And About Time Too
It is November 2nd. Happy hallows! All Souls Day. All Saints Day. Mexican Day Of The Dead. Dia de los Muertos! May your elders guide you and your fire burn true. May your dead be celebrated with remembrance, love and respect, may this remind you to live your light to its fullest life, with colour and joy. Welcome the dark, the long shadow cast with candles and paper, with light and words, write it all down, burn it and let it go, watch the wind blow and scatter these ashes to the stars and the rising Hunters moon.
Hello. How are you? I haven't written a proper blog for a while but feel I want to take some time out to write this. So much has been happening hasn't it? In my corner of this chapter we share, I have been quite emotional, it is like my brain has too many cupboard doors open at once. I've been up and down, and up and down the UK, admiring the vivid autumn skies, the red and yellow leaves, from over-crowded train carriage windows. I've been performing in tents, theatres, galleries, clubs and pubs, every gig is always so totally different. Last weekend I was blown away to perform at the FilmPoem Festival in Lewes, it was a marriage of film, poetry and performance in a cinema setting. I haven't seen my poetry on the silver screen before. Thank you.
Noticeably the line-ups for my gigs have been predominantly women lately, and I've been feeling a pull and the ties that connect us all. I've been in the company of such beautiful, extraordinary and powerful women, women that I admire and women I am inspired by. In Hebden Bridge I was thrilled and delighted to meet my pen pal the author Deborah Delano for the first time. And in Kings Cross at the NUJ Byline event I spoke on a panel with the magical Bonnie Greer. There are too many Queens to mention and list here, but I thank you so much. This autumn has been a most remarkable and a most unusual time ... but I have niggling feelings and I want to honour these feelings and write a little bit about #metoo.
Have you been reading the #metoo posts? What were your thoughts? How did it make you feel? Are you ok? Is everyone alright? I've been holding back from writing anything about this until now. It seems every day another trigger, another heart break, another sex scandal or abuse allegation, from glitzy Hollywood to sleazy Parliament and much, much closer to home. The vibration is rumbling and the heat is rising. I feel it everywhere, it is plastered all over the newspapers, blogs and social media. #metoo lives in my friends work, my comrades, the poets, the writers, the artists, the people I love, living on the breadline and struggling to make work and be visible. I have been listening to this rumbling distant thunder, but now I feel something much, much bigger is coming this way and about to erupt. This is an ugly, painful zit about to explode pus on the mirror of now and all the toxic truth will be splurted on our reflection.
I feel that if a country elects a president or prime minister who does not protect or speak up for the women of that country, then the women will be forced to unite and rise up to do the vital work of protecting themselves, themselves. I feel that is at the core of all of this. And I stand in solidarity with all courageous people coming forward and speaking up. Solidarity with people who were posting #metoo I apologise for not writing until now, but I have been here watching, listening, reading and feeling it. I think that this is permitted. We don't have to join in and do all the remembering, all the bravery, all the time. It is like dominoes, I mean where do we start, where do we begin when we write and share this hashtag #metoo
How do we begin? Where do we begin? Does it start with memories of aunties whispering in the kitchen, the secrets of our families, the nightmares of childhood, the dirty old man down the lane, the flasher in the park, the headmaster that put me over his knee and spanked my naked bum, my teenage rebellion, the drunken mistakes we still blame ourselves for - when looking back now, maybe we were being taken advantage of - the casting couch, those auditions, the advances from bosses and superiors, an inappropriate doctor, the sleazy cab drivers, that strange encounter in that hotel room, those blokes in that train carriage, that man following us home, those kerb crawlers, those times we woke up in the wrong place with our clothes wrong. I don't know where to begin but once I start pulling this thread, I don't know where to stop, and I feel like I'm unravelling. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this right now.
NEW BOOK NEWS
NOV 6-7: NEW YORK, BYLINE FESTIVAL
NOV 10: BRIGHTON, COME RHYME WITH ME
NOV 19: CHESTER LIT FESTIVAL
NOV 20: BRISTOL, BLAH BLAH BLAH, WARDROBE THEATRE
NOV 25: LONDON, MASCARA BAR, RISING ZINE LAUNCH
DEC 16: LONDON, CONWAY HALL, ROBIN INCE & FRIENDS
|photo: Salena Godden and Bishi
Bishi's new project is a song cycle based on The Good Immigrant
'BISHI: The Good Immigrant'
Residency at National Sawdust in New York - https://nationalsawdust.org/residencies