Tag Archives: performance poetry

Mouthy Poets is coming to an end.

2 Dec

Sometimes love and passion is not enough.

 

Last week we announced in our weekly session, that Mouthy Poets is wrapping up. November 25th was our final session.

 

After 6 years of growth; 11 Say Sum Thin shows, a national tour, an international exchange, a sister collective in Germany, the region’s biggest inter-school poetry slam, two albums, scholarships, commissions, publications and more, Mouthy has achieved above and beyond what a 20-year-old Deborah could have anticipated 6 years ago.

 

During the past year we have trialed various ways of progressing Mouthy Poets and making it a sustainable model that doesn’t rely on any one individual. However, just as many serendipitous things needed to align for Mouthy to grow, these things have not come together to enable Mouthy to continue. A combination of a small team with limited capacity, a change in needs of participants/the area and unexpected funding restrains left the whole team in agreement that bringing Mouthy to a peaceful and celebratory end was the only way forward. New crops need to be planted for soil to remain fertile, and we are excited to see what will come out of all the Mouthy Legacy (once a Mouthy, always a Mouthy).

 

Our funding will come to an end in January 2017 and we will be focusing in the next two months on evaluating the past 2 years of activity and wrapping up the office and administrative systems.

 

We hope to end with a day of evaluation/ round table discussions with partners, participants and Alumni in Nottingham on the 11th of Jan 2017 with a little party after. If you are available to come, please let us know and pop it in your diary!

 

Please spread the word and if there are any evaluation/ legacy or archiving support you can give us, or if you just want to let us know what impact we had on you/ someone you know/ your organisation – please let us know on Debris@mouthypoets.com

 

Warmest Regards,

Mouthy Poets CIC

 

Debris Stevenson Auditorium Draft 3 – SST11

5 Jun

Tech: 2 x cordless mics, haze machine, nighttime carport lighting, possible gobo of carpark style windows (narrow and high maybe with that grading you get to stop people jumping out), yellow lighting, powerful square touch that looks a bit like a phone, monitors.

I will be working with a backing track which I have a first draft of and hopefully an MC (yet to confirm who this is).

 

 Jezebel

[Verse 1]

 

Oi, oi, wait

at first…

Oi, hide, hide, hide…

 

At first…oi, wait…At first (yeah)

At school they called me ugly,

 

wait – did they call me anything?

I never had real friends, library ting.

Long tie, coasting, runnin’ from da beef,

Year nines jackin’ my sleep.

 

Dumb one in da fam,

I didn’t know what to say,

my school was on the brink,

bullies knew what to say.

I bunked mathematics,

brothers better – try dramatics.

But how could I pass

in a world of shanks n bars?

 

And they called gyal Jezebel,

 

Chatting bout line ups in the loos

and I’d never even kissed, hadn’t been asked to.

I’d watch gal get churpes, when boys acted nice.

Hands fast, den her names shanked in a night.

 

Fat and brash,

man didn’t clock me as a gash

so I’d heard dem chat

bout “Jezebel’s” slap.

Virgin means your wifey,

head means your dead,

more time man ain’t kissed

before he’s had sex.

 

[Hook]

What he do? You didn’t let him…

—                                sket ting,

(Mans already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

all she wants to be. She clings.

(Man already said she’s nothing,

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

been spread about, sket ting,

(Man already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

man in line, same bars, she pings,

(Man already said she’s nothing.)

Touched once – then Jezebel –

 

[Verse 2]

– was locking the cubicle door,

boys thought I was new through form-room door.

I lost puppy fat, learned to paint my face,

boys went from my mates to my predators (chase?).

 

Gyal pick links over GCSE’s

me too suddenly but I was not easy.

-Some pregnant, some bled, all poor.

-Sex their reward, only love they could afford.

 

16 bar MC – The lines guys spin to chat up gyal.

Noticing a friend becoming peng

 

[Hook]

What he do? You didn’t let him…

—                                sket ting,

(Mans already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

all she wants to be. She clings.

(Man already said she’s nothing,

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

been spread about, sket ting,

(Man already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

man in line, same bars, she pings,

(Man already said she’s nothing.)

Touched once – then Jezebel –

 

[Verse 3]

-never had it like me.

I’d never been twanged –

drawn respectfully

so slags – made me nuff angry

I’d lye on their bench till they felt to leave.

 

16 bar MC –

man approaching me and talking me into coming with him into a car park.

His man take the girl off in another direction.  

 

Wish I’d take words back to my fat days,

before man got me up in a car park bay,

when pillar stabbed back, hands festered, prick,

mouth panicked shut like a … Jezebel’s – click.

 

Debris Stevenson – SST11 Draft 1

15 May

Jezebel

 

[Verse 1]

 

Oi, hide, hide, hide…

They called me ugly,

 

Wait – did they call me anything?

Never had real friends, library ting.

Long tie, coasting, runnin’ from da beef,

Year nines jackin’ my sleep.

 

Dumb one in da fam, didn’t know what to say,

School was on the brink, bullies knew what to say.

Bunked mathematics, brothers better – try dramatics.

How could I pass in a world of shanks n bars?

 

And they called gyal Jezebel,

 

Chatting bout line ups in the loos

I’d never even kissed, hadn’t been asked to.

Watch gal get churpes, when boys act nice.

Hands fast, den her names shanked in a night.

 

Fat and brash, man didn’t clock me as a gash

So I heard dem chat bout Jezebel’s slap.

Virgin means your wifey, head means your dead,

More time man ain’t kissed before he’s had sex.

 

[Hook]

What he do? You didn’t let him…

don’t say a thing, sket ting,

(Mans already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

all she wants to be. She clings.

(Man already said she’s nothing,

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

been spread about, don’t say a thing, sket ting,

(Man already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

name’s catching, man in line, same bars, she pings,

(Man already said she’s nothing.)

But her loves now been named Jezebel.

 

[Verse 2]

You’ll find everyone at a shoobs,

But I ain’t right; face too wide, strong mind.

Man-dem are my boys, cause I make their laughs grow,

But when they think gyal-dem – my name don’t even show.

Watch dem to bashy, think bashy’s my thing.

Clock grime MC’s and I can’t stop listening.

So I hit the gym – – stop eatin’.

Bedroom train whine slow and mimic lyrics flow.

 

So whilst the Jezebel’s locking the cubicle door,

Think I’m new through form-room door.

Man-dem weren’t expecting this big change.

Abs pull in my waist, but thick thighs stayed same.

Gyal pick links over GCSE’s

Lipsing zoots, not man, no – booky,

Left pregnant, left bleeding, left tarred,

Sex their cash or card ao they walk to the next yard.

 

[Hook]

What he do? You didn’t let him…

don’t say a thing, sket ting,

(Mans already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

all she wants to be. She clings.

(Man already said she’s nothing,

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

been spread about, don’t say a thing, sket ting,

(Man already said she’s nothing.

Seen her crying in the ladies. Lady’s

name’s catching, man in line, same bars, she pings,

(Man already said she’s nothing.)

But her loves now been named Jezebel.

 

[Verse 3]

Surprise, now I can be seen,

But I’ve gleaned what’s wifey cuisine.

Went from fat virgin, to virgin wifey queen,

Parent invites, morning kisses – caffine.

Raised Mormon then questioned everything.

Befriended boys then couldn’t trust anything.

 

Aged fifteen, I was running alone,

Top of hierarchy, but no real love of my own.

Nuff slags, chucked bags, nuff cusses thrown,

Nuff baby scares, Jezzy’s nuff lie prone.

Nuff easy for me, one wifey’s fame,

Jezzy said sorry, didn’t know her name.

 

Oi, wish I could take my words back to my fat days,

Not let a gyalis in a car park stray.

Pillar stabbed my back, his hands festered, prick

Mouth panicked shut like a Jezebel’s – click.

 

****Artwork photographed by Saira Awan, Post-Production by Ryan Hawkins

Mid Shelley SST10 second draft

8 Jan

25 mins late, but got there! Thanks for understanding 🙂 This is a bit of an experiment, gonna see how it goes…not perfect but hopefully gives an idea of where I’m trying to go with it. (This is the performance version, not convinced it works too great on paper but I’m planning on working on a more page friendly version for the zine).

Some secrets need to be kept in the dark.
And sometimes, with the really big secrets,
you need to keep yourself in the dark,
for fear the thing will ooze out of your skin,
plop itself into your lap while you’re sat at school
and say – hey!
You can implode my world now.

When I was seven my mum used to buy
packets of ten strawberry splits from the discount store.
I rarely remember eating a real meal,
but I remember licking them, one after the other
until I was so full of ice and sugar
I could trace the core of cold
right down the middle of me.
I was sat on the step with my best friend
eating ice lollies.
‘I can’t wait for it to end’, I said.
He didn’t know what I meant.

Flash –
Staring at her chest
Flash –
Waiting for her breath

When I was seventeen
I blagged my way through a tenancy agreement
by telling them I was twenty three
and a teaching assistant.
My pupils had eclipsed my irises
and left everything gray –
I hadn’t slept for three days.

Flash –
Staring at the mirror
Flash –
Reflection unfamiliar

When I was nineteen my girlfriend moved in with me.
She was encased in ice
but would spit sparks at me without thawing.
It seemed I was constantly breathing out smoke
even in the absence of a cigarette.
I didn’t know whether my insides were frozen or smoldering.
She taught me how to tie a scarf against the wind,
and I taught myself to pretend
the electric heater was an open fire,
to imagine I was warm.
Sometimes I would hold icecubes in my hands
until they melted.
Fascinated by the way they burned.

Flash –
Dirty wall
Flash –
Closed door
Flash –
Loud screams
Flash –
Bad dreams

As I grew I became obsessed with layers,
with silks and merino wool.
I would worship the cloth with my fingers,
amazed that things so thin
could hold in so much heat.
I sat around real camp fires,
and looking into them I learned
that it was heavens, not hells,
that are made of flames.
I learned to keep away the cold,
embracing strangers under stars,
and that dancing can make even the naked warm.

These
are the pieces of me.
The hard sharp shards
that add up to make me,
and I stand proud
and hiss to the wind –

I am a broken thing.

I am a broken thing.

So on the days I think I’m done
trying to sew myself back together,
and the only shape my lips can make is ‘fuck you’,
I curl my head towards my heart
and listen to the whisper –
you don’t have to stay where makes you ill.
You don’t have to sit if you can’t stay still.
And these scars,
they make us beautiful.

‘Coz sometimes I feel I could shake
the whole world with a whisper,
and that when I speak
the air will never be the same,
and that my heart is big enough
to hold the whole earth,
and I know that nothing stays the same,
except change.
When I was twenty five I learned how to breathe fire.
To stand on stages and to make ice weep.
I own more jumpers than I can make use of.
But sometimes I’ll walk barefoot through snow,
just to watch it dissolve.
And I still squeeze icecubes…
fascinated by the way we burn.

The journey begins…

20 May

The journey toward Say Sum Thin 9 has officially begun. The Mouthy Poets have now split into teams to market and produce the summer show. We also set about honing our ideas for the performance, writing out first drafts of poems and working in groups to discuss where these ideas were strong and where to go from there.

So the groups we split into were Education and Management, Social Media and Marketing, Evaluation and Funding, Production and Stage Management, and Publishing and Merchandise. You could probably guess where I fell in, what with blogging a whole lot and that. Each group has an important role in bringing together the collective for a smooth and exciting show. Heading the groups are the Mouthy interns, making SST9 truly a show organised by the Mouthy collective. The task ahead of us is a slightly daunting one, but we’re all eager to crack on with it.

And crack on with it we did. Once in groups we laid out what it is we want from SST9, and a challenge accepted by all was to sell over 500 tickets. It’ll be a long road, but worth it all the way.

Such a turnout wouldn’t get anywhere without the poems to perform though, so first thing’s first. We got to writing our ideas centred on the theme of carnival. Despite the work being rough, the ideas at their core were really interesting and I for one am geared up to see where they go in the future. A key thing we are committing to this time is utilising the stage in the show and the use of props. In the past we feel we could have taken the idea of performance further in our poetry, so this time we are writing with a mind to perform our pieces, seizing the chance to mess with lighting, sound, props, and the stage space as much as we can. The result I’m sure will be an amazing one. And the ideas are already up on the blog too! It all moves fast at Mouthy.

With that I guess I’ve let you all know the journey has begun! Watch this space for more details on how SST9 is coming along.

Jordan

Debris Stevenson – SST9 Idea

17 May

So I have a lot of ideas buzzing around my head for this one, and also a lot of other writing I am working on that I think this piece alongside. I think what might help is for me to list my aims/objectives for this piece:

-I want to push my understand and use of poetry crossing over into Grime Lyrics/ MCing both within my writing and my delivery.

-I want to work with local Grime artists in developing, creating and performing the content – I really want to work with a producer and ideally some MC’s too.

-I want to explore the ‘Carnival Atmosphere’ of a cypher, a battle, a clash in a garage, a living room, a park.

-I am currently developing a lot of content for my one day 1 woman show (my SST8 piece is part of this too), this show is mainly around my family and religion but I want Grime and where I grew up to feature in it too and I think this piece might be at the core of that intersection.

-I think it is quiet likely I will be aiming for the Studio show for this because I really want to create that vibe of being in a small, sweaty space. BUT I am aware aiming for the auditorium show may enable me to draw in some more high profile collaborators.

Very excited!

Debris

Catching Up!

15 May

Oops. So that’s about a month gone by with me forgetting to blog. It’s been busy, what can I say. Guess what though, means you lot get a bigger blogpost today!

Starting off with the workshop a few weeks back, we discussed the theme for Say Sum Thin 9 in groups of three else four, debating for themes that were not our first choice. Cruel trick on Anne’s part maybe, but hey, it got us motivated for alternate ideas we may have otherwise decided to overlook completely! And some of the ideas were really something, with everyone plugging some great points regarding marketing, writing, and performing each potential theme. In the end though we settled on having Carnival as the theme for Say Sum Thin 9. So broad AND so specific, I don’t think we could have asked for more in a theme! Having the whole of the Playhouse to mess around with will be a real treat with this theme as well.

Fortnight ago though, I had another mint (great) day. Showing up to the Mouthy office I was told to go to Cobden Chambers for the Creative Quarter’s Enter Festival where we had a stall being set up. We manned it till about 4 and got to meet some awesome people doing various creative and entrepreneurial things in Nottingham. One group even brought shark beanbags in! Like, I’m not kidding there were shark beanbags and you sat in the shark’s mouth and they just looked aces. I think we should get some: they’d suit the ‘Mouthy’ vibe, do you not think? Enter Festival’s going to be carrying on throughout the month so check out some of their stuff here: http://bit.ly/1DDeZ4l

And Hannah Silva came down for the workshop. What a session. Now I’d never seen her before though I knew about her Gaddafi poem. The rhythms she used and the sounds she chose to focus on were just brilliant. In one poem she took a sentence from an Ed Miliband speech and picked it apart, working with just the vowels of a part of the phrase and the syllables in other parts to make what I can only describe as a truly musical poem. Following her performance we all joined in trying to work with our own phrases, pulling them apart by letters and syllables to get to grips with one of Hannah’s most fun strategies for writing.  The session saw many of our lot write some cracking stuff. One of the activities we did was to walk while thinking, sit while writing. This was to try and get the rhythms of walking into our poetry. To generate ideas Hannah gave out various objects including photographs and foreign money and old action figures. I got a postcard of a lady with an iguana on her head; sure gave me some weird and funky ideas.

To get us up to scratch, last week we had a heavy session on identity. I’d never known I thought myself to be so chilled out about everything, at least to a point. It helped to focus my thoughts about myself as a writer though, especially regarding what I want to achieve. We discussed things like who we think we’re writing for, why we write, and who exactly we identify ourselves as. Don’t know about the rest of you lot, but I’d not thought about that stuff quite so much. Thankfully, it reasserted that yes I do just want to write nonsense and regional things in my poetry, and that’s fine by me. Tell you one thing though, it showed how diverse and awesome Mouthy are, and that can only be a good thing!

Tonight we’ll be brainstorming ideas for SST9 and I’m well excited to see what everyone’s been thinking up.

Till next time

Jordan