Saturday, 13 February 2010

Axl's Adventures In An Open Mic Night (Chester Arms, Oxford, 08/02/10)

I've been a bit quiet on here for a bit, so here's a little something I got up to recently.
Just over a year after my (fairly disastrous it has to be said) first ever open mic night reading, I decided to man up and give it a go a second time. Surely it couldn't go much worse than the first, which was one at college where I mumbled and tripped my way thru my words and made a lot of people complain about one poem in particular that I read. Oops.
This one was in the Chester Arms, so it was kind of my first 'proper' one.
So yeah, I was kind of bricking it.
Someone, I think it was my Mum, said I should just treat it as if I was acting (referring to when I used to do acting/performing arts yeeeeeears ago), but it's completely different. When you act you're basically in a role and as much of yourself as you put into that role, you still get to hide behind the fact that it isn't really you. You're being someone else. Standing up in a room full of people reciting something you have written, you put your whole self on display almost. It's a completely different thing.
So yeah, I was kind of TOTALLY bricking it.
But I did it.
And it seemed to go down pretty well. In fact, I sort of totally nailed it. The response was great. People laughed in all the places I wanted them to, and seemed to really like what I'd done.
It felt pretty fucking great.
Anyway, the whole thing's a little bit of a blur. I can't say a massive amount more about it, so instead I shall simply share with you the three poems that I did.

Along The Seafront

'Jim, Jim is that you?'
'Jim, why have you got your umbrella pulled down over your face like that?
It's not even raining.'
'I'm hiding.'
'From what?'
'See the sea to my left?
That sea stole all my ex-girlfriends
and turned them to mermaids.
Now they try and tempt me into the water,
knowing I can't swim.
Knowing I would die.'
'Why don't you just look the other way then?
That would solve that, surely.'
'I can't.'
'Why not?'
'See the café to my right?
That's where my ex-girlfriends fathers go every day
to mourn the loss of their daughters.
If they see me, they get very angry,
and try to push me in the water,
knowing I can't swim.
Knowing I would die.
So if I want to walk along the seafront,
I have to make sure I'm not seen.'
'Why not just avoid the seafront altogether?'
'I can't.'
'Why not?'
'My doctor told me
that I need the sea air.
She said it's the best way to deal with the hair
growing on the inside of my lungs.
See, the hair gets all clumped up
restricting my breathing,
and the salty breeze untangles
and erodes the hair easily.
So I have to walk along the seafront,
But I want to make sure I'm not seen.'
'Surely there must be another way.'
'Well of course there is,
but have you ever tried inhaling a hairbrush?'

Pot Of Tea

Dear Diary,

Today, Mother came round
to share a pot of tea
and the afternoon gossip.
'Do you see David anymore at all?'
'No, but a friend of mine knows his sister, Lisa.
Apparently she has a kid now.'

Mother never dunks her biscuits.
She prefers to take a bite,
then have a slurp of tea immediately after.
That way, she says,
'You don't get the grit
in the bottom of your cup.'
Mother is a particular fan of Garibaldis.

Fucked Up On Garlic Crabcakes

I've got a camel on my back and it's excitably drunk,
Like Thelonious Monk.
Spunk dribbling out the side of it's mouth.
It's got three humps,
His girlfriends got AIDS and mumps,
So he dumps her.
She throws herself under a train,
Everyone curses her name,
As they're going insane in a three hour standstill.
Jack and Jill popped a pill and got their fill,
Staring at their hands,
Jill sucking on Jacks glands.
Jill was pregnant in the mornin',
Went to a clinic and got an abortion.
Things were never the same between them.
Jill started drinkn',
And Jack started going to gay clubs.
Got himself a hardon,
Got taken up the arse in Covent Garden,
But forgot to use a condom.
Now he's got Hepatitis B.
Jill's too drunk to see the car in the road,
And she gets mowed down.
Paralised from the waist down in her nightgown,
She'll never walk again.
Meanwhile, my camel friend is chewing on my ear.
He really is a fucking nuisance.

'Pot Of Tea' was given 'Poem Of The Week' by the website ABCTales, which I was pretty fucking chuffed with.
'Fucked Up On Garlic Crabcakes' was the one that all the complaints were made about at the college open mic night. It went down MUCH better at this one. Long term readers of this blog might recognise it, as I first wrote it on here nearly 3 years ago now.

I am working on some new stuff to do at the next one. It's not going to go down as well as this one did, but hey, at the moment I'm feeling pretty encouraged to try this a few more times and see what happens.

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