‘THE DONKEY SANCTUARY HAS TAKEN ALL OUR MONEY’ Esmond screams in a packed room of strangers who stand nodding angrily as he rails against a unjust society in which impoverished donkeys are flying to Barbados while humanity wastes away in slums. Having finished his manifesto against the bourgeoisie equus africanus asinus, Esmond then proceeds to describe a lizard that shoots blood out of it’s eyes as a defence mechanism before avid applause.
If you were wishing to attend the meet and greet for socialist donkey-haters and limerick enthusiasts you’ve came to the right place. This is Inklight Open Mic, catering to creative writers, slam poets and K cider addicts alike.
The Open Mic officially reared it’s poetic head again after a Summer’s absence at 9:30pm this Wednesday night in an intensely packed Aikman’s Bar on Bell Street and ran until about quarter to eleven (situated later than usual to allow for the Richard Dawkins extravaganza in Younger Hall). A regular haunt for the Open Mic, the staff at Aikman’s were jovial and continued serving throughout the event also rushing to the rescue of two students who stood in puddles of smashed beer. The audience, despite its size, was respectful giving each sacrificial poet their turn with the microphone. Students from freshers to postgrads rolled cigarettes and drank Guinness while others sat in the wait of some Dutch courage. Fronted by Vice President Ed-K-cider-slam-extraordinaire-Martin and Treasurer Michael-does-anyone-know-how-to-pronounce-Lethe-Grieve the event welcomed both new and veteran poets, and provided an unpretentious atmosphere for students to air their teenage-angst and musings on the world beyond the Bubble… (It’s pronounced Leith apparently if anyone is curious).
Among many others the night included readings by Inklight president Alexandra Julienne, Stanza Slam Winner Hannah Raymond Cox (who Ed stopped to mention ‘is actually quite good’), a poem about the silent power of introverts by Anna O’Connor, a satirical ode in which Stan Usovicz urged people to return to the loving arms of Jeeiiesuuus, and notably a poem paralleling the art of cheese-selling to the art of seduction by Ada Voss.
Obviously when you throw a room of poets together and get them to churn up a mouth full of words not all of the performances are going to be to your taste but nevertheless I am in awe of anyone who can do it in the first place. Mark Twain once said ‘there are two kinds of public speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars’. If Mr Twain is to be correct many members of Inklight are pretty convincing; the poetry delivered was frequently comic, bittersweet, nostalgic and heartfelt and is a wonderful testimony to the talent of a uni that doesn’t even offer a degree in creative writing.
If any of this literary madness has you hooked fear not: Inklight will be back this semester with plenty more wordy activities to try your hand. These marvelous events include more poetry Open Mics than you can shake a metaphorical cat at, creative writing workshops, and of course their tour-de-force: this Semester’s Poetry Slam in which verbal-warriors battle it out in Sandy’s Bar for prizes of wine, chocolates and honour (like Hunger Games but without the trees).
Nice to have you back Inklight, it’s been a long Summer.
Images courtesy of Loren Ewart