I used to hate performing but now it is the only thing I do that makes me feel alive. Without poetry and shit-talking I am a mere shell, a wasteland of a human being. Derby Poetry Festival was an intense inspirational beautiful event and performing 3 times during was more concentrated performance than I’ve ever done before in my idle life. And performing at Sophie Sparham’s book launch was such an amazing honour. Hitting up the capital and opening a night of absolutely excellent performers, to celebrate a brilliant poetry collection that you should buy right now.
Basically I’ve been doing this for like, a year or two? Thanks to City-Zen One Mic basically, I got a sweet intro to spoken word and standing on small stages saying things to real people. Everything come from there. Then we got some hosting skills going on as well and I found out that I quite like chatting bollocks and I’m not 100% terrified of everything really.
This could be viewed as an inspirational story of a shy frightened girl overcoming her fears and self-consciousness to stand on stage and express True Feelings in the cause of Art.
Or it could be a tragic tale of rampant narcissism and ludicrous hats. Hubris nemesis, etc.
Anyway I need to step my game up and become the rampaging poetic beast the world deserves.
I’m feeling down and seasonally affective disordered today. Self-reflective blog rambling is a coping mechanism. Some bullshit inspirational Facebook thing was asking me to focus on my strength and that was the only thing I could think of and even that was somewhat conflicted. Reality is incredibly contingent so knowing what is objectively strong or weak, positive or harmful within the self is a bit of a crapshoot, in my opinion. The worst traits can be used and transformed. The best traits can twist into the noose that ends you. Black and white thinking is meant to be a problem for borderline people, but I think extreme ambivalence is more of an issue right now.
Life is ok though, I finally fulfilled my teenage dream of seeing Marilyn Manson. Dripping sweat and moshpit bruises, sleazy decadence love and adventures. Only ten years late but better late than never. This is an extreme case of arrested development or perhaps perpetual adolescence. If I’m going to find myself I have to look everywhere.
(I recognise that the self is illusory.)
I posted this lovely selfie and was gifted a couple of edits in return. To show gratitude, I’m posting them here.
Thank you to Case, who has been a guest here before with this poem.
And big up to Umor who started this trend.
I had plenty of goals last birthday
, which was so long ago that I can’t at all remember who I was back then. Not anywhere near as cool as I am now, definitely. My goals were not ambitious, and I still failed to achieve most of them.
The good thing is that many of them became irrelevant, and I was too busy doing much better things with my time. I’m going to list these things because I’m grateful to the universe for letting me happen them. When I list them it feels like being a child on birthday morning sitting with a great stack of shiny presents.
Things I didn’t expect would have happened a year ago, which happened nonetheless.
- I have a home, a lovely home with a lovely housemate. I love living in Derby, there are so many amazing people here. I’m kind of living independently.
- I’m Pippa Porcupine’s Damn Fine Natural Skincare Co.
- There is a great deal of poetry. I love performing. Still get scared but it’s good kicks.
- There is a great deal of love. ❤ to you all.
- Summer was amazing and I’m spinning with the seasons. From Beltane til Solstice, to Lammas and beyond…
- The pain is the pain of cracking eggshells, reaching roots, unfurling leaves. Growth.
- Piracy is a viable option.
- A hat and a cackle are all you need.
What did I want a year ago? Modest things to be going on with. I’m a work in progress.
- I’m still a traffic hazard, but don’t let that stop me from biking everywhere.
- I go to yoga most weeks, it’s only up the road. I’ve even started doing some stretches on waking, sun saluting into the waking world. More yoga needed though, I’m getting old and creaky.
- I still still eat a lot of cheese. Cheese is important to me and I have no wish to forsake it. I wish to maintain and encourage my love of wholesome veg based meals. Nosh them probiotics as well.
- Apparently I’d stopped smoking a year ago. Or at least I was vaping constantly, not sure if that’s an improvement. I smoke a bit now and have no goals to change that.
- GOAL WAS RIDICULOUS, NEVER GONNA HAPPEN MATE: Drink once or twice a week, at most. HAAAAA I can’t believe I made this goal, what an idiot. I am slowly getting sensible though, if only because hangovers are worse now.
- Dance more.
- Climb up things.
- Learn to fight.
- My poetry pamphlet, Thou Shalt Not Suffer, was published and I’ve nearly sold out again. Only 4 left, if you don’t have one yet you should get on it.
- I’ve written and performed a whole bunch of new poems. Some of them are pretty good. People seem to like them.
- Write more stuff. This year I want to do 2 new books at least.
- Get back to blogging
- Still a goal: Daily freewriting
- More journalling. Otherwise I forget where I’ve been and that makes map-making confusing and narrative next to impossible.
- Sell yourself. Make a performance video. Get booked to perform at festivals and other places that are not here.
- City-Zen is in the pipeline.
- Get back on the volunteering.
- I GRADUATED FROM THERAPY! Got a certificate and everything. DBT helped me so much, gave me skills I use every day and a solid background in Mindfulness that is a foundation for life. I met some amazing friends there and am so thankful that I got this treatment. Protect NHS mental health services please.
- Carry on growing and learning new skills to live by
- Regular meditation practice will help
- Everything constantly needs tidying. This does not qualify as a life goal.
- I still want to do some art.
- I don’t want to learn how to knit, why did I think that was a sensible goal?
- Why did I set a goal to learn to drive when I will never be able to afford a car?
- I never learnt violin (my violin is busted) but I did pick up a bit of tin whistle! I enjoy it a lot. Can almost play 3 whole tunes!
- Didn’t get round to this other other goal: Get better at poi.
- Adventures will always be a goal
Looking back over previous birthdays, there has been a theme that I felt life was passing me by while I failed to achieve anything of note whatsoever. This is absolutely not the case this year. While I still sometimes weep into the darkness when confronted by the absolute insignificance of my life, I can also recognise that the past year was a significant one in so many ways. Now it’s time to start giving back and making best use of this life I’ve been regifted.
There are so many people whose love and kindness and all round excellence has got me here and if I just pay that love forward the world will be brightened. It’s the least I could do.
Thank you all.
Never thought I’d get this far but it’s fucking nice here.
Sit on the hard wooden chair, stare at the cluttered desk and the blank page. Pick up a pencil. Hold it, hovering, above the paper, considering the right word. The perfect word to begin the story. Realise that the pencil is not perfectly sharp. It is adequate, but not optimum. Root through stacks of paper and drawers full of junk for a sharpener. Find it hidden in a jar of odds and ends. Get up, go to the bin, sharpen the pencil to a deadly point.
Return slowly to the chair. Sit down. The paper is still blank. Create something brilliant. You are not good enough. Nothing you write will ever be perfect. Your words are clichés; nothing original or insightful could come from a mind as weak as yours.
Snap the pencil in half and throw the splintered parts across the room. They bounce off the walls leaving graphite grey impact marks. Stand slowly again and stumble to the bed. Lay down your ungainly body, curl up and stare at nothing and think of nothing. Blank and empty. You are nothing.
This is part one of a possibly endless endeavour to spam you all with my old writing efforts. I found my old hard drive, you see, and it’s endlessly fascinating in a narcissistic kind of way.
Hell is neither fire nor brimstone
However much I invest in learning alchemy
or elemental magic,
It isn’t there
Sulphur has its own fire in the soul
Elements make this world
Hell ain’t other people neither
Though they be a bunch o fuckers
Your who is not a where
you aint aware
and you aint a fire
you int no thing
tho you aint nothing
more the pity
Hell is the heart come barking
cluckin for dope years after the habit
howlin at the moon
hell is you
hell is being yourself
hell is where you are
hell is your useless bastard self
in the dark
This guy is an inspiration. His perception, passion and drive are unique. I’m privileged to know Jamie. Can’t wait to read his debut book later this year.
Source: Jamie: Derby Poet – making the ‘Best of a Bad Situation’