PHOTO REVIEW; TOM NELSON & JAMIE SPENCE, July 2017

Feature Poet Jamie Spence makes his Brisbane debut

July Photo Review

Tom Nelson & Jamie Spence

Memento Mori Glory

Our theme in July, Memento Mori, had several patrons turning up in mourning attire, expecting some sort of Service or Wake for a recently departed member of the tribe. Explaining how the theme was more of a generalised injunction rather than a specific instance of Mortality we swiftly moved on to the business at hand..

Fab Blues & Rock singer/songwriter and all around geetar whizz Mr Matt Barnes opened with a rousing set that would surely wake any dead within earshot.

Blues Maestro Matt Barnes

Reverend Hellfire, keeping to the theme, read extracts thruout the afternoon, of the famously depressive Australian Poet, Barcroft Boake’s morbid masterpiece, “Where the Dead Men Lie” (Aside from this poem, Mr Boake is perhaps best known for hanging himself with a stockwhip).

Gentle-man Poet Michael Vaughan‘s first poem had plants distributing Angel Dust, while his second piece on “How to Play Pinball” had balls of steel and flipped us right out..Radio guru, Eido Boru gave us sardonic observations, sharp and brief..while Cahala‘s meandering meditations on the QLD Health Dept. detoxified the brain..Paul Dobbyn returned from retirement to share with us alliterative reflections on Dead Pop Stars, while “Aunty” Theresa Creed

told us a “sea-soaked” tale alive with Spirit, “Home cried the Wind/over way-weary waves”

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Newcomer, Indigenous Poet Alan, “Stafford bred & born” told us of his 4 years of hell ending in a jail cell where he discovered he could write..SAVANU reminisced on the joy of taking a ride in the “rolls royce of Opioids” and Geoffrey Evans returned from walkabout with a digression on Astrolonomy and some “meanomorphic meanderings of the Moon”!

Jamie Spence plays the Poetry Challenge

Our first Feature Poet for the day was newcomer Jamie Spence, winner of a Poetry Slam recently conducted under the auspices of the Reverend out in the wilds of Ipswich. Jamie kept the crowd well entertained with his intelligent and witty works, and introduced us to the “Poetry Game Challenge” – a technique by which several of his poems were created. The game is to take a topic you wouldn’t normally write about and do it in the style of a famous poet. His most successful piece was perhaps his Robert Frost-ian meditation on a Supermarket, which began,” Two Aisles Diverged..”

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After the break and another fine set of down-home hoe-downs and more mood music from Matt Barnes, we returned for the day’s main Feature Poet, Mr Tom Nelson.

Tom is a well respected and familiar face around the Brisbane Poetry scene, and delivered a cracking feature set of poetry that showed that he’s also far too self-effacing about his talents.. On this occasion he treated us to a series of subtle and sensitive poems, (leavened with a touch of the Larrikin Streak) that result from a Lifetime’s worth of experience and observation.

A case in point, his thoughtful examination of Sexual and Emotional Fidelity: “You reach that Time when you must decide“; or his Poetic Paen to the brave Volunteer Firefighters of yester-year, in the innocent days before Occupational Health & Safety became a Thing, when,“at the Gates of Hell we stood”.

Yes, as Tom reminds us, it’s not surprising that, “There’s no old Firemen“.

The esteemed Tom Nelson

Tom followed with memories of an idyllic fishing trip and a loving hymn to olfactory nostalgia,

and later a heart-felt confessional for a departed friend, “I was too busy/ I brushed you off.”

Thru-out his set his poems gave voice to a deep and sincere Humanism, ranging from the tender regret expressed

for a wounded moth ablaze,

to the bitter-sweet comic relief of “My Dad Hates Cats.

Laugh and the world laughs with you..

Speaking for myself I think it was one of the most satisfying Feature sets that I have witnessed at Kurilpa. Well done mate, I dips me lid, as the Poet once said..

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High lights of the second Open Mic included; Kitchen Martinette Linda Loop pirouetted silhouetted against the rhythmic tones generated by Mr Matt Barnes steel-string, hollow-bodied geetar, as she crooned the lyrics of her original song. (Top marks to Matt here for his ability to be suddenly presented with a sheet of music and start playing it in front of an audience.) Moved to music, the irrepressible Geoffrey Evans then gave us a spontaneous acapella “Summer-time” sans “blackface” , while the venerable Eido Boru set Johnny Rotten and the Buddha on a collision course. Cameron Logan’s strange Dream Journal took us “travelling forward in Time at the usual pace”, fuelled by cigarettes and botulism. Finally the Reverend Hellfire brought the day to a close, adopting the personae of Emoticon Man to deliver a blistering satire on modern modes of mass communication.

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Well, it’s time to let the pictures do the rest of the talking, and Visual Arts Editor Shane K has once again produced some stunning character portraits. So enjoy and see you all next time!

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-Words; Unckle Rat

-Photos; Shane K

***

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Kurilpa Poets present MEMENTO MORI, Sunday 30th July

The Kurilpa Poets present

MEMENTO MORI

Sunday, July 30th, 2pm

91 Cordelia Street

with Feature Poets

TOM NELSON

& JAMIE SPENCE

Open Mic Sessions*Mystery Musicians* Unsuspected Artist Ben Shahn*Prizes* Free Food & Refreshments*

Skeleton with (Greek) inscription: Know thyself. (1st CE). From excavations in the convent of San Gregorio, Via Appia, Rome, Italy.

THE SKELETON AT THE FEAST

And so it is July and the Lord of Misrule goes to and fro upon the earth as the World revolves around the Sun and the Southern hemisphere dips deep upon it’s Winter Axis. What better time to bring the Skeletons from out of the closets and set them dancing upon the table with the Poets. A time to consider our own Mortality and see what wisdom Poetry has to offer us about the Fate that awaits us all.

Indeed, twas an ancient custom practised by both the Romans and the Egyptians, to bring out a skull or a model skeleton or some other Memento Mori, and give it pride of place amongst the delicacies and delights spread upon the table during their sumptuous Feasts & Festivals. A reminder that all Luxury is but fleeting, and also perhaps to act as an incitement to make the most of what Life has to offer and to partake eagerly of the Feast.

So bring your elegies and tributes, your poetic reflections on the Grim Reaper, your gallows humour and morbid obsessions all

as we make mock of the Noseless One

and pay our respects to those who have gone before us.

***

Our main Feature Poet for July is popular Brisbane poet, esteemed fellow Water Rat, and genuine gentleman, Tom Nelson. He describes himself thusly

TOM NELSON

Tom Nelson sees, read

in a few words

Thomas has had a love of poetry from an early age. His tastes are eclectic, covering the classics to hip hop, it includes all styles and genres. Started to write seriously in 2011 because he could. Thomas writes about what he sees and experiences. Not big on feelings. One day he hopes to find his own voice.

Has done a feature at Poets Corner Maroochydore and reads regularly in Open Mic sessions at all good Poetry venues..

Poet and social gad-about, the ever urbane Tom Nelson

***

Our first Feature Poet  on Sunday is Jamie Spence, the winner of the Eat Your Words Open Mic, held recently at the Coronation Hotel in Ipswich, with the assistance of the Reverend Hellfire. It was not the most conducive environment for Poetry and Jamie impressed the Rev with both his poetry and his handling of a difficult crowd. He certainly deserves to be heard by an appreciative audience, so do come along and welcome this talented newcomer to the Brisbane Poetry Scene.

James Spence explains

“I’ve always been creative, although sometimes I lose track of things. I remember one day in particular, when I found that some mysterious person had left a lump of Play-Doh on my desk. I just didn’t know what to make of it.

Although my writing began when I was fifteen, it was not until I was seventeen that I began to read. Reading and writing turned to painting, which then moved to photography, although it often took me a long time to turn the negatives into photographs. I was a always a late developer.

I gave up photography for theatre and told my parents that I was going to enrol in the Roger Moore School of Acting. There were a few raised eyebrows in my house on that day, I can tell you.

My theatrical career then took a break when I realised I wasn’t suited to it and I decided to enjoy the pieces in the National Portrait Family. I remember standing in front of a Garfunkel for hours at a time and wondering to myself, “It’s nice… but is it art?”.

Eventually, I found my calling in poetry and tried out for a few gigs. I did quite well, although I still haven’t been paid for my very first recital. Even today I still feel like I’m ode.”