THIRD WORLD SOLIDARITY (TWS) PROGRAMME 2009+
ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
THIRD WORLD SOLIDARITY
"September 11 - (Friday) On The anniversary of 9/11 - International poetry reading for peace by famous poets. ”
On the eighth anniversary of the only concerted attack on US military-industrial-philistine power ever, apart from Pearl Harbour, a team of Poetry Olympics superbards came together with Third World Solidarity (www.thirdworldsolidarity.org) at Chelsea Town Hall on London's Kings Road to affirm a concerted different way for homo-cum-femina sapiens to respond to ongoing planet earth disasters, from the patently futile eye-for-an-eye formulae since 9/11 on the parts of Bush, Blair, Bin Laden, Ahmedinejad, Netenyahu (sp?) and the rest of the weapons-besotted warmongering bleaders seemingly incapable of leading to anything but ever more global blindness
– to wit, the inaugurational first of this autumn's series of POE! (Poetry Olympics Enlightenment) productions on both pages and stages, in the form of a marathon megagig in Chelsea on 11 September 09, brought together –
John Agard and Alexander D Great voicing calypsonian delights which instantly drew delighted choral responses from the sensitively harmonious audience;
Francesca Beard and Jacob Sam-La Rose (two of the contributors to the shortly to be published Great-Grandchildren of Albion) provided a confident demonstration of the joys of Slam & Rap performance (with no trace of its elsewhere occasional abuses into dumbed-downspeak);
Mahmood Jamal and Tom Paulin displayed that there's still lyricism and laughter to be salvaged from the continuingly polluted-by-hate-and-fear climates;
Ifigenija Simonovic and Inge Elsa Laird gave exquisite yet devastating takes on white male rapacity and greed from their respective Slovenian and German-Jewish standpoints;
Stacy Makishi and Shane Solanki startled and entertained by turns with unprecedented and unrepeatable poeticised performance art;
Dave Russell and Pete Brown sang their hearts out with verses, musics and messages harder-headed than almost every over-produced substandard so-called pop or rock soundscapes;
John Hegley appealed as brilliantly as ever to the wise child potential of everyone present in a tour-de-force apotheosis of the late lamented Polympian Adrian Mitchell's point: "Just because he is one of the funniest men alive, do not underestimate his dedicated gentleness";
and Molly Parkin brought the house down – or rather levitated the pompously gilt-architected civic mausoleum – with a series of deeply-felt bulletins from several immediately recognisable hotbeds of contemporary city experience:
sex with Laban the Australian surfer 50 years her junior in the men's bog of a Las Vegas casino; filling in the daft perfunctory questionnaires UK citizens are supposed to account to in order to qualify for any kind of government benefit; the Babel of refugee community-cum-isolation in Inner London council housing estates; and her current flirtation with celibacy after having been advised by her doctor of the extent to which Viagra would reduce her pushing 80-year-old health to the extent of "uncontrollable, incontinent diarrhoea" – meaning to say, as her poem charmingly deduces, "that I could expect/a shit in the middle of the shag" . . .
I myself only just managed to hold such a galaxy of talents in temporal check (against my most artistic instincts, and despite each auditor wanting plenty more from each performer), in order to evacuate the Hall by midnight as ordained.
In short, a pretty great time was had by all. Which augurs well for the continuity of POE!
Watch this space for details of the next gigs, on 8 and 10 October, and the two anthologies Great-Grandchildren, and The POE! Anthology.