Poet Tree

I have a terrible tendency for misspelling the words poetry (see above) or pome, which may or may not be inherited affectations from an English teacher. That being said, I am naturally drawn to creating humorous* misspellings surprisingly often.

What I am not so naturally drawn to creating is the aforementioned tree itself. I do not know why, particularly, considering that I have naturally created prose in sheathfulls. Maybe when most were going through that teenage phase of angsty pomes, I found myself writing gamebooks or variably complex systems for role playing games. Considering the numerical focus of my writings’ development at this time, it is perhaps unsurprising that I (may) have taken to poetry in the manner I seem to be at the moment.

I am currently reading Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, which has stared at me for from a variety of bookshelves, if never my own. I am now borrowing milady’s copy, and am sixty or so pages in – on the fifth exercise.

What I am enjoying most about it is the whittling craft of it, at least under Stephen’s tutelage. It is the shaping of meter** and the warping of words, and less the act of creation. It’s not the preconsidered product but the process.

I can only remember writing one poem off my own back. It’s called Pearl Hoard and came to me whilst I rode beside the North Sea. I don’t know if my future pomes will be similarly horror or else another genre. I like the idea of staying to a genre though – and sci-fi quite appeals.

Hmmm… A cyberpunk poem..?

* In my opinion, if not others’.

** As an archaist, I am in agreement with Fry’s preference.

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Poet Tree

Belt Up’s ‘The Boy James’

Last night, I took my girlfriend to see the play that made Stephen Fry cry.

I’ve been a big fan of Belt Up Theatre for a long time now, ever since hearing of their Women of Troy from the Edinburgh Fringe 2008, and subsequently seeing them and their “Squat” at the Fringe in 2009. There, I was lucky enough to experience their Dreamscapes twice. They were unforgettable experiences, which still come back to me when I write or toy with concepts of legerdemain. I urge you to see them wherever possible.

Belt Up’s theatre is incredible: their focus on audience impact (largely through audience interaction) is unlike anything else I have seen in the realm of theatre – albeit a common and successful (if necessary!) trope of platform magic. I would go so far as to say that I consider Belt Up’s work true theatrical magic.

The play is dark, and strange, and either manifestative or symbolic, or both. Or neither. Perhaps the part I most enjoy when thinking about one of their plays is the question of what role the audience play. I’m not entirely sure if we were meant to be imagining of the blissful young boy James (at least, at its outset), or legitimately present.

However, the journey home had my girlfriend and I mostly talking about the (warped?) character of the girl. Agressive and sexualised, we were not sure if she was real or imagined. Our conclusion (mostly drawn from our respective study of Victorian literature and culture) was that the play represents the imaginings of the boy James – that he still appears to himself as young as he feels, whilst might instead have physically aged, thus bringing with it the hormones and effects of an older boy. We thought the agression came from this, and the disturbing sequence where the girl is demanding of the boy James’ “attention”, we decreed to be manifest masturbation guilt.

My other suggestion was that she was a succubbus, but that arises from nowhere in particular. (Other than the Otherworld.)

Either way, the play was decidedly moving. We might not have had to dry our eyes at the end, but we definitely had to steel our hearts.

The play? Recommended.

The company? Required.

Belt Up’s ‘The Boy James’