Thursday, 23 December 2010
Enter the Sandbar
Outside, cold curls around concrete; frosting barbed wire to swirls of halo-like-ice-cuts set above the brick walls of Manchester, framing the night.
But I am inside - snow sliding off my damp boots; tucked under an oak church pew; glass of frothy beer settling dark in my hand while the event microphone is one-two'd under dimmed light.
The Event is 'Beatification', organised by the widely published socialist poet, and Mancunian a·fi·ci·o·na·do, John. G. Hall, who incidentally, has just published the first edition of, 'The Spleen', a poetic response to the current UK political landscape...
Beatification this evening = Beat Poetry Film, topical rhythmics from Manchester based poets and an excellent swell of acoustic harmonics from the band, 'The Ground'.
I confess to knowing very little about 'Beat Poetry' or the movement which twitched and surged through all US circuits before I was born. My ignorance is wholly down to being a peripheral fixate on all things Manchester throughout my teens, and thus somewhat provincial and introspective.
Beatification therefore, has snugged into my Monday evening as an apt opportunity to learn.
Watching the grainy film in a room for fifty or so when filled, I find myself smiling at the sheer freefall feel of Ginsberg's poetry, as the warmth creeps back into my toes and I fumble for a pen to record some thoughts. This is fast becoming learned behaviour, as the beat poetry films energise and encourage the merest creative act to the centre of experience.
Following the film, the poets line up to deliver their visions - Gerry Potter, Michael Wilson, John G Hall et al, do so with balanced verve for the brave souls scooting in from the cold of Christmas to listen - and forget for a few beautiful moments, the existence of cuts, the floods, the fist sized royal wedding and the VAT beanstalk stealth-twisting pantomine well beyond the season's year end...