Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Choose Me

Poetry slams are odd things. Not that competitive poetry is anything new (it used to be part of the Olympic Games), but it is universally acknowledged that "the best poet never wins". It is remembering this mantra that I survived my last two slams with self-esteem intact (though kicking myself about things I could have done differently).

This poem, "Choose Me", was recorded on 14 February at the Anti-Valentine's Slam at Edinburgh's City Café, organised by the lovely people at Inky Fingers. The lighting and sight lines worked much better in person than on video!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Gig Alert: Spangled Cabaret, Monday 7 March 2011

Fernando Macaw, the paranormal parrot, will demonstrate amazing feats using his mystic powers - with the help of his glamorous assistant. And there will be other acts! Come to the Cabaret!

Spangled Cabaret, 8-11pm, Monday 7 March, The Rio Café, Hyndland Street, Partick, Glasgow - near Kelvinhall Subway. See the event on Facebook.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Do I Belong?

More from the other night at Sammy Dow's - this time, singing. I need a musical director...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Valentine's chivalry-themed murder mystery dinner, Sat 12th February

Not got your Valentine's night out booked? It could be murder! 
There are still places this Saturday (12th February) on a chivalry-themed murder mystery dinner presented by Spirit of Glasgow and held at Arta in Glasgow's Merchant City. For booking details, visit this page on Arta's website.
This is above all a comedy show, best suited to lovers of laughter. And, in case you were wondering, I'm playing at least one of the parts...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Tunnel of Lovin'

Last night at Sammy Dow's, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, I performed one of my more romantic poems...

Tunnel of Lovin’

Between Ibrox and Govan
There’s a tunnel of lovin’
Where engines get friendly
With pushing and shoving.
They sneak off the track
While their axles are supple
To sit in the sidings
And craftily couple.

Out of use, out of sight,
All their claddings they doff.
After rush hour’s over
They can’t wait to get off.

Just off Broomloan Road
Is the lovers’ abode.
It’s the depot, you know,
Where spare parts are bestowed.
In a frenzy of work,
At the surface and deep,
They are wrought and renewed
In their sleeper-borne sleep.

© Chris Young

Monday, 7 February 2011

First Monday of the month! I need to be triplets!

It is the first Monday of the month. This used to mean only one thing: "Words and Music" at Sammy Dow's (67-71 Nithsdale Road, Pollokshields/Strathbungo). This is a very friendly night for first-timers and old hands alike, mixing poetry with prose and song. Every month there is a featured writer and a featured musician, but the majority of the evening is floor spots (open mic without the mic). The evening kicks off at 8pm with sign-up for floor spots from 7.30pm; we usually finish around 10.30pm. This is where I first put my toe in the water of the Glasgow spoken word scene and I will always be grateful to Pamela Duncan and Gayle Smith for helping to provide this regular fixture, even if I don't make it every month.

Meanwhile, today also marks the third anniversary of Spangled Cabaret, held at the Rio Café (27 Hyndland Street, Partick). Apologies to Paul, Leggy Pee, the Creative Martyrs and others, but I shan't make it tonight, as Sammy's has first dibs. However, this is a cracking night for witnessing experimental (and experienced) performance ranging from poetry to rock via cabaret and burlesque (and performing if you ask enough in advance). I remain grateful for Spangled Cabaret giving Dickie Clifford his first break.

And if that's not enough, there's also Initial Itch at the 13th Note (50-60 King Street, Merchant City). This is another eclectic evening of art in nearly all its performable forms. I really must go back, but I haven't been since their May 2010 election special.

Tonight, I look forward to seeing old friends at Sammy's, and maybe making some new ones. Now all I need to do is decide what I'll be reading...

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

#whatstigma - Perfect

On a day that the Deputy Prime Minister has been tackling the stigma of mental health problems, and Twitter has been awash with the #whatstigma hashtag, I give you a poem from the vaults.


I want to perfect this misery,
To distil the despair
With gin or whisky,
To purify the pain
With flame or fume,
To sharpen my angst
With a blade or a needle.

I want it to be perfect:
Done and dusted,
In the past.

© Chris Young