nostalgic satnav going the pretty way through Luton; Alex T took us to Germany; Liddy reminded us of the hundred reasons she'd had to give people who asked how she had hurt her leg last year.
Alex de Suys’ fluffy bunny rabbits rebelled against being made into a literary device; Marcus read “Chess” by Louis MacNeice and painted black on black; Jos meditated upon insecticide (not as a gardener, however).
Lana told us about a man she thought she loved and another who was The One; Kyle spoke of Earth Dreams and asked “Let there be a shiny reason to breathe”.
Eddie claimed that poets are like lions and coastlines are one long argument of tectonics, and read a very moving poem, written that day, about his father coping with illness.
Geoff had been reading the headlines and cannibalising them in collaged poems about trash, the brontosaurus , the shop of controversy and gorilla girls.
Ivor performed an eloquent set: Crystal Kings, a wholly different kind of imagination and Cupid – who is not a child fit for war.
As for Dónall, he was in a mischievous mood and read his (in) famous poem about the embarrassment of being a hot blooded suitor while wearing a kilt on a very hot July Day in 2008, and followed it up with the one about waiting in the lingerie department of Debenhams while I chose a bra. I didn't have my answering poem with me or the tone might have been even further lowered. Lucky we had Ed on hand to rap about it all!
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Janice & Dónall Dempsey
We are poets, writers, spoken word performers, editors and organisers of spoken word events, based in the United Kingdom.