Poetry Pit Stop #4 and The Ruling Class

Anchor Down*
Does your hi mean hello?
Or are you trying to hint that you’re above me,
beyond and away,
and I could never satisfy
such a soaring personality?
Come back to me.
Come down and slip
your ankle through this lasso loop;
Healthy humans live on Earth.
Not in castles made of clouds,
munching ozone layer cake,
slurping rain drops as they form;
Jewels of dew
dotting cotton.
Make your nest here
in my arms.
I will crystallize your wildest dreams.
Make your furthest,
waving fantasy
more real than you can stand.

by: the ever-in-the-clouds so-and-so, Gianni
*(I like this title better)

After a fantabulous meal at Shackfuyu (please go there and order ALL of the food) and a quick stroll last Friday, I saw The Ruling Class, written by Peter Barnes and starring James McAvoy.
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USDA beef picanha with kimchee tare butter.

USDA beef picanha with kimchee tare butter.

Korean fried wings.

Korean fried wings.

Fried potatoes with curry sauce. I also had the okonomiyaki-style prawn toast, and the french toast with green tea ice cream for dessert. OMNOMNOM.

Fried potatoes with curry sauce. I also had the okonomiyaki-style prawn toast, and the french toast with green tea ice cream for dessert. OMNOMNOM.

Hey there, London Eye!

Hey there, London Eye!

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The play was great, and not at all what I was expecting. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect (I just saw James McAvoy and trusted that it would be good). After the death of the 13th Earl of Gurney, the earldom and the old man’s estate are passed on to his only son, Jack, who happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic. As Jack’s uncle plots to take over the estate and have Jack permanently committed, the doctor under whose care Jack has been for the past seven years tries to cure him of his condition once and for all. Of course the play is about class and the prejudices held by members of differing echelons. However, it’s also about what is considered “normal”  according to societal standards and ultimately makes the point that, as long as you know how to play the game and do what is acceptable in front of the right people, what may be actual insanity is allowed to pass for mere eccentricity if you’re high up enough in the food chain. And as long as your behavior doesn’t tread on the toes of anyone important, you can do whatever you want. It’s an engaging story, and way more intense than I thought it would be. A nice surprise.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the theatre itself. The play is on at Trafalgar Studios. This is probably my favorite theatre venue I’ve been to so far. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. It’s one large room with stadium seating. Every chair faces the stage except for some box seats on either side of the seating area. The floor of the stage isn’t raised, but extends directly into the audience. The people in the first row were practically in the play. It has a very intimate feel, and it’s super easy to hear the dialogue even several rows up (as I was). I’ll definitely be back to see other productions.

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend, and that the week ahead rocks your socks off 🙂

Later!

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Poetry Pit Stop #2 and A Tiny List of Tiny Pleasures

More foolin’ around with words:

The Hard Way
Every goddamned thing
that’s river stone smooth,
I bypass
in favor of jagged rocks.
I like to cut the
thick skin of my feet,
pull back
the curtain on my red,
suffering soles,
leaving sticky footprints,
DNA-laden.
A map of vexation;
sticking pins:
Here I cried
Here I laughed
Here I tried
Here lies
one more layer
of sensitive reason
scraped free.
I have time to dream
of the things I want but don’t have.
Time to smile on them
like memories,
when I know they’re no such thing.
Time to carry them
in sleep,
nudging them awake.
Be real
Be true
Let me live the painted life that hangs
scene by scene,
frame by frame.
A solo show
the artist hides with her body
but demands
you try harder to see.

© 2014 Gianni Washington (heh…)

Sometimes, I manage to savor the mundane things that make me happy. I know it’s what we’re “supposed to do” anyway, but I feel genuine pride when I accomplish it. Little things like:

1. My room smelling like vanilla when I walk in.
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2. My bed when it’s made.
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3. Being smack in the middle of laughing at something HI-larious.
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4. Finishing a book.
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5. Making noticeable headway on my thesis.
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6. Having a full refrigerator.
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7. Listening to a new song by an artist I love and getting goosebumps because it’s so good.
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8. Walking into a restaurant alone and not caring.
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9. Making someone else laugh.
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10. Seeing pictures of my cats. (Yeah…I went there.)
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What would make your list?

Happy Monday 🙂

Poetry Br****l

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Last night, I attended an event at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery in London, put on by a lecturer in the Creative Writing department of my school, called a Poetry Brothel. Apparently this kind of event is gaining popularity across Europe, and in New York City. The main dealio is this: rather than exchanging money for sex, you’re paying to hear poetry. At this particular P.B. you change money for “tokens” (£5 per) in the form of miniature playing cards. A blue card got you a drink, a red one got you a reading with one of the brothel girls (or guy). You could purchase as many tokens as you liked. Each courtesan was appropriately dressed in corsets, gorgeous skirts, feather boas. One even wore a top-hat (which was super cute), and the guy had on 1920s appropriate garb. I paid for a session with one poet-of-the-evening and totally got my £5 worth. It may have been because I was her first customer of the night, but she read me 4 poems, which shakes out to £1.25 a poem (like that cider deal I thought I was getting, except this one was legit).

The space is (as its name suggests) an art gallery. The current exhibition is a solo show by Kirsten Glass titled Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

In addition to private poetry readings, there was burlesque dancing by Talulah Blue.

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I had my fortune told, which was fun. I got an interesting (and scarily accurate) reading. My supervisor also read from the new book he’s been working on (and wore a feather boa to get into the spirit of things 😀 ).

I met new people, chatted with folks I already knew, drank lots of wine and beer, and had an all-around good time. I’d highly recommend checking out an event like this if you find one in your area! In fact, there’s supposed to be another one in London soon…

Tomorrow I’m attending a talk on vampires at Strawberry Hill House, and Saturday I’m headed to Cardiff!

Talk soon 😉

Poetry Pit Stop

I don’t write poetry as often as I used to, but I tried my hand at it last night while attending a seminar given by the author of a new novel. I’m posting it here because I want it to be somewhere that feels wide open (not just on my computer screen and bouncing around inside my head).

You/Who/I/Where/We Belong
Maybe you belong with someone
cutely quirky
Not fractured & carrying
all the broken plates of her past
which still stab with their
sharp edges held close
For, as much as they sting and dig
I am protecting them
For they are mine
They are me
Without them, I
don’t exist.

You don’t even know how old I am
Thinking me not far from
hand-holding, crossing the street
But I have memory
of the burning fissures in
the Earth when it was new
I have sipped and supped
and been driven mad
by bowls of spirits
Trying to chase the
demons, run them screaming
from my mind.

Do I lack
because my brain is not
always
at the ready
to give service to
the piecing together
of the so-called
Big Ideas?
Who are you to decide
how I should occupy myself?
Circuses of the insane
Do they smile beautifully there?

© 2014 Gianni Washington
(b/c I’m oh so professional)

Thanks for reading 🙂