*CATCHING UP – this is written as if it is week 17: 1st – 7th May.*
[Hi, I’m Joshua Judson. I’m writing 1000 Poems this year. To find out how and why, click HERE.]
Poems written this week: 19
Poems written so far this month: 19
Poems written so far this year: 514
Another blog about being torn between places, places, places.
I’m back in London now, and my brain’s still catching up with that fact.
One of the last things I did in Notts was attend and take part in the Nottingham Poetry Society slam. It’s an annual event that I’ve attended for the last 3 or 4 years. Over the years, I’ve seen two of my fellow former Mouthy Poets win it: Sacha Wise and Hayley Green. It’s a very low key event in Nottingham Mechanics near Trent University, around the corner from the Art Shop I used to work in.
This time around, I signed up along with a few familiar faces including Neal Pike and Matt Miller. Being in London means that I don’t see a lot of my friends nearly often enough, but this event showed me the silver lining to this situation. When you don’t see your friends on a regular basis, it means that you enjoy their work all the more when you do see them.
In particular, I was struck by Matt’s ‘River Monster’ poem, which he wrote when he was one of BBC Radio 3’s Verb New Voices. At the time he started writing it, Matt was living on Bute Avenue in Lenton – the student area of Nottingham. And I was constantly hanging out at his house, which meant that I was privy to the thought processes and I think I saw a few drafts. I was pretty close to the work as it was being made, but a mixture of time and physical distance (with Matt living in Newcastle, and I in London) meant that when Matt did a redacted version of the poem at the Nottingham Poetry Society slam, I got as close to hearing it the first time as I ever have and it really spoke to me.
I won’t spoil it for you, but the phrase ‘places, places, places’ in my first line of this blog is stolen from the poem. It talks about how attached we get to different places, and how difficult those attachments are to manage. So, a few weeks later, now I am feeling the tugging of the different places that are important to me, I carry that poem with me. It is the comfort of knowing I am not alone in these feelings, which is surely one of the best things we can ask of a poem.
I can’t find the River Monster poem online, but Matt’s website is HERE.
Joshua Judson x