Yesterday, I’m not going to lie; I had a terrible evening and took one for the team it seemed as I didn’t just get absolutely panned for my poetry but also got labelled as something that deeply offended me after a small miscommunication in one of my poems offended another poetry night non-performer. And it kind of worried me as I reflected on her comments and thought to myself: Is this really how people are going to see me? I mean, it was hard to get up and perform in the first place, it always has been and unfortunately always will be. But for some reason the low scores and my apparent comment that lent rape “support” is something that’s really knocked my confidence a little bit.
I mean, it’s not what I meant and I didn’t mean to offend. It was a slam and I slammed and well, I was angry a little bit; that the misconception was at the time, that Uni of girls just always seemed to get raped by Hallam guys or that no matter how much I go on to achieve in life: I’ll be from Hallam. And that will forever go against me. Which is sad because some of the smartest and most lovely people I have ever met have now been tarred with the same polytechnic stigma that I myself have been subject to a little. My parents, will never understand because they were never forced to sit in the corner of a junior school class and made out unable to read. Or that I just didn’t really seem to be going anywhere. And it makes me red in the face with anger to know that there are just some people out there, somewhere and for some reason seeing it as funny to go pick on the little guy when there are more important and pressing issues to talk about. I get angry. We all do and I suppose in all, I learnt the line of where I can and cannot take my poetry but still…
Accusing me of supporting rape and the lowest score of the night?
I must have really turded up and with these two things and how I feel in the moment, I’m coming real close to giving up poetry and the performance side of things to instead keep up my efforts with the other parts of my course which I seem to be falling behind in too. I don’t know if it was the fact I hadn’t written all summer or whether or not I was rushed to produce a poem, but I am largely uninspired and rather tired all the time. I feel so out of shape it is unreal and even as I write this now, I can feel the once great raw talent of my mind peel away and look back and realise I’ve kind of written a poetic prose verse about how I’ve been knocked down by two things or maybe even three.
First: We lost the slam by 0.19. If I had just got a bigger score. We could have at least pushed the tie.
Second: I got really low scores when I tried really hard to put the poem together in a short amount of time. I can either use this as a time to choose a path or better yet try to use it as a humbling experience. I know its only opinion but it was a popular opinion; y’know? When it’s all against one then I don’t see how I can really justify myself. I did shit. Now is a time to either work, or give up on it unfortunately. I’m not sure as to what’s a good idea or not at the moment; it’s still weighing quite heavy on my heart that I may, if this melancholy continues, have to give up an art I have come to love. What happens, happens though. Am I right?
Thirdly: Who supports rape? Really? And I know you can cup my face and ask me to look at you in a really annoying patronising way and ask if I know its alright but you know what? It isn’t. It never has been, I stumbled because I was trying too hard and I got crossed wires and I meant to say something completely different, especially considering the whole passage [in context] was about the fact of not having sex at all… So, I can see where they’re coming from. I knew what I meant. But to come up to me with a patronising toff voice after I’ve just had a shit time is a little annoying. I know it’s ‘a political issue’ but we’re talking morality here and if you have any sense of morale compass at all; you will know that there is no supporting or justifying an act that is so evil as rape in itself. Taking control of someone’s very being away from them is wrong. No means no. So hopefully, the message rings clear that I am very much against any type of sexual, physical or even psychological abuse. People deserve the best in life. And that is all I will ever ask of them is to go out and live the best life they can because what else is there to do?
I know this may sound a little rant-ish and a bit weird to randomly come on and blog about after my silence but these things have deeply affected me to the point where I may not perform again for the longest time. Or even ever. Even with the support of people I deeply admired and hold in high regard, their words of encouragement cannot really remove the seemingly growing black spot that its creeping its inky self throughout my heart. I feel different. I feel changed. And if I’m losing my faith in poetry and the written word, well, the end is not far off at all…
My confidence has really been shaken and with that being an apparently huge part of why people like me, I don’t know if things are really going to be the same after this.