Archive | 12:51

If A Poet Falls In The Forest, Does She Make A Sound?

28 Nov
Playtex panty brief ad, 1950s

Image by genibee via Flickr

It wasn’t so much a forest last night, as a desert.  I was at a poetry reading and someone stole our audience. 

Stockport Art Gallery hosted an evening of music, poetry and crafts, and my writing group was invited to perform.  There was a lot of interest from group members until it was mentioned that it would be nice if we wrote on the theme of the Pre-Raphaelites.  However, five of us did pitch up, one couldn’t make it but sent his poem along and one came to offer moral support (thank you, Eileen), so we had enough of a showing to warrant our continued free use of the gallery for meetings.

The big event of the evening was the choir, which gave us songs in those well-known pre-Raphaelite forms: slave chants and sea shanties.  They were pretty good and, when the choir master invited everyone to the upstairs gallery for a singalong session, everyone went.  Which was unfortunate for us poets, because we were on next: we were left with two members of staff and the dj.  Still, for nervous readers like me, the smaller the audience the better, I say.

We had a good variety of poems between us, as we had each written at least one (and one of us had written four) all from a different pre-Raphaelite perspective – mine was somewhere in the region of que

I was persuaded to recite a conceptual poem of mine called Writer’s Block, which you can read here.  I wonder what it says about my poetry that I got the best reaction for a poem with no words?

Despite, or perhaps because of, having no audience, we had a good night anyway, and I was smiling as I made my way to the exit.  Until I took my gloves from my bag and accidentally pulled out my spare, clean knickers as well.  Carrying them is a throwback to my pregnancy days (are you with me, ladies?) and is a habit I’ve never managed to throw off.  As I haven’t had a new bag in fourteen years, it is also possible they are the same pair I carried back when I knew exactly where Spud was for nine whole months.

Why do they call them a ‘pair’ of knickers, anyway?  It’s one item.  I thought it might be because there are two leg holes, but there’s also a waist hole – and probably more if they are as old as last night’s pair/one.

So there were my spare knickers and the plastic bag I keep them in, in two neat piles on the floor.  Luckily for me, no one saw them fly out of my bag; but someone did turn around as I bent to retrieve them.  For the only quick-thinking moment of my entire life, I straightened up, nose wrinkled in disgust, tutted and said, ‘It’s ridiculous what passes for art these days, isn’t it?’


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