Well I’ve had a great week as a poet, doing all kinds of poety things in front of other poets and audiences and travelling the breadth of the country from Devon to Guildford to London. And last night at the Roebuck was definitely a highlight!
Bang Said the Gun is, quite simply, the finest poetry evening in the country, not including the wonderful Poetry Island in Torquay, ( which has the best host). And last night was no exception. The raucous noise and energy was infectious and seemed to build to a mighty crescendo before a verse had even been uttered. But tonight was special. There were more people crammed into that room than I had ever seen there before, and everyone was in amazingly high spirits.
The host, Jack Rooke, was amazing and as full of energy as any I’d seen. A highlight for me was seeing the sublimely wonderful Rob Auton in action. In my belief he is one of the funniest poets in the country, and the fact that he looks almost exactly the same as a friend of mine, even down to the facial expressions, makes it all the more sublime. Anthony Anaxagorou was word perfect, poignant and personable. But for many the highlight of the evening was Emma Jones. Not only was she funny, energetic and entertaining, but she ended her last poem by proposing to her partner. The place just went wild! There was cheering, yelling, stamping, champagne, the most heartfelt applause I’d ever seen. It was all I could do not to start blubbing. A really special moment which I was so glad to have witnessed.
And then came the open mic section, of which I was on first. How can I possibly follow on from a marriage proposal? Well, I did ‘Fozzie’ and it seemed to go down really well, even though I had to edit it down to two minutes in order to fit in with the slam requirements. The competition element was won by a singer / guitarist, who was very good indeed.
Caught the tube back to my hotel in Central London. And I found myself in a lift down to the platform level at Borough tube station with some poetry fans who all liked what I’d done and were saying such nice things that I wished I could have taped their remarks.
It’s back to work on Monday. Back to the day job. But it’s been a good week doing all this poeting.