Many of the poems Ray read were from his latest book, The Cul-de-Sac Less Travelled, which is a mini-bumper-annual of 194 of his most mordant poems on life, birth, death, James Bond and everything. It’s available through all good bookshops (just quote the ISBN 978-1-907435-34-8 and the author’s name Ray Diamond if you would like them to order it). You can also buy it through Amazon.co.uk, or from Dempsey & Windle ’s website, dempseyandwindle.co.uk.
Raymond certainly lived up to his nom de plume tonight, sparkling in his own wry and understated way. His slanted world, where floral tributes to knife victims in Richmond turn out to be a florist’s shop, and he’s stalked by security men in a Poundshop (inspiring Ray’s fury – if he were shoplifting he’d choose Harrod’s!) His train journey to Guildford inspires his thoughts on “free movement among sovereign states – so many contradictions in that one phrase I can’t even begin to…” It was 30 minutes of rich political incorrectness and we loved it. Raymond won’t let us show you our video of his set, so if you want to know more, do buy the book!
Michael Cutchey read three highly dramatic poems: Against the Grain; Domain and Apostles, all on themes absolutely appropriate to his Goth coat. Death won’t catch Mike while he’s wearing that voluminous garment!
Owen Osler had a warning poem – so many things didn’t help when we could have behaved more kindly instead of bullying someone. Tom’s Front Door had inspired Owen’s other poem tonight.
Andy Fiver delivered an excellent reading of Aah, a poem by Jay James, the songwriter, and followed it up with one about Arles, in the south of France, where Van Gogh and Gauguin went to paint their post-impressionist pictures.
Eddie Chauncy’s been spending time in Chantry Woods, where he can “write out loud”. His seasonal poems were full of Sap and Ice, crisp leaves and bright autumn air. The other place where Eddie writes, he tells us, is in motorway cafés where he finds A Democracy of Dreams – ‘No-one is completely comfortable ‘/ but someone made this place / where we can be less uncomfortable.’ And, says Eddie, there’s no right time but this.
We won't be at the Keystone in January: it's New Year's Day on the first Monday of the month, and we're taking a break. We'll be at the Torriano Poetry club in London, on Sunday 22nd January 2017, showcasing Eddie Chauncy, Kyle McHale and Patrick Osada, and there's an opportunity to read a poem in the open mic there. Anyone who can come along and support would be very much appreciated. There are more details on the Events page.
Next Keystone Postry Open Mic will be on Monday February 6th, and we're looking forward to Karen Izod's feature set then.
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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.