International Writers of the Word, Unite! feat. Jem Rolls
For the hallowed day of May 1st, the International Writers of the World (IWW) joined in solidarity to celebrate 120 years of creative revolution. We broke the oppressive chains of grammar, liberated ourselves from the regulatory boot of syntax and revolted against the tyranny of standardized spelling! From each according to their ability, to each according to their need!
After attempting to sing the Internationale and Bella Ciao, Subcomandante Noakes opened the ceremonies with A Study for a New Jerusalem, then reciting Comrade Blake‘s original Jerusalem. The three Comrade Steves: one came back From the Abyss, Comrade Steven W asked the question “If a man sees his brother in need yet shuts up his heart against him, how can it be said that the divine love dwells in him?” and Comrade Steven told us How He Was Getting There. Comrade Ashley Held [her revolutionary furor] Up High and then showed her true color: Pink. Comrade Beatrice channeled Comrade Pavese‘s Smokers of Paper in Italian and Comrade Vanessa sang her new original Winter in Love. Comrade Nick brought Comrade TS Elliot with him and a Mystery Cat. Finally, guest Comandante Jem Rolls ranted, shouted and spit revolution at our audience for a full 25 minutes!
Round 2 heard Comrade Kathrine‘s Cocktail Fairy Tale on her flying ukulele, and Comrade Rufo‘s schizophrenic question and answer Why Are All the Poets Here – Well, Here I Am. Comrade Michelle did some Internationale herself between French and English, très navrée. Comrade Thomas brought his own translation of Pushkin‘s The Prophet from Mother Russia and Comrade Missy Fell In Love With A Communist! Comrade Anu sang revolutionary hymns from India and Comrade Nick from Annexe lost his PLU revolutionary Virginity. Comrade Juliana hablò en el idioma mas revolucionaria before Comrade Troy let us all go home with images of a Cheap, Cheap Fetish Boy – Licking the Windows with a Whore on the Edge.
Jem Rolls: Performance poet Makes a living solely by shouting Sells nothing No books, CD’s, merchandise of any kind No teaching no broadcasting Nowt Punk rock ideology: no sell out No obeisance to any convention fast, slow dumb, smart light, dark hi-energy ever more physical/ theatrical max variety 60 shows a year in Canada on the summer fringe tour Born 62 Comprehensive peasant Posh university, Bristol Did nothing in 20s except think & be v poor [a lot] Started performing 93 Began big word, weekly poetry cabaret Rather very good, now forgotten Islington Then did Edinburgh, 96-04 Three-act show First successful edfringe poetry cabaret in decades Made money saying Pay As You Like At The End Moved Edin ‘01 Began cabarets & slams Decent shows, v successful, much impact, great fun Tried Toronto Fringe in 01 First toured Canadian fringes in 03 Hour shows Most fun & success ever First ever performance poet on tour Toured there ever since 30+ 5 star reviews 150+ 4 star Went nomadic in 06 No home for 43 months & and counting Write shows over winter, perform over summer Bags of laughs Bloody marvelous How did it all work out so well?