Harry is a performance poet and theatre director from Orkney, Scotland, currently based in Edinburgh and London. He performs and runs workshops regularly at events and for groups across the UK, and also currently runs Inky Fingers, Edinburgh's free and open live literature event series (http://inkyfingersedinburgh.wordpress.com). Harry performs everything from hip-hop and slam to sonnet and haiku; he tailors the work to the occasion, and is always excited to explore new forms and approaches. His style is passionate and lyrical; he writes about sex and politics and food and bugs and everything else in between. SLAMS AND AWARDS: StAnza Slam, St Andrews, Mar 2008 (Runner Up) PencilFest Slam, Warwick, May 2008 (First Place) BBC Scotland Slam, Edinburgh, Jun 2009 (First Place) Farrago Seasonal Slam, London, Dec 2009 (First Place) Glasgow Slam, Glasgow, Dec 2010 (First Place) Zoo Awards, Best Performance by a UK Poet, London, Jan 2011 (Nominated)
MOVEMENT A generation is writing the myth of itself, in breathless streams of one hundred and forty character texts, and, as with sex, we're playing at revolution like we invented it. I'm online, Googling half-remembered riots worn as patches of pride: sixtyeight, eightyfive, ninetynine . . . In Hollywood imaginations, a calendar, time-lapsed, flickers, and it's for this fast cut montage climax we want to be remembered, for the best of us. Our struggle will forgive us our wastefulness, recycled self-obsession, ironic addiction to trash telly, class-anxiousness, amnesia. I clutch my black bandana like Dad and his NUM tie. Now I understand. I hope. Now I let fly snowballs at the Parliament, chant obscenely, adrenalin-rush through the wholly overwhelming feeling that something is about to happen, that it's ours, it's now, and in this elastic moment I lose all sense of history, forget all defeats. Whose time? Our time. Whose streets? Our streets. * * * EVERYONE ELSE FEELS AS ANXIOUS AS YOU Everyone else feels as anxious as you “Ashamed and bemused by our own fragility, we consistently underestimate how anxious everyone else is.” - Alain de Botton I walked out of Farringdon station yesterday brought down by grey sky, worrying about how I’d pay the rent my landlady was waiting for, the great big phone bill before I could call my soul mate up north, the train fare to see her – and my future career, yeh, what about that? severe writer’s block making my poems fall flat, my fat stock of deadlines, the lateness of bedtimes, my real lack of head time — yeh, my mood was black. I looked at the faces of the folks in the place in case I saw a cute bloke to displace my broken humour (‘cos leering at gorgeous humans always cheers me from my mood swings) but the tide of suits denied me fruits; I sighed and pushed to find a route through the tired and mute — and stopped. Confused. Smiles were absent; eyes were waxen — hair was fashion but flair was lacking Despair and distraction was all I could see And I thought: does everyone else feel as anxious as me? See, I’m sitting at a party with a Tennents in my hand wishing I was pretty, yenning to understand how to can a handsome man, scanning legs and asses, begging for classy lasses, trying to amass the sass to harass that weirdly pierced one who’s sitting on her own, picking at her phone, unknown and kinda fierce and seriously stoned I don’t know how to start and my heart is kinda zoned, But then I realise that she’s awkward and alone and her eyes are catching mine and she sees that I am thrown seeming gawky and unsure, and it’s unwise to take the floor and offer her a beer, she might sneer or even groan at my bleary attempt to score, but I implore the gods of parties ’cause I’m standing and I’m starting to approach this problem sharply with a smile and a smart remark, ’cause suddenly I see This beautiful girl feels as anxious as me. And then there’s that time when I began to rhyme, impelled to find my flow, words, rhythm and style, I was terrified about my ideas, my pride, that my skin was white and I wanted to rap, and crap like that, a whole bunch of shite ’cause when you actually do it, poetry’s for humans, right? and now my lines are hot and my words are tight I find I don’t even want to rhyme any more and just say some simple words to you directly: See, remember when you first took the stage or put pen to page or sang, or acted, or played, or painted, or had a conversation with someone you didn’t already know, or if you’ve never done any of those things, remember what it is that stops you, and the next time you see someone who looks afraid, who hasn’t yet found their voice, take them by the shoulders, and say: Everyone else feels as anxious as you. depressed, obsessed, or just feeling blue, messed up, knocked down, locked in, stressed out this fact isn’t profound: everyone acts unsound not exactly the same clouds attracting our personal frowns but impacting the same crowds of cracked ups starting to drown in excess of isolation, suppressing their frustration, hating distress, waiting for less, berating the rest for not stating YES: everyone else feels as anxious as you.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
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