The Insulting Cabaret. Nuff said mate.

15 04 2010

There’s a festival of world literature going on in town. Oh yes.

It’s called Free the Word! and this is its 3rd year in London.

International PEN are in charge of it all. They believe words make the world go round. And ya damn right, too! Read about them here.

If you only make it to one of the Free the Word! events, you should go and see the Insulting Cabaret at the Southwark Playhouse tomorrow night (Friday 16th April 2010).

Why? Cos it’s gonna be an effin’ trip.

And also cos I haven’t seen it promoted anywhere. And I work in the Southwark/London Bridge area. I was lucky enough to be told about it by the Thayil half of Sridhar/Thayil*. So of course I’m gonna share this valuable information and implore you to get out there and do something different.

Sridhar/Thayil will be on that stage doing their thang with a bunch of other musical, wordy performers. This year’s theme is love and hate. Those universally elusive concepts.

You should also go cos it’s bloody well called the Insulting Cabaret. And if that doesn’t spark even a little curiosity in you, then your brain cells have obviously been numbed by the inane Leader’s Debate that was on TV earlier. So I suppose you can be forgiven.

I haven’t given you a potpourri parcel in a while, have I?

Here you go:

The Insulting Cabaret: Love Vs. Hate
Venue: Southwark Playhouse
Date: 16th April 2010
Time: 9.30pm
Price: 8 quid.

*if the name Thayil sounds familiar, it’s cos back in January I blogged about the anthology he edited (and contributed to). The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry. Remember?

(photo provided by whatmegsaid)

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Writing in a common language

23 01 2010

Today I’m just gonna share a poem with you.

It appears in an anthology I received (after a few obvious hints) for Christmas a couple years ago. It’s The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry, edited by Jeet Thayil. [click the picture to go to the Amazon page]

It covers 55 years of Indian Poetry written in English, featuring the selected works of 70 poets, all of Indian descent, living either in or away from India.¬† It’s a beautiful mass of diverse and varied poems. Though they’re all Indian by origin, you can see how the poets are influenced not only by their own shared Indian culture, but Western and other traditions too.

The one I want to share is by Sridala Swami an I’m dedicating it to RB:

All Music is Memory

All music is memory:
a lone wind trapped in the chimes,
a window rattling dolefully
in time to the movement of the night

If my life were stretched
across the drum of centuries
I might have time to discern
the pattern in the creaking of trees.

But destinies drown through time.
A million years are lost
and I try in vain to cup my hands
and hold a note, a scale, a song.