I don’t really know what art is to be honest. When I was younger I thought art was The Hay Wain because we had a knocked off version on our wall where a window should have been. I would stand there and look up at it and think – that’s what outside looks like – until I was allowed outside and then I realised that life doesn’t look like The Hay Wain at all. Now I think art might be Tesco bag full of dicks. It certainly doesn’t have tits. Art is an anagram of rat – only that is certain. Someone said that art is a reflection of the self, but I’m not sure, just like I’m not sure what the shipping forecast means. I don’t think of what I do as art.
I write poems because I don’t have the time to write long stories about people. Ideally I would write a play, but I’ve been too busy making small change out of hard labour. I have a strict writing routine. I only write poetry when I witness two magpies shagging, which is quite rare. Sometimes I have to travel for miles and I don’t even find one single magpie, let alone a shagging one. Writing is tough that’s what that means. Once I got so desperate to write I tried to force two doves to shag but it didn’t count. My muse refused me – that’s what writers block is – when you try and force two doves to shag and they remain nonchalant. Bastard birds. Sometimes I bribe myself to write, but again that’s the darker side to writing like eating too much liver, it only ends in tears.
I started performing poetry because I’m an extremely serious and motivated individual with a load of words in me. Sometimes I have so many words swimming around in my brain that I quite literally can’t think. Performing poetry is a whole different bag of balls to just writing it. A page is more of a mixing palate for the reader, whereas actually regurgitating a poem to a live audience the poem almost takes on a life of its own. I think good performance poets are those who can actually write and have and understanding of how to engage with an audience. You can’t just go up there and read like you would to your dog. The audience is an organism and if you don’t pay it enough attention it will bite your balls off and clap politely. That’s one thing I do wish – that poetry audiences would get more mental and smash shit up a bit more. You don’t have to listen to poetry as if you’re at a funeral. If a poet is arrogant enough to get on a stage looking for the appreciation of a live audience then they definitely should be able to dodge some bullets otherwise what’s the point. Why not just write it on a postcard and send it to your mum, she’ll like it.