Our very own Pagan Priest – Global phenomena and Internet sensation – David Parry – author of Caliban’s Redemption and The Grammar of Witchcraft, read selections of his wonderful poetry to us. Deeply mystical in content, his work is an exploration into the human psyche and the true nature of man. David’s poetry is extremely original; his writing crosses all kinds of boundaries and territories. Imagine a blend between Fredrick Nietzsche’s lost prophet Zarathustra, Shakespeare, Dante’s Divina Commedia with some Heathen wisdom thrown in for good measure – like all good literature his work draws on the past while still remaining modern, vibrant and alive.
David performed poetry on themes as diverse as prejudice and love. His poem Disfigured Angels dealt with complex themes of identity. His rendition of Dionysus explored traditional pagan narratives. It was an impressive performance – half of which, I managed to capture with my Galaxy Samsung.
Word Distillery poet Allan made us all laugh with his poem about his amoral ‘moral compass’ that pointed down to his crotch. In his poem, The City, he took a fresh look at Babylon and the world in which we live – beholden to ‘demonic credit cards.’
George contributed a witty poem about ‘living plastic sex dolls,’ which is based on the true-life story of a woman who is undergoing hypnotherapy sessions to become less intelligent and more thick. Her ambition is to become a human blow up doll. In the shadow of Tony Hancock, George performed a poem about taking life in your stride called: You’ve Got To Laugh.
Jenni performed a First World War poem. She mentioned the interment of over six-hundred soldiers behind a collapsed wall. The men were buried when explosives self-ignited. She also made us laugh with poetry about her Facebook friends.
Mary gave us some super-condensed flash fiction written with words pulled out of random generators. We all smiled when you mentioned vegan vampires.
Louie and Matheus did some Dada set pieces. Together they explored the infinite entrails of shamanic wolves and peered into inter-dimensional portals.
By contrast, Tina – another Word Distillery poet read a humorous poem about a butcher and a hairdresser. I very much enjoyed the intelligent and playful way she used rhyme in this poem to accentuate the witty narrative.
Otto – a new voice to Chinwag brought out his little black book filled with amazing insights. His powerful words followed a mesmerizing meter and reminded me of the beat writers from the 1950’s.
Jan read about her ghostly experiences in Sweden. Her poem was very original and had learned references to Russian literature. In her piece, the Antichrist makes a surprise visit.
Morgan – paid us a visit at Chinwag. I’m a big fan of Morgan’s work - his poetry is very modern and right up to date; he deploys ultra-slick themes writing about love and life in the modern world. Some of his poems have undercurrents of the Beat Generation but with a twenty-first century twist. I think Morgan is a writer to watch out for. He read three excellent poems: And I – a poem about narrative voices, writers and identity, whose ghost-like protagonist claims: ‘I am all 5 voices.’ The second Poem was A Slow Morning Stroll where the poet contemplates ‘a love that never was.’ The third poem was an Ode to Stanley – ‘a friend’ he ‘bought for just £1.00.’ Morgan’s work plays with metre, language and voice. Cool observations told from unusual perspectives are concocted in the labyrinth of his words.
Nicky in her short story: Signals wrote about the modern hassles of driving. It was nice to see you perform again.
I finished the evening with a retelling of Italio Calvino’s short story: The House of the Beehive – a poem told from the viewpoint of a psychopath. I recast the protagonist as Christ and reset the narrative in the Holy Land. In this thirty-stanza poem a demented messiah – post-resurrection, tries to balance his mind between social and self-alienation. The poem held many esoteric symbols – it’s real meaning exits beneath the surface of the text.