1st Mar 2018
FEBRUARY WRITE ANGLE WITH OPEN MIC & STEVE POTTINGER - “THE BEST POET WE HAD YET!”
That's what was said by some of the audience about Steve Pottinger. When he went to sell his books at half time, a queue formed and he sold all but one! During the break, several of the audience sat reading the books they'd bought....they loved his poetry! For his part, Steve Pottinger said “you realise you have some excellent poets in your group,” (referring specifically to Dick Senior)
Steve holds strong views about society, politics, everything. Yet he manages to put these across with humour. He said, “I was trying to write a poem about Brexit and it was just coming out as a rant.” What he actually wrote (apologies to Lewis Carrol) was Stabberjocky”: “Twas Brexit, and the slithy Gove did....” He doesn't rant, even when serious, as in Kate's War, about Kate Sharpley, a munitions factory girl who lost everyone in WW1, when Queen Mary was presenting medals, she hurled '”this consolation back shouting out loud, 'keep'em yourself, if they mean that much to you'.”
He celebrates ordinary people and their ways: in England, no grandiloquent Royal Throne of Kings, Sceptred Isle, but “You are not dead, just evolving...quoting Benny Hill and Shakespeare.” His quirky humour and sense of the ridiculous is seen in his love poem, You Ask Me Where I want To Live, My Love, “...this is where I want to live, my love,with you, eating impossibilities for breakfast.....”
At the open mic, Colin Eveleigh spoke of writing a 'more light hearted poem' and came up with the lilting, 'Seaside Dip', 'English Summer' which told of an “August, flipping icy cold” and slow progress into and out of the sea. Richard Hawtree explained his poems were so complex, this time he'd write a simpler one, but the more he wrote, the more difficult and obscure it became. His Marginal Sonnet dealt with the old belief that, in winter, birds don't migrate but hide in holes in the ground.
He was suddenly approached by an audience member who said she loved his work- where could she find more, did he have a website, had he published...his latest, 'O Poem' was just published in 'The Honest Ulsterman'. Other recent poems appear in: 'SOUTH', 'Anima', 'Banshee', 'Boyne Berries', 'The Penny Dreadful', and 'Snakeskin Poetry'.
Dick Senior, (highly admired by Steve Pottinger), followed with Learning to Swim. “One day, the wind and the sun debated which was greater.” They vied to have a man take off his jacket; the wind tried but the man pulled the jacket tighter; the hot sun made the man take it off. In a second section, a “father with no patience with patience threw his son in the deep end....where he had to be hooked out like a failed fish.” However, taught by a friend's father “boys became fish...not drowning but smiling.” He finished with The News, three news items described with sardonic humour, the first of which dealt with “a town that would banish bully beggars.”
Andy Forsyth's untitled poem told of life in a squat, finishing with “then click! The f-----g electric ran out.” Sue Spiers likened humans to birds: “City folk in crisp white shirts with suits of black dread – magpies of the bank”. Your reviewer read Be My Valentine addressed to Write Angle's surprised founder: “I love you, Leah. But not because – AND you're beautiful”.
In Leah Cohen's, Rose, her father calls their Bronx flat “The house of disappearance.” In it, “Everything is dull and grey. No paintings, plants or pets. They dirty things, she says, They make a smell.” So her daughter “vows when she grows up, to fill her house with all those things.” Too soon the father's heart skips a beat and the rose lipped sex kitten becomes Miami Ballroom Queen...” Piers Husband's To Disappear tells how, one morning, he decides to leave without telling anyone. He goes on a mystical journey, meeting an old man who leads him to a wall with a door: “Behind this door all the people you've known and loved that have been taken from you; they're on the other side.” He does not open the door to join them for a picnic” and, next day, when he retraces his steps, he finds “When I got to the wall, there was no door”.
Every Write Angle evening is different and special in its own way but this one really did show the talents we have at our Open Mic as well as the extraordinary qualities each of our guests bring to Petersfield. It was truly a great evening with its own special energy. Everyone was exhilerated and left feeling good.
The raffle prize, a meal for two at excellent The Hamilton Arms Nava Thai was won by one of Write Angle's regulars and we're delighted that he finally got to win it!