I had a great time at the BCU Summer Show last night (and at The Woodman afterwards) for the launch of this years School of English Anthology Lifelines. On the basis of the readings at the event I’m very much looking forward to reading through the rest of my free copy.
I wrote a new spoken word poem to read on the night, which I intend to record and upload soon, but in the mean time here’s my contribution to the anthology itself:
Call for Contributions
Everybody talks, I imagine
an everywhere fog of incessant buzzing,
a radio cacophony built from the layering of many subtly different frequencies,
a wall somewhere between a The Flaming Lips live experiment
and Lou Reed trying to escape a record contract,
the plurality of voices blending into white noise, blank
verse used in the manufacture of what
is this? Is it a kind of art? Well anyway,
in a buyer’s market
the tone, or should we say colour of the voice
is a highly commercial property.
Any practising perfectionist will tell you that
these conversations have been rehearsed within an inch of their lives,
starting with a question or questioning
and then falling back on Catholic guilt. Good
conversationalists are often guilty. My God
is often bored. Good conversationalists
are often good listeners,
I mean haven’t we heard all this before?
Craving something more controversial,
we make the established noises (a loud explanation of gas)
and then sit back to wait for peer recognition.
Some of us only know what we’re thinking as we’re talking,
others engage in authoritative discourse
like a conversational tic—expounding on the current conflict in the Middle East
as a favourite party piece.
(Some themes are never out of vogue.)
All of us enjoy a good eavesdrop,
but very few have the talent to make a living out of it.
You see, ideas and conversations are inextricably linked,
and, though we’re often exhorted to publish or perish,
some conversations can get you killed.