The poetry café is happening again tomorrow. Last month it kicked off to a good start and I’m looking forward to the next, excited, slightly nervous, hoping the guest poet and musician turn up. Word has got about and it seems that poetry is something people want to make time for. But there is always a serpent in the Garden, isn’t there? Not the deadly kind perhaps but, you know, just something that makes you keep having to look down and watch where you put your foot. In this case it’s the worm of political (poetical) correctness, which has no place in poetry. Or does it? I am sure of nothing. I and the few others who are responsible for organising the Café have given ourselves a name which some people are objecting to either because they don’t get that it is playful and ironic or because they think that irony has no place. I have some sympathy, I am sick of the endless pastiche that masquerades as post-modern when what we need is real words, real stories – bread. But on the other hand I’m not on a mission to save the world, I’m doing this for fun as much as anything else and think our title is fun, energetic and (here’s a clue) arresting. For another clue look here. And we have already been talent-spotted by the county town library to organise a gig there on the strength of the name alone.
The problem is that one of “us” has now become uncomfortable with the name. He is a wordsmith of the highest order and doesn’t take words lightly, though I am trying to persuade him to do just that – to wear the name lightly and this, I think, will “redeem” it. We’ll see. He also has a problem with seeing us described in promotional literature as “a group of poets”. I am trying to meet him in this by thinking up a new collective noun. A pride of poets might be good, but the lions already have that and the larks have exultation; an apology; a posse; Feel free to offer suggestions.