On Wednesday 23rd May starting 7:30, as scheduled after Clive Baker’s regular Kernewek tutorials (5:30) at the famous (or it should be) Melting Pot cafe, Redruth, was held an evening of poetry readings and music, in the convivial and punk-baroque setting of the cafe itself, on perhaps one of the first really sunny evenings in west Cornwall this year.
Abigail Wyatt, who I believe did much the of the organising of the event, started the spoken word, and read the only rhyme poems, I think, of the evening – ( 😦 I d’like rhyme ) . These began with A Long Time Coming, about the trial and subsequent putting to death of Carlos de Luna by the state of Texas in 1989, shown to have been a miscarriage of justice. Following that was her Lullaby for a By-Election, commenting on George Galloway’s adventures in Bradford West. The first was poignant, the second playful.
Next to brave the stage was Duncan Yeates, who read A Small Work of Questionable Worth (which was actually very good) from his collection Lallocropia – following this with a piece inspired by Gabriel Dante Rosetti’s interment, and subsequent disinterment, of a volume of poetry with the body of his lover. Both poems concerned sincerity and sourness at the end of relationships.
A similar theme motivated the second of the items read by Craig Taylor-Broad of Redruth from his impressive catalogue of work, headed thus: Your Pet Name Was Button But All My Pets Are Dead, which has a long title, true, but a pugnacious and pithy content. Preceeding that was Creation for Currency is Corruption – without wishing to be ironic, I’d say that the poem hit the nail on the head and did exactly what it said on the can.
By the time Lorna Hoskings of Penzance took her turn, the setting sun was shining right through the windows of the cafe (which, aptly, was the library room when I went to ‘druth lower school there) and warmly dazzling straight into the eyes of the readers, but her March Moody Blues and January 2012 were atmospheric, and, though in mostly blank verse, had rhythm – particularly at the endings of lines.
Sue Farmer of Redruth Radio, who also helped organise the event, employed the word not spoken but sung, a sharply sardonic and satirical composition of her own about
The Scum The Sun newspaper, appropriately accompanied by herself on ukulele, followed by a more serious unaccompanied protest solo about the plight of migrants to the UK.
I should add here that punctuating the varied poetry were musicians of equally varied genres: all of the artists (The house musicians, Mr Bones Presents, Aston Drees and Ice & Slice) being a pleasure to listen to and good complement to the spoken word. Some really brilliant music; guitar and close harmony a capella (tis always good to hear On The Trail of the Lonesome Pine 🙂 ).
Patricia Finney of Truro has had an impressively vast catalogue of work published, in a variety of genres – at Truro library on Fal River Festival’s Poetry Day, 8th June, she’ll be hosting some literary events: a kids’ workshop in the morning and an adults’ poetry performance workshop in the afternoon (more details from Patricia or Truro library). Her brace of poems this evening covered chocolate and bankers – objects of diametrically opposed desire and loathing. Apropos of chocolate, her latest book of poetry contains culinary verse and recipes juxtaposed, which if nothing else is highly practical.
A midlife crisis was the subject of Colette Loftus’ 41, both humorous and touching. Then If Education Is A Weapon I Think I’ve Got A Bomb – scientia potenta est, as applied to the everyday life of the underdog – was the second poem, and the final poem of the evening’s first half. By this time the sunset, tho’ picturesque for the audience, was focussed in on the stage so all readers had done extra well in its spotlight.
I left at half-time. Hopefully by then all readers had read a little of their material – any further information on the event from full-timers will be gratefully received and posted. The next spoken word at the Melting Pot is scheduled in August, but Abi Wyatt has hopes of one sooner – you might hear more here.