The Word House & NaPoWriMo Days 28, 29 & 30

On Saturday I hosted The Word House, which is quickly turning into one of the liveliest spoken word nights in London!

Another sold-out audience packed into The Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green for top-quality feature acts Emma JonesSabrina Mahfouz and Mark Grist. They also showed their appreciation for our high-standard open mic (featuring poetic leading lights like Richard Tyrone-Jones and Jill Abram, up-and-comers like Oh Standfast and Zia Ahmed, to complete beginners like Billy Hicks and Sarah Chapman).

DJ Able provided the perfect soundtrack of soulful hip hop to our evening of energetic poetry, and producer Amy Stratton made sure everything flowed like a well-written piece of verse. It’s always a joy to host The Word House, and I can’t wait for the next – join the Facebook group to find out when that’ll be!

Onto my last pieces for National Poetry Writing Month. I’ve neglected the daily poem for the last two days, but below are three to take me to full count. That’s 30 poems in 30 days, and I’m really happy to have taken part this year. A few pieces have gone straight into my set list, whilst some have a decent start and will be worked on. It’s given me a chance to experiment with being a bit more pagey, and to just get on and do some writing. It’s a great idea, and here’s to next year’s NaPoWriMo!

– Dan

The Death of Language

A relationship ends
and with it
a shared dictionary.

After a war of language attrition
a series of small extinction events
fluency is lost until
you’re no longer native speakers.

Pet names are put down
and buried in cemeteries
dead, like the Latin inscriptions
embedded on the gravestones.

It’s like outmoded slang
or the word ‘outmoded’ itself:
understanding diminishes
as linguicide is committed.

Some things get recycled
handed down through future partners
like loanwords
meaning calqued from the past
until we all speak creole.

Deal or No Deal

ITV make £250,000 available to charity
but will only donate it
if a famous person
beats some long odds
and picks the right box.

the audience includes people who would benefit
from the biggest donation possible
– cancer patients, for example.

And I’m a cynic
for pointing this out.

For N

This is just to say
that I am writing
you a poem.

It is not yet finished
so I hope
this oh-so-post-Modern
Modernist parody
will suffice
for now.

Forgive me:
it was so easy
so obvious
and so unoriginal.

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