Friday, November 23, 2012

Kangara Waters Performance

Being both irreverent and civic minded, I took my poetry, anecdotes and puns along to Kangara Waters, a retirement village hidden in the outer-northern-but-soon-to-be-central-if-we-dont-stop-urban-sprawl-and-build-more-medium-density-housing district of Belco.

I managed to escape car-jacking or a brutal knife fight with the local denizens by pulling into the bully-proof named street "Joy Cummings Place".

Interestingly, Kangara Waters was ungated. Curious considering its location near Lake Ginnindera College and the bowling alley. Perhaps it was the overwhelmingly manicured setting, the building's "modern retiree" stylings, the permanent autumn feeling, the crushing ennui and the impression  the sky had transformed into a colossal stop watch that was held in expectant hands that protected it from the depredation of the teenaged.

The place was like the start of Edward Scissorhands or Blue Velvet. I'm sure it appeals to people who have run out of serotonin. everywhere you look you say gosh, that's interesting.

I parked at the entrance and was immediately lost.

The staff were very helpful and soon had herded a crowd together.

I performed for half an hour. Afterwards I lunched with several of the more attentive residents and we spoke of the funny threads of life, their stories and the impact that a stroke or dementia and the banality of existence, and how that half hour of poetry was an injection of colour on a beige canvas.

It made me glad that I chose my pieces a little more wisely than usual.

I have lain here since yesterday
on the cold tiled floor
the refrigerator door is open, and chill
the pot on the stove top boiled dry
I cannot answer the phone,
or call for help
I cannot feed my dog
or fight him off.

As I was leaving, the director spoke with me about the Try To Remember program in the UK, which had success blending poetry and caring with dementia patients. I agreed to come back, if only to perform, but my head was filling with ideas.

walking out I realised that Kangara Waters was an exceptional facility, with wonderful, caring staff and not just a place to dispose of the olds. More of a place to dispose of them thoughtfully.

To pull this post back from irreverence, and maybe my soul from the hell-fires, and give myself a hollywood ending;  Dementia is a fearful loss of one's history, perhaps through poetry I can help readdress this. I wouldn't mind being involved in a Try To Remember-esque project.

Like all good stories, the character goes on a journey. I drove home.

D Day

Well, actually, bin day.  but that didnt seem as dramatic.

Friday is the day you get things done that you should have done on a more convenient day earlier in the week.

Due to this procrastination, I'm gunna overload you, dear readers.

you were warned.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Canberra Poetry Slam Farewell to 2012

Not going to Corinbank until Saturday?

well we want you! Come along to the last front Slam for 2012!

The theme is "Undecided between Blues or Valhalla."

The night opens with the open mic at 7:30 followed by the slam at 8
Join the slam and compete for cash prizes!

The features will be Steve Smart & Kim Jeffs from MELBOURNE!

The Slam will include the music of beauty and passion from
THE NIGHT CAFE, a latin/gypsy/jazz ensemble who will improvise intro/outro music for slammers and melt your nerves with their sultry sound.


Over the past fifteen years Steve has performed his work and that of others thousands of times in hundreds of venues across the world. He's more famous than most people you know, but much less famous than Ryan Moloney who plays Toady in Neighbours.

Career highlights include 'Mouth Off' at the Sydney Opera House; the one man show 'Wild Optimist: rises and falls of a performance poet' (Brisbane Festival Under The Radar); performing at Bar Open's 10th Birthday celebration (Fitzroy); winning the audience award for 24 Hour Fix (short theatre competition); and co-featuring at the Berkeley Slam in California. Upcoming events include feature performances at the 2012 WA Poetry Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival.

Kim Jeffs’ writing began as a response to the Black Saturday fires – as therapy. She set out to create a small book of memories for her children. Instead, she found poetry. Or perhaps, says Jennifer Compton, poetry sent a wildfire to chase Kim to its arms.

Epicormic growth is the new shoots thrust out by trees burnt by inferno. It is the tree’s desperate attempt to remain alive – for without leaves for photosynthesis the tree will assuredly die. After catastrophe, we must grow. To remain static is to invite death. Kim’s poetry mirrors her recovery – intense, painful, bleakly humorous, but not without moments of joy.

I first met Steve Smart at This Is Not Art in 2009, I met Kim on my tour to Melbourne in June and became acquainted with The Night Cafe through Schmooze,  and can say each are an extraordinary act in their own right and we have all three of them at the one place, throw in your regular host the Flying V, who'll no doubt be ready to improvise with The Night Cafe (is ready to improvise the same as planned spontaneity?) and its going to be a complete corker of a show!

7:30 at the Front Gallery and Cafe in Lyneham, 30th of November.