Monday, November 2, 2009

Poetry and Prose at the Pub



Poetry and Prose at the Pub

A new event has appeared on the Canberra arts scene. Poetry & Prose at
the Pub. To be held on the last Sunday of every month at Kingston's
landmark Filthy McFadden's Irish Pub. This was to be, in a nutshell,
'a new opportunity for ACT writers to showcase their skills in a
relaxed environment.'

Organised by a teacher at the Canberra Institute of Technology, this
event was somewhat outside the norm. An event meant to be family
friendly!
Using the organisers words "There are several terrific
poetry slams around town but they all happen in the late evenings and
do not always suit people with families,” Lorese said. “These
readings will be open to everyone, the venue is family friendly, and
the readings include prose as well as poetry."

So I trundled on down to the pub last Sunday for an inaugural gutful
of art. An admittedly small audience, but it was a raw windy rainy
spring time day, and as grandmothers around the world say 'from a tiny
acorn comes the mighty oak.'

Most of the afternoon carried a light subversive anti authoritarian
feel around, but it is hard to be a fascist and enjoy Joyce at the
same time, for at his core Joyce chaffed at fetters, and kicked
against the pricks of his outrageous fortune. raising bootless cries
to heavens, non serviam! Forever blowing what little coin he had
chasing the green fairy.

Poetry and Prose at the Pub carried none of the competitiveness of
slams, and also none of the stuffy, awkward formalism of other types
of readings I have attended. This was a purely open mic affair, anyone
who wanted to could read, and several audience members joyfully took
the opportunity.

I have been slowly coming to the conclusion that I can no longer read
at any but open mics, as I am daily growing more weary with the idea
of the competition, with the idea of winners and losers. Jerry
Seinfeld observed that at a funeral most people would rather be in the
coffin than giving the eulogy, so it seems to me that calling anyone
who is able to get up in front of a room of strangers and read a poem
that they have written a 'loser' is at best wrong, at worst being able
to do no more than dent peoples confidence. Poetry as we all know is a
very personal, emotional affair, and as such does not deserve the judgement of the drunken rabble.

There is no need to create more hierarchies, as forces already are
busy extending hierarchies in all directions.Almost as much as the
judging and grading of poets I resent the arbitrary time limits of 2
or 3 minutes. The Poetry at the Pub limit was based around a word
count - which allows for the poet to compress or extend time as he or
she feels the piece warrants. I would like to see a situation where
people would be able to perform freely, and would be only too happy to
give up the microphone, as they were attending as much to listen, as
to speak, as they had a feeling of community.

All I want is an interest in language and a pleasure in the rhythmic
creations. Where the line of verse is like the at once sweeping, now
thrusting brush stroke of the painter captivated by a beautiful image,
or the softly swaying musician swept away in a spark of creation, or
the gymnast rising from the floor and leapflying across the air, or
the child who throws the cup up and down into the sink. A poetry which
is intimately bound up with politics, as all working people, all
women, all minorities are pushed against everyday. This is when
politics becomes more than a pale spectacle, but rather a constant
fighting back, everyday. By acting as health and safety officers,
planting gardens, planting trees, using public transport, attending
rallies and meetings, home schooling, standing in the cold and wet
passing out leaflets, volunteering at the local halls, laughing we can be building community and a new world every day.

But I digress.

AMOR MATRIS, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true
thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of
any son that any son should love him or he any son?

I was given the opportunity to read a section from 'Finnegans wake' -
not an easy task! When the audience members laughed it was hard not to
stop and have a good laugh myself.


Starting on page 483.

Kickakick. She had to kick a laugh. At her old stick-in-the-block. The
way he was slogging his paunch about, elbiduubled, meet oft mate on,
like hale King Willow, the robberer. Cainmaker's mace and waxened
capapee. But the tarrant's brand on his hottoweyt brow. At half past
quick in the morning. And her lamp was all askew and a trumbly
wick-in-her, ringeysingey. She had to spofforth, she had to kicker,
too thick of the wick of her pixy's loomph, wide lickering jessup the
smooky shiminey. And her duffed coverpoint of a wickedy batter,
whenever she druv behind her stumps for a tyddlesly wink through his
tunnilclefft bagslops after the rising bounder's yorkers, as he studd
and stoddard and trutted and trumpered, to see had lordherry's
blackham's red bobby abbels, it tickled her innings to consort pitch
at kicksolock in the morm. Tipatonguing him on in her pigeony
linguish, with a flick at the bails for lubrication, to scorch her
faster, faster. Ye hek, ye hok, ye hucky hiremonger ! Magrath he's my
pegger, he is, for bricking up all my old kent road. He'll win your
toss, flog your old tom's bowling and I darr ye, barrackybuller, to
break his duck! He's posh. I lob him. We're parring all Oogster till
the empsyseas run googlie. Declare to ashes and teste his metch! Three
for two will do for me and he for thee and she for you. Goeasyosey,
for the grace of the fields, or hooley pooley, cuppy, we'll both be
bye and by caught in the slips for fear he'd tyre and burst his
dunlops and waken her bornybarnies making his boobybabies. The game
old merrimynn, square to leg, with his lolleywide towelhat and his
hobbsy socks and his wisden's bosse and his norsery pinafore and his
gentleman's grip and his playaboy's plunge and his flannelly
feelyfooling, treading her hump and hambledown like a maiden wellheld,
ovalled over, with her crease where the pads of her punishments ought
to be by womanish rights when, keek, the hen in the doran's
shantyqueer began in a kikkery key to laugh it off, yeigh, yeigh,
neigh, neigh, the way she was wuck to doodle-doo by her gallows bird
(how's that? Noball, he carries his bat!) nine hundred and dirty too
not out, at all times long past conquering cock of the morgans. How
blame us?
Cocorico!




The end of the night. The two (HCE & ALP) attempting to make love, a
muddle of yorkers and trumpers while Luke spies on the pair. The
rooster crows and the hen laughs it off, it is time to wake. Time to
feed puss and get some kidney from the butcher for breakfast. The
ideal books for the ideal insomniac.

After I read a woman read a section from Ulysses.

Ithaca. After the interlude at the bus shelter, after the scene in
Kirke's absurd venus in furs brothel.

Bloom is home.

Two o'clock in the morning, tired, with lemon soap in his pocket. His
bones aching, one last catechism before sleep. In the half light of
drowsiness, before the depths of sleep over take cut and dry grammar
and go ahead plot. Before Finnegans Wake.

The end of the day.



In what final satisfaction did these antagonistic sentiments and
reflections, reduced to their simplest forms, converge?

Satisfaction at the ubiquity in eastern and western terrestrial
hemispheres, in all habitable lands and islands explored or unexplored
(the land of the midnight sun, the islands of the blessed, the isles
of Greece, the land of promise), of adipose anterior and posterior
female hemispheres, redolent of milk and honey and of excretory
sanguine and seminal warmth, reminiscent of secular families of curves
of amplitude, insusceptible of moods of impression or of contrarieties
of expression, expressive of mute immutable mature animality.

The visible signs of antesatisfaction?

An approximate erection: a solicitous adversion: a gradual elevation:
a tentative revelation: a silent contemplation.

Then?

He kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each
plump melonous hemisphere, in their mellow yellow furrow, with obscure
prolonged provocative melonsmellonous osculation.

The visible signs of postsatisfaction?

A silent contemplation: a tentative velation: a gradual abasement: a
solicitous aversion: a proximate erection.

What followed this silent action?

Somnolent invocation, less somnolent recognition, incipient
excitation, catechetical interrogation.




A very pleasant way to pass an afternoon, heard some new poets, met
some new people. What more could be wanted?

What do I wish? Success and good luck!

Would I return? To quote - Yes.

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