Good Evening, and Welcome to the Poetry ReadingSince you have all come to hear poems,Good Evening, and Welcome to the Poetry Reading by ~oddlyaromatic
when poems are freely available in book form,
I assume you are here
because for some reason or other you felt obliged,
or this kind of thing is the kind of thing you want to support,
or maybe it just feels good to be here. That's okay too.
I'm not sure why there are so few/many of you,
but—surely—it is the prevailing condition
of poetry in this area, and such a number
in such a place represents the deplorable/commendable
level of local investment in the arts and culture,
for which those responsible should be duly applauded/castigated.
I'm afraid you will be hearing six kinds of poetry this evening,
which is to say there will be slow poems, fast poems,
loud poems, quiet poems, poems about tea, and of course,
poems that we are not really sure are poems at all,
of which this is arguably the first. Emergency exits are available
in case the rhetoric is literally inflammatory.
Heckling is permitted whenever I hold up this sign,
but at other times, for y
On The School TourWe used to get the tube in London sometimes,On The School Tour by ~oddlyaromatic
and the lady on the Tannoy would say, Mind
the Gap! pushing out the syllables with her tongue
the way you'd push the stone from a peach.
In our minds she licked our necks,
slid her tongue into our ears and whispered to us.
She was a nibbling, biting, throbbing sex-fiend, that one.
We all knew it, but we couldn't prove a thing.
How could you? It was just a recording. Just an accent.
She was probably somebody's mother,
but if she was, we all thought, then she was a serious MILF,
dripping those syrupy words on our lips,
sliding her hands down the backs of our jeans
to pull us in close, and say it again.
We harboured these thoughts through galleries
and graveyards and all the way home,
to our classrooms, to our daydreams,
and on and on like that, forever.
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For the past year, I've running an arts magazine called Read This which is about to reach its tenth issue in print and online. Over the course of that year I have realised that there is a distinct lack of resources out there for young people who write creatively - particularly for young poets. Every singe week, the magazine team get emails with questions from young writers - things like "how do I make my poems better?" "did I write my cover-letter OK?" "how do I write a bio?" "can I publish under a pen name?" These are all good questions, but lately I've been getting stressed out rep