EMERGE PHOTO REVIEW
And so they emerged creeping and crawling out of their lairs and burrows where they’d been lurking the past year or more. We did our best to be Covid Safe but there was many a non-compliant hug and hearty hand-shake amongst the gathered Survivors, and who could blame them? After all this time, an elbow just didn’t cut it.
Be that as it may, the day kicked off amidst jovial confusion.
Launching the gig was our very own Versifying Local Councillor Jono Sri
Jono gave his usual impassioned and articulate performance, leading off with the classic “Change is Coming to Brisbane”-a personal favourite, he catches the growing cognitive dissonance as we watch Everything we love about the place being buried beneath the relentless Bulldozer of “Progress”.
Still his Poetry offers us Humour & Hope; “There is Coral in the Skyscrapers,” he reminds us.
“I will miss you every Day!!” Our beloved Jem Sparkle assured us, all aglitter in her suit of lights. keened & crooned, howled, growled and moaned and somehow managed to do it whilst smiling her radio-active all the way!
she assured us
David Hallett, jet-lagged but still jovial, came wading up out of the “Byron Bay Ocean of Tattoo Blue” to deliver an entertaining set of blistering Jeremiads & gentle Reveries- many drawn from his recent slim volume of Verse-
“Out of the Blue“.
“This poem is not made in China,” he reassures us,
David’s black humour, heavily laced with Irony, keeps us laughing in Recognition, even as our Freedom is being Micro-chipped away, bit by byte. In a post apocalyptic Dreamtime, Gina Reinhart manifests as a monstrous Toad, devouring the Landscape and shitting out Poisons.
The Open Mic
was very well attended, the local poets keen to share their thoughts and words..
Stepping onto the stage for the OPEN MIC Session,
we saw 16 poets step up to the Microphone;
Michael Vaughan/ Doctor John Jiggens/ Shane K / Kurilpa newcomer Stuart joined us also/ Linda Loop emerged from the kitchen/ Bernadette le Goullion & Trent as a tag-team act/ Kurilpa Elder Paul Dobbyn emerged from Retirement, Jack Keegan (another newcomer)/ Kalkadoon Elder Theresa Tracey Creed & Consort John Tracey also put in an appearance/ Green haired SUIN (pronounced Shoon) returned to us, as did the ever individualistic SAVANNU/ CHASE our youngest ever poet/ yet another newcomer Darryl O’Brien /old comrade Greg Georges and of course the Reverend Hellfire himself (no show without Punch!)
The Reverend’s persistent clumsy mishandling of the whole Covid- related Mic-Cleansing process
became the afternoon’s running joke, and it’s ultimate spectacular destruction as a consequence provided the appropriate punch line. [“I sounded a word of warning!” recalls L Loop]
Open Mic was led off by respected Poet & Pitta Pitta & Kalkadoon Elder, Theresa Tracey-Creed with a handful of poems ranging from the agonies of the Stolen Generation and Killing Fields marked by chips of Opal, to the simple pleasures of Yabbie hunting as a kid in the local creek and cooking up a big feed afterwards.
Kitchen Diva Linda Loop emerged to deliver a mesmerizing Acapella piece “Silence is a Rhythm Too”-imperiously stopping the song after one verse to demand more echo from the stage crew who scurried to comply, before continuing on to a soaring conclusion and much applause.
John Tracey up next delivered three short, sharp, subversive hits, with laconic titles like “Democracy” and “Bureaucracy” and one I missed..
Next up the youngest poet ever to take the stage at Kurilpa, this being young Chas aged 7, who stepped up to deliver a poem he’d written during the break on a cardboard cup squashed flat. Definitely extra points for the cup, hell anyone can write a poem on a piece of paper! Chas is actually songstress Jem Sparkles’ nephew, so it’s no wonder he displays artistic talent.
“You might try doubling the dose” advised Viridian haired Suin (pronounced Shoon”) before reading an inspirational poem from South American Poet Aurora Morales;
“in the shadow of the cruel Empire/
Enigmatic Visual Arts Director Shane K., gave us a shaggy dog of a poem that wandered from cats bursting into flame,
past old Gilgamesh sitting in the shadows to Aliens subjecting him to unspeakable indignities as his Mother clucked disapprovingly. Yes. It was all a Dream.
Shane then went on to better our knowledge of the days’ featured Visual Artist, Danish Surrealist Wilhelm Freddie and his battles with the Nazi’s in Copenhagen.
There is only one SAVANNU, and no-one else reads or writes poems like he does. Filling the gap left by Kurilpa’s absence he’s been running a little “Poems Written while you Wait” stall at King George Square in town. No doubt to the confusion and amazement of the City Clerks & Shoppers. If you’re in the City make sure you drop by to say hello and order a poem.
Today, as always, Sav laughed last, and it is not a laugh that leads to restful nights.
Newcomer Jack Keegan gave us his “Disgusting Snot Poem”- and what a wheeze & sneeze it was- at least one sensitive Patron left the room to avoid contamination.
STUART reminded us that Extinction is Forever and mourned the long gone Thylacine./
“Mount Warning’s a Bitch” warned a jovial Paul Dobbyn, and went onto justify his case with anecdotal evidence./
Greg Georges was forced to go acoustic after the Reverend’s destruction of the Microphone, and delivered us a legend of a Migrating Bird./ The Reverend reassured us that his satirical poem on Backyard Bully’s clad in Hawain Shirts and Thongs who go on to kill themselves, their ex-wife & child in a blaze of newspaper headlines, had nothing to do with our beloved prime Minister/ Darryl O’Brien brandished his laptop to deliver his stylish wordplay before exeunting with flourish/
and there was probably more but I’ve lost the rest of my notes!
All and all it was a successful day, with many readers and a good mix of old & new faces.. The lack of our usual Beggars’ Banquet was sorely felt and something better will have to be worked out before the next gathering; one can’t live on Poetry alone, alas, you’ve got to have some Bread as well, even if it’s only to soak up the Wine.
Speaking of Gatherings, we’re not sure when the next will be. We won’t be doing them monthly at this stage with the Covid Chaos as it is, but we’ll probably be back by August/September for a Spring Show.
In the meantime keep writing those Poems, singing those songs and ctreating that Art.
Words: Uncle Rat
Photos; Shane K