Hello PL’s Welcome back to the last part in the trilogy of films and fleapits.
I have penned something below. Now, don’t faint, but I have actually attempted to rhyme!
This is my frustrated tribute to the X Film. Who can tell me, in a certain era, they hadn’t had a shiver of anticipation at that tiny X sitting under a film title?!
Of course, once you become a legitimate age, the allure dims. But for most of us in early adolescence, it was all we dreamt of!
Oh X film, you’re brutal and unkind
Big girls getting in, hiding behind
So many young men, barely of age
There’s a girl from my class! This is an outrage
What goes on on that big screen?
While I stand out here cold and green?
That little X smugly sitting square
Under alluring bold titles there
While I’m watching Herbie at the Fleapit
Constantly stuck with an A certificate
I’m dreaming of those other four walls
Where usherettes smooth down their overalls
Before preparing the lighted ice cream tray
For people witnessing mysterious depravity
I storm off home in a frustrated stew
Before watching excerpts on Film ’72
Wasn’t that a hoot?! I think that’s the end of my current obsession, but never say never!
Tune in same time, same channel…….
Hello and welcome to another show, Poetry Lovers!
And today we are going to feature that ultra-talented musician, writer and poet, Lucy Lyrical.
(pandemonium. Several members of security write out their resignations)
Now settle down, PL’s, we don’t want to put off our lovely guest because here she is……….
( standing ovation as Lucy descends the lighted stairs)
Welcome to the show, Lucy! Take a seat……
Hello, good to be here (I think!)
Welcome, Lucy. May I say, I love that leather catsuit and matching boots. I can see my face in them!
Thank you. I do like to shine them up. I’ve brought some polishing kit with me, in fact.
Isn’t she the coolest chick in Carnaby Street, PL’s?!
(Whoops and cheers of agreement)
Such an honour to have you here, Lucy. Please fill us in on your varied and creative background
One of my first professional jobs was as a magician’s assistant but I soon got bored of being levitated. I’m a terrible show-off so always took what chances I could to step on stage. Singing, acting, comedy – although I admit my stand-up ‘career’ only lasted two performances. Stand-up is like extreme sport for performers, I think. It all became easier when I got a ukulele to hide behind.
I’ve always been a writer – you know the type. I put on plays as a kid, wrote poetry after a heartbreak, always carried a little note book to capture ideas. I wrote loads of short stories and some poetry and then everything changed for me when I met the magnificent Chip Martin of Starhaven Books who published my first novel Three Women
Ha ha! I was a magician’s assistant too! All I can remember was having to chase this bloke with a soft hammer! Must have been for kids! I didn’t get any levitation action! And Chip’s wonderful, isn’t he?! That’s such a great background and learning curve.
Now, Lucy, we all swooned over you at Soho Poets, when did music and poetry become a part of your life?
You’re too kind. The feeling’s mutual, Heather (blush )
My parents were actors and my grandmother and great-uncle had a music hall act so you could say it’s in the blood. I started writing songs as I was learning the ukulele and used to try and make people laugh by playing at parties.
Then I met Maggie Swampwino. A friend, Audrey, introduced us and suggested I go to Maggie’s studio – aka The Swamp – to record something. After the first tune was down, Maggie suggested we start a band. It was such a beautifully unlikely duo. Me thumping out the few chords I knew on a ukulele and Maggie, who in her own words ‘could get a tune out of a lawn mower’, doing all the clever stuff on a bouzouki. We did over 100 gigs together, mostly in London, Northampton and Glasgow.
After Maggie’s death I did question performing again, but it’s hard to stop. And I’ve had so much fun playing with other musicians, like George Simmonds, Ian Beetlestone, Matt King Smith and Lucy Gaster – although I haven’t heard any of them play a lawnmower yet!
Fascinating. And I’m very glad you didn’t stop!
So very bitter- sweet. I’m sorry to hear about Maggie, I would loved to have met her. These talented people just leave us sometimes.
I’ve loved your playing with the gorgeous Matt and the charming Lucy. You have a great rapport. Who have been your greatest influences?
I suppose here I should list the writers, songwriters and poets whose work I most admire. But that would be a long list and truthfully, when I read or hear something exceptional, it usually makes me question why I try when there’s no way I could be as good. However, the people who really have influenced me have been those who are making it happen and are the type to hold the ladder as you climb up too.
Celine Hispiche is one of those people. I’d still be playing in my bathroom if she hadn’t been so encouraging and given me so many opportunities.
Barnie from The Carlton Jugband has such an inspiring attitude – getting on stage with that band last year was something of a career highlight for me. Frankie Rafferty is another one whose own work is so good you want to be better. In all honesty, my writing is influenced and improved enormously by having worked with Chip Martin and by having a writing partner as good as Polly Bull.
Oh, Polly’s wonderful, isn’t she. And Chip Martin is an enigma. Then there’s the incredible Celine – so many supportive and talented people about.
Now, I love your novel Three Women, and it was very well received. Is there a second one on the horizon?
Now, that would be telling, wouldn’t it. Writers are notorious for talking about things before they’re finished…sometimes before they’re even started. So, I’ve decided to keep quiet on that front. But I promise you this, you’ll be the first to know when I’m ready to spill the beans.
Well, I’m at the edge of my seat here, my sweet! We can’t wait, can we, PL’s?! (rapturous agreement – whoops and hoots etc)
Do you want to tell us about your next project?
I’ve loved hearing my writing in other people’s mouths – I call Gary Dunnington my muse (not sure if he likes that!) and it’s been such a treat for me to hear a talented actor performing my work. Brings out a different side to the character and allows me to (almost) enjoy it as if I’m hearing it for the first time. So, I’ve created an experiment in short-attention span radio theatre called MINILOGUES.
Each short monologue is exactly 100 words long and I gave them to actors I admire, without direction, to see how they would approach the material. 10 actors, 100 words each, the Minilogues are available on http://spotify http://anchor and and http://applypodcasts and many other places that you can find podcasts.
I’m planning a season two so if any writer wants to collaborate on this by a drafting a 100 word monologue, or any actor wants to tackle the challenge, they should get in touch. I intend to be one of those people who hold the ladder too.
And you are, Lucy! That’s a wonderful project, and a great opportunity for actors and writers. We need people like you. I can’t wait to get tuning in!! Fantastic!!
Now, you’ve got to come up Soho tonight. I think Steed is coming!
I’m afraid I’m barred from all Soho pubs….Coach & Horses, French House…I think it was Steed’s umbrella, and – er drinking Soho dry…..
I may go home and polish my boots again.
(audience give a standing ovation)
I might give it a miss too, and watch The Avengers
Thank you so much for coming in, Lucy, a fascinating interview.
Hasn’t she been a wonderful guest?!
(Crowd go mad, have to be restrained)
(Lucy is smuggled out the building)
Lucy Lyrical has left the building!
Wasn’t that just wonderful, PL’s?! Thank you for tuning in. See you soon, same time, same channel……
Hello again, PL’s.
Welome to part II of our cinema homage… Today, we feature the detailed memories from the lovely poet Trisha Broomfield, of a medium that we all grew up with. So many of us have experienced these things and feelings….
The large sound of the wide screen,
Pearl and Dean,
Kia-Ora, small-stick straws,
ashtrays like eye sockets
on the backs of red-plush seats,
Revels or Treats,
and a man with a raincoat over his knees
putting his hand
Wasn’t that amazing?! I love the description of the ashtrays and those tiny impractical straws for Kia-Ora! Thank you so much, Trisha!
I’ll be back Monday with an interview with the fabulous and amazing Lucy Lyrical!
So hold on tight! Same time, same channel…….
Hello Poetry Lovers, how do you like my new look? Pretty glam, eh?
Now don’t faint but I’m actually going to share one of my own poems with you today. About an institution that shaped most of our lives, the cinema, or to some of us, the fleapit.
All the magic and wonder of celluloid unfolded for us in these rathole buildings. I remember the trailers were wonderous for me. I recall those better than the films! Anyway, this is The Fleapit – I hope you enjoy it.
Oh you fleapit, you!
I was under your spell,
especially when you showed Jack
And Ryan’s Daughter
And Carry On Henry
And Ring of Bright Water.
I loved your lack of balcony seats,
no airs and graces for you,
unlike the posh Embassy over the road.
Mind you, you didn’t half
show some crap –
The Magnificent Seven
Deadly Sins, wasn’t it?
You knew your time was up;
your rivals showing premium films,
being divided up into three cinemas.
You couldn’t compete, with your
lethargic lettering, wonkily displaying
But like John Wayne, your star
Along with your torn posters and cheap lollies.
No Kiora drink could save you now.
Goodbye and thanks.
I’m off to the multiplex.
Good luck with the Bingo,
then later on as a Turkish grocers.
Wasn’t that a hoot?! This is part one about our past cinemas, keep your eyes peeled for part two. Same time, same channel.
Hello, Poetry Lovers, I have taken you once more to Memory Corner, and this time the DeLorean car is set for 11th November 2018.
Who could forget such an occasion? An amazing commemoration indeed.
A great concept co-createdby the remarkable Anne Warrington, (on my right), this performance contained memories, poetry and songs from that poignant and tragic era.
On the far left, we have the clever poet, Greg Freeman, next to him is the late and talented Bob Sheed. Now I don’t know why Bob is taking my arm like that, as if he is going to take me to the nearest Cop shop, but I mean, bless him.
On my far right is the enigmatic and dapper Kevin Taggerty. We miss you, Kevin.
We had a magnificent cast, including Heather Montford, Greg Freeman, Madeline Smith and Robert Gillespie. All reading such poignant material. Sitting there at the back is the other creator, John Crook, who also did a magnificent job.
Above is the lovely Linda dressed as a Tommy, and I’m reading Jessie Pope’s The Call.
Thank you for this wonderful memory. I hope we all get together again.
The time machine has brought us back to the present, and I have to take the DeLorean into Kwik Fit so I’ll be bringing the Reliant next time.
Tune in, same time, same channel
Follow me on Twitter @heathermoulson
Yes, Poetry Lovers! You read it correctly, I actually did a Live reading of my work! How we took that for granted, and just when I was resigning myself to the loneliness of Zoom, something came right up.
My lovely friend and talented poet, Jenny Mitchell, invited me to read in a five minute spot in the gardens at the beautiful Bell House in Dulwich Village. Ooh, that’s a beautiful place.
Lumme! I was so nervous but the audience and fellow poets were lovely and supportive.
I look a bit troubled in these pictures, but I really was having a great time. Didn’t learn the two poems, I never read from paper normally! I’ve got to shape up!
A real joy to hear such impressive poetry from wonderful and talented people. I think we were all apprehensive reading live again, but it was nice we were in it together!
It was a great and unforgettable afternoon. Thank you, Bell House, particularly to the lovely volunteer who took these pictures. Most of all, thank you, Jenny.
Jenny Mitchell is a joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize (Indigo Dreams), and her pamphlet, Her Lost Language, is out now. A moving and powerful collection, and a joy to read.
Available from http://www.indigodreams.co.uk or old-fashioned Amazon.
Thanks for tuning in, the next post is another Memory Corner, so I’m revving up that DeLorean now! Same time, Same channel
Hello Poetry Lovers! And welcome to the show! Today we have the wonderful and enigmatic poet, Ray Pool!
Now, settle down PL’s, we don’t want to overwhelm our lovely guest because here he is!!!!
huge huge applause Security nervously on standby as Ray gracefully descends the lighted stairs
Hello, and welcome to the show, Ray. Thank you so much for coming. And may I say I love that paisley shirt and matching tie. They go beautifully with those crushed velvet flares.
Aw thanks, Heather. I was a bit hesitant about mixing purple and paisley together
Nonsense, Ray, if you can’t pull it off, no-one can! Because you’re the most, ain’t that right, PL’s?!
rapturous shouts of agreement
The whole of the Top Twenty are on the waiting list for those shirts and ties!
Now, (brutally sweeps everything of her desk) let’s get to the facts – fill us in, Ray, on your rich background, and how poetry became a part of your life…….
Yes, I’m happy to spill the beans.
I’ve had a musical career for over fifty years as a pianist affording me the opportunity for a very interesting life meeting some famous people in that capacity, sharing the stage at venues tiny and huge by turn – on the QE2 and Buckingham Palace being notable!
After school, I made a serious attempt to start a career in photography, which got as far as printing and processing but not the David Bailey profile I was hoping for.
My interest in poetry really stemmed from having brothers who were quite academic and a knack for writing essays about current events (C 1960). One I remember that was well received was about Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the court case. We won’t go into that, though Mellors did.
I suppose poetry was always a way of letting off steam emotionally at difficult times or indeed romantic ones, so I kept books of the stuff!
Your photos are stunning, Ray. I can’t believe you’re not up there with the great names.
What a colourful CV! Such impressive places, and people.
Which poets influenced you the most?
I bought Betjeman’s collected poems in 1958, and found them very enjoyable, an easy diet compared with say Robert Graves or T S Elliot.
I have always been a collector so have tried the works of many poets, but the ones who influenced me the most were Ted Hughes, Louis McNeice and Edward Lear. I love nonsense poetry.
Oh me too! I love Edward Lear! That’s a great poetry background.
Now, your pamphlet Tales of the Unaccepted is moving and so personal. Tell me how long it took to compile that lovely collection.
Tales of the Unaccepted published by Dempsey & Windle was the result of a selection of what Janice and I considered the most original poems that had a quirky sensibility.
The overall timespan of its inception was about three months. A photo I took was used on the cover
Well, it’s a damn fine one. Your eyes are really drawn to that lonely abandoned car. It’s a very classy pamphlet, my personal favourites are Mum and Dad, Coat Hangers and Corners.
I think my perennials would be Hunter’s Moon, Birthday Treat and The Storm. But your choice I like because you like them! When someone you appreciate reciprocates interest that shines a light and brings value to your work.
Aw, Ray, that’s a lovely way of putting it. And I really love Birthday Treat. A very thoughtful piece.
Now, you know what’s coming next, don’t you? Tell us the best poetry gig you’ve done so far – then the worst…
My best poetry gig within an admittedly limited arena does stand out. A midsummer reading session at Cranleigh Arts Centre. The audience was great and the ambience was perfect.
The worst was also outstanding for all the wrong reasons. I was wrong footed by an audience with no interest in poetry but there as a sort of experiment before moving on to other delights. Children were a distraction and I felt a bit as if I had mistakenly entered a ladies toilet. That has happened a few times. The venue was an over managed jamboree in East Horsley. Too many organisers and clipboards.
Ooh, Ray, that sounded very painful and unjust. And doesn’t it seem to last forever?!
Oh, I’ve had good moments at Cranleigh too. Lovely atmosphere and poetry.
Now, thank you for answering these questions so beautifully
rapturous applause audience can no longer contain themselves security intervenes
Ray, you’ve got to get up to the Isle of Wight Festival this weekend, I’ve heard The Archies are appearing, possibly replacing Jimmy Hendrix.
Ooh no, Hendrix keeps phoning me, wanting to borrow my shirt (he’s on the waiting list as well!). He’ll hassle me all weekend. He can get his own! Think I’ll take it easy and watch Softly Softly.
Do you know that sounds quite tempting. Better than all that mud and everything! And Hendrix will play other gigs, I’m sure.
But if you encounter Simon Dee on the way home, guard that shirt with your life!!
Ray, what can I say? Thank you so much for coming in and giving us such great insight. Wasn’t he the most, Poetry Lovers?!
huge huge applause – security mumbling “oh no! not again!” Ray has to be smuggled out the building
For a real treat, Ray’s collection is available from demspeyandwindle.co.uk
Wasn’t that a fantastic interview?! Thanks for tuning in, PL’s. Next time, it will be another Memory Corner!
Same time, same channel……
Hello, PL’s. Yes, it’s time for another magic poem by the lovely and talented Trisha Broomfield.
Shoes of Glass blew me away, and I really want to share Trisha’s poem with you. Thank you for that, Trisha. I hope I’ve done it justice.
Shoes of Glass
The dress was gold
split to the thigh
plunging to the navel,
on her feet
shoes of glass
in the back of the cab
she sat smirking,
smoothed on red lips,
at the party
all eyes would be on her
she paid and tipped from a
her six inch heels spiked
red fingernail on the bell,
she allowed a tilted smile
all eyes would be on her
in the hall mirror, grooming
she touched her hair
to join the party,
all eyes on her,
then the perfumed crowd
revealing her host, wearing
a dress of gold split to
plunging to the navel,
on his feet,
shoes of glass.
Isn’t that a wonderful piece?! So much detail and anticipation.
Thank you so much, Trisha. We look forward to another very soon.
Okay, Poetry Lovers, next post will be a hot interview with the stunning poet, Ray Pool. So get your tickets booked for the talk show now!
The BBC begged me to record it in their top studio but I laughed in their face(s), and will be holding it in my mate’s shed as usual. I’ve just got to get those lights set up!
Tune in, same time, same channel…..
Yes, Poetry Lover’s, we’ve returned to our precious corner.
This time I want to go back to 5th March 2019 to a magical evening in Cranleigh, Surrey.
This was an amazing night of poetry organised by the lovely Donall and Janice AKA Dempsey & Windle. Set in the stunning Cranleigh Arts Centre, and filled with performers of the same standard.
Donall and Janice above in action. The third image is some poet or other. Looks shifty, if you ask me!
I read from my new pamphlet (at the time). There were featured readers like me, then there was open-mic. A wonderful atmosphere that uncovered so much talent.
An extraordinarily impressive group here. From left is Ian McLachlan, (who brought the house down), wonderful clever Belinda Singleton, the vibrant Donall, Moi, site favourite Trisha Broomfield, and the unique Ray Poole. Thank you for that night, Demspey & Windle, and for the memories.
Wasn’t that fun?! I hope these memories bring us faith that these iconic poetry readings will take place again soon. We’ll make nice new memories some day……….
Thanks for tuning in, see you soon, same time, same channel………