15 Nov

Joy poacher!

My heart you stalked

My friendship you stroked

Calling in vain to date

My love you stalked

Frosting my trust

For friendship you lost

Denials, debates you threw

A snake you became

An exssociate leastways

Genuine fake, fake, snake

Double faced fake

For now learned I

Trust must be earned

For friendship sustained

My heart stronger grew

Built on fake friendship failed

And Better now

Than later

A friend turned fiend

Alas, freed of you

(By Abdulmalik Ofemile Nottingham, UK. 14/11/2014)Snapshot of me 1

Mouthy Intro

14 Nov

My name is Abdulmalik Ofemile, a PhD student (University of Nottingham) on placement with Mouthy Poets and last week’s session was my first. I found it very interesting, highly interactive with individual, pair and group work and skill development was great. As a participatory audience/ observer, it was productively involving and engaging. The spin off is in the teaching and learning of poetry, language and life skills rolled into one enjoyable, entertaining session presented by a person basically enjoying what she’s doing with a passion.

Watching, Listening and Looking forward to Seeing you at the next session…


Friday 7 November Workshop Overview

14 Nov

Hello, I’m Sarah. I’m an English student at the University of Nottingham and I’m doing a placement with the Mouthy Poets. I attended a couple of workshops last year but I had my first experience of the workshop as someone on placement last week. It was off to a good start when I was introduced to cheers, and I hope that this enthusiasm stays with me through workshops to come.

The first exercise involved working in pairs to define words such as ‘respect’, ‘proactive’ and ‘support’. It was interesting as I had never really thought about defining words such as respect before. Deborah explained that we can use concrete nouns to describe abstract nouns such as ‘respect’ in our poetry to make abstract nouns have a clearer meaning. We then wrote our own poems about ‘Respect’. We were encouraged to write at least ten phrases on our own in only a few minutes. I found that Mouthy is really good at encouraging its participants to think quickly and write what comes, getting the most out of their writing time. We formed groups of four to pick our favourite lines, using the lines to make a poem together and perform it. The rapid turnaround from definitions to ideas to poems to performance really gives you a sense of achievement. I also enjoyed getting to know other poets through the group work. Our next task was in new groups of four to construct our own views on the Mouthy Poets’ collective opinion based on the words in the definition task, in order to reflect on the Mouthy Poet code of conduct.

After a break, we looked at the poems ‘The Story of Lava’ by David Allan Evans, ‘The Bars’ by D. Nurkse, ‘Snow’ by David Berman and ‘Some People’ by Rita Ann Higgins, debating our opinions and whether each poet used specificity well or not. We were then given one of the poems to adapt the specific references to create a poem of our own but keep the structure the same. Afterwards, we shared and discussed our poems in small groups, and it was good to hear positive responses from my group about what I had written. Then it was ready for the workshop to come to a close.

If I could take one factor out of last week’s workshop, it would be the fact that the Mouthy Poets are not just a group of poets: they are a collective. The environment in the workshop was supportive and by discussing the code of conduct the poets co-operated with each other to come up with shared perspectives. Also, despite much of the serious content in the poems, the room in the Nottingham Playhouse where the Mouthy Poets live on Friday evenings becomes full of laughter. I look forward to continuing with my placement and seeing how the workshops develop as the weeks go on.

Laura D – Tour Piece – 0.1%

20 Sep



The 4:15 bell
Is a starting pistol
It switches off lights
Turns keys in engines
As 99.9% of teaching staff begin journeys home


And this classroom’s door
Remains pinned wide open.
A novelty “Best Teacher” mug
Still cradles half it’s hot coffee
Not yet ready to grow cold


Some students are not willing to go home
Or don’t know home
Or realise that this school
Is the closest to safe and home
Their lives have ever known


These carpets have caught and cushioned
More tears than most
Its walls have played host to so many displaced rages
That the plaster has begun to crack
But it will always be there to take it


The desk’s middle drawer
A mismatch of
Hot chocolate sachets parallel with chewed HB pencils
Lie beside
Travel size toothpaste and brush sets
For those who didn’t quite make it home last night


There is a cuppa soup waiting
For the one responsible for many of the cracks

Fists falling harder than words ever did !


The only way she can impose her help
Because she knows
We will never ask


Some will leave with answers, or questions
Depending on what will help
Some leave with bus fare, a hug,
or a new found sense of self


We will leave this room
Still scuffed,
But working on it


My once split knuckles clink
Against a best teacher novelty mug
I hope to one day earn my own
But for now it warms my hands
And as its rightful owner re-enters the room
Sits beside me
I tell her
It will never do her justice


This went through alot of editing to get to this stage, micro editing with help from workshops and then a massive cut down with a ton of help from Hayley (Cheers for that). At the moment there are still redundencies which I have taken out completley in a version specifically edited for the Zine. This version i have posted still contains a few redundancies so, although it may not be as strict and polished as the “Page version” for the Zine, it makes more sense to me for memorising and performing. We have worked on movement and staging and I am happy with the outcome of the last session thanks to feedback and ideas. I hope it says everything i want it to, clearly and in an impactful way because alot was taken out from previous drafts such as images and description, but that may have been for the best if this edit is strong enough.
Thankyou -x-

Neal pike 4th edit tour poem -can’t decide on the title

20 Sep

Shuffling up this
One gear hill
In a no gear car
In a crowd full of legs and arms
In a one gear town

I am this red car with
A dodgy second album
In my CD player

It’s the same street where everybody knows
You and wish you knew nobody here , so I could find my own
gleam of gold in a world of beige paint

That is not in a bottle of beer
Or in pages of endless books

But in the world around me
That scratches against my metal skin
Not a world of dive bars
And comic shops

But beaches
Bookshops and open roads

The xylophone keys my ribs
Used to be charmed themselves
Into metal structures of doubt and loathing

When it was a heart
It pumped
The sounds of loveliness and laughter
Around it’s heart

I made music once

I’m just a mess of one gear the
Others are floating turtles in around the waters
Of Portsmouth

This is is a hill I havnt seen
Before or that person or that car

Towards that place you have dreamed
But felt too colourless to come
for two years straight

To the place where cars meet
To let there engines ring out like
4 am church bells on drunken walks home

You will be as welcome
As that time you
wore cut off denim shorts
To a Halloween party

you are not a car
you are not a Human
You just that piece
of banana skin I put down
to keep you
down here in this foot hill
Of useless

Tak tak noises in my chest
Sound like heartbeats
Or what heartbeats should sound like

it’s a noise of free laughter
From the bellies of people
who are people

You need I need this
when penguins where waddling after you
You should of driven straight here away from that hideous nonsense

You always used to think they changed direction
Instead of signalling changes
Yours as been flashing for too long and your just
Rusting on that road

I’m dragging you here
like a dead rat on a string
go and charge in there
it’s a loud place they all laugh
And swear and cry and drink
but they are human

You are more human than
You fooled yourself to be

Joel Kelly – My name’s Joel Kelly – second edit – mouthy tour

20 Sep

My name’s Joel Kelly. It’s a hard name for me to live up to. I was named Kelly after the men who drank the sea between Ireland and Scotland because they weren’t ready to go home yet. And when they’d danced enough circles, they bedded their way away from families with too many brothers and sisters. Becoming husbands of mothers and building houses on coal.

Kelly. It’s a name that supports the roof but does not promise to support its own legs when Friday falls into Saturday, or Saturday staggers into Sunday, or Sunday collapses into a roast dinner that ‘took since before bloody breakfast to make!’ Kelly is a cocktail 8parts blood 2parts whiskey. It can not promise to be on time. But it does promise to nick some vegetables from the farmer’s field on the way back from the pub. A Kelly can steal future forgiveness.

A Kelly is a man who can make, fix, and survive bloody anything. And that name landed on me like a miner’s helmet, bending the neck, shining a headlamp at the ground. So I practised digging in the flower beds, climbing on the coal bunker preparing myself to be a man. I got two feet closer to Australia. But then I hit concrete. So did my dad and Grandad. Game over, ya diner’s ready and because of a cow we’d never vote conservative.

And Joel… As in Billy Joel. I was named after Billy Joel. The piano man with the uptown girl. My parents recorded that surname onto a birth certificate turned cassette sleeve inlay. They were fans of that one syllable sound, but not his music. They would tape over it with Ziggy, Aladdin, Halloween Jack, The Thin White Duke, Bowie! But I already had a uncle David. So Joel.

Joel. They liked the chord those four letters cried and said them softly until I went back to sleep 3hours at a time. Joel. Joel is a nice sound to name a baby that doesn’t sound too babyish for when he’s old. At 5 Joel has been written in more cards than Christopher, Franquesca, Tiffany, because it’s easier to spell. Joel will have friends. Joel is a sound on a bank statement, a handshake on a CV that is read to the end.

Joel. I don’t say it properly so a lot of people think I’m called John. And if I didn’t correct you I’m sorry it’s not you it’s me.

Four letters to good cop bad cop with that surname. Joel. A bloody name that isn’t in my blood like Kelly. It’s a label, stickered onto my shirt for superficial meets, small talk, breaking ice. Whilst my surname would rather break ice into coal chunks and let whiskey run over them. Joel waits until 7pm.

My name’s Joel Kelly, and like any name, it’s a hard name to live up to. But personally it reminds that I can’t really play piano. I don’t have an uptown girl. I’m not Irish. I don’t mine coal. I don’t even do a manly job. It reminds me that I’m 26 and I don’t have children.

But there’s more to me than Joel and I’m not just a Kelly. More names than I know of went into making me. And I was nurtured by two fans of David Bowie. That’s a stage name. I tell people Joel Kelly is a stage name.
Gene Kelly
Grace Kelly
Yeah OK
Joel Kelly

Purple Plane edit 3 – Mouthy Tour – Bea Udeh

20 Sep

Next January I will be 8
The same as my brother, Chinua
Actually, by the time I am 8 he will already be 9
It’s his birthday next month

I’m not quite sure what present to get him
I’m not quite sure if he’s been a good brother to me all the time
He can run faster than me.
He always gets to choose the biggest slice of mum’s banana and walnut bread.

He gets to stay up 15 minutes later than me at bedtime.
That’s like…forever.
I am always a good brother to him. Sometimes.
I let him beat me at chess and play with my Thundercats, Eye of Thundera

When I grow up,
I’m going to eat a whole banana cake to myself
When I grow up
I am going to be a
A rock star
The first brown Dr Who

I am going to design a plane that will squiggle through the sky
Leaving purple contrails to draw doodles way up high
My plane will fire water bombs on houses down below
Quenching flames to save multicoloured souls

My mum says that life is the bitter Kola nut
shared at family gatherings
Life is sweet In my playground,
Like the orange massacred by pudgy fingers

In my playground,
making a paper plane is easy
You really need to focus, fold it very carefully
In the middle, here
Then the wings
And here
Then again like this on both sides

My aunty likes songs by a little man
formerly known as Symbol.
He sings about laughing on a Purple Plane
Not meaning to cause no pain

Blossoms fall onto crayoned paper wings
The race breezes fast against my one sibling
Bickering is only a whisper when we both play
Sometimes I wish Chinua’s plane wouldn’t win

I saw the grown up news on the telly the other day
There was a man who was sent to prison
For killing his six children in a house fire

That made me think of Dr Who’s tardis.

It happened just down the road
round the corner from our house
Near our gymnastics
That made me wonder -
‘Not a very good thing to do to your children

My mum likes to throw our unloved toys
in the tip or take them to a charity shop
Making room for new toys our cousins give at Christmas.
Maybe I will get Dr Who’s sonic screwdriver
And use it to make things start all over.

Maybe that man should have taken his children to a charity shop
So that they could be fostered like my friend Robert at school

I know a boy who has behaviour issues
I think that man has behaviour issues

Glued on the side of my paper plane
Are chilli seeds for rocket fuel
Jumbo felts fill broad purple strokes
Disguising pink love hearts my mum stuck on each wing.

Soaring through the doodled sky
Down below Derby is a postcard fly-by
I draw 9 square windows,
to fly Mum and Chinua and me

Plus the ghosts of those 6 children
to forget about the pain
just to laugh and enjoy my
purple plane.


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