As a result and by way of follow up, I was invited to take part in Salisbury Arts Centre's Homegrown Performance showcase event this coming Wednesday 1st July. We had our first rehearsal this week; it seemed to go well. I wasn't nervous then, but I am now, and I will be on the day.
The showcase consists of the Homegrown exhibition as well as taster performances of dance, new writing and film arising from Salisbury Arts Centre workshops, on the theme of 'Worth Fighting For'?
I doubt anyone will like my poems but I don't mind. I'm just pleased to have been given an opportunity to do stuff with other creative disabled people.
Performing takes me out of my normal (dis)comfort zone and puts me into another more interesting one.
I'll be reading three short poems, all with a disability rights theme. Here's one (a flarf poem) I won't be doing:
When depression hits, I can't go out or speak to anyone. It's a moment by moment existence. I have no energy. I want to sleep (but don't). I make myself do basic chores. That's all there is. And food.
This time (today) I decided to write and draw (fuck work) something, attempt to represent or express my state ('mood' it's called nowadays, which sounds OK). I don't smoke and I can't afford to drink alcohol (anyway it's a depressant) though I love the taste.
There's no cure for fear, no remedy for failure and no antidote to stupidity.
Thinking is less of a problem since I learned mindfulness. But the body never forgets and never stops feeling.
For when the numbers don't add up, it's no use lying your way out of the problem. It comes back tenfold (I'm told) and hurts times hundred (that I do know).
So I wrote this poem and made that picture.
Over the last three months I did three Our Tales Unveiled workshops at Salisbury Arts Centre. These began with an excellent performance earlier involving Penny Pepper and Liz Porter. Penny's a writer; Liz is a story teller and singer.
In Liz's workshop I reluctantly 'performed' a story about Clara who crochets a lot. This was based on someone I know (not me). I haven't asked 'Clara' if I can use her words so am uneasy about going public until I have her permission.
Penny gave us writing exercises on the theme of 'Worth Fighting For'. We picked post-it notes at random. Mine had the word 'freedom' written on it.
I started writing by means of mind maps. Penny said it's a good idea sometimes to write in opposites.
I quickly wrote this (unfinished) poem. It's based in part on my childhood experience (11 years) of institutionalisation in a hospital/school (Chailey Heritage).