Tuesday 4 December 2012

Pighog, Brendan Cleary and Poetry

Last Wednesday I went to Pighog (a Sussex-based publisher)'s poetry night at the Redroaster in Brighton (always a lovely venue).  I'd been before, and have to admit that a lot of the poetry went over my head.  It's a bit more of a 'serious', 'grownup' night than others in Brighton.  Which to some might mean... boring?  Anyhow - and here comes another admission - I decided to give it a go mainly because last time one of the Pighog guys approached me after my slot in the open mic suggesting a possibility of them printing some of my poems.  As you can imagine I was very excited and eagerly awaited contact.  Which never came.  So I guess I was hoping I might remind them and get a similarly good reaction last week.  Perhaps not the best motivation, but I'm being honest.  I would love to have some work published.

Anyways as it turned out, I actually really enjoyed the night.  I went alone but bumped into some familiar open-mic-night faces and then another friend turned up so I had people to chat to before it started.  I only just got my name on the open-mic list, Brighton people are very keen and it's probably the only occasion that us scatterbrained poets turn up early.  haha, well that's definitely the case for me anyhow.  The room was full and atmosphere good, with prizes being given for a poetry competition and a celebration of the year.  It was only slightly ruined by a very drunk guy attempting poetry at the very end and making a bit of a scene.  I think the only people who were shocked were those who weren't from Brighton!  The highlight for me was definitely hearing Brendan Cleary read his poems.  Hailing from Northern Ireland, he probably could have said anything and I'd have lapped it up, what with his beautiful accent and deep voice.  But I like his poems too!  They were mainly very short, honest and about 'real life'.  Heart break and loss and pubs and drugs and music and more...  I especially enjoyed one about him when he was a DJ at a pub, dancing with the barmaid out on the street.  Could just picture it.  So that was a treat, and something different to the norm.

My little slot went OK, not amazing, I was last on and aware of the time getting on.  And the Pighog guy didn't seem to recognise me nor be particularly struck by my poems.  I have to say I was a little disappointed, but then had to remind myself why I started out doing this in the first place, and why I want to keep on going.  Not for personal gain or fame (although I'm not gonna lie - these are attractive!) but in order to speak out truth, to communicate words of life, to encourage and to perhaps challenge people to look at things from a different perspective.  So I need to keep hold of that otherwise I am just setting myself up for more disappointment.

This week I'm trying out another open mic night in Brighton and also going up to London to read a couple of poems at a friend's event.  So I will try to be true to myself and to the words I feel I've been given, and hopefully can bring some light into someone's darkness in the meantime.

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