Tonight, June 4, I’m performing at the Norwich Arts Centre, at a Disability Pride benefit gig. Tomorrow, June 5, I’m showing visual poetry in the Disability Pride art show at the Forum in Norwich.
One of the pieces is called Human. I wrote it for World Aids Day 2009 and then wondered how to make it visual. I decided to write it out letter-by-letter on my empty HIV and Hep C and side-effects empty medication boxes and bottles. A week before I was due to show it, I gathered together all my empties and started writing with a marker pen. Oops!
I only had enough to get past the first stanza. ‘Fortunately’ my partner at the time was also HIV+ so I added in all his bottles too. That got another stanza done. I even stole the dog’s worming tablet box, but had to admit defeat, and displayed the result as a ‘work in progress’ in a Norwich church and a Brighton nightclub.
I’ve realised that the longer it takes me to complete, the healthier I’ve been, so I’m pleased to announce that Human at the Forum is still short of the very last line!
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, H.I.V.
Human first and foremost,
A maker of mistakes.
The mistake I made,
Was to fall in love.
Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
I is Immunodeficient -
I catch more germs than most,
Though I prefer to think germs think me
Such an absolutely fabulous host!
V is for Virus,
It contains both I and Us.
We’re all human first and foremost,
And in the end, all dust.