Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Beyond the Azure Plain of Blue

Recently I’ve been writing a series of blog-articles about the Spoken Word scene for the All Edinburgh Theatre website. I’ve written about some of the groups, organisations and events on my blog before, but since I’ve been invited to do a more comprehensive round-up (more comprehensive, perhaps, than has been done previously) elsewhere, I’ll use my blog to shamelessly promote some of the Edinburgh Events that I am involved in.
Besides the usual run of open-mic, and poetry-slam events run by the likes of Inky Fingers and Blind Poetics, I have read (or performed) my work at the Antihoot Open Stage, the Percy Poets, and Musselburgh Hot Pot. I also had my name pulled out of the hat for an impromptu poem at the last Shore Poets (I went prepared as always with a poem in my head) but I have yet to win the coveted Lemon drizzle cake.
At the end of this month, KALOPSIA COLLECTIVE are holding an exhibition of art books. I have been invited to ‘display’ a pamphlet of my poems and photos titled Walking on the Water. I won’t be reading it, but many people will have seen me perform the piece at Caesura and 10Red, interspersing the pictures and poems with sung Gregorian plainchant. Needless to say, the pamphlet will be available for purchase. http://scottishbooktrust.com/events/octavo-fika-narrative
Another poetry performance may turn out strangely memorable due to the location. Inky Fingers have teamed up with Edinburgh Tours and, as part of the Previously... history festival, have commissioned poets to write pieces to be performed to unsuspecting tourists. It’s called “Poets on a Tour Bus” – and, yes, I’m one of them. Writing to a remit is not particularly easy; I’m not sure my poems will last more than a single journey.
When I submitted a wee story last year to Monster Zine, produced by an elusive group called the Antisocial Writers Club, I was invited (as a grateful contributor) to what was one of the best launch parties I’ve attended. Now I have become more involved (on a purely anti-social level) and so will be performing (ironically) someone else’s work at the coming launch. This year’s theme is Circus. It will be entertaining, theatrical, and memorable.  And there will be an elephant in the room. Perhaps.
This brings me to the real reason for today’s bloggage. It is the 12th, and time for the next of my Twelve Tones of Blue poems. How do I tie this in with the Spoken Word scene? That’s easy! At the last Rally & Broad spoken-word Cabaret, amid the mayhem of music, dance, and wordsmithery, the audience threw paper aeroplanes at each other. As you do.
Canto XI is all about regretting those things we never did, and nostalgia for the paper planes we used to throw.

Twelve Tones of Blue


Canto XI


She made a paper plane to

remind herself of you,

that puerile time you both flew

planes from the landing on New

Year’s Day – as children do.


She tested it. It sailed through

the air. And landed too.

Then the cold wind blew.


Inside, the words she drew

said simply, “I love you.”

Concealing this with glue

she stuck the wings and threw

the thing. As if you knew,


The damn thing crashed. So

she painted it blue.

“Room for 2?”

Join the Q.

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