New micro stuff

Slam Poet

Slam Poet Reading

Welcome once more to the Poetry News Desk. As ever – a short introduction from our sponsor Alam:

Hmm, I think I made a mistake at the beginning of the week (apart from getting up). I enrolled at a poets forum known as poetry free for all where you basically open yourself up to merciless critique of what you thought were your masterpieces…

Now, you get to kick ass too, and it’s quite fun at the beginning digging in, but after a while you begin to wish for at least one real poem – but I have to work my way up the ladder before getting to the good ones. In the meantime I get subjected to people trying to argue that metaphors are in fact adjectives and that my critique was wrong, or I get told off my the moderators that my revisions are too quick – it takes at least three months to revise a poem in accordance with their standards! But, at least a couple gave a decent, in-depth reading of the poem I submitted.

But I’m still in two minds – it takes a lot of time writing the critiques, and it’s quite nerve-wracking having your poems subject to critique, but it must be, it must be!

STOP PRESS! Lars just sent me a copy of his new book Spurious. I am very jealous, because it has been published by a proper publisher, but I’ve still got to send him a copy of my book in return…

Anyway, enough of this waffle, let’s get down to poetry business – I made a little video of a reading of my poem Slam Poet – you can see it here:

I’ve also got a new load of microverse, haiku and tanka. You can read them here.

Snowed In Voices

Several people, well, okay, three, have asked me why I haven’t done any readings yet (although one or two have already said this is not a good idea. Why on earth not? – some of you who have never heard my voice could well ask. For much the same reason as why I never sing in public. Never. The screams and howls of my victims, sorry, audience were too much to bear…

I find my voice to be a terrible thing, all high and nasal and whining – I simply wasn’t blessed with deep, dulcet tones, just as I was never blessed with a toneful ear – tone-deaf is what I am. Sad really, because I used to love singing as a child – until, that is, a teacher with higher sensibilities than my own waded through the hall to tell me to just mouth the words instead of mascerating them, there were, after all, others to think of. I never sang in public again.

So I’ve never really been an upfront performer, either. And here is the catch – nowadays the focus is upon the performance of poetry, especially the author’s performance of his or her work – everybody wants to hear your voice, as if somehow the original tones of the author lend an added authenticity to the work, although in my case I suspect that the only thing my voice lends to my pieces is an authentic experience of either acute discomfort or wallowing boredom. There was one time I delivered a good reading – it was to drums, on a boat on the Elbe, to a crowd of ravers. The drumming and the boat’s engine were so loud only the person sitting next to me heard the story – but he liked it, he really did!

But I don’t want to let anyone down, so I’ve decided to practice a bit of reading in the solace of my bedroom, and to show that I’m not shy you can see it here: It’s called Snowed In Voices.

If anyone wonders about the superb lip synching it’s because I dubbed a video of a different poem with the soundtrack for this poem. It’s just the wacky kind of thing I do when I get bored…

Does anyone still want me to do a reading?