My thanks to Paul for leaving the outer door to his blog unlocked. Now I've stumbled in like a Hollywood cliché waiting for something to jump out on me. Luckily the only other person in here is singing on the CD in my lorry cab. As usual it's Rodolfo from La Bohème belting out his question “Who am I?..... I'm a poet.....What do I do?.... I write.”
Ah, there's the disconnected trailer. You cannot claim to be the Poet Lorry-Park if you do not write. If you can't bang your fifth wheel onto the pin and haul the artist's roped and sheeted poem away from that industrial zone of inspiration, you ain't no driver bruv. If you're a reader of Paul's blog you're a poetry fan. Even if you just popped in as a smoochy cruiser or a flexing bruiser –you're gonna leave knowing you've tangled with a poet.
Poetry never gives you up. It's what language is for and since all notions of purpose and meaning translate themselves into words in all the synapse vocab sparks of all the worlds, it is meaning itself. Poetry tells you what something IS because the regular gas just hasn't got the octane and leaves you gasping, craving,searching and longing for that fix. Poet – just tell me what something or anything IS. What cauliflower of cumulus builds its empires of summer love in a remembered teenage kiss. I want the replay here and now but never had the selfie stick. Poet – only you can snatch it back. Wet night at Widnes Labour club – Poet, smear it on the smoky car park taxi window so I can lick it. Poet – give me the nuances of gangster glam and squalid sham that glints from hyped-up ersatz gutter. Poet – strip it off and dress me in your trans-nakedness so I am free to tumble in your Y front frills with the dancing daffodils of zygotic lust. Hay fever sufferers may select a pollen free sexual option.
Well, I'm nothing if not demanding and self indulgent. In pursuit of my decadence I have climbed down from the truck to be the poet in residence at the Virtual Book Café. Being virtual it can be a chichi tweak of the intellectual Bloomsbury eyebrow or the grateful gulp of a working gob at the motorway services. Human experience now is the reeling out of the lifeline in real time and the real time re-wind of the life lived and the path taken. (Not-taken paths only appear on poet maps). In the pause of the Virtual Café there is a space cleared for time and for poetry. Quick!The wobbly table is wiped and vacant. Go out, sit down and give me a poem. I only want you to tell me what something IS. Use the technology to give poetry a voice. A couple of years ago with the tireless work of the novelist Emma Calin, we produced the Freeze Frame audio/written poetry anthology of modern poets. Paul Tobin was a fantastic contributor. The book came with an audio track of the poet giving voice to his/her work. It was a first and so is the Virtual Book Café. It's open mic' with no Keep-Out Establishment edit. Let's get poetry getting poetic about the life we slurp, savour and visa waiver. WTF would Shakespeare be without the actor's voice? No shame no blame no gender no agenda no plods all gods and nun. Meet me for a coffee and tell me in your own voice. Please.
Boring Technical Information : Short video poem/haiku read aloud and mobile phoned in café type venue.
Send to email@example.com. Your poem will be posted on http://virtualbookcafe.club and shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Sit back. Await fame, adulation, desperate phone calls from agents/editors/psychiatrists/haulage companies.
As a guide here is one I did earlier.