Open to interpretation

3 Oct

Martin Malone Poetry Swindon Fest 16.jpg

‘I’m on that team
That says go forward
With a Head Full of Steam’

Martin Malone cut through the dark of a busy Central Community Centre by announcing the results of the meat raffle; prize a lamb shank.

Mysteriously no-one had the winning ticket, I’m sure that a prime bit of topside made its way back up north with Mr. Malone too.

Martin is a poet at home in a Swindon skin and there was a two-way warmth between performers and audience on the night, poetry the go-between, The Interpreter’s House the common denominator.

The quality of the magazine is as high as ever if the readings at the Central Community Centre are anything to go by.

Kathy Gee, from Worcestershire, provided my favourite line, although it was hard to choose just one from the many brilliant poets and poems on offer.

It’s hard to beat the deadpan Goering on finding that his Vermeer was a fake was shocked at discovering that evil exists in the world.

Charles Lauder Jr, Martin Malone’s Assistant Editor at The Interpreter’s House delivered poems with sudden flashes of light or thought like rivets on jeans or the footplate of a train.

Roof tap down piss,  a superb rainy rhythm dashed out from amongst many great lines.

Swindon favourite Stephen Payne was on fine form, invoking the late great Thom Gunn with the ironically titled My Sad Captions.

Stephen is an engaging, relaxed reader who never fails to grab the audience’s attention.

Hannah Linden, reading for the second time following an enjoyably lengthy break for tea and talk, showed the bizarre route Swindon sometimes weaves.

Her poem was a response to Mennonite U.S. poet Rhoda Janzen’s Ras-al-Hanout which was first published in Poetry Magazine and then in Swindon spawned magazine of meddling Domestic Cherry. 

Janzen’s poem features an unusual ‘How we met’ moment, as these lines show;

‘Severed above   

the knee, the leg flung itself   
into the air, a javelin. Tom,   
always quick, reached up and   
caught it. But the story has   
a twist. After the cyclist died   
in an ambulance, the widow   
inexplicably came on to Tom.’
Hannah Linden’s clever take on this brilliant poem started with the line ‘this guy’s leg comes flying out of a poem.’
Meta is murder.
The evening closed with Martin Malone on great form declaring the night ‘a wonderful, wonderful launch’.
It was hard to have any beef with that.
Interpreter’s House Magazine #63 launch took pace at Central Community Centre, Swindon as part of Poetry Swindon, 1 October 2016.
Chronicle by Michael Scott
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