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Survivors' Poetry blog - disability arts online
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Wendy Young and Dave Russell and John Cooper Clarke and high brow bollox / 20 August 2013

"Do you feel some poetry events appear highbrow and intellectual and pretentious....don't be put off!" were my mentor Dave Russell's wise words that went through my head after doing an open mic where my stuff didn't seem to fit in... even the whoops and applause I got for Celebacy seemed insignificant for my second round... I think I'm threatened by the 'show, don't tell' mob.

Then I got home and John Cooper Clarke was speaking to me through the airwaves.  Made me feel better hearing his down to earth voice, words, poetry.  Bless him (and Dave Russell).

All my fears of being a 'worthy' poet and the attitude that is prevalent at 'high brow' events' and 'that there is poetry elite who undermine creativity' (thanks Colin Hambrook) came to pass, as people just seem to stare or look at me like, 'are you alright?' Probably not!!  Also, being advised to do courses in 'poetry in progress' by expensive course companies just pushes me back. The poem below did get whoops and cheers from the ordinary folk but the air from the 'establishment' was not too responsive. Do I keep going back and bothering them? Or do I give in and write about the quintessence of nothingness when I reach for the bottle?

Celebacy
Skinny minny miny me
I feel so very tiny in me
Jeans - so tight
Is me bum too big in 'em?
Please say no!  I can hardly breathe!
And me Levi thighs - are they bulgin' outa them?
Please say no 'cause
I so pushed and shoved in ‘em
And me skinny rib top - are me breasts too full in it?
Please say no, that me body's so lithe 'cause
I wanna be a skinny minny model but....
Big titty fill up me top so you see more o' me
you know wha' ar' mean?
In me breast jugging arse hugging thigh tugging 
Long limbed lovely haired cat walking all of me?
Well, most of me... there's always my mind
Is it mine? Or is it yours?
Please say no - that I'm all there
'cause I wanna be intelligent
Have me own show and interview celebrities
But me thoughts don't always come collectively
I get me words mixed up ‘n’ like, I thought a diphthong
Was to hold me cheeks together!
It was speed then smack and just a bit of LSD
What with a few lines from Charlie – I thought he was an angel
Then he seduced me with his ecstasy
Fucked me up the arse! ‘cause when he
Looked at me top – me breasts weren’t full in it
‘n’ me arse hanging jeans – no problem gettin’ into ‘em
No spare flesh – to push and shove in ‘em
Just me
And my bones
And a noose round me neck
So scrawnee ..nee….KNEES!
I’ve still got them
Well patellas protruding
Into the stratosphere
Like Sophie Ellis Bector’s cheekbones – maybe I’ll live there – in the air so clear!
Skinny minny miny me
It’s where I belong in me
Own little universe
So full of just
ME!

© Wendy Young (written first 2001 as Jumping Jiminy and revised 2013)