Write up JFMcG. Photos by Jez. Alcohol by Culture Rapide.
Packed with poets, musicians, a record 8 virgin voices and our featured reader Claire Dyer, June’s last Open Mic would have been unforgettable – if it hadn’t been for the beer.
We kicked things off with rotating host Emily rhymes with Ruck Keene and her classic piece After Babel, because speaking French doesn’t always make sense. The Belleville Park Pages‘ Bird flew in and nested in our Stinky City and Jenna, the Cheapest girl in the room, made mistakes in the darkness of her Sex Haze. Nina, at her wise age, reminded us never to live in Germany and virgin voice #1 Zoe brought her parents and pleas all the way from Texas: “Give me a job!”
Gus gave us some accents and some Awesome Bullshit on his guitar, Helen talked at length about Him (not god, the other one) and Susan, a 65-year old virgin (#2), talked about getting old and those BP Bastards. Dan came up just before our special guest Claire Dyer – author of Eleven Rooms (Two Rivers Press) and her debut novel, The Moment (Quercus) due in September – taught us some Punctuation and love with quotes, maintained that it was difficult to write poems about Birmingham (although contested by Bird), took One Boy on a Moon Landing and celebrated her Birthday by Flying with Dragons.
Max, journalist, poet and comedian shape-shifted into Bob Dylan to send us off to the break.
Claire came back to kick off round 2 with French Lessons, stories of her Grandfather and a House Raid with 11 Rooms while Angels [were] Washing Dishes. What an Exhibition! We then had a slew of Virgin Sacrifices: Romi (virgin voice #3) complained about her Fucking Sandals and those cheating bastard boyfriends, the female version of Sam (virgin voice #4) talked about her Adoring Fan while her the male version started the Occupy PLU movement, camped out, passed out candy and made himself Shake in his last appearance on our stage: We’ll Miss You Sam! The virgin Sam sandwich was completed with Missy (virgin voice #5) talking about her sex Peach, Gus took drugs, Aixsha (virgin voice #6) told of a playwright who died in a car crash and the beautiful Nea (virgin voice #7) talked about Jesus and the Odyssey – but salvation was brought by Troy York and his Bleeding Heart covered with Lace. Kate complained about tigers and wood pigeons.
Enter: Hic Sunt Leones (a.k.a. Round 3)
Yann sexed chicks, Lizzy asked us to STOP LOOKING AT MY TITS & books, Willproclaimed stuff, Ryan documented everything (virgin voice #8), Rebecca sang the Lock Ness Monster Song (Ooouuu, Ooouuiii, POP), José fragmented 6 poems, and me, founder, creator and drunken universe master stuttered something about someone else’s Dream in Action.
‘There’s a clarity about Claire Dyer’s poems that makes them immediately attractive: their surfaces gleam and glitter…’ Andrew Motion (former UK Poet Laureate)